Fine lines and wrinkles can appear when you least expect it. However, it is important to understand that sometimes the lifestyle choices you make can be damaging to your skin and increase your chances of developing fine lines and wrinkles.

Genetics

The rate at which you will naturally age is written in your genetic code. If your parents look good for their age, chances are you will too. On the flip side, if your parents happen to develop crow's feet and laugh lines in their early thirties, chances are you will develop wrinkles early on as well. However, by taking excellent care of your skin you can help slow the aging process down.

Stress

The hormone cortisol is sometimes considered the 'stress hormone' because when the body is stressed it produces a high amount of cortisol. Cortisol is very important in keeping our bodies healthy. However, when we are severely stressed for lengthened periods of time, the body produces excessive amounts of cortisol which can cause many problems, including thinning of the skin. When we are younger our bodies are able to quickly restore cortisol levels back to normal, but as we age the body cannot regulate cortisol levels as quickly. This can cause elevated levels of cortisol to remain in the body for days, weeks, even months.

Smoking

The nicotine in cigarettes can impair blood circulation and prevent the body from receiving the proper level of nutrients and oxygen it needs to sustain a healthy body. The nicotine, along with the many other chemicals in cigarettes, can damage the collagen and elastin in the skin, causing the skin to sag and fine lines and wrinkles to appear. Research shows that someone who smokes 10 or more cigarettes a day for a minimum of 10 years is statistically more inclined to develop severely wrinkled and damaged skin as oppose to someone who doesn't smoke. Understanding your risks of developing fine lines and wrinkles can help you better protect your skin against damage and help maintain healthy, beautiful skin.