Aging is inevitable for all humans, but premature aging is when the process happens quicker than it should.
The reasons are numerous and the contributing factors are lifestyle and environmental. The most common signs of a person who’s prematurely aging are noticed in the skin as well as age spots, wrinkles, loose skin, and dry skin.
However, thanks to certain lifestyle changes and improvements, people can reduce or stop the rate of premature aging.
As time goes by, it’s natural for the body to change. But, in prematurely aging people, these effects of growing older occur earlier. This is when the body looks older than your real age.
The most common signs of premature aging are sunken cheeks, hyperpigmentation around the chest, sagging, wrinkles, looser skin tone, gray hair, and hair loss.
The 8 Major Reasons Why You Are Aging Prematurely
When we smoke, the toxins from nicotine change our body cells.
These toxins dissolve the collagen and elastic fibers in the skin and cause a gaunt, hollow, and sagging face, as well as wrinkles.
- An unhealthy diet
Following a diet mostly consisting of a lot of refined carbs and sugar may be the cause of premature aging.
On the other hand, following a diet rich in fruits, veggies, and whole foods may reduce the risk of premature aging.
A certain amount of stress may be good for us; however, chronic exposure to stress causes higher secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone.
This hormone blocks two substances that are in charge of keeping the skin vibrant and plump, i.e., collagen and hyaluronan synthase.
- Alcohol consumption
Overconsumption of alcohol causes dehydrated and damaged skin and eventually contributes to the development of premature aging symptoms.
- Excessive sun exposure and tanning
Tanning beds and excessive exposure to the sun increases your exposure to UV rays. These rays have a damaging effect on the skin cells’ DNA and this results in wrinkles.
Certain (rare) genetic conditions may cause a person to develop premature aging signs even from childhood and puberty.
These conditions are known as progeria. One example is Werner syndrome which happens to one in one million people.
The symptoms are wrinkled skin, graying hair, and balding between the age of 13 and 30.
- Poor sleep
Sleep provides our body with a chance to refresh itself and regenerate its cells.
One small study found that poor quality of sleep contributes to signs of aging and reduced skin barrier function.
- The environment
Wrinkles or pigment spots may be worsened or triggered by environmental pollutants.
As our skin is in direct contact with the air we breathe, the barrier is subject to toxins and pollutants from our environment.