As your body’s largest organ and filter to the outside world, your skin is pretty resilient. While skin care advice and rituals tend to focus on cosmetic aspects, your lifestyle habits play a significant role in how healthy and youthful your skin looks, especially as you get older.

There may not be anything we can do to stop the clock and pause the natural aging process, but some habits actually help the process along and contribute to premature aging.

Our medical director, Dr. Nasrin Ejtemaee, and our aesthetics team offer a range of cosmetic and body contouring treatments for healthier, more youthful looking skin at Ashburn Laser & Skincare Clinic in Ashburn, Virginia.

Everyone’s skin responds to the environment and aging process in different ways. Factors like genetics, which are beyond your control, also factor into how well your body and skin ages.

While some people naturally look much younger than their age, others may follow the same exact skin care regime and have similar lifestyles, only to find that the aging process is sneaking up on them faster than they would like.

You may not have control over your genes and the natural passage of time, but there are a few things you can do to make sure that you’re not harming your skin and engaging in habits that make you look older than you are.

You’re probably already familiar with some of the culprits, but others may surprise you.


Smoking has long been known to increase the risk of a number of health problems, from cancer to heart disease.

Tobacco use can also make you look older than you are because nicotine can damage blood vessels in your skin, leading to the loss of elasticity and the development of fine lines and wrinkles. If you smoke, you could be turbocharging the aging process for your skin.

Constant stress

Stress is a constant part of modern life, but it can wreak havoc on your health and appearance. Stress hormones like cortisol affect collagen, which is a key ingredient in firm, youthful-looking skin.

Your body’s collagen production naturally starts to decline as you age, so keeping your stress in check is especially important as you get older. Stress can also interfere with getting a good night’s sleep, and sleep deprivation makes it harder for your skin to rest and recharge.

Sun damage

From an increased risk of developing skin cancer to premature aging, protecting your skin from overexposure to harmful UV rays should be a priority year-round.


Some studies have claimed that as much as 75% of the American population is chronically dehydrated. From headaches and digestive problems to dry (and prematurely aging) skin, drinking enough water everyday should be a priority for your health as well as your appearance.


You may already be familiar with the list of food and drinks that can prematurely age skin. While you don’t have to deprive yourself of the things you love, here are some of the foods and drinks that you should consume in moderation:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Processed meats and desserts
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Charred/overcooked meat
  • Fried food

On the flip side, a healthy diet can help put the brakes on premature aging.

To learn more about how your lifestyle and environment affect your skin and contribute to the aging process, contact us today at Ashburn Laser & Skincare Clinic to schedule an appointment at our office in Ashburn, Virginia.

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