What to avoid for your skin’s sake

protect-your-skinEating healthy and being sure to not overdo sun exposure will help protect your skin immensely, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a healthy, skin-boosting lifestyle. Just as it’s important to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, it’s important to avoid exposing your skin to lifestyle habits that can cause damage.

Among the top items to avoid for your skin’s sake are:

Smoking

Smoking damages collagen and elastin while decreasing blood flow to your skin. This makes it difficult for your skin cells to receive enough oxygen and nutrients to stay healthy. The physical act of smoking can also contribute to expression lines around your lips and eyes (from pursing your lips and squinting).

Drinking Alcohol

While an occasional glass of wine is not likely to cause your skin much harm, too much alcohol can damage blood vessels over time, leading to permanently flushed skin or visible blood vessels on your skin’s surface.

Sugar

Eating too much sugar or refined carbs leads to the production of advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These molecules damage collagen and elastin, and in so doing contribute to wrinkles and sagging skin.

Stress

Emotional stress can take a major toll on the appearance of your skin. Not only does stress lessen your skin’s ability to function properly, putting it at risk of skin diseases and increasing the length of time wounds take to heal,10 but stress also speeds up the rate of cellular aging, which can make you look older, faster.