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Seven Things That Make Us Age Faster

By Ryan Rivera

It’s coming and we can’t stop it! It’s horrible but true: the threat of getting old is inescapable. Many people want to deny it but growing older is a process that is slow but ultimately irreversible. As we grow old we lose fat from our face and bodies, which we might think is a good thing but in reality is not. When we lose that fat our cheeks sink in and our skin sags, giving us a more aged look. It’s biology and it’s working against us! Not only that, but we also lose estrogen and elasticity from the skin. Skin starts to hang in some places like our arms, neck, and face. One big mistake we often make is to indulge in face-lifts, but even if that removes our wrinkles it also makes us look older. It tightens the skin over our face and gives us a sort of skeletal and old look. Plumpness and facial mass is what brings back the youth, and unfortunately we can’t get that back.

old couple

But even if we can’t control genes or stop the natural flow of biology, there’s one thing that we can do to delay and even reverse the effects of aging on our body: We can control our lifestyle! There are seven things that make us look older. If we change these seven bad lifestyle choices then we’re one step closer to looking fresh and beautiful at any age!

First Aging Factor: Sad Attitude

blue rose

How do you approach life? Do you see the glass as half-empty or half-full? These questions may seem unrelated to the questions of aging but they actually have a very big impact on how you look. Your attitude towards life has small but obvious signs that are written all over your face as you age. If you wake up every morning sad and frowning then, as you grow old those frown lines will be etched permanently on your face. If you let a frown stay on your face as you go through your day, expect your frown lines to deepen. We don’t usually pay attention to the faces we make or the way we shape our mouths; these things come naturally with how we feel. If we’re happy we feel lighter and our facial muscles relax; hence, we have less lines and wrinkles. There is no way that we can regulate our facial features every second of everyday to prevent wrinkles and lines. But what we can do is try to live lighter and be happier. By doing these, that inner lightness will reflect in our faces. Be happy, look happy, and that will make you look younger! It’s a triple-win situation.

Second Aging Factor: Evil Vices

glass of wine Some of the worst vices of people include smoking and drinking. They’re not just bad for your health, but they’re bad for your appearance too. Smoking, of course, has been scientifically proven to destroy the skin. It dehydrates the skin, depriving it of the oxygen it needs to nourish itself. This is especially obvious around the mouth and in the faces of smokers. It also causes discoloration due to nicotine and wrinkles around the mouth from the repeated motions of smoking. And, most importantly, the nicotine absorbed by the body prevents nutrients from getting absorbed into the skin. It reduces the intake of vitamins (especially the super-antioxidant vitamins A and C), which are vital for the skin’s health. This makes the skin dull and youthful glow disappear.

Alcohol, on the other hand, dilates the blood vessels on the skin’s surface. It creates discoloration in the skin. The broken vessels also make the skin look older. The worse effect of alcohol is apparent in the face, so it becomes an even more obvious sign of aging.

Third Aging Factor: Unhealthful Environment

intense sun

By now everyone knows the dangers of too much exposure to the sun and its effects on our skin. Again, it is one of those things that is not only bad for our health, but also makes us look 10 years older if we indulge in it excessively. When we stay in the sun too long our skin dries up and becomes leathery and tough. The dryness creates and deepens wrinkles. Not to mention that the sun causes age spots and uneven discoloration all over our bodies. Ideally we should spend only 20 minutes in the sun to absorb the necessary Vitamin D for our bodies.

Did you know that having oily skin is actually anti-aging? The oils have more nutrients that replenish the skin and make it healthier. The sun dries out the skin and makes it harder for the skin to replenish itself, resulting in a rough and blotchy complexion. Long exposure to extreme cold also does this. The cold and the wind dry up the skin as much as the sun does, and the results are the same thing: paper-y skin that has wrinkles and lines. That’s why, hot or cold, a moisturizer is the skin’s best friend.

Fourth Aging Factor: Wrong Food


Food doesn’t seem to have an immediate effect on looking old, but what we put into our body affects our appearance in startling ways. Some foods, such as fish and vegetables, are well-known antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. They prevent the signs of aging to appear. Sadly, the foods that we often enjoy eating, such as sugar, dairy products, and flour (basically anything that makes our mouth water) are pro-inflammatory foods and accelerate aging. These pro-inflammatory foods trigger an insulin response in the body that affects our body mass, and as we grow older it will give our bodies that sagging, flabby look. Young bodies have a toned and tight look, but if we overindulge in pro-inflammatory foods then this toned look will rapidly disappear.

Sugar in particular has a very adverse affect on the proteins in our body. It affects the collagen and elastin in the skin, which are the two things that keep our skin looking young and firm. People in their 20s and 30s should be careful of their sugar intake so that their bodies remain sexy and firm as they get older. So you better think twice before you reach for a second helping of that very sweet cake!

Fifth Aging Factor: Improper Weight


Here’s good news: As we get older, getting fatter will actually make us look better! It’s true, gaining weight to fill in our cheeks and arms will make our skin look full and tight again. It will seem like you have that plumpness of youth back. Losing weight as you get older makes you look skeletal and undernourished. The loose skin on your neck and arms will be pleasantly filled out if you maintain the right weight, and it will make you look years younger. Obesity is apparently not good, but older people shouldn’t be afraid to put on a few pounds as it helps keep the signs of aging at bay.

Sixth Aging Factor: Bad Personal Habits


Your personal habits always affect the way you look. For example, if you’re a person who exercises regularly, expect to see few signs of aging. Why? Exercise pumps blood and nutrients throughout the skin and body, and tones muscles to prevent weak bones and sagging skin. If you sit in front of the computer all day, your body won’t get the attention it needs to remain healthy, sexy, toned, and young. What we do every day, the small habits we make, take a toll on our bodies. Here’s another example: if you use nail polish on a daily basis, after a few years your nails will have a yellowish tinge from the chemicals it has absorbed from the polish. We should look out for small habits because they affect our bodies in bad ways.

