#1 Sunlight ages skin drastically
The number one reason our skin ages prematurely or ages at all is sunlight. The UV rays that the sun exhibits are neither visible to us, nor are we able to feel them, making them somewhat dangerous, as we are never fully aware of their presence. However, UV radiation levels vary depending on several factors such as the time of the year (UV radiation levels are highest during summer months) or time of the day (UV radiation levels are highest around noon). Here’s what UV rays do to your skin: UV rays cause premature wrinkling, reduced skin elasticity, cause easy bruising and a degradation of your skin texture (not to mention that too much sun exposure also increases the risk of getting skin cancer). There is hardly any other factor, that has been backed up by science as well as the impact UV rays have on our skin. Several studies show that sunlight is directly linked to premature ageing. One study published in the Medical Journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology revealed that sun exposure accounts for about 80% of skin ageing, which is quite shocking. How exactly do UV rays affect our skin? The UV radiation reacts with a natural chemical in our skin called melanin, which is our body’s own natural sun protection. Once all the melanin is used up, our body reacts with sunburn. Even though, this sounds concerning (and overexposure to sunlight definitely is) you shouldn’t avoid sunlight completely. After all, sunlight is needed by our body to produce Vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones.
So, what to do about sunlight?
The best thing you can do to protect your skin, is to avoid long time exposure to direct sunlight. According to a research done at the University of Valencia, you should avoid exposing your skin to the sunlight for longer than about half an hour (normal skin type) during the summer months. During the winter months, you should spend no longer than about two hours in direct sunlight to not risk sun damage. In addition to that, it is advisable to use a moisturizer with SPF 15+ daily (best applied in the morning), as well as to always wear sunglasses, as the skin around the eyes (and neck) are especially prone to show off signs of ageing.
#2 Sugar is not all that sweet when it comes to your skin
It’s not a secret that sugar is harmful to our health and looks. But did you know that sugar can drastically increase the rate that your skin ages prematurely? The dermatologist Frank Lipman
wrote a book called “10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat” states that giving up on sugar can make you look younger by about 10 years (woohoo?!). It is a nice read and definitely motivates you to say no to the next cookie or chocolate bar that somehow made its way into your fingers. But more from the skin authorities: dermatologist Dr Patricia Farris reported in the dailymail, many of her patients didn’t suffer from sun damage but still had wrinkly and bad skin. What she found was that those patients all had a high sugar consumption/bad nutrition in common.
So, why exactly is sugar so damaging to your skin?
in short, sugar is responsible for breaking down the collagen in your skin. Collage is a structural protein that gives your skin it’s elasticity and structure. Without a sufficient amount of collagen, our skin gets saggy, wrinkly, and dull. As we age our body naturally produces less collagen, which is completely natural. However, sugar artificially speeds this process up. In addition to that, sugar encourages the production of the hormone testosterone, which not only leads to more hair growth (not at the body parts where you would desire more hair) but also largens your pores.
What to do about sugar?
Don’t think you have to cut sugar out of your diet completely. Yes, there are some people who try to achieve that, but you don’t want to make your life all about sugar, do you? Therefore, simply try to cut out the obvious sugars, such as added table sugar to your coffee or large amounts of junk food such as cookies and chocolate bars. The NHS recommends a daily limit of 30g of sugar for an adult. Be aware that you can quickly reach this limit. A regular milk chocolate (100g) for example contains about 55g of sugar. The easiest way to cut out sugar for most, is to simply avoid sugary drinks such as coke, or juice.
#3 Pollution – oh you dirty little secret
If, like most people, you don’t live in a forest far away from cars, trains, smoking people… but instead live in an urban you are exposed to a lot of pollution. Every day. Most of the pollution comes from traffic which emits many small particles called PMs, such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Like sugar and sunlight pollution causes your skin to age prematurely. The damaging effects of pollution on skin have been confirmed by numerous studies. One study, published in 2010 by the Journal of Dermatological Science, found that pollution damages and prematurely ages skin. The research also concluded that pollution is a global problem, which will most likely increase over the next years.
So, what can you do?
You could move to a forest. Or, since I assume that you are unlikely to do so (not on my to-do list either – I love big cities), here is what you can do instead:
– Make sure that you clean your face thoroughly every evening using appropriate facial cleansers
– Best facial cleansers include antioxidants such as Vitamin C
– Eat a diet that is rich in antioxidants which help to repair damaged skin
– Hot tip: Cold brewed, white tea from Kenia is the tea with the greatest amount of antioxidants, unfortunately, it is not available in most supermarkets. Try other white or green teas instead
#4 Wrong or insufficient skin care routine
In our early twenties, we hardly care about taking care of our skin. After all, we are still young and our skin is naturally hydrated and glowing. No wrinkles, no sagging and bagging. But then, in our late 20ties, we suddenly start to recognize first signs of ageing. Our skin gets drier, looks duller, fine lines start to form and faster than we can say the word “skincare” those fine lines already turned into wrinkles. Ok. Time to take action, the earlier the better.
So, what should we do?
Have you ever wondered why the skin of Asian women is so beautiful and seemingly ageless? You are not alone. Many people adore the skin of Asian women and it was long believed (and often still is!) that their amazing skin lies in their genes. But nah, that is not totally right. Asian women, especially Korean and Japanese women, follow a strict skin care routine every day. Some routines include as many as 20 or more steps (I know that’s a bit crazy). You definitely don’t have to follow such a long procedure. Instead, make sure that you clean your skin every day using a facial cleanser and that you moisturize your skin appropriately to your skin type and age. We put together a daily skin care routine that is easy to follow. Find out more here.
We would also like to let you know about our exciting new product that is coming out soon. Our Beauty Collagen Tea is all you need for beautiful skin in one tea bag. With only two tea bags of Beauty Collagen Tea you will include the recommended daily intake of 4,000mg of Collagen each day.