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Why your pillow could be putting years on you; We all know that too much sun and smoking can make you look older but a few seemingly innocent habits might also be speeding up your ageing process...

OPENING the oven door: As well as the drying effects of central heating and air-conditioning, that eyebrowsingeing blast when you open a hot oven can also dry skin, causing premature ageing and wrinkles.

"Sudden changes in temperature can take their toll," explains consultant dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe,, author of Away With Wrinkles (PS14.99, Kyle Cathie).

"Changes from hot to cold to hot can cause increases in the size of blood vessels, leading to a 'weatherbeaten' appearance and ruddy "Changes from hot to cold to hot can cause increases in the size of blood vessels, leading to a 'weatherbeaten' appearance and ruddy complexion."

back when you open the " Turn back time: Stand back when you open the oven. And to keep skin youthful, turn down the heating and wear more layers to stay warm. Keeping glasses of water near radiators can also increase humidity, while wearing face cream can help relieve dryness.

charged SPF 15 Day Cream TRY Dr Lowe's Supercharged SPF 15 Day Cream (50ml), PS19, available from matter how soft, it puts pressure YOUR PILLOW NO matter how soft, it puts pressure on your face and over the years this pattern can etch lines into your chin, forehead or cheeks. Your personal pattern of sleep lines depends on how you rest your face on the pillow. Turn back time: Sleep on your back to avoid skin creases. Sleep expert Sammy Margo suggests switching to a silk or satin pillowcase. See for tips.

YOUR SWEET TOOTH "A DIET high in sugar and highglycaemic carbs such as bread, desserts and soft drinks can lead to glycation in the skin," says Dr Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist and leading authority on diet and ageing. "This is where sugar molecules attach to collagen fibres and cause them to lose their strength so the skin becomes less elastic and more vulnerable to lines and sagging." Turn back time: Don't add sugar to tea and coffee, go for unsweetened, wholegrain cereals over sugar-coated varieties and switch to natural sweeteners made from plant extracts, like Stevia. Reduce refined carbs and avoid sugary "fat-free" snacks.

YOUR ON-OFF DIET LOW?FA?F TATA diets can mean cutting out healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids yet these are vital to help keep skin supple and wrinkle free. And repeated yo-yo dieting - losing then regaining weight - is also bad.

"As the skin ages, it becomes less efficient at compensating for changes in the amount of supporting fat," says Dr Lowe.

"Sagging therefore occurs, leading to an older appearance." Turn back time: "Gradual, steady weight loss is more beneficial for health, for a longer and more active life and for better skin," advises Dr Lowe. Aim to lose a pound or two a week, avoid binge eating and don't eliminate food groups such as fats.

eliminate food groups such as fats.

DRIVING SKIN experts often find more wrinkles, sun spots and skin damage on one side of people's faces - most likely caused by being in the car. And the window doesn't even have to be open. Car windows only filter UVB rays - so you don't get sunburned - but damaging UVA rays can still pass through.

Turn back time: Dr Nick Lowe recommends using sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 30 daily all year round and applying your make-up on top.

YOUR LOW LIBIDO "REGULAR sex helps people to look youthful," says Dr David Weeks, former head of old age psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

His research shows that older men and women with an active love life look between five and seven years younger than their actual age.

It's a mix of pleasure preserving youth and the release of feel-good endorphins and the growth hormone that can keep skin elastic.

Turn back time: Make the time and effort to get in the mood. A warm bath, a nice meal, a massage...

YOUR REGULAR TIPPLE APART from reducing the absorption of key vitamins and nutrients, alcohol causes small blood vessels in the skin to widen, which can lead to broken capillaries on the face, warns Dr Lowe. Drinking also dehydrates the skin, which can lead to sallowness, deepening of wrinkles and dryness.

Turn back time: Drink mineral water instead of your regular tipple. It's not just what you drink but how you drink that can affect how you age. Drinking with straws and out of sports bottles causes the same pursing action - and therefore the same fine lines around the mouth - as smoking.

Turn back time: Avoid sports bottles and drink from a glass.

YOUR INAC ACA TIVITY EXERCISE not only keeps skin younger but may even reverse skin-ageing in people who become more active late in life, according to research from McCaster University in the US.

In studies of those aged 20 to 84, researchers found that after age 40 the men and women who exercised around three times a week had visibly younger looking skin than those who exercised only once a week.

In fact, people over 40 had skin closer in composition to that of the 20 and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age who weren't active.

Turn back time: Try to have a more active lifestyle. Whether you're walking, cycling or gardening, aim to raise your heart rate and get a bit out of breath.


| Riding in the car can |expose one side of your face to harmful UVA rays

Opening oven door | gives your face a blast of hot air that saps moisture, while, below, the wrong pillow can leave your face creased and lined
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 30, 2014
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