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Daily Routines That Cause Premature Aging Of Skin

Ayurveda recommends skin care to be customized based on your specific dosha. Vata type skin requires more hydration, pitta type skin requires more tan protection while kapha skin requires gentle exfoliation. Excessive sun exposure, poor diet, overuse of cosmetics, lack of sleep, poor hydration, and stress can contribute to premature aging of skin. Choose daily massage and lepas to bring the glow back to your aging skin.

skin care premature skin ain
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Healthy, radiant, youthful skin is something that we all desire. However, we might unwittingly have picked up harmful habits that actually promote premature skin aging. Let’s take a look at some common habits that can make us look older than we are.

What Does Ayurveda Say About Skin Care?

According to Ayurveda, your skin care needs should be customized for your body constitution or prakruti. People with

  1. Vata constitution: Have fine, dry skin with small pores which tends to be cool to the touch and delicate. They tend to develop wrinkles earlier than other constitutions.
    For vata skin to stay youthful, skin care products which can rehydrate and nourish the skin should be used. Natural moisturizers and warm oil self massage can be beneficial for them.
  2. Pitta constitution: Have soft, warm, fair skin of medium thickness. Their skin tends to have very low tolerance for the sun and they’re most likely to suffer from sun damage over the years.
    For pitta skin good sunscreens that offer protection from the sun as well as facial skin oils need to be used. Tanning treatments or therapies which expose their skin to steam or heat for extended periods of time should be avoided.
  3. Kapha constitution: Have oily, thick, soft skin which is cool to the touch. They naturally tend to develop wrinkles much later than people with pitta or vata constitutions. However, due to its oiliness and thickness kapha skin is more prone to accumulate toxins (ama) under the skin.
    For kapha skin, using a gentle exfoliant to cleanse the skin and a daily warm oil massage can be beneficial.[1]Datta, Hema Sharma, and Rangesh Paramesh. “Trends in aging and skin care: Ayurvedic concepts.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 1, no. 2 (2010): 110.

What Daily Routines Cause Premature Aging Of Skin?

Ayurveda advocates following a comprehensive beneficial routine for preserving youthful vigor and combating aging. This routine addresses aspects like lifestyle, dietary, psychological, and behavioral aspects to restore balance at the level of the mind, body, and emotions.[2]Rao, R. V. (2018). Ayurveda and the science of aging. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 9(3), 225-232. But amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life many of us have actually adopted harmful practices that promote premature aging. Let’s take a look at a few aspects of our daily routine that cause premature aging of skin:

1. Excessive Sun Exposure

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is one of the most significant factors that contribute to the premature aging of your skin. Exposure to UV light causes your skin’s connective tissue (elastin and collagen) to break down. As this supportive connective tissue degrades your skin loses flexibility and strength. It begins to develop wrinkles and sag prematurely.[3][Wrinkles](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wrinkles/symptoms-causes/syc-20354927 “Wrinkles”).Mayo Clinic.

To prevent the sun from damaging your skin, always use a sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 15 that offers both UVB and UVA protection. Also, try to limit exposure to the sun when it’s most intense. You can also wear clothes that cover your arms and legs and use a wide brimmed hat to protect yourself. Many people seek sun exposure because our bodies can produce vitamin D in the presence of sunlight. However, experts suggest that we need very little time in the sun to do this – about 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun is thought to be enough.[4][Sun and Skin]( https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/07/sun-skin “Sun and Skin”).National Institutes of Health.

2. Overusing Skin Care Products

If you use too many skin care products you could end up irritating your skin. This holds particularly true for anti-aging products. Use more than one, and you could end up with irritated skin, and this tends to make the signs of aging more visible.

Opt for a simple skin care routine that suits your skin. For most people, this consists of

  • Cleansing: Wash your face and neck once a day if you have dry skin and twice daily if you don’t. It’s a good idea to wash your face after you get up and before going to bed. Remember to use a gentle cleanser as harsh soaps can strip your skin of its protective oils.
  • Moisturizing: After washing, use a moisturizing lotion or cream. You can skip this step if you wish, in case you have oily skin. You’ll need a thicker moisturizer (ie, the moisturizer should not drip down when you turn the bottle upside down) during winter when skin tends to dry out more. Apply a moisturizer to your whole body after you bathe when your skin is still damp to seal the moisture in.
  • Applying sunscreen: Apply a sunscreen to your face and neck taking care to cover your ears and the area around your eyes.[5][About face](https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/about-face “About face”).Harvard Health Publishing.

