No matter how much we might like to avoid it, we are going to age. Most people realize that their skin and other body parts will break down at some point. The question is, when might this decline begin and how bad will it be? The answer is different for all of us because our biology has some effect on our aging process. At the same time, there are steps that we can all take to protect our skin as biological changes do occur. Some of those steps involve avoidance of factors that accelerate the aging process. Here, we want to discuss what those are.

Sun

Many people are aware that the ultraviolet light in sunshine can cause skin cancer. That is worse case scenario. Even without risk of skin cancer, excessive UV exposure is damaging to skin cells. In fact, UV exposure is a primary risk in premature aging. This is because UV degrades collagen, and it is collagen that supports skin firmness. To avoid unnecessary sun damage, practice the same good habits that decrease the risk of skin cancer: wear broad-spectrum sunscreen and schedule outdoor activities during non-peak hours as much as possible.

Sleep Deprivation

We may realize that a good night’s sleep is vital to our ability to focus and function during the day but overlook the fact that rest is also an integral function for physical repair and rejuvenation. When we sleep, our body produces growth factors that nourish the millions of cells that support biological processes. For example, DNA repair occurs when we sleep. Cortisol regulation also happens when we sleep. These two processes alone promote healthier skin that can age gracefully.

Alcohol

Alcohol consumption has become such a societal norm that we can now have our favorite varietal delivered straight to our home if we want. The problem with alcohol consumption becoming so widely accepted is that there is a higher risk of over-consumption. A glass or single nightcap a day might do some good, but anything more than 5 or so ounces can lead to dehydration. In addition to a nasty hangover, dehydration can affect the skin, leading to the premature development of wrinkles and thinning.

Several professional treatments can mitigate the frustrations of premature aging. However, nothing beats a little prevention. To discover how we can help you love the way your body is aging, call our Chicago office at (312) 266-6240.

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