10 Don’ts that Age Skin
Some Healthy Hairdresser information is perfect for sharing with clients. This is one of those posts! We all know that summertime’s long days of bright sun rays age skin. Even though you’re applying sunscreen, what are some things you may be doing that are working against you? Dr. Kally Papantoniou, a board certified dermatologist in New York who often sees “skin saboteurs” in her practice, shares 10 skin sin “don’ts”:
- DON’T forget to wear sunglasses. In addition to protecting your eyes against harmful ultra violet rays, sunglasses help to shield the thinner skin of the eye area against aging. “Repetitive squinting in bright light can lead to crow’s feet,” Papantoniou says. “Keep sunglasses in your car so you’re less likely to find yourself out and about without them.” Hats protect, too!
- DON’T substitute sunscreen for a moisturizer. “Not all sunscreens hydrate, and some may even add oil or dry out your skin,” Papantoniou notes. “Apply both moisturizer and sunscreen for days out in the sun, or use a moisturizer with SPF for daily use.”
- DON’T skip the body. Moisturizing the entire body after showering helps prevent knee and elbow skin from becoming dry and sagging.
- DON’T bathe in hot water. “A steamy shower or soak in the hot tub may be great for sore muscles, but studies show it’s bad for your skin,” Papantoniou reports. Hot water breaks down skin elasticity and can cause premature wrinkling and sagging. Keep your bath and shower water warm rather than piping hot.
- DON’T sit in front of a fire. When winter comes, a roaring fire is tempting. However, according to Papantoniou, new studies show that the heat emitted by fire is similar to UV rays in causing free radical damage to the skin and leading it to become thin, blotchy and dry. “Sit at least three feet from fireplaces and keep your exposure brief,” Papantoniou advises.
- DON’T eat refined sugar. Being aware that sugar damages collagen and elastin—youthful proteins that give the skin its firmness and elasticity—will help motivate you to swap out candy for fruit, soda for water and processed foods for home cooking.
- DON’T sleep face-down. Sleeping on your face for an extended period of time can cause permanent wrinkles to develop, according to Papantoniou. Train yourself to sleep on your back, or try a wrinkle-reducing pillow designed to minimize the amount of compression between the fabric and your skin.
- DON’T sip through a straw. “The puckering motion you use to drink through a straw is like that of smoking a cigarette and can result in similar consequences,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “Drink from a cup to prolong a youthful pout.”
- DON’T drive without sunscreen. Windshield and window glass blocks UVB rays so you won’t get burned, but harmful UVA rays still penetrate. Protect your skin by applying SPF 30 or higher onto your face, arms and hands to prevent wrinkles and spots. Dr. Papantoniou points out that “UVA rays are the ones that prematurely age the skin and contribute to skin cancer.”
- DON’T squint at your computer. Staring, frowning or squinting at a screen for too long can cause an unwanted line between your eyebrows and may lead to crow’s feet around your eyes. Take frequent breaks from computer work, and have your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist.