Wrinkles

Your face is usually the first thing others notice about you. It relays your emotions, hints at your personality, and expresses your individuality. What you might not realize is that it also can reveal information about your health. Those laugh lines around your eyes might indicate more than just a jovial personality, and those forehead wrinkles might hint at more than just a tendency to be deep in thought. Read on for eight health concerns your wrinkles might expose.

8. You May Have Early Heart Disease

Heart Disease

A diagonal crease across the earlobe, known as bilateral diagonal earlobe crease (DELC), may be a sign of heart disease. This crease, also called “Frank’s sign,” has been studied to see if there is a correlation between DELC and coronary artery disease. A study in India found that the appearance of this crease can be an early indicator of heart disease. The blood vessels in both the earlobe and the heart are supplied by tiny blood vessels called “end arteries”, and both suffer as a result of decreased circulation.

7. You May Have High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

A study by scientists from Unilever and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that women who appeared younger than their age were likely to have low blood pressure. In this case, the feature that appeared to link youthful appearance to lowered risk of heart disease was “sag” of the face. Of course, the best way to maintain youthful skin and decrease your risk of blood pressure is to consume a diet made up of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

6. You May Be at Risk for Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

This one is a no-brainer. If you have spent excessive time in the sun, damage from the sun’s rays both ages your skin and puts you at risk for skin cancer. The dermis, or middle layer of your skin, contains collagen and elastin, which support your skin and contribute to a youthful appearance. When these components are damaged by the sun, the skin loses its strength and elasticity. To keep your skin looking younger and prevent the development of melanoma, use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher each day.

5. You Have an Improper Diet

Improper Diet

It only makes sense that a healthy diet contributes to healthy skin. Indulging your sweet tooth not only leads to cavities, but it also leads to saggy skin. Sugar actually breaks down collagen, causing wrinkles, deep lines, and sagging. Processed carbohydrates such as muffins, white bread, cookies, and bagels are also metabolized into sugar, causing those wrinkles. Alcohol is another culprit in saggy skin, causing dehydration and inflammation. Provide your skin with the anti-aging benefits of colorful fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, which prevent the damage caused by free radicals in your body.

4. You May Be at Risk for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

Researchers at Yale discovered a link between deep facial wrinkles and bone density loss. Since the dermis of the skin and the matrix of bone are made up of collagen, deterioration of the skin can also be a sign of bone degeneration. To maintain bone and skin health, eat plenty of calcium. Dairy products are high in calcium, as are kale, broccoli, and fortified whole grain cereals. Indulge in healthy fats such as salmon, skinless chicken, beans, and nuts. Eat fruits and vegetables that contain magnesium, potassium, vitamins C, K, A, and phytonutrients, which prevent osteoporosis.

3. You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

Enough Sleep

If you’re not getting enough sleep, it will show up in your face. While you are snoozing, your body is hard at work removing toxins and making new cells. Sleep deprivation means your body isn’t getting a chance to make the collagen you need to keep your skin strong and supple. Additionally, lack of sleep throws off the pH balance of your skin, causing dehydration, redness, and discoloration. For a glowing complexion, fewer wrinkles, and bright eyes, allow yourself to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Set the stage for a restful night by avoiding alcohol, dimming the lights, and playing soothing music close to bedtime.

2. You Spend Too Much Time with Screens

Time With Screens

The lines on your face may be an indicator of too much time spent looking at your phone. There are two ways your smartphone may be causing wrinkles. The first is called the “smartphone squint.” Squinting, frowning, and furrowing your brow while operating your phone can leave behind telltale lines. In addition, the blue glare known as high energy visible (HEV) light given off by your phone can damage your skin as well as your eyes. Look for sunscreens that specifically target HEV light to protect against these rays.

1. You Are Experiencing Stress

Stress

Look at before and after pictures of any US president and you will see the effects of stress on the human face. In times of stress, your body produces cortisol, which is part of the fight-or-flight reaction that prepares you to tackle a stressful situation. In addition to raising your blood pressure, cortisol also breaks down collagen. This leaves your skin weak and sagging. The furrowed brow of an anxious mind also can leave behind lines and wrinkles. In times of stress, actively seek out time for relaxation and rest. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eat a healthy diet to protect your skin and help you deal with stress.

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