Premature Aging: 5 Common Causes of Wrinkles and How to Avoid Them

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Premature aging and wrinkles can be caused by a number of things, but you can usually prevent or reduce the appearance of wrinkles by addressing the cause. If your skin appears to be aging faster than it should, there could be a simple explanation.

Here are five common causes of premature wrinkles:

Sun Exposure

UV (ultraviolet) light is known to speed up the aging process and is the most common cause of premature wrinkles. Repeated exposure to strong sunlight damages collagen, elastin and tissue under the surface of the skin. Sun cream with a high SPF (sun protection factor) can help to protect your skin, but you should still avoid spending long periods of time in direct sunlight, particularly on hot days.


Smoking is another common cause of premature aging and deep wrinkles. Chemicals in cigarettes can leave your skin looking older, saggy, dry and dull. Smoking also depletes levels of vitamin C in the body. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen and maintain healthy skin cells. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your skin, as well as your health.


Repeated squinting or frowning can cause crow's feet and fine lines around the eyes. If you need to squint while reading text or looking at objects in the distance, it's time to visit an optician for an eye test. Wearing the right glasses or contact lenses will help to prevent lines caused by squinting.


The food you eat can have a major impact on your skin, as a poor diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Vitamins A, C and E as well as many other nutrients are all essential for keeping your skin healthy and supple. Eating a diet high in antioxidants can also help to reverse or reduce the damage caused by harmful free radicals. Free radicals cause the skin to age more quickly and can even lead to serious disease.

Dehydrated Skin

Chronic dry skin can cause premature lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes, mouth and on the forehead. Keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated is important, where possible, you need to treat the cause of your dry skin. Poor diet, dehydration, reactions to certain foods and even some chemicals found in skincare products can all cause dry skin.

Sun exposure, smoking, squinting, poor diet and dry skin can all cause your skin to age faster than normal. Addressing the cause of premature wrinkles will usually improve the appearance of your skin. However, in rare cases, premature aging can be the result of an undiagnosed health condition that requires medical treatment.

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