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What Can Cause the Accelerated Aging of Skin?

By Lynne Sheldon ; Updated July 18, 2017

Wrinkles, fine lines and sagging occur naturally as you get older, but certain factors can cause the signs of aging to show up prematurely. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exposure to UV rays, smoking and repetitive muscle movements can all accelerate the rate at which your skin ages and make you look older than you are. Lifestyle remedies and at-home treatments can help combat some signs of premature skin aging.

Dull Skin Diagnosis

Your skin becomes less firm and supple as it ages, and this can lead to sagging and more prominent fine lines. As the collagen and elastin breaks down in your skin, your complexion loses its elasticity and bounce, as well as some of its ability to retain moisture. Skin becomes drier and thinner, and wrinkles may appear more obvious.

Protect Yourself from the Rays

Basking in the sun or spending time in tanning beds may give you a golden glow, but they also severely degrade your skin’s supplies of collagen and elastin. UV rays cause a breakdown in these connective tissues, which accelerates your skin’s loss of firmness. This can make your skin sag and cause wrinkles to crop up as early as your 40s. To protect your skin from UV damage, avoid prolonged sun exposure and apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher whenever you are outside.

Just Say No to Smoking

Cigarettes contain toxins that increase the rate at which your skin ages.Tobacco can also alter your blood supply, which may lead to poor circulation and older-looking skin. Puckering your mouth and inhaling can cause wrinkles to creep up around your lips as well. It's best to quit smoking as soon as possible to avoid further skin damage. As some people notice improvements in the look of their skin soon after they stop smoking.

Don't Move a Muscle

Repetitive facial or muscle movements can cause your skin to wrinkle more quickly. Squinting, laughing and frowning can make lines spring up on your forehead and around your eyes and mouth. Each time you make a movement, it creates a groove beneath your skin’s surface, and this can become permanent as your skin gets older and loses some of its elasticity. Applying a moisturizer that contains retinol, a form of vitamin A, at night can help lessen the look of these wrinkles.

Instant Skin Brighteners

Keep your skin hydrated to lessen the signs of aging. Wrinkles look more obvious on dry skin, and moisturizers can plump up skin cells and make your skin look smoother and more even. They can also keep your skin healthier and better able to ward off environmental damage.

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