If you are using any treatment or other medicine on your skin, do it right after you cleanse your skin. You can apply makeup after your sunscreen if you want to.[6][SHOULD I APPLY MY SKIN CARE PRODUCTS IN A CERTAIN ORDER?](https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/apply-skin-care-certain-order “SHOULD I APPLY MY SKIN CARE PRODUCTS IN A … Continue reading

3. Following An Unhealthy Diet

An unhealthy diet can wreak havoc on your skin. Research suggests that a diet high in unhealthy fats, refined sugars and other carbohydrates can promote skin aging. Certain kinds of food preparation methods such as baking, frying, and grilling have also been linked to skin aging.[7]Cao, Changwei, Zhichao Xiao, Yinglong Wu, and Changrong Ge. “Diet and skin aging—From the perspective of food nutrition.” Nutrients 12, no. 3 (2020): 870. So if you snack on samosas and fries daily then you could be adding years to your skin.

Go for a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruits. Include low fat dairy products, seeds, beans, nuts, and whole grain breads in your meals. A healthy well-balanced diet will not only help keep your skin healthy but will support good health overall. Some foods that are good for your skin include:

  • Orange and yellow fruits and veggies such as apricots and carrots
  • Green leafy veggies such as spinach
  • Berries
  • Lentils and beans
  • Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel
  • Nuts
  • Tomatoes[8][What are the best foods for healthy skin?]( https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/healthy-skin/faq-20058184 “What are the best foods for healthy skin?”). Mayo … Continue reading

4. Not Drinking Enough Water

Your skin has a supple, soft texture due to its water content. For skin to feel soft and not dried out its top layer must ideally contain 25 to 35% water.[9][Dry Skin](https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/dry-skin-a-to-z “Dry Skin”).Harvard Health Publishing. Research shows that not drinking sufficient water can negatively impact skin hydration.[10]Palma, Lídia, Liliana Tavares Marques, Julia Bujan, and Luís Monteiro Rodrigues. “Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational … Continue reading

So, no matter how rushed you are, remember to stay hydrated. Experts suggest that a healthy person needs to drink 2 to 3 cups of water an hour, you might need more if you’re sweating heavily.[11][How much water should you drink?](https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink “How much water should you drink?”).Harvard Health Publishing. Keep a water bottle at your desk to remind yourself that you need to hydrate.

5. Skimping On Sleep

Research links poor to poor sleep (5 hours or less sleep per night) to increased signs of intrinsic skin ageing, poorer skin barrier function and lower satisfaction with appearance.[12]Oyetakin‐White, P., A. Suggs, B. Koo, M. S. Matsui, D. Yarosh, Kevin D. Cooper, and Elma D. Baron. “Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?.” Clinical and experimental dermatology … Continue reading

Experts suggest that adults typically need between 6 to 9 hours of sleep per night. If you find it hard to get proper sleep then the following strategies may help:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. This programs your internal body clock to get used to the routine.
  • Wind down and relax before bedtime. You can do this by having a warm bath, preparing your ‘to do’ list for the next day, reading a book, listening to calming music etc. Avoid smart phones or other electronic devices for about an hour before bedtime.[13][How to get to sleep](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/ “How to get to sleep”).NHS,UK.
  • Do not exercise for around 3 hours before bedtime as a vigorous workout can stimulate your body and brain.
  • Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee, soda, chocolate) at least 6 hours and alcohol at least 2 hours before bed time. [14][Sleep](https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/sleep “Sleep”).Harvard Health Publishing.

6. Treating Your Skin Harshly

Your daily cleansing routine can take a toll on your skin if it’s too harsh. Strong soaps, long showers, and hot water can remove your skin oils. This dries out your skin and makes it appear more wrinkled.[15][Wrinkles](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wrinkles/symptoms-causes/syc-20354927 “Wrinkles”).Mayo Clinic.

Be gentle with your skin. Use a mild soap and limit the time you spend in the shower or bath. Also use warm instead of hot water when you bathe. Gently pat yourself dry after bathing and use a moisturizer if your skin is dry. You can even use a moisturizer which contains SPF.[16][Skin care: 5 tips for healthy skin](https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/skin-care/art-20048237 “Skin care: 5 tips for healthy skin”).Mayo Clinic.

7. Feeling Stressed Out

From traffic snarls to looming deadlines, we all encounter stressful situations. And stress can really age you. Our bodies release the hormone cortisol in response to stress. This hormone can degrade collagen, the protein which gives firmness and structure to skin, and lead to the development of wrinkles.[17]Chen, Ying, and John Lyga. “Brain-skin connection: stress, inflammation and skin aging.” Inflammation & Allergy-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-Inflammation & … Continue reading [18][Wrinkles](https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10984-wrinkles “Wrinkles”).Cleveland Clinic.

Adopt strategies to ward off stress and keep your skin looking young:

  • Meditation, breathing exercises and yoga can help relieve stress.
  • Adopting healthy habits like eating a healthy diet, getting sufficient sleep, and exercising regularly can be helpful in handling stress.
  • Staying positive, practicing gratitude, and staying connected to people who offer emotional support and help you stay calm can be helpful. As can saying no to additional responsibilities when you’re busy.[19][Stress](https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress “Stress”).Cleveland Clinic.

