Aging is inevitable. As long as you live long enough, you will age.
Science and technology has come up with ways to slow down and even reverse the aging process but you can only hold it off for so long before it catches up with you. It’s something we all must accept.
But what we do not have to accept is untimely aging.
Though aging is natural, how fast we age is part hereditary, part lifestyle. Certain lifestyles cause us to age faster and because we are ignorant of the effect of our actions, we do not correct them in time.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with aging and it’s nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. But if you would rather stall this eventuality, you need to know the things you are doing that are making you age faster so that you can avoid them.
Below are 10 things you are doing that are making you age faster.
1. Sleeping on your stomach.
Sleeping on your stomach with your face pressed into your pillow or bed causes the skin on your face to wrinkle and age faster. I know this from experience.
I find it hard to fall asleep while lying in the supine position. I find myself tossing until I turn on my belly before I can finally doze off. But that means I wake up most times to see lines on my face, especially between my brows and around my mouth like a bracket.
Overtime, these lines are becoming more prominent and permanent. They don’t smooth out after a few minutes of being awake like they used to.
I decided to try sleeping on my back and noticed the lines weren’t forming when I wake. Unfortunately sleeping on my back is not something that comes naturally, so I’ve made peace with the lines.
If you can, avoid sleeping on your belly. The best way to sleep is on your back.
2. Sitting all day.
We live in the digital age. This means most jobs are done on a computer while sitting. This has helped make life easier in so many ways, but it isn’t healthy.
Sitting for a long period of time leads to numerous health challenges and shortens one’s lifespan.
No matter your job, it is important to stand at intervals and take short walks or just try to move around while standing on a spot. Whatever you do, movement is important to work your muscles.
3. Not drinking enough water.
The saying “water is life” is not an exaggeration. A healthy human can survive for about three weeks without food but will die after a few days without water.
Water helps your skin to stay supple .When you are not drinking enough water, your skin begins to shrivel and wrinkle.
You see what happens to dried fruits and vegetables when you soak them in water, they come alive and become fresh again. But when you leave them under the sun to dry, it shrivels because it has lost moisture. It is the same with your skin.
Drink enough water. Of course you will have to go to the bathroom a lot but your skin will thank you for it.
4. Making everybody’s business your business.
Whoever came up with the advice “choose your battles” knew exactly what they were talking about.
Loving people means sometimes making their problems our own. We try to solve everybody’s problems, be there for everyone, and carry their burdens until we begin to fold under the weight of it all.
The truth is, if you leave this world today, everyone whose problems you were carrying will find a way to survive without you. Help people as much as you can, but know when to take a break and just relax.
Also, meddling, fighting every battle that comes your way, giving an opinion on every trending topic, feeling the need to weigh in on everything… these are all things that can steal your joy and make you age faster. Sometime just “unlook”.
Worrying gives you worry marks on your forehead that makes you look stern and old.
Growing up, I was a worrier and my mum will always say to me, “if you frown, you’ll be ugly” whenever she sees me with deep lines between my brows. Her words always succeeded in making me relax my face so the lines will disappear.
It is said that it takes more muscles to frown than it takes to smile, so why exert yourself when you can smile and look better while at it.
6. Eating more of processed foods and less fruits and vegetables.
Ever heard the saying “you are what you eat”? What goes into your body reflects on your skin and general outlook.
Most processed foods contain elements that are harmful to our body and skin. Certain chemicals are added into some foods to make them last long without spoiling. Unfortunately, they go into our body and become toxins, causing our kidneys to work over time to get rid of them.
With fruits and vegetables, you don’t have to worry about this. Fruits, vegetables and other natural foods are gifts from nature to us.
Certain fruits help make your skin supple. Some contain antioxidants that slow down the aging process. And some fruits, especially citrus fruits like oranges, help boost you body’s natural collagen production. Collagen is responsible for your skin’s elasticity. When your skin loses elasticity, it ages faster.
Also, eating fruits and vegetables helps your body to fight diseases. Do you need any more reasons to change your diet and begin to eat healthy?
7. Going out in the sun without sunscreen to protect your skin from the harsh sunrays.
I’m guilty of this. I never use sunscreen. And I know most Black people are guilty of this too. Because we are blessed with melanin and do not suffer sunburn like people of other races, we feel we are immune to the sun’s harsh effects. But we are not.
The sun damages the skin and speeds up the aging of your skin.
We were taught in primary school that we need the sun for Vitamin D. Unfortunately, due to the depletion of the Ozone layer (the protective layer that should prevent the sun’s harsh rays from getting directly to us) there is little protection between the sun and us. It is now up to us to protect our skin.
To do that, you either stay indoors between 10am and 4pm when the sun is at its harshest or you use sunscreen before you step out.
Do I need to explain why smoking is not good for you? Have you seen the lips of a smoker? If smoking can do that to your lips, imagine what it does to your skin. Let’s not even talk about what it does to your internal organs.
9. Not moisturizing your skin.
The notion that people with oily, acne-prone skin do not need to moisturize is wrong. Every skin, whether oily, dry, or combination skin needs moisture.
Rather than avoid moisturizers just because you are a worried about acne, find the right moisturizer for your skin type.
I have an oily skin and I use shea butter mixed with a bit of olive oil. I used to avoid anything that has oil in it. I thought it would worsen my acne, but I was wrong.
Use oils that are non comedogenic and you’ll be fine. For three years now, shea butter has been my body cream. Sometimes I put in a bit of olive oil and very little coconut oil (because coconut oil is high on the comedogenic scale and can clog your pores). My acne hasn’t gotten any worse so I haven’t had any reason to regret this.
To find out which oils are highly comedogenic and which ones are not, you can do a Google search and you’ll find the answer you need.
10. Inadequate sleep.
Your body needs enough rest to function. Even machines have to take a break at some point.
We are a generation that glorifies “hustling”. We say things like, “sleep is for the dead”. Steve Harvey recently made a controversial statement condemning people who sleep till it is 6am. The combination of these can make us believe sleep is the enemy and in order to progress, we need to avoid sleep. But that is far from the truth.