Have you ever been told you look older than your age?

Many in their early thirties often look older on account of having various physical signs that belie their age.

These subtle aging symptoms, then are the clues people usually gather to analyze your age.

Some would glance at your crow feet and perceive you to be in your forties—even if they’re the result of chronic squinting. Others will glean your age by the amount of your double chin.

According to Dr. Roxanne Guy— the owner of Brevard Plastic Surgery & Skin Treatment—many even gauge someone’s age by the appearance of their hands.

your hands skin makes you older than your age
Your Hands says a lot about your age

While everyone has their scale to measure a person’s age, eventually, they all circle back to your appearance.

Last year, when I mistakenly presumed a supposedly young woman to be a senior citizen, the unpleasant experience inadvertently drew my attention to the below subject.

Why do You Look Older than Your Age?

When you are 30 going on 40—only in the literal sense— it indicates your biological age is failing to coincide with the chronological one.

While heredity conditions could play a part in this, multiple studies have suggested the cause of premature aging could very well be linked your lifestyle choices.

Earlier, I stumbled upon a celebrity’s birthday celebration news that had my jaws practically on the ground in disbelief.

Can you believe Jennifer Lopez reached the 50th mark, this year?

I certainly didn’t.

According to Lopez, she maintained a youthful appearance with nothing but abstinence of alcohol, smoking, and coffee while devoted a chunk of time to the daily workouts.

A pretty anti-climax solution but time and again many nutritionists and fitness experts have emphasized on the very same thing.

It’s only when we fail to follow a basic healthy routine is where the issues arise, consequently making us look older than our age.

What’s worse, a few seemingly trivial habits could likewise drive you to premature aging.

One prime example of it is binge-watching.

Sedentary lifestyle is the cause of premature aging
Binge-Watching Ages You Prematurely

A seemingly harmless habit could not only stagnant the body energy but adds tons of weight resulting in lethargy and older appearance.

To prevent aging prematurely, I suggest check what in your daily routine is causing it, but before that, observe developing signs of aging in your person.

Signs of Aging

  • Suffering from hair loss for a long time.
  • Developing sun spots all over your body.
  • Discoloration on your chest area
  • You bruise quite easily.
  • Your crow’s feet are visible—to visible in your opinion.
  • Your waistline is increasing at an alarming rate.
  • You heave when reaching the second floor.
  • Struggling to hold any weight exceeding one bag of groceries.
  • You are not a gym rat yet your hand’s veins have bulged.
  • You haven’t lost weight recently, but your neck is sagging.

Some of the above could be the result of any medical conditions, of course; for instance, discolored patches in the skin may be caused by inflammation.

Even so, unless your doctor says otherwise, I would recommend you to scroll through the 10 trivial habits that may be causing premature aging in you.

1. Animosity

grudge-holders die prematurely
Grudge-holder are likely to die early, researchers believe

Imagine, during a random event you suddenly came across an old-time rival you swore never to see them again.

What would you do?

You’ll either take the high road or pick a fight.

In both settings, the pent-up anger inside you would remain stirring.

As you are in a state of bitterness; your body will release chemicals straining the body.

Consequently, your resentment, if held for long, would create a snowball effect driving your body to heart problems, metabolism imbalance, and skin issues like eczema.

Best case scenario, your biological aging would quicken making you look older than your age.

Worst case scenario, you are likely to die early.

Having said that, I understand letting bygones be bygones is easier said than done, but perhaps, you can mitigate the anger to prevent premature aging.

Here’s What You Should Do

  1. Participate in meditating exercising.

Yoga is known to relieve the mind strain building a feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation

2. Make an effort to put all your focus on your present rather than your past.

As Concordia University researchers conclude, your chronic hostility and bitterness could be the reason you are more likely to get ill frequently.

2. Distress

stress makes you look older
Stress often leads to premature aging

Do you stress over circumstances, not in your control?

Maybe your sibling is up to something you disapprove of and all you can do is stand at the sidelines pulling your hair out in frustration.

Or your company has decided to downsize this year, adding your name in the black book.

Whatever the case may be, many circumstances cause stress, and succumbing to it in situations beyond your control would do nothing but hasten your body aging.

Stress and anxiety cause the effects in the body similar to that of anger—only the aftermath is the opposite.

Your mood would somber. The urge to meet and greet may fade. Sleeping patterns would disrupt.

With a lack of activity and mental strain, your body will slow down.

Subsequently, the signs of stress would appear in the form of dull and wrinkled skin making you look older than your age.

How to avoid it?

Here’s what You Should Do

  1. Indulge in stress buster activities.

Relaxing Hobbies, such as knitting and crochet, or even casual reading is also known to reduce stress. 

2. A weekly massage, impulse shopping, or outdoor activities would go a long way to distract you from over-stressing, as well.

