Like it or not, ageing is a fact of life but one Doctor has warned that these surprising habits are actually speeding up the process. 

Small, seemingly insignificant habits could be adding years to our appearance without us even realising it. 

From our diet and how we sleep to our skin care and exercise routines, Dr Kate Jameson from Youth Lab has shared the common practices that are ageing us. 

The Doctor has rounded up these 10 surprising habits as well as her top tips for avoiding them.

@uktoday_ Do you love Pasta? Dan Buettner has some good news for you #uknews #pastatiktok #pastapasta #uknewsheadlines ♬ original sound - UKToday 🇬🇧 Newsquest

"By becoming aware of these surprising habits and making simple changes, you can significantly slow down the aging process and maintain a youthful appearance," according to the Youth Lab expert.

Dr Jameson continued: "Don’t let these sneaky age accelerators catch you off guard. Start making positive changes today and watch the years melt away!"

What are things that make you look older?

Sleeping on your stomach or side

Dr Jameson has warned Brits that sleeping on your stomach or side can cause your face to scrunch against the pillow.

When we do this, we can be left with permanent sleep lines and wrinkles.

@uktoday_ Is napping during the dag good for you? A GP explains #uknews #napping #naps #sleeping #uknewsheadlines ♬ original sound - UKToday 🇬🇧 Newsquest

To counter this, the expert suggests trying to sleep on your back to keep your skin smooth and wrinkle-free.

The Doctor also suggests considering an investment in a silk pillowcase to reduce friction.

Skipping sunscreen on cloudy days

UV rays penetrate clouds and cause skin damage every day so it's key that we never skip the sunscreen.

To fix this, the Doctor recommends applying a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen daily regardless of the weather.

"Your skin will thank you later!," according to Dr Jameson.

Sipping through a straw

One of the most surprising habits that contributes to premature ageing is regularly using straws.

Drinking out of a straw frequently can lead to the development of fine lines around your mouth.

To fix this, the Doctor suggests drinking directly from the cup whenever possible.

Staring at screens all day

Dr Jameson has also warned people that constant exposure to blue light from phones, computers, and tablets can damage your skin and eyes.

In turn, this can lead to premature ageing.

The Doctor suggests using blue light filters on your devices to counteract this.

The expert also recommends taking regular breaks to rest your eyes and wearing blue light-blocking glasses for extra protection.

Ignoring neck and hands in your skincare routine

Your neck and hands can show signs of ageing just as much as your face, yet they are often neglected, according to Dr Jameson.

The Doctor urges people to extend their skincare routines to include their neck and hands.

We should also be applying moisturizer and sunscreen to these areas daily.

Eating too much sugar

"A high-sugar diet can lead to glycation, a process that damages collagen and elastin, causing saggy skin and wrinkles," Dr Jameson warned.

In order to fix this, we should cut back on sugary foods and drinks.

Additionally, we can opt for natural sweeteners and follow a balanced diet which is rich in antioxidants.

Not drinking enough water

The expert has reminded us that dehydration can make your skin look dull.

It can also accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.

Therefore, we should be drinking at least eight glasses of water a day to keep our skin hydrated and glowing.

Neglecting dental hygiene

If we have poor oral hygiene, we are increasing our chances of gum disease and tooth loss.

As a result, our faces may appear sunken and older.

We should be brushing our teeth and flossing daily to counter this ageing habit.

The Doctor also recommends visiting your dentist regularly to maintain a healthy, youthful smile.

Using hot water on your skin

"Hot showers and washing your face with hot water can strip your skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and premature ageing," Dr Jameson explained.

The Doctor suggests using lukewarm water to wash our face and shower.

She also suggested finishing the routine with a cold rinse to close pores and boost circulation.

Recommended reading

Stress and neglecting self-care

The Doctor also warned that chronic stress can wreak havoc on your body and mind which can cause us to age faster.

To fix this, we should practice stress-relief techniques such as meditation, yoga, or simply taking time out for ourselves.

We need to prioritize self-care to maintain a youthful, vibrant appearance, Dr Jameson added.