The fountain of youth

Words byHayley Hayley

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we all want to look as fresh and youthful as possible. Unfortunately, though, none of us are getting any younger. And since we probably aren’t finding some mythical fountain of youth to get us back to the way we looked in our teens, we want to do everything we can to keep that youthful glow about us.

You probably know the standard tips. Wear your sunscreen. Don’t smoke. Get your beauty sleep. But there are actually some sneaky everyday habits that are making you look older than you should. Wondering what they are? Here are the 7 worst habits that are keeping you from looking like your best, youngest self.

#1. Trying to do it all. Though you may be more productive when you multitask, knocking out multiple tasks and projects at once, this attitude is likely adding stress to your life. Chronic stress can negatively affect your skin, as it leads to inflammation, which destroys connective tissue and collagen. So the best thing you can do is focus on one thing at a time. In all likelihood, you’ll complete your tasks better and more thoroughly as well. Win!

#2. Fearing fat. Everybody tries to keep healthy and cut down on fat, but it’s likely that you may be avoiding fat more than you need to. Healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are actually really great for your skin. Even though they’ve been demonized, we actually need them for cell membrane integrity, which will keep your skin healthy and glowing. Omega-3s and omega-6s will help with skin cell regeneration and keep the collagen that prevents lines and sagging skin intact.

#3. Straw sipping. If you’re one of those people who always gets their drink with a straw to avoid staining their teeth (or just because it’s fun), you might be saving your pearly whites but ruining your face. Habitual straw sipping will actually train the skin and muscles around your mouth, causing wrinkles to form.

#4. Turning up the heat. If you’re reading this, we’re guessing you live in the Netherlands, or at the very least in Europe. That means you’re used to icy winters where you need to snuggle up inside where it’s nice and toasty. While it feels good to warm up in the heat of the house, this can actually dry out your skin because the moisture is sucked out of the air in your home. Dry skin means inflammation, which causes a depletion of elastin and collagen in the skin. We’d never suggest forgoing heat in the colder months – or air conditioning in the summer if you’re very lucky – so instead, we suggest you invest in a rich, hydrating night cream, drink loads of water and get a humidifier to keep that skin hydrated and luscious.

#5. Hitting the bottle. Booze in moderation is actually beneficial to your health, so no need to ditch those cheeky glasses of Beaujolais. But when you enjoy more than a couple glasses a day, the benefits (lowered risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia and an increase in good cholesterol) are outweighed by the bad. Too much alcohol can reduce the amount of collagen in your skin and also cause redness. Additionally, it is incredibly dehydrating, making it easier for fine lines and wrinkles to settle into your skin.

#6. Sticking your neck in it. You’ve probably seen countless women in movies and in real life spritzing perfume on their wrists and neck. Even though it’s common practice, it certainly should not be. The alcohol that is common in most perfumes is terribly drying and can even cause skin discoloration when exposed to sun for too long. Nothing is more telling of age than your neck and décolletage, so keep the perfume to the wrists or a light spray over your hair.

#7. Picking improper pillowcases. Have you ever woken up and noticed creases on your face, even after the most restful sleep ever? Us too. That’s why we switched from our usual cotton pillowcases to silk ones. They not only look elegant and feel great but are also the best at preventing face wrinkling. And they’re better for your hair. Sign us up!