3. Meditate regularly.

Meditation enhances the grey matter improving your memory and senses.

3.Tobacco And Alcohol Intake

smokers have fine lines
Smokers ages faster due to chronic exposure to tobacco

If I could count the number of benefits smoking has to offer on my fingertips, the answer would be “Nada.”

Mostly used as a stress reliever, the only thing smoking does is increase the stress in your body.

The excessive exposure of nicotine weakens the immune system causing your skin cell reproduction to slow down adding fine lines on your face.

One Study even suggested smoking two cigarettes can cut 30 minutes from your lifespan.

If you have a smoker friend, observe their face skin.  You will most likely find prominent lines around the mouth area.

Moreover, if they are chain smokers, their lips and gums will be dark while their teeth would be brittle and yellow—a reaction from chronic exposure to nicotine.

Combine these symptoms and the smoker would appear older than their age.

As for alcohol; ethanol is the main source of alcohol beverages, which is known to cause dehydration in the body.

Over time, if taken in excess, it would absorb the moisture from your body leaving your skin dull and wrinkled.

Unsurprisingly, the same type of alcohol is used in skincare products as well, driving skin experts to advise people against using it.

Whether you apply it topically or drink alcoholic beverages, the effect would remain the same—premature aging.

Here’s What You Should Do

There’s no roundabout way to avoid it other than reducing the intake of nicotine and alcohol.

But here’s the silver lining; people who quit smoking will be able to recover the youthful appearance of their skin quite quickly.

4. Sweet Tooth

sugar and carbs will cause health issues
Sugar and carbs may affect your skin collagen

Glazed donuts and greasy chips might seem irresistible, but eating too much comes with its own set of problems—and weight isn’t the only one.

Studies have shown quite fanatically how too much sugar and carbs in your diet could negatively affect your health and appearance—the prominent among them is acne.

Ever noticed how pimples pop up after if you eat a bar of chocolate?

Cocoa might be good for your heart but refined sugar added can cause acne breakout removing the suppleness from your skin.

In the short run, sugar and other glycemic foods (such as French fries or white bread) would spike the blood sugar causing inflammation in the body.

The inflammation caused by high glycemic foods would then break down collagen in the skin.

The thinning of collagen and sebum, as a result, would accelerate acne breakout and other skin conditions.

Eventually, meager collagen and dry skin may push you towards premature aging making you look older than your age.

Here’s What You Should Do

  1. Instead of going sugar free, reduce the intake of sugar and add Alpha-linoleic acids (such as; olive oil, avocados, fish oil) in your diet to maintain your skin elasticity.

For instance; foods containing zinc and vitamin C would increase collagen production.  That would include all the red, brown, orange and yellow family (fruits, vegetable, and nuts)

2. Add proteins in your meals.

It would prevent the skin from tears and wrinkles. (Want to know more? Check out The Sweet Danger Of Eating To Much Sugar)

5. Too Much Caffeine

coffee drinkers look older than their age
Too much Coffee may quicken your age.

Did you know coffee has excellent anti-aging properties but if taken in extreme; it could backfire making you look older than your age?

With its oxymoron nature, coffee fulfills the need for fluid intake but doesn’t hydrate the skin as water does.

Moreover, unlike water, Coffee is a natural diuretic that removes the excess moisture from the body leaving your skin dry and vulnerable to wrinkles.

If you are a heavy coffee drinker, observe your energy level.

 Once taken, coffee would keep you awake and active for a couple of hours before your adrenaline glands tire out leaving you drowsy and irate—an effect similar to a sugar rush.

Consequently, this ping pong behavior could later impair your body energy and sleep patterns resulting in premature aging.

Here’s What You Should Do

I would highly recommend you to take enough water and restrict your coffee fix to less than 4 cups a day.

6. Binge Watching

Binge-watching will cause premature aging
Binge-Watching may cause health issues in the future

Ever wondered why there have been so many wellness campaigns running in the recent years?

The answer is “sedentary lifestyle.”

Long sitting jobs are hard enough already, the ongoing habit of binge-watching does nothing to help the matter.

Studies have repeatedly shown how long hour TV watching and meager physical activity could deteriorate your mind’s cognition functions.

But now, Australia’s research on healthy aging is saying too much sitting, sleeping and lying around could also lead to premature aging and early death.

On average, your body can sustain up to 7 hours of sitting. Adding more hours would slow down the body function increasing many health issues apart from beer belly.

Here’s What You Should Do

Since leaving your sitting job isn’t a logical solution, the next best thing you could do is keep up with 30 minutes of daily exercise.

Exercise would maintain the steady blood circulation resulting in a healthy body while simultaneously aiding you in your social life.

Try it for a week and you would be surprised at how amazing you will feel. (Check out 9 Healthy lifestyle tips to enjoy a longer life)

7. Sleeping Pattern

sleeping pattern may cause premature aging
Sleep disruption may be the reason you look older than your age

Did you know one-third of people don’t get enough sleep?

