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How to beat behavior-related aging

How do our day-to-day behaviors affect skin and what can we do to stave off their effects without making life more complicated? Our skin expert, Patricia Pineau, Scientific communication Director at L’Oréal Research, gives us her tips.

How to beat behavior-related aging

Everyday, you expose your skin to different types of strain – an unbalanced diet, lack of sleep and stress. Make a few changes in your day-to-day lifestyle and you’re bound to see the positive effects on your skin.

The effects of behavioral-aging

When it comes to the skin’s maturing process, you’re probably familiar with age-related factors such as chronobiological aging and hormones, or hormonal aging. But what about other factors that can affect the skin’s aging process? “Our repeated studies of women and our advanced anti-aging research led us to look at things from a new angle and to develop a new approach to aging behavior,” Patricia Pineau says. “Of 9,600 women surveyed in 6 countries worldwide, the criteria they identify and prioritize as damaging their skin quality are behavior-related. Of these women, 77 percent identified lack of sleep as the main factor, 71 percent pollution, followed by stress, poor diet and lack of exercise.”

Tell-tale signs

So, how exactly do our behaviors influence our skin and what are the visible effects? For one, says Patricia Pineau, our everyday environment can be a major contributor to skin aging. “Skin that has been subjected to smoky, urban environments tends to have a grey, dull complexion. This can be caused by not drinking enough water, air-conditioned environments, atmospheric pollution as well as industry, transport and heating. The sun can also have highly negative effects – skin that is overexposed to UV rays throughout the years shows more marked contrasts than those who’ve stayed away from the sun. In addition, UV rays can cause pigmentation marks.
Another major factor in skin aging is stress, says Patricia Pineau. “The expressiveness of skin overwrought by lack of sleep or stress makes for a sallow complexion,” she says. “Drawn features and under-eye bags immediately signal a hectic lifestyle.” And finally, if your skin is unbalanced – oily in some areas and dry in others, with enlarged pores – you can expect that an unbalanced diet or meals eaten on the go are to blame. Overeating or excess alcohol consumption can also cause skin to age faster.

Offsetting indulgences

Good news! You can take action to bring your skin back to life without feeling guilty, depriving yourself or making extreme life changes. “By identifying the impact [of our behaviors on skin], we’ve figured out ways to reduce or eliminate them by creating innovative treatments containing targeted active ingredients that can ward off these signs of behavioral aging,” says Patricia Pineau. If you do happen to overdo it, though, try these tips to counteract the effects:
- Skipping breakfast so you can sleep longer?
Take a handful of hazelnuts and almonds with you to keep you going until lunchtime and ward off hunger pangs, which may make you more likely to indulge in fatty or sugary food.
- Too tired to remove your makeup at night?
Spend a little more time cleansing in the morning, applying serum to brighten your skin tone.
- Tempted by the sun?
A touch of daily moisturizer with UV protection, and you’re ready to go. Find a small tube that you can keep in your bag.
- In for another late night?
Breathe deeply, stretch, relax and move around regularly to dispel tiredness. And, once you’re finished, treat yourself to a large smoothie full of goodness and vitamins. We recommend kiwi, strawberry and banana.

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