Simple Ayurvedic Remedies For Your Skin

Ayurveda offers many techniques for keeping your skin healthy:

1. Try a daily massage
  • Powder massage (udwarthana)
    During udwarthana, medicated powders are used to massage the skin in an upward direction. It is considered to be a part of a daily healthy regimen (dinacharya). A powder massage is thought to help improve blood circulation, improve skin quality, enhance the complexion, and remove dead cells and dirt from the skin.
  • Oil Massage (abhyanga)
    Ayurveda also recommends incorporating an oil massage into the daily routine. It is thought to nourish your muscles, and improve your eyesight, complexion, and life expectancy. Oil massages are considered to have anti-aging, stress relieving, and rejuvenating effects. Kumkumadi taila (an ayurvedic medicinal facial oil) is considered to be particularly useful for facial massages. It is thought to improve skin texture and complexion.
2. Use varnya lepas (complexion enhancing pastes)

Varnya lepas are used in ayurveda for improving the quality of the skin and enhancing complexion. For instance, you can prepare a rakta chandanadi lepa by mixing the following ingredients in equal quantity and adding water or milk to make a paste:

  • Raktachandana (pterocarpus santalinus)
  • Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia)
  • Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa)
  • Kushta (Saussurea costus)
  • Priyangu (Callicarpa macrophylla)
  • Vata (Ficus bengalensis)
  • Masura (Lens culinaris)

The lepa should be applied at a thickness of 1 cm (1/2 angula) and should be removed from the skin once it dries (15-20mins). Lepas are meant to be applied against the direction of hair growth for better absorption. A rakta chandanadi lepa is thought to be useful in improving the complexion and removing dark spots and pimples.

References

References
1 Datta, Hema Sharma, and Rangesh Paramesh. “Trends in aging and skin care: Ayurvedic concepts.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 1, no. 2 (2010): 110.
2 Rao, R. V. (2018). Ayurveda and the science of aging. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 9(3), 225-232.
3, 15 [Wrinkles](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wrinkles/symptoms-causes/syc-20354927 “Wrinkles”).Mayo Clinic.
4 [Sun and Skin]( https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/07/sun-skin “Sun and Skin”).National Institutes of Health.
5 [About face](https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/about-face “About face”).Harvard Health Publishing.
6 [SHOULD I APPLY MY SKIN CARE PRODUCTS IN A CERTAIN ORDER?](https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/apply-skin-care-certain-order “SHOULD I APPLY MY SKIN CARE PRODUCTS IN A CERTAIN ORDER?”). American Academy of Dermatology Association.
7 Cao, Changwei, Zhichao Xiao, Yinglong Wu, and Changrong Ge. “Diet and skin aging—From the perspective of food nutrition.” Nutrients 12, no. 3 (2020): 870.
8 [What are the best foods for healthy skin?]( https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/healthy-skin/faq-20058184 “What are the best foods for healthy skin?”). Mayo Clinic.
9 [Dry Skin](https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/dry-skin-a-to-z “Dry Skin”).Harvard Health Publishing.
10 Palma, Lídia, Liliana Tavares Marques, Julia Bujan, and Luís Monteiro Rodrigues. “Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology 8 (2015): 413.
11 [How much water should you drink?](https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink “How much water should you drink?”).Harvard Health Publishing.
12 Oyetakin‐White, P., A. Suggs, B. Koo, M. S. Matsui, D. Yarosh, Kevin D. Cooper, and Elma D. Baron. “Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?.” Clinical and experimental dermatology 40, no. 1 (2015): 17-22.
13 [How to get to sleep](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/ “How to get to sleep”).NHS,UK.
14 [Sleep](https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/sleep “Sleep”).Harvard Health Publishing.
16 [Skin care: 5 tips for healthy skin](https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/skin-care/art-20048237 “Skin care: 5 tips for healthy skin”).Mayo Clinic.
17 Chen, Ying, and John Lyga. “Brain-skin connection: stress, inflammation and skin aging.” Inflammation & Allergy-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-Inflammation & Allergy)(Discontinued) 13, no. 3 (2014): 177-190.
18 [Wrinkles](https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10984-wrinkles “Wrinkles”).Cleveland Clinic.
19 [Stress](https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress “Stress”).Cleveland Clinic.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.

About the Author

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Dr. Manjula P. Badiger (KAA Expert)

Dr. Manjula has 12 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda and worked as a Consultant and General Physician for over 5 years before starting her private practice. In addition to BAMS, she also has an Advanced Diploma in Clinical Research and is trained in Panchkarma. She is an expert at diagnosis of the root cause and planning effective treatment for multiple issues.

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