Seventh Aging Factor: Bad Stressors

messy desk

Scientific studies have shown time and again that a person who is constantly exposed to a stressful environment not only has a higher chance of developing chronic illnesses but also shows premature signs of aging. One of the basic reasons for this is that stress often causes people to have bad posture. Now bad posture may seem like a small thing but if greatly affects how you look. A person who is bent over from anxiety or worry seems so much older than a person who stands straight and full of life. Stress also triggers the fight-or-flight response, which leads various hormones in our body to wreak havoc and cause wrinkles and lines on our face. Practicing activities such as yoga, tai chi, or even just a simple meditation can help you de-stress.

Always remember that aging is inescapable. We’ll all get older, and we can’t avoid or stop that. What we can control is HOW we grow old. We can indulge in depression, vices, and unhealthy choices but we have to be prepared for the ugly consequences later in life. On the other hand, we can make healthy lifestyle choices starting now and age gracefully and beautifully. That isn’t really a hard decision to make. The choice is yours to make if you wish to remain looking and feeling young forever.

About the Author

Ryan Rivera is an ex-anxiety sufferer and has more created a guide for sufferers at


The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.


Maria says:

Thank you for the information. I agree 100% with what is said here. Another thing I would add is the menopause "hormonal treatement" which, in my pov, is very harmful for your health.

sunnyray says:

Couldn't agree more with you Maria about the adverse effects of menopause hormone therapy. That is something we should all definitely avoid. Thanks for your input.

asheesh says:

Good article, but I don't agree with the sixth aging factor - that exercising regularly and pumping blood causes aging... it reverses aging ... evidence base!!!

sunnyray says:

Dear asheesh,
You are right. Exercising reverses the signs of aging. I believe that is exactly what the author of this article wanted to say in point 6.

John says:

Nice write up... Yet, its only the tip of the iceberg... for example Stress, is caused by so many things, its not just work, but that's a big one... but there is also relationships... we could use an article on that... then there is work, Oh yeah, I mentioned that already, but that was a stress induced by the expectation of doing a efficient profitable job for the boss(or the company), so that he can maximise his/her profits... but there is stress created by keeping a job or getting a job, liking a job... for the money... Who needs money...? The stress of the job is created by the expectation that the company is instructing you to adapt to their way of thinking... where's a union when you need one... Government causes stress also by some of the ridiculous choices they make... for example, why are the doors to our country open so wide... it in a nutshell is so big companies can get big profits... and they buy politicians, to create loopholes for their own greed... but we are the ones that will suffer... Oops, I mean age... Sorry if you have to read between the lines... just relax...

sunnyray says:

Dear John,
Thanks for the comment. Excellent points, right on target.

gillian says:

There is no doubt that stress is a huge factor. But what exactly is the mechanism? What stress does to our body that makes us grow old faster? Thanks.

sunnyray says:

Dear gillian
Thanks for the comment. What we can say for sure is that there is a strong link between our mind and our body. They affect each other in both directions. Also, there are positive examples. Let us take meditation. In most cases regular practice of meditation, among the other benefits, helps reverse the process of ageing.

eli says:

There are also some factors that make us look older than we are. One thing I have noticed that makes me look much older than I really am is not getting enough sleep. That's by far on the top of my list.

berry says:

Being sad definitely makes you age faster and ruins the natural beauty every person possesses. If you can help it, never be sad.

okey anusionwu says:

What you wrote is correct. I agree with you

Rebecca Kiwala says:

I think you are right when you talk about stress. Most people do no know its effect on one and the time they realise it, their heads are all around full of grey hair.

sunnyray says:

Thanks for the comment, Rebecca
It's not so much the acute stress; we are genetically well equipped to deal with it, and it doesn't happen that often. But the lingering chronic stress is something totally different. It's the dangerous kind with serious consequences.

adam says:

The author is spot on when it comes to the impact of wrong nutrition on ageing. One of the best advice is to eat more of the anti-inflammatory foods. I suggest increasing the intake of omega 3 fatty acids (fish, organic meat), at the same time decreasing the omega 6 (vegetable oils) intake. The former are anti inflammatory, while the latter are pro inflammatory. Here is one reference: "Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis."

Jay says:

Thank you so much. This is truly helpful, God bless you.

sunnyray says:

Hi Jay. We are glad you found it helpful. Thanks for reading and commenting. God bless you too.

Jack says:

What makes you grow older is mitochondrial dysfunction. These tiny power plants in the cells of your body lose their normal function. Make sure you provide the right material and right environment for their normal operation and you will grow older at a slower rate.

sunnyray says:

Hi Jack and thanks for the comment. What do you mean by right environment and material?

Trisha says:

My father died last year at 93, after a sudden fall and hitting his head, but he would have wanted to go that way. Until that day he walked about 3 miles a day, watched his diet, was on no medication, had had no real illness in his life, was using his computer and mobile phone, going out for coffee/debating groups etc with much younger friends, doing all his own housework, shopping, cooking and gardening, plus entertaining. He used to say that when he got old he might slow down a bit, but until then he would do everything himself, thank you, with no help - he loved life and people and worked hard at it, so sadly missed, but never got to consider himself old!

sunnyray says:

Thanks for sharing Trisha. Really appreciate it. God bless.

larry says:

I think a good 8 hours of sleep at night helps a lot. I am surprised it wasn't mentioned.

sunnyray says:

Good point larry. Thanks for sharing.

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