Nobody has yet figured out how to stop the clock on our aging bodies. What we can do, however, is try and prevent some of the signs of growing older. Here are some all-natural ways to stem the tide of time — or at least look like you have.
Steer Away from Bad Habits
No two people are alike, but one thing we all have in common is our propensity for doing things that are bad for us. From smoking to indulging in Ben & Jerry’s a little too often, everyone has their own vice. To help your body look better as you age, identify your vice and start finding ways to remove it from your life.
Of course, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of lifestyle changes before — from your doctor. What we’re telling you now is that, aside from keeping you fit and disease-free, healthy habits can make your skin look younger, too. Take a look:
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has officially announced that smoking causes wrinkles. And if that weren’t reason enough to quit, they also say it makes your skin look dull and yellowish.
We all know eating too much sugar is bad for us. But most don’t know that it can also accelerate the aging process. We’re trying to reverse the aging process, not speed it up! So cut or reduce sugars and refined carbs such as white rice, pasta, bread, and sugars found in sugary sodas, donuts, and more (you know the common culprits!).
Most people don’t drink enough water. Even people who think they’re well hydrated are often quite the opposite. What’s bad for your body is also bad for your skin, especially when it comes to hydration. If you want to avoid having skin that looks like the Mojave Desert, drink up (water, that is). One pro tip is to drink a large glass of water first thing every morning. That way, at least you start your day the right way. Read more about why hydration is so important to overall health as we age.
Nobody’s asking you to give up alcohol. But just keep in mind that alcohol is a diuretic, which means it dehydrates you. One way to combat the drying effects of alcohol on your body (which makes your skin look older) is to alternate between water and booze on the nights when you drink.
Consider the sun
The AAD also warns people not to get too much sun. Surely you’ve heard this before, but we thought it worth mentioning again… and again and again and again. Protect your skin, and if you want that bronzed look, find yourself a good self-tanner.
Gravitate Toward Natural Ingredients
We’ve all learned to rely upon men and women in white lab coats to solve our skin issues. Meanwhile, around the globe, women are using natural ingredients to maintain their youthful glow. Developed nations are now beginning to see that those ingredients work, as they embrace ingredients like green tea, pomegranate, and certain oils.
Whether you take a completely DIY approach to your beauty products or you simply look for off-the-shelf products that contain natural ingredients, here are some that really seem to work:
- Green Tea. People drink green tea for its antioxidants, which remove free radicals and possible help fight cancer. Those antioxidants fight wrinkles, too, because they promote cell turnover. Mixing powdered green tea into your face mask is one way to snatch those skin-plumping benefits.
- Aloe Vera. Aloe contains malic acid, which helps improve the elasticity of your skin. That’s important because as you grow older, your skin loses more of its elasticity each year. That contributes to fine lines and wrinkles. Try massaging Aloe Vera directly onto your skin (face and body) for 10 minutes or so. Then relax for about half an hour before gently rinsing it away.
- Olive Oil. Women and men who manage to look younger than their actual years have great skin all over, not just on their faces. To keep all your parts looking fresh and healthy, apply olive oil in a circular motion after you shower or before going to bed. It’s rich in vitamins and packed with antioxidants, both of which help your skin remain supple and soft.
Learn to Be Gentle on Your Skin
Just as your carpets can begin to show signs of wear and tear after years of footsteps and dirt, your face can also suffer and start to show its age. The key thing to remember here is that the skin on your face is delicate — increasingly so as the years tick by. Here’s what you can do to be more gentle with your skin routines:
Re-examine the products you use
Look at your cleansers, moisturizers, and masks. Do any of them irritate your skin? If you’ve ever had to “get used to” a product by building up a tolerance to its ingredients, you’re making your skin look older than it has to. Immediately throw out any skin products that burn or sting and avoid products that have lots of fragrance listed in their ingredients.
Re-examine your fitness routine
The key to beautiful skin can be as easy as incorporating a workout into your daily routine. Read about how exercise promotes healthy, glowing skin.
Update your cleansing technique
Nobody should be applying full muscle power to scrub their face, especially anyone who’s concerned with aging. You can easily remove dirt, grime, and makeup at the end of the day with a soft touch. If the products you use require elbow grease in order to work, then find some new ones.
Stop squinting and scowling
If you could get a friend to snap a photo of your face while driving on your morning commute, what would you discover? For lots of people, it would be an intense scowl. And if that same friend got a pic of you focusing on your computer screen at work, would you see yourself squinting? Both increase those deep lines in your forehead and around your eyes — crow’s feet central!
If you’re going to get wrinkles, make them laugh lines. It’s so important to continue to be social and have fun as we age. So many people retire from the workforce and subsequently retire from having a social life. You need to get out and have some fun. Laughing actually has many important health benefits. Read about the mental and physical benefits of socializing as you age.
Don’t Let Your Neck Become a Wreck
In our obsession to prevent fine lines around the eyes and lips, we often forget about our necks. To prevent “Turkey Neck,” make sure you care for your neck as religiously as you do your face. That means moisturizing, exfoliating, and protecting it from the sun.
You should also remember to protect the muscles in your neck. Pain from a neck or back injury can easily be seen on your face and cause premature signs of aging. Read about why yoga is becoming popular with older adults and how it can provide numerous physical benefits to your body.
It’s Never Too Late
All of these tips can be applied at any age (wouldn’t it be great if you had known these things right from the get-go?). Don’t fret if you’re already seeing the signs of aging, though, because the skin responds to positive changes. It can repair some of the damage over time. Just stick with your new natural regimen and you’ll soon be on your way to younger-looking skin.