Most of us know skincare basics. We understand that sun, cigarettes, and too much alcohol can contribute to premature aging. La Jolla, California board certified dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart reveals there are lesser known “evils” that can propel the aging process.
Eating Too Much Sodium
Excess sodium in your diet can suck the moisture out of skin, leaving it dry and dull. To avoid this, cut back on salty treats and invest in a hydrating facial moisturizer.
Every time you move that beautiful face, your skin wrinkles a little bit. Most of the time your face bounces back and those little wrinkles disappear once new skin cells grow.
Many of us spend a fortune on anti-aging skin products, yet we may regularly accelerate skin aging without even being aware of it. The central heating and air conditioning systems that many of us use at home and at work can severely dry out skin, leading to premature aging and wrinkles. To help keep skin youthful and soft, try turning down the heating and wearing more layers to stay warm. Keeping a glass of water in the room can also increase humidity, while wearing a protective face cream can help relieve dryness.
While you may think that soap is your skin’s best friend, this is actually not the case. The reason for this is that your skin has an acid mantle which is a natural protective barrier of the skin. When you wash with soap – which is generally alkaline – it can remove this protective layer of oils and dry out the skin, eventually leading to wrinkles. While it is not advisable to stop washing entirely, try swapping the soap for a PH-neutral and chemical-free cleanser, and bear in mind that there is such a thing as over-cleansing your skin.
You may think you’re indulging in a bit of beauty sleep when you hit the hay at night; however the opposite could in fact be true. If you regularly sleep with the same side of your face pressed against a cotton pillow case this may cause creases on the skin which can eventually turn to fine lines and wrinkles. To help stay youthful overnight try sleeping on your back instead, or switch to a silk or satin pillowcase to create less compression wrinkles and help maintain skin’s moisture levels.
Not Remembering Your Lips
Three-to-five cellular layers of skin rest upon your lips, so it’s important that your beauty regime includes them too. Frequently having dry, chapped lips causes them to age faster. Look for lipsticks and lip balm that contain petrolatum, dimethicone, and glycerine to help keep your smackers hydrated.
Drinking from bottles and through straws
It may be hard to believe but, yes, the puckering process of drinking from a bottle or through a straw. Just like any repeated muscle motion this can lead to fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. Face cream can help. But dermatologists tell those who are prone to fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth to avoid straws altogether.
Caffeine is a major culprit when it comes to dry skin and the magnification of wrinkles. Quench skin by drinking lots of water. Add fruit slices like orange or lemon to enhance the flavor.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Hydrating yourself daily will not only help to fight off aging, but also give your skin a healthy glow. Skip the water and you’ll be stuck with rough and ‘shrunken’ skin.
Slouching at work
How often do you find yourself slumped over your desk, hand propped beneath your chin? If the answer is a lot, decreased back and neck pain aren’t the only reasons to sit up straight. “Extreme extension or flexing of the neck from leaning on your chin can stretch the skin there, leading to wrinkling and sagging,” says Dr. Stuart. Looking down for prolonged periods of time while texting or reading may cause or worsen the same damage.
About Susan Stuart
Dr. Stuart is co-founder of La Jolla Plastic Surgery Dermatology.
Susan Stuart, M.D. received her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed a highly competitive one year internship at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in San Diego followed by a residency at Emory University, one of the most highly respected dermatology training programs in the U.S. She also completed a one year postgraduate dermatology fellowship in pediatric dermatology at Stanford University Medical Center.
Dr. Stuart’s career began with her undergraduate education where she received her B.A. degree from Duke University and was elected into Phi Beta Kappa, elite academic honor bestowed upon a small percentage of undergraduates who have achieved the highest standards of scholarship in the U.S. In addition, Dr. Stuart is the founder and past president of a nationally recognized organization for children with physical and emotional disorders at Duke University.
After completing 8 years of postgraduate medical education, Dr. Stuart began offering San Diego skin care services and has remained in the area ever since. She has worked with several internationally respected dermatologists and laser experts while continuing her academic endeavors as a faculty member at UCSD Medical Center, where she has instructed interns and residents. She maintains active staff privileges at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.
Dr. Stuart is considered one of San Diego’s leading experts in dermatology and lasers and has been selected as one of American’s top physicians in dermatology. She has been featured regularly on news shows including NBC, ABC, and KUSI for her expertise on a variety of dermatology topics and procedures, including San Diego Fraxel® laser skin rejuvenation and BOTOX® Cosmetic.