In today’s world, everything is practically at everybody’s fingertips. It is, indeed, an exciting time to be living as we all await for the next big breakthrough. Who wants to age? As you may have already learned, even the CEOs of tech unicorn companies in Silicon Valley are funding health research on prolonging vitality and stopping aging. Even as your own eyes are glued to the next best solution to remove turkey neck or the best cream to erase wrinkles on your face, it pays to go down to the basics and see where else you can make huge improvements for the sake of your youth and your skin.
Habits That You Might As Well Forget
Alcohol and smoking — two bad habits that have been alleged to affect the rate by which your skin ages. It’s almost common sensical and practical knowledge that these two habits have a notorious reputation for causing irreparable damage to the body and skin. Alcohol and smoking can beat even the best neck cream for saggy skin and render your efforts to rejuvenate and preserve your skin rather hopeless.
Below are a number of reasons highlighting how alcohol and smoking speed up the skin aging process, and explain why there is more truth than allegation in this claim:
- Smoking weakens collagen synthesis. Would it still come to you as a surprise that even your skin succumbs to the toxic chemicals that you can pick up when you light up just a single stick of cigarette? Smoking practically disrupts the normal functioning of your body mechanisms, including processes that keep your skin young-looking.
Not only does smoking cause collagen synthesis to weaken, smoking also causes collagen synthesis to slow down. That is a disastrous combination that significantly thins out your skin, making it more prone to environmental factors that damage your skin. Thinner skin also compromises your skin barrier, making it harder to keep moisture in.
A study conducted in 2002 observed collagen synthesis among two groups of participants: smokers and non-smokers. The researchers found that the group of smokers experienced slower rates of collagen type I and type III synthesis compared to their counterparts. The damage does not stop there. Since there is less of the synthesized collagen fibers to work on, the skin also experiences a general slowdown in creating new skin layers and turnover becomes less frequent.
- Free radicals from smoke damage your skin. You have to appreciate how damaging free radicals can be to your skin to even begin to understand the magnitude and intensity of damage that your skin can suffer from these. Here are the basic things you must know about free radicals:
- Free radicals can be produced by your own body or, may be derived externally such as from cigarette smoke and may be caused by environmental factors like pollution.
- Free radicals consist of unstable molecules or atoms that make these highly reactive.
- These unpaired electrons may steal an electron from your cells, including your skin cells.
- When free radicals successfully break a cell, your cell becomes damaged and, worse, may even turn into another free radical that damages other cells.
Several studies have provided evidence to prove that skin frequently exposed to cigarette smoke ages faster than other areas of the skin. One study published in 2006 in the Journal of Dermatological Science particularly investigated the effect of cigarette smoking on the skin of women. The researchers observed significant differences in the rate of aging of skin areas frequently exposed to cigarette smoke, particularly the forehead and the forearm, compared to those that are not typically exposed when smoking. Skin dullness was the skin property that was graded.
- Smoking gives rise to poor circulation. There is no more debate about this fact. This is what causes blocked arteries to develop, which may eventually lead to heart diseases or even a deadly stroke. For your skin, poor circulation means poor nutrient distribution. Cutting the supply of nutrients, including oxygen, that your skin requires to repair damage causes signs of skin aging to appear as imperfections keep building up on your skin. This could be a major cause of saggy skin, including turkey neck.
- Excessive amounts of alcohol dehydrate your body and your skin. Your body consists of 60% water. Your skin is made up of up to 64% water. With very little water, your skin has a harder time keeping your skin from wrinkling and sagging. Have you noticed your skin dry out after a night of binge drinking? Not only does your skin become dry and dehydrated, dark circles eye puffiness also become more prominent.
Drinking alcohol in moderation, in fact, can contribute to your heart health. Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant from red wine, has been proven many times to help stop body cells from aging and benefits the skin. However, when taken in excessive amounts or, when taken too frequently, alcohol loses its health benefits and, instead, becomes detrimental to your health.
- Alcohol consumption may increase your risk for non-melanoma skin cancer. A study of available research published in the British Journal of Dermatology in 2017 concluded that there is a link between alcohol intake and the development of basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Although there remains to be a wider consensus regarding the relationship between skin cancer and alcohol, this study helps spark more investigation. Nevertheless, alcohol is well-known to affect the immune response which could well give way to the development of countless chronic conditions that includes cancer.
When you’re ready to get serious about aging skin, you know you’re ready to face the challenges of your turkey neck too. Apart from obtaining the best products and procedures that modern skincare science has to offer, there is no doubt that your lifestyle choices will significantly affect how gracefully or, how badly your skin will age. Alcohol and even smoking may have a threshold where these habits may be beneficial to your skin health and appearance. However, just a little of these can easily become too much. Are you ready to moderate or, are you ready to turn your back on smoking and drinking?
Author Name – Brittany Artwohl
Brittany Artwohl is a fitness expert and outdoor enthusiast in sunny Arizona. A certified first-responder, lifeguard and fitness trainer, she has also worked as a professional nutrition writer with a focus on nutraceuticals for over 7 years delivering newsletters, blogs, press releases, product listings and more. Today, you’ll find her work at mtnweekly.com, budnow.com, beverlyhillsmd.com and Vital Updates, among others.