Smoking, Stress and Diet… Potent Causes of Wrinkles from Oxidative Damage
Three other conditions can also initiate this cascading process of damaging free radical formation:
- Smoking and Cigarette Smoke
If you know someone who has smoked for a long time, you'll probably recognize the hallmark of smoking – "crow's feet" skin wrinkling. This is likely due to the oxidative damage caused from cigarette smoke. Smoking disrupts your body's natural process of breaking down old skin and renewing it.
Remember those MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases) – those collagen-destroying enzymes activated by free radicals? Skin cells exposed to cigarette smoke produce far more MMPs than normal skin cells. Further, smoke causes a drop in the production of new collagen by up to 40 percent.
This combined effect of breaking down collagen more rapidly and producing less new collagen can cause premature skin aging in smokers (and those exposed to heavy cigarette smoke). In fact, smokers are three times more likely to develop deep wrinkles than are nonsmokers.
The free radicals generated by cigarette smoke also accelerate the aging process by damaging the microcapillaries in your skin. This disrupts your skin's ability to absorb nutrients, accelerating wrinkling and lines of aging.
Want to Look More Beautiful? Deal With Your Stress
It's no secret that stress wears you down, both inside and outside of your body. And it shows up on your face, especially in the form of lines and wrinkles. Scientific studies reveal that extended exposure to psychological stress can speed up the aging process of your cells and cause them to die at a faster rate.
Stress appears to decrease your skin's ability to function properly and repair tissue. Your skin's recovery seems to be directly linked to stress levels – stressful events and even stressful thoughts are associated with the decreased ability of your skin to function normally.
A study involving 200 pairs of identical twins discovered that life experiences, rather than genes, create your physical appearance as you age. People who had been through the stress of divorce looked nearly two years older than their married, single or even widowed twin. Those who used antidepressants also appeared significantly older.
Your body's ability to adapt to both internal and external stress is important not just for good health, but also for slowing your physical signs of aging. Effectively dealing with your stress and maintaining a positive outlook on life are two straightforward solutions to preventing premature aging from stress, and enjoying an invigorating appearance.
How to Boost Your Body's Ability to Handle Stress:
- Consider using Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT). MTT releases negative emotions by targeting the disrupted energy meridian systems causing the stress. This simple do-it-yourself acupressure technique balances your energy and eliminates your body and mind's stress response.
- Physical activity is a great way to relieve tension and neutralize the physical consequences of stress. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain, bringing your body pleasurable relaxation and rejuvenation. Just be sure not to overdo the exercise and do excessive aerobic/cardio.
- Get enough sleep at night. Sleep allows your body and mind to repair and revitalize cells and to process stressful events. Routinely catching only a few hours of sleep can alter your metabolism and hormone production mimicking the effects of aging and pre-diabetes.