Researchers believe if your sleeping patterns are not up to the mark it would not only negatively affect your memory but also your skin health.

As your body isn’t getting enough time to recharge, it would fail to heal the skin and rejuvenate your body.

As a result, you’ll wake up with dark circles that with time even the best of the best contour wouldn’t be able to hide it.

And that’s just an outward symptom.

There was a study conducted on mice to observe the effect of sleep on age-related neurological diseases.  After noticing the sleeping behavior they came up with surprising a conclusion.

What position your sleep could affect your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in advance age.

Sleep, if remained irregular, may not only make you look older but could also expose you to neurological diseases. (Check out how to sleep better without resorting to medication)

Here’s What You Should Do

There are two ways you can balance your sleeping pattern.

  1. Have dinner early.

Your meal timings alert your internal clock when to sleep and wake up an early dinner would indicate your body it’s time to sleep.

2. Avid using cellphone in the night.

Your body’s cardigan clock releases the sleep hormones based on the light it captures. The longer your cellphone light is on, the later the sleep would come.

8. Prolong Outdoor Stay

sun is the cause of wrinkles
Sun is a double-edged sword. Too much exposure or too little, both results in wrinkles

If you have previously met a farmer or a construction worker, have you noticed how they have leather-like skin texture?

Sun is one of the best sources of Vitamin D, but it’s also and the main source of UV rays.

While spending long hours under the blistering sun, UV rays penetrate your skin damaging the skin cells.

Temporarily, you might suffer from sunburn, but with time; the damage would cause your skin elasticity to lessen, developing leather-like skin and wrinkles.

Freckles, sun spots, discolored patches are all the side effects of sun damage.

Surprisingly enough, avoiding going outside would result in a wrinkled skin as well—only in this instance, it would thin out instead of thickening.

All in all, the sun is a double-edged sword that requires careful consideration.

Here’s What You Should Do

  1.  Moisture daily, apply sunblock and keep your skin hydrated.

2. Drink at least eight glasses of water and use hydrating products on your skin—organic or manufactured, regardless.

9. Harsh Skincare Products

wrong skin care product may cause you to look older
A wrong skin care product may cause you to look older than your age

With the recent surge of sebum control products, many have developed an assumption that natural skin oil isn’t good for the skin.

And so, to keep the face devoid of oil, some use face wash repeatedly using harsh products resulting in the total annihilation of the sebum layer.

Our skin needs sebum and sweat to maintain the PH level required keeping the skin young and moist; however, the sebum secretion must be balanced.

A wrong choice of product or harsh chemicals could very well imbalance the sebum causing acne breakout or wrinkles.

If your face products have an acidity level higher than your skin PH (which is usually 5.5), it sucks out the moisture, and with repeated use leaves your skin dry and dull.

Over time, your skin’s sebum level thins out weakening the skin collagen and as a result, your skin develops acne and wrinkles.

What’s worse, some have a habit of going to bed without removing the makeup. This, additionally, accelerates the aging process,

Here’s What You Should Do

  1. Avoid using harsh soap and opt for hydrating face products, instead.

2. Keep a daily face-cleansing routine.

Anything from a simple face wash and anti aging serum, to 10 steps K-beauty routine would help your skin from further damaging and premature aging.

10. Feeling Old

lack of activity will make you feel old
What you feel is how your body would act. Feeling old will drive your body to premature aging.

Ever heard of Law of attraction?

It says, what you feel is what your mind attracts.

Feeling old derives a somewhat similar effect.

There was a study conducted in 2016 specifically to the psychological effect on aging.

Researchers noted that people who believe they are getting old have higher chances of visiting the hospital than others, thereby confirming the law of attraction theory.

Why do we feel old?

There could be a couple of reasons you might be feeling old, one among them is your appearance.

Extra fat around your middle or jawline adds years to your appearance. Moreover, skin, when stretched, loses its elasticity making your skin sag and old.

If you believe you look old, you’ll feel aged.

Another reason could be a lack of physical activity.

When you heave while climbing the stairs, struggle to hold the grocery bags, or nearly break your tendons turning the jar lid, you would naturally feel old.

The truth is; these above signs and your subsequent feeling sends a wrong signal to your brain making you feel older than your age.

Here’s What You Should So

  1. Add an ample amount of anti-oxidant fresh produces in your diet.

The anti-oxidants would reduce cell damage and maintain a healthy body.

2. Maintain a 30 minute of regular exercise.

Your muscles would gain strength with exercise elevating your energy.

Conclusion

What you eat, and how you live plays a major role in determining your health.

While you may not possess the ability to slow down the natural aging process, you can, however, avoid looking older than your age by preventing premature aging.

The solution, my friend, lies in your routine habits.

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