8 Surprising Things That Are Damaging Your Skin

When it comes to taking care of our skin and preventing skin damage, we are taught the Golden Rules from a young age…“Always wear sunscreen, don’t sleep with makeup on, never pick at pimples”… sound familiar?

But there are hidden culprits that cause skin damage every day that many of us may not realize! Learn how to protect your skin from redness, dryness, and wrinkles – to keep a youthful appearance at every age.

Culprits of Skin Damage

1. Environmental Toxins

Air pollution can be harmful to our skin and difficult to avoid in urban areas. Dirt and smog clogs our pores and leaves a film on the surface of our skin. The chemicals can enter your bloodstream through the air you breathe, damaging many of the organs including our skin.

Pro Tip: Be sure to thoroughly cleanse and exfoliate your skin each morning and night to help remove surface impurities from oil and dirt build up. A moisturizer will hydrate and replenish, while creating a physical barrier between your skin and other damaging pollutants and free radicals. We recommend SkinMedica Vitamin C + E Complex to prevent free radical skin damage.

2. Neglecting to Use High Quality Skin Care Products

Most skincare product lines available at department stores or drugstores do not contain the concentration of active ingredients needed to achieve optimal results. The FDA regulates corrective ingredients that have the ability to affect the skin to avoid harming consumers with sensitivities. Medical-grade skin care products are stronger and are able to reach deeper layers of the skin because they are dispensed by medical professionals trained to evaluate a concentration appropriate for each patient.

Pro Tip: Skincare is not a one-size-fits all approach. An experienced Timeless medical provider will create a customized skincare regimen of recommended products for you to follow.

3. Driving Without Sunscreen

UVA rays from the sun can penetrate through glass windows and clouds which block UVB rays. (UVA rays cause skin aging, UVB rays cause skin to tan or burn) This breaks down collagen and elastin which help keep your skin smooth and produces melanocytes which darken your skin’s pigmentation. The aging effects of the sun will show on your skin over time in the form of wrinkles, brown spots, and possibly skin cancer.

Pro Tip: Use Total Defense + Repair Broad Spectrum Sunscreen daily to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The unique antioxidant formula also corrects fine lines and wrinkles to improve skin damage from the sun for a more youthful appearance. Available in SPF 34, SPF 34 tinted, and SPF 50+. Reapply every 90 minutes for maximum protection.

4. Smoking

Cigarette smoke contains nicotine which reduces blood flow and carbon monoxide. This displaces the oxygen and nutrients that are able to reach your skin. As a result, the skin loses elasticity, leading to premature wrinkles and making it more difficult for the skin to heal. Smoking also leads to lower estrogen levels, which leaves the skin dry and dull.

Pro Tip: Smoke, both first and second-hand can be damaging to the skin. Avoid being around the harmful chemicals. Volbella facial fillers can help correct vertical “smoker lines” around the lips.

5. Facial Expressions

Over years of squinting, smiling, and frowning, the muscles begin to contract and restrict. As you age, your skin loses elasticity. Wrinkles begin to form between the brows (glabella) from frowning and at the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet) from squinting.

Pro Tip: BOTOX® injections target the muscles that reside underneath the skin to actively relax those muscles. This lessens the appearance of lines and wrinkles as you age.

6. A Poor Diet

Eating a diet high in sodium removes moisture from the skin, leaving it dry. When you eat sugar, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which raises your insulin levels. Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar, white bread and pop, can cause spikes of insulin release, which triggers inflammation. This produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. Aside from increasing the effects of aging, sugar can also worsen acne and rosacea.

Pro Tip: Load your diet with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables (especially berries, broccoli, and spinach). Choose complex carbs like beans, nuts and whole grains, which are broken down into glucose at a slower rate and won’t have the same negative effects on your skin.

7. Dehydration

Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate the body causing premature wrinkles.

Pro Tip: Drink 8 glasses of water each day to flush out the toxins that build up in your body and keep your skin looking glowing and radiant.

8. Lack of Sleep

While you are sleeping, your body’s hydration levels rebalances. Skin is able to recover moisture, while excess water is processed for removal. When you are sleep-deprived, this leads to puffy bags  and under-eye circles, as well as dryness and more visible wrinkles. Lack of deep REM sleep also accelerates the aging process when growth hormones aren’t released to repair damaged cells and your body makes more of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Pro Tip: Get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. ThermiSmooth or JUVÉDERM® facial fillers can help tighten bags under the eyes.


Good news! Time is not your skin’s greatest enemy. Take the steps to protect your skin from the factors you can control to keep it looking  younger, healthier and clearer for years to come.

You may also be interested in:

• Say Goodbye to Sun-Damaged Skin with IPL
• How To Protect Your Skin During Winter
• How to Protect Your Skin in the Summer Months


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