“You are just 30, and you already look 45″ is a statement most of us have heard at least once in our life. Well, yeah, there can be a little variation in the numbers, but most of us often hear this. So, what exactly is that? How can you look 45 when you are actually 30? The answer is “premature aging.”
Premature aging is one of the growing concerns, especially in the 21st century. That is because of the lifestyle we have chosen for us. So, what is premature aging, what are its causes, and how to reduce premature aging?
What Is Premature Aging?
Premature aging simply means the signs of aging becoming prominent even before they should. Or, you can say that premature aging is a biological phenomenon in which the biological age of a person is older than his/her chronological age.
For instance, wrinkles are a prominent sign of aging, but if you have wrinkles in your 20s, then this is simply not right. It is either due to any medical condition, or you are aging prematurely. Apart from that, what are other common and uncommon signs of premature aging? Let’s find out.
What Are The Signs Of It?
There can be different signs of premature aging in different people. However, if you are having any of these signs before turning 35, then it may be due to premature aging.
#1 Loss of Glowing complexion
Generally, premature aging starts becoming “visible” on your face. The very first sign of premature aging is loss of glowing complexion. Now, there can be other medical reasons that can steal your skin glow. However, if you don’t have any medical condition, but you are losing that glow in your skin, then it can be a strong indication of premature aging.
#2 Sagging Or Wrinkles
Your body slows or reduces the production of a protein (collagen) that is responsible for giving your skin its shape. This protein keeps your skin plump and helps it to bounce back. When your skin produces less collagen, wrinkles start appearing on your face and other body parts.
Wrinkles are more noticeable around the most used muscles of your face, such as the forehead or the area which has more sun exposure. Yes, dirt and dehydration are also major causes of wrinkles. But if you are keeping things alright and still having wrinkles, then premature aging is the most probable reason.
#3 Itchy or Dry Skin
Itchy skin (xerosis cutis) and drier skin are common symptoms of aging. This is because thin skin is more prone to dehydration. As soon as you age over 35, you will notice that your skin is becoming more prone to flaking and getting drier.
#4 Hyperpigmentation on and Around Chest
A lot of people, when they grow older, start developing patch decolorization on or around their chest. Yes, it can happen due to other skin conditions such as eczema that damages your skin’s melanin cells, but it can be a symptom of premature aging as well.
#5 Gaunt Hands
Just as we mentioned earlier, your skin slows down the production of structuring proteins (e.g., collagen) that give your skin its natural shape. As you grow older, your hands become thinner, veiny, and start developing wrinkles. Generally, this happens in the late 30s or early 40s. If you see these symptoms before 30, then it is probably due to premature aging.
#6 Hair Loss
Hair loss is one of the most common symptoms of premature aging. Our body has stem cells that are responsible for boosting the growth of new hair. However, with time, these stem cells start dying off, and this causes hair loss.
According to studies, 50% of men start experiencing hair loss as they cross 50, while 40% of females experience the same after they reach 70. Yes, genetics and other environmental factors are also responsible for hair loss. However, hair loss can be a sign of premature aging.
Premature Aging Causes
There are a lot of things that can contribute to making you look “older.” However, here are some common causes of premature aging.
#1 Lack Of Sleep
Sleep is important for your body to regenerate and refresh the cells. According to a study (Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?), lack or poor quality sleep can contribute to premature aging.
Smoking is not only bad for your cardiovascular system and lungs, but it is a major cause of premature aging. Smoking causes extreme dryness and may trigger wrinkles development.
#3 Excessive Exposure To Sun
The UV rays coming from the sun can be very damaging for the DNA in your skin cells, ultimately causing wrinkles and age spots.
Chronological or permanent stress can trigger inflammatory responses in your body. This not only affects your sleep patterns but inflammation and stress hormones can boost the aging process.
Diet plays a very important role in our lives. According to research (Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging) high consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugar can be damaging for your skin, causing premature skin aging.
#6 Less Socializing
People, who don’t socialize much, often face depression and anxiety. On the contrary, socializing makes people happier and less prone to depression. Ultimately, such people are less likely to develop dementia and live longer.
#7 Excessive Consumption Of Coffee and Alcohol
Excessive use of alcohol causes dehydration in your body. If this keeps going for long, it ultimately causes skin sagging, and your skin may start losing its shape. Excessive coffee consumption also causes similar effects.
Methods/Ways On How To Reduce Premature Aging?
#1 Skin Protection From The Sun
It is simply impossible to avoid exposing yourself to “burning” sunrays. However, you can minimize this exposure and take precautionary measures to reduce the effects of sunrays. Here is what you should do:
- Cover up yourself with sun-protective clothes such as long-sleeve shirts, wide-brimmed hats, pants, etc.
- Use a sunscreen that is water-resistant and has SPF 30 (or higher).
#2 Use a Self-Tanner
Tanning can easily premature your skin, whether it is suntan or due to any type of indoor tanning equipment. Therefore, apply self-tanner whenever you are about to be exposed to tanning sources.
#3 Use Facial Moisturizer Daily
When you use a moisturizer, it locks or contains water in your skin, which gives your skin a fresh and youthful look.
#4 Gentle Cleansing Of Your Skin
When you scrub your skin hard and often, it can irritate your skin and boosts the skin aging process. That is why it is important to wash your skin gently to remove pollution, makeup, etc.
#5 Wash Your Face After Sweating
Moisture and sweating can irritate your skin. So, wash your skin immediately or as soon as possible after sweating.
#6 Drink More Water and Less Alcohol
Dehydration is one of the major causes of premature skin aging. Drink more water and avoid excessive use of alcohol (because it dehydrates your body).
#7 Make Exercise as a Part Of Your Routine
A moderate daily physical workout is not only necessary for good health, but it can combat premature skin aging. Exercise regulates the blood flow and strengthens your immune system. Ultimately, it gives you better and youthful skin.
#8 “Fruits and Vegetables-Rich Diet”
According to different studies, vegetables and fruits are very helpful in preventing damage that causes premature skin aging. Most importantly, reducing sugary foods is very important to combat premature aging.
Aging is not bad, but premature aging certainly is. Premature aging is actually lack of healthy habits in people. In fact, you can even delay the aging process by following basic and very simple guidelines such as:
- Avoid stress.
- Low exposure to the sun.
- Healthy and less-sugary diet.
- Daily physical workout.
- And using skin-friendly products.
- Drink sufficient/recommended amount of water daily.
Disclaimer: Any information provided on this article or our website is for entertainment purposes only and researched from the internet. Please consult your local professional or physician before using any information provided.