Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard about how sun damage can cause wrinkles. But you’d be surprised to know how some of your everyday habits—even ‘harmless’ quirks that you’ve never paid any attention to before—could be making you look older. Take a look at this list, and be prepared to say: “Oh my God, I didn’t know!”
1. Rubbing your face with a towel.
We’ve all done this—vigorously scrubbed our face clean, quickly dried it off by burying it in a towel. However, dermatologists say again and again: don’t rub dry, pat dry. Rubbing stretches and stresses out the skin unnecessarily. Be particularly gentle with the area under the eyes, which is the thinnest and most sensitive. Beauty experts even say you should apply eye cream with the tip of your pinky—your weakest finger—to prevent putting too much pressure on the area.
2. Drinking from a straw.
All that puckering contributes to wrinkles. It’s the same kind of stress your face goes through while smoking a cigar or cigarette (although that habit’s worse—the chemicals are the anti-aging equivalent of shoving your face into a microwave).
3. Wearing the wrong glasses.
Many people avoid wearing glasses because of vanity. Well here’s the deal: all that squinting to compensate for bad vision hastens crow’s feet and fine lines around the eyes.
4. Wearing contacts.
Sorry, wearing contacts can also aggravate wrinkles—not because of the contacts, per se, but the way most people pull the eye area when they put them on. Ask your ophthalmologist to demonstrate how to do it without totally stressing out your skin.
5. Missing out on the zzzz’s.
You need at least eight hours of sleep every day. A few all-nighters won’t hurt, but years of over time and partying will show up on your face. And we’re not just talking wrinkles. Your complexion will look dull, and a lifetime of alcohol abuse can mess up your liver and exacerbate skin discolorations.
6. Applying eyeliner the wrong way.
Eyeliner looks great, but don’t stretch your skin like a tightrope just to make sure you get a perfect line. Do what the professional makeup artists do: tug upwards, very gently, towards the temple.
7. Drinking too much coffee.
Coffee (and other diuretics like tea) make your body lose fluids. In fact, by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated (and that’s bad for your skin). If you really can’t give up your cuppa joes, compensate by drinking as much water as you can. Sure, you’ll be going to the bathroom a lot, but at least you know your body’s flushing out the toxins!
8. Chewing gum
Apparently, chewing gum overuses the jaw muscles and even undo any “corrections” done through cosmetic surgery. The constant movement dislodges fillers and implants.