Top 5 Harmless Habits that Age You

By February 22, 2013Aging in Place

Sure, everyone knows that habits like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, eating a poor diet and not exercising can age us by more than a decade. But, what about those seemingly harmless habits you don’t think about, like rubbing your eyes or sleeping on your side? It seems like they can also take a toll on how you look and feel. Keep reading to find out how the following five “harmless” habits may not really be so harmless.

  1. Rubbing your eyes

Tired all the time? Pulling and tugging at your eyes can actually break tiny capillaries and cause delicate skin around the eyes to darken. As people mature, the skin thins and this becomes very noticeable around the eyes. When you rub your eyes you further break those blood vessels, which makes dark circles worse and increases wrinkling.

  1. Having a sweet tooth

You might think that sneaking your hand into the cookie jar or indulging in a little dessert every night doesn’t do much harm, but sugar is the top culprit when it comes to kicking the aging process into high gear. Sugar by-products called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) not only result in the breakdown of collagen in the skin (resulting in fine lines and wrinkles), but have also been linked to degenerative disorders like as type 2 Diabetes and arthritis.

  1. Overdoing your anti-aging beauty routine

Every night you diligently apply moisturizers and the newest retinol creams to plump up the facial skin and combat those fine-lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, your well-intentioned anti-aging regimen may be doing more harm than good. Applying more of a product than directed can cause clogged pores or a blotchy complexion. Even worse, using too many products can lead to irritation and redness, making the signs of aging more noticeable, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

  1. Sleeping on your side or stomach

It may be more comfortable than sleeping on your back, but having your face pressed against the pillow for seven to nine hours a night can actually speed up the formation of fine lines and wrinkles and can contribute to facial asymmetry. If you cannot sleep on your back, try using a softer pillow, which lessens the pressure applied to your face.

  1. Not drinking enough water

Drinking eight glasses a day does more than just keep the body hydrated; it keeps you looking young by fighting off dehydration, which can make the skin appear papery and fine lines more apparent. Drinking enough water, especially if you are taking water pills or cholesterol medicine, is an instant and easy way to look years younger.


(This post was created based off of tips on, thank you!)

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