8 Things That Age You Faster

With several anti-aging creams on the market, it seems like we’re all obsessed with delaying the aging process. It’s not like anyone feels that aging is ungraceful, or in some way undesirable: it’s just that we’d like to look younger for a little longer. And if these advanced creams can buy us a few more months of youth, we think: why not? Better still, there are ways of naturally and inexpensively avoiding the sagging and wrinkling of skin in old age. All you have to do, is avoid the following, assuming that’s possible!


Ok, let’s get this out of the way first, because we have to be cruel to be kind. Sweets are bad for you, and not just because sugar puts more pounds onto your tummy. Sugar also causes wrinkles and skin sagging, especially after you’ve hit 35 years old. The science behind it? A process called glycation that occurs in the bloodstream. The by-products of this bonding of sugar and protein have a damaging effect on collagen, the main component of the body’s connective tissue.

Irregular Exercise

Exercise is generally accepted to be a good thing. Most will know not to over-do it unless they want to damage themselves, but to not exercise at all would be very unwise. Still, the middle ground isn’t simply a case of exercising a moderate amount whenever it suits you. A person who vigorously exercises for a fortnight every three months may for the majority of that time look as health as someone who engages in exercise every second day throughout the same period. But the irregular exerciser invites aging on a chromosomal level: they have shorter telomeres, and thus are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions later in life.

Never Seeing Your Friends

In April 2009, the New York Times pointed to research that the larger circle of friends you had, the longer you were likely to live. There are also links to improved brain-health and better levels of fitness. It’s a simple enough concept: friends keep us positive, they challenge us mentally and we have to be more active to see them. They’re a pretty cheap way of staving off the components of the aging process too, so try to collect as many as you can!

Fat Free Diets

“But isn’t Fat the enemy?” you say. Well, we may live in a culture that sometimes likes to emphasise staying thin, but there’s no point in losing sight of the fact that fat is absolutely natural and necessary. Ok, so it’s not like we need to pile on the pounds to survive the lean winter months like most other animals, but our bodies aren’t keeping this stuff around to spite us.

There is of course a difference between saturated and unsaturated fats: avoid the former, welcome the later: all the hype about omega-3 fatty acids may get rather tiring, but it’s definitely true that you should be seeking out foods that contain them.

Lack of Sleep

The eight hours a night, every night target of sleeping habits is well publicised, but we always find a way to break the rule. An hour stolen here and there for something we’d rather be doing (because going to sleep only brings the next tiring day to you even more quickly!) A little discipline goes a long way: set a bedtime, and keep to it. Also, even though you’re not a young child, you still ought to keep distractions like televisions outside of the bedroom. The consequences are numerous: a less active immune system, increased chance of heart disease, and lower serotonin levels in your blood.

A general state of relaxation promotes a healthier lifestyle too. With the Christmas period approaching, Spa gifts for women are an appropriate counter to the stress of juggling event preparation, presents and every-day life. We joke about in-laws taking years of our lives, but if you haven’t got anything suitable for countering the stress of the holiday period, you really ought to find something!


Of course, too much of a good thing is equally damaging. Sleeping time is inactive time, and aging results from good old fashioned lack of exercise (and the added stress of having to fit your day into a smaller time windows doesn’t help either). This is all common sense, but did you know that going to sleep may be undermining your skincare routine, and thus aging your skin? The cotton in your pillowcase is mildly abrasive and will reduce the moisture locked into your skin. Switching to satin or simply sleeping on your back could put back the appearance of aging.


Finally! An excuse to stop washing! Well, no, not quite. Soap is a typically alkaline that strips off a protective, acidic layer of your skin. Whilst some are more sensitive to soap’s drying effects than others, it gets us all in the end, accelerating the wrinkling process in the long term. PH-neutral soaps or aqueous cream (which is in widespread use in the UK, but not elsewhere) are recommended substitutes.

The Sun

Avoiding the sun was once very fashionable – nowadays, having a tan is so important to people that they’re willing to slap on a bottle of chemicals to achieve the effect. The trouble is, we all know the sun is bad for us when we’re exposed for an extended period: skin cancer is a high profile killer. And whether we have the sense to put on a high factor sunscreen or not, there are still ways in which the sun’s rays can be incredibly damaging. People’s understanding of the powers of sunscreen are part of the problem: in practice, your skin-type and how diligently apply sunscreen matter a lot to its actually effectiveness. SPF 15 sunscreen does not allow you to stay in the sun for 15 hours, as we’re inclined to believe.

About the Author:

Steph Wood is in no hurry to get older, writing blogs and content related to Sanctuary spa days, a UK-based chain of day spas.