The daily habits making you look older

Lack of sleep causes short-term complexion problems - dark circles around the eyes and generally lacklustre skin. Photo / Getty
Lack of sleep causes short-term complexion problems - dark circles around the eyes and generally lacklustre skin. Photo / Getty

It is estimated we will be spending $266 billion globally on anti-ageing products by 2019.

Yet many people ignore the few simple ways to keep their face looking younger than ever.

Harley Street facial cosmetic surgeon Dr Julian De Silva tells the Daily Mail patients can age their faces by as much as ten years by making poor lifestyle choices.

He said: "Ageing happens to us all but poor diet, little exercise, too much booze and smoking can easily age you by as much as five or ten years."

"I see patients every day who could significantly slow down the ageing process in their faces by making small changes in their lives.

"You can take five years off your appearance overnight with the right procedure.

"It's a great way to boost your attractiveness - not just to the opposite sex but to employers and clients, too."

"There are lots of surprising ways that we age our faces. All alcohol ages your skin, but some is much worse than others.

"Sunlight is the biggest danger, but did you know that UV rays can penetrate your skin through glass so it can be necessary to wear suncream indoors?"

Here Dr De Silva lists the 10 quickest ways to age your face.

1. Lots of sugar/binge eating

A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates such as bread, rice, potatoes can lead to glycation in the skin.

This is where sugar molecules attach to collagen fibres and cause them to lose their strength and flexibility so the skin becomes less elastic and more vulnerable to sun damage.

A high body mass index increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes which both impair healing and your ability to fight infection - again damaging the skin.

Sugar means spots, too - bad for facial ageing. Stay slim for healthy skin.

2. Alcohol

Just two glasses of wine a day can age your face by years. Excess drinking means your blood vessels lose tone, leaving your with permanent thread veins.

It also dehydrates your skin, leading to sallowness, deepening of wrinkles and dryness.

Crows feet are another danger - drinkers are chronically deficient in vitamin A which is essential to collagen.

Some booze is worse than others. Avoid sugary cocktails, particularly margaritas.

Dr De Silva said: "Margaritas are packed with tequila but they also contain high quantities of sugar and salt - a double whammy when it comes to ageing.

"If you are going to drink, beer contains antioxidants and important B vitamins such as niacin and folic acid.

"Red wine contains the anti-ageing compound resveratrol. There are ways of limiting the damage.

3. Lack of sleep

A good eight hours a night is the perfect antidote to the stresses of daily life and keeps your skin looking younger for longer.

Lack of sleep causes short-term complexion problems - dark circles around the eyes and generally lacklustre skin.

During the day our skin cells are battling against on-going damage caused by sunlight, dirt and pollution.

Sleep is crucial because stress hormones drop to normal levels at night, giving cells time to repair and rejuvenate.

4. Crash dieting

This is particularly dangerous after the age of 30.

It will cause some of the natural fat in your face which keeps you looking young to dissolve - this can result in a more gaunt appearance.

5. Spots

Thanks to fluctuating hormones even women over the age of 40 can experience acne problems.

But bursting a spot to relieve red spots will only dry out the skin, leaving a raw and irritated area.

Treat your entire face with an acne-fighting cleanser or moisturiser once a day. It's the best defence against future break-outs.

Most importantly, avoid ever bursting spots or pimples - it can lead to infection and scarring.

6. Sleeping in makeup

It is tempting to fall into bed after a long day without cleaning your face, particularly if you have been out boozing.

During the day, environmental toxins (like dirt and pollution) build up in your skin and invade pores, which can caused complexion problems.

Do you really want them festering all night?

7. Using too many products

You like your new moisturiser but combine it with serum, toner and a night cream, too. Slow down.

Using multiple products at the same time increases the risk of irritation - which quickly ages your skin.

8. The sun

The sun is the primary cause of skin ageing particularly in the summer. But it can reach you on cloudy, rainy or snowy days as well.

Skin-damaging UV rays can even penetrate through glass, so it may be appropriate to apply sun protection even indoors.

9. Lack of exercise

Moderate exercise improves circulation and boosts the immune system.

This, in turn, may give your face a more youthful appearance

10. Smoking

Give up or at least limit yourself to no more than five cigarettes a day. The good news is that if you do give up, the skin will start to repair itself.

But if you cannot or won't give up (take note of devoted smokers such as Kate Moss) the problems become more irreversible the longer you leave them.

Smoking puts stress on the entire body due to the toxic concoction of carbon monoxide, cyanide, tar, formaldehyde and other chemicals.

The brain is forced to divert vitamins away from your skin to be used elsewhere.

Nicotine also reduces blood flow to the lower living layer of skin, or dermis, which results in less oxygen being delivered.

You'll notice the change in your skin within six weeks of giving up through increased oxygen and the removal of toxins.

- Daily Mail

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