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If you’re a woman over 50, you probably know how important it is to keep your youthful glow. Unfortunately, bad habits will cause accelerated aging and rob us of our most valuable asset: time! It’s important to know that you can start taking better care of yourself at any age and still see results.

Here are the 12 habits that make you age faster. Try to avoid them at all costs.

Eating Processed Foods and Sugar

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Processed foods are loaded with preservatives, additives, and salt that can take a toll on your skin and health over time. And sugary treats are no better, as they can cause wrinkles and dryness, among other health issues. Do yourself a favor and start eliminating those today and watch how your health and skin improve over time. 

Not Getting Enough Rest

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Sleep is essential for keeping your skin healthy and giving your body time to rest and recharge. Aim for at least 7 or 8 hours of quality sleep every night. For those of you who suffer from insomnia, try melatonin or talk to your doctor and see how he can help. Adequate sleep is important for your physical and mental health. 

Not Drinking Enough Water

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Water is essential for keeping your body hydrated and flushing out toxins, so make sure you’re drinking enough throughout the day! And we get it, water is boring and bland. Try adding a cucumber slice and some mint leaves to spruce it up. You could also squeeze a lemon, lime, or orange into it to give it some flavor. Use your imagination but drink up!!

Smoking

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Smoking can cause premature wrinkles and age spots, as well as damage your lungs and respiratory system. I mean, we’re not stupid people. We already know how bad smoking is for you overall. We also know how hard it is to quit an addiction. Why not set a date, find an accountability buddy, and give it your best shot? Keep trying, and don’t stop until you’ve given up this stinking habit. 

Forgetting to Apply Sunscreen

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Sun exposure is one of the biggest culprits of accelerated aging, so make sure you’re applying sunscreen every day (even in winter!) and staying out of the sun during peak hours. If you have sensitive skin, you can look for more natural ways to make your own sunscreen at home. 

Not Exfoliating and Moisturizing

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Exfoliating and moisturizing your skin on a regular basis can help remove dead cells, keep lines and wrinkles at bay, and maintain healthy glowing skin. Coconut oil and baking soda are two great ingredients to use to get the job done right. Use gently! Do this at least once a week. Find a light moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type, and you’re good to go!

Neglecting Physical Exercise

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Exercise is great for improving circulation, building muscle, and releasing endorphins that can make you feel more energized and youthful. Not only that but improving circulation also supplies oxygen and blood flow to the skin to help you maintain a glow and younger-looking skin.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol or Caffeine

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Drinking too much alcohol and/or coffee can dehydrate your skin and cause wrinkles to become more pronounced over time. And let’s not forget that most alcoholic drinks are very high in sugar which we already know is bad for your skin. Try switching up your coffee with green tea and limit your alcohol intake as much as you can. 

Consuming Unhealthy Fats

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Eating unhealthy fats, such as trans fats, seed oils, and hydrogenated oils, can contribute to inflammation and oxidative stress that can accelerate the aging process. When buying oils, check the labels to make sure they have good fats. And let’s not forget that eating unhealthy fats adds excess weight, which leads to stress, which leads to aging faster. 

Not Getting Enough Antioxidants in Your Diet

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You know they say we are what we eat, and it’s so true. If you continuously feed your body bad fuel, it will show up physically, especially on your skin. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. We need these! Next time you want a sweet treat, reach for some berries instead of a donut or cake. 

Neglecting Your Mental Health

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It’s important to take care of your mental well-being as you age. Studies have shown that women over 50 who practice self-care and mindfulness are less likely to experience accelerated aging than those who don’t. The more relaxed we are, the less angry, agitated, and stressed we are, and the healthier we are. It just makes sense. 

Being Stressed Out All the Time

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Nothing will age you faster than stress. Ok, well, smoking and drinking will come in as close second and third place, but really, stress is so damaging not only to your mental health but physical health as well. Too much mental or emotional stress can accelerate the aging process, so be sure to take time out of your day to relax, meditate, and practice stress-relieving activities. 

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