The case remains true that we can’t stop aging, but the signs can certainly be combated. There are multiple factors that can contribute to the aging process such as the foods you eat, the way you sleep, sun exposure, and gravity, which all aid in deteriorating the suppleness of our skin. One of the most common signs of aging is lax skin, which can occur on the face, chin, and neck, making you look older and more tired. I like to remind my patients that even though I offer several facial cosmetic procedures that can restore a more youthful appearance, it is important to keep realistic expectations and understand that plastic surgery does not slow down the body’s natural aging process. It’s impossible to look young forever, but according to various health websites, the following everyday bad habits could be making you age faster:
- Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep can affect productivity, memory, weight and aging. When we sleep, our bodies go into “repair-mode” to mend the damage from daily activities by replacing old cells and stimulating new skin cell growth. When you get less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, our bodies become stressed and release increased amounts of the hormone cortisol. The increase in cortisol can affect the skin’s collagen formation and can lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles on the face. A lack of sleep can make your face look dull and also results in dark circles around your eyes, making you look older. Being relaxed and well-rested can make a world of difference.
It has been my experience that prolonged periods of stress can do a great deal to aggravate the effects of aging on the face and body. Negative stress can lead to a number of physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Recent studies suggest that stressful occasions are connected to how quickly cells age. Cortisol, the foremost stress hormone, breaks down collagen, which leads to sagging skin and wrinkles and causes inflammation.
Cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in the body that accelerates aging. Long time smokers frequently exhibit signs of premature wrinkling and yellowing of the skin. Smoking also interferes with the skin’s blood supply and slows wound healing, so that surgical cosmetic procedures may achieve less optimal results. I frequently caution my facial rejuvenation patients to avoid smoking in the weeks prior to as well as after any surgical procedure.
Maintaining a healthy diet is an excellent way to keep your skin firm and youthful. Refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour; saturated fats from red meat and organ meats; trans. fats from commercially-baked cookies, cakes and pastries; and alcohol have all been shown to increase inflammatory response, or swelling. To prevent premature aging, stock up on foods rich in vitamin C, like oranges, which curb levels of stress hormones while strengthening the immune system, as can Omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, avocados, salmon, and olive oil. These foods will help give your skin a soft and supple look. I would also recommend these types of foods to patients recovering from surgery, as they can be a beneficial contributor to the healing process.
By avoiding these everyday habits, you can help keep your skin looking fresh and vital. I often discuss the benefits of facial rejuvenation procedures to correct visible signs of aging. For patients with extensive signs of aging, I perform eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) by removing excess skin and fatty tissue around the eyes to restore the face to a more youthful and rested appearance.
If you are interested in a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure I perform, please contact my office to schedule a consultation today. Additionally, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care CreditSM, to assist you. Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Allyson Maske, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news and updates.