When you see photos of beautiful women like Angela Bassett, Gladys Knight and Debbie Allen, you can’t help but be a believer of the phrase “black don’t crack!”. Although genetics play a large role in the formation of wrinkles (or lack of), there are beauty habits that may be putting your natural beauty at risk. No matter what age you are, if you want to stay on the path to aging gracefully, make sure the following wrinkle-causing bad habits aren’t a part of your routine.
1. Not Removing Makeup
Even when there isn’t time to do it, MAKE the time. Sleeping in your makeup is an open invitation for wrinkles to come on in and make themselves comfortable. While sitting on your skin overnight, makeup and the pollutants your skin has accumulated during your day seep into your pores. This breaks down the elastin and collagen in your skin and fast tracks the aging process.
2. A Bad Diet
Whatever goes in must come out, and sugar-filled and high-glycemic foods come out as extra weight and wrinkles. “Through a damaging process called glycation, sugar molecules attach to the proteins in your skin (including collagen), causing them to become stiff and malformed,” says Roshini Rajapaksa, M.D., a gastroenterologist. Refined sugar can also lead to inflammation that can ultimately break down your skin’s elasticity and cause sagging and wrinkles. Eat pretty and feed your skin natural sugar from fruits.
3. Poor Sleeping Posture
Getting your beauty rest means getting enough sleep and sleeping correctly. Your pillow may cause wrinkles to form if you sleep on your face (take heed side and stomach sleepers!). Try sleeping on your back and use a satin pillowcase.
4. Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol dehydrates the skin, causing it to lose elasticity over time and form wrinkles. Alcohol can also negatively influence vitamin A levels in your body. This antioxidant is key in the production of collagen and the formation of new skin cells.
5. Skipping Sunscreen
Sun exposure can break down collagen and contrary to a lingering popular belief, black skin needs sunscreen, too. Use sunscreen daily throughout the year, with a recommended SPF of 15-30 for adults. Look for a “broad spectrum protection” brand that protects against UVA, which is linked to aging.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Skin and Beauty center for more articles and tips.