7 Tips to Avoid Premature Aging ...

We all have to age - physically at least - and nobody looks forward to it. But although we can't avoid the visible signs of the aging process altogether, we can certainly stop it happening sooner than it needs to. A lot of what people think of as normal aging happens because we're doing harmful things to our body or not doing the right things. So here are some steps you can take to help stave off the signs of aging …

1. Limit Sun Exposure

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Although we need a limited amount of exposure without protection to the sun in order to produce Vitamin D, it's important to avoid prolonged exposure. Dermatologists say that too much sun is a major cause of premature aging. Even on cloudy days and if you work indoors you should use a sunscreen or a foundation with a high SPF factor, as UV rays can pass through glass.

2. Don't Smoke

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Another major cause of premature skin aging is smoking. I'm astonished at the number of young women I see smoking, when the dangers have been known for decades. You can always tell a smoker by the lines around their mouth and forehead; if these young women could see how many lines they'll have by the age of 40 they'd give up smoking right away.

3. Too Little Sleep

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Sleep gives the body the chance to repair itself, so if you're constantly short on shuteye your skin is going to suffer. The position you sleep in could also contribute to premature aging. The best position is on your back, as sleeping on your face or side will cause wrinkles where your face touches the pillow.

4. Neglecting Hands & Neck

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Stars who've had cosmetic surgery or facial treatments such as skin peels often look much younger than their years. But their hands and neck almost always reveal their true age. If you want to stay looking young as long as possible, don't just look after your face; give equal attention to your neck and hands. Moisturise them regularly and use a sunscreen.

5. Ample Antioxidants

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As well as plenty of sleep, your skin also needs the right foods to keep it supple. If you're eating a poor diet, it will show in your skin. Make sure that you're eating plenty of foods with the antioxidants that act against damaging free radicals. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, beans, and nuts, especially brightly-colored fruit like berries.

6. Not Cleansing

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You might be tempted to leave your makeup on because you're too tired to remove it, or think that you don't need to cleanse because you haven't worn makeup that day. But it only takes a couple of minutes to remove makeup. Leave it on and your pores will get clogged up. It's especially important to cleanse if you live in an urban area, as dirt and pollution will get on your skin.

7. Repetitive Movements

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Do you rub your eyes a lot, squint because you've forgotten your sunglasses, or always drink through a straw? Such repetitive movements may cause your skin to wrinkle prematurely. Be aware of such habits and stop yourself from doing them.

With a few simple steps you can avoid showing the signs of aging too early. But don't worry about the fact that you're going to develop them one day - worrying will make them show early! What do you hope to be like when you're older?

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