Can one age without looking it? Well, let's just say "when it comes to how old you are, age is just a number". However, according to research, this depends on several factors.
If you will look years younger than your actual age, starting early cannot be overemphasized. After all, your lifestyle including diet and physical activity in your early years determines how well you will age.
So is it possible to look young while growing older? Can you get rid of the signs of aging- wrinkles, fine lines, leathery skin, age spots, and saggy skin? Of course, you can. Here are ways to look teenage despite your biological age.
Avoid the sun
No, the sin is not your friend, especially when you want to look youthful. Exposure to the UV rays of the sun causes skin damage, premature 6, and is a risk for skin cancer.
Also, avoid tanning. Just like the sun, it can speed up aging and cause wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.
When going outdoors, wear a water-resistant sunscreen with "broad-spectrum" coverage and an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen is not limited to sunny days, wear it all year long. Wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses to protect your skin, eyes, ears, and hair.
It's the little things that count. Drinking lots of water does your skin a whole lot of good. It hydrates your skin cells and boosts blood circulation to your skin. On the other hand, dehydration makes you age faster, causing saggy, dry skin and wrinkles.
In addition, Water cleanses and clears your body of harmful toxins and keeps your internal organs functioning optimally.
Eat a healthier diet
By healthier, I mean to go green and fresh. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies can be eaten whole, as juice, smoothies, soups, etc. They build up your immune system, detox your body, and give you healthy glowing skin.
Also, load up on antioxidants. Antioxidants are your best friends when it comes to aging backward. They help the body fight inflammation and free radical damage. Antioxidant-rich foods help prevent lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes and cancer.
Foods to look younger include fatty fish, walnuts, sunflower seeds, red and yellow bell peppers, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, berries, avocados, tomatoes, olives, pomegranates, wheatgrass powder, and cacao powder.
Get adequate exercise
Thanks to our tech-oriented world, many of us are glued to our chairs and desks, eyes on the screens of smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices. After work, we remain sitting in our cars or the public bus and on getting home, sink into our sofas to watch TV and the vicious cycle continues. Worse still, these are all done in poor posture affecting our backs and necks.
If you will look younger while in your 60s and 70s, you have to ditch that lifestyle now. And no, you don't have to be an athlete to get enough physical activity. Take the stairs instead of the lift or elevator, take a walk for short distances inside of a ride, go on strolls, join a dance or yoga class, or do small workouts at home.
Regular exercise keeps you fit, makes you lose excess weight, and prevents several diseases.
Get enough rest and sleep
Sleep deprivation and insomnia are enemies of a young look. What do you notice when you do not rest well? Dark spots and eye bags. Now imagine when you do not sleep well enough over time, the result is uneven skin color, wrinkles, and saggy skin.
Not getting enough sleep and rest also affects your performance in everyday life- at home, at work, and in the community. When you sleep well, your body is vitalized and includes your skin. Sleep well and look teenage even in your 70s.
Use a few skin-care products
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sticking to the basics when it comes to skincare.
Test products before you apply them to your face and skin. You may apply it to your forearm for some days and notice any reactions or changes. If any product burns, stings, or discolors, discontinue its use immediately.
Using many products at a time is not good for your skin and can irritate your skin and cause burns, hyperpigmentation, and many more. Also, follow directions for use and avoid overuse.
In addition, look out for ingredients that are antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties like:
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
- Vitamin C
- Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
- Green tea extract
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ-10)
- Salicylic Acid
- Hyaluronic acid
- Acai oil
- Grape-seed extract
Smoking damages your skin cells and essential proteins (collagen and elastin) that keep your skin healthy and firm. Damage to these proteins results in premature aging- weakened, saggy, and dry skin and wrinkles.
Do you want to have a younger-looking skin? Quit smoking.
Remain mentally active
As you age and probably retire, the stakes are you stop doing a lot of mental tasks. However, to remain active, you can get creative, play brain games, and have fun while at it. Research shows that being mentally active gets you cognitive benefits that can last for about 5 years, and improve your brain function and memory.
In addition, it boosts your mental outlook on life. The inside controls the outside. If you feel young mentally, you surely will look young even as you age. Remember your hobbies, interests, and likes? By that, we mean painting, drawing, singing or listening to music, dancing, acting, games, and many more. Just put on your creativity cap while you're at it and watch yourself age backward.
You can also play brain games like crossword or sudoku in local newspapers from time to time. You can also get apps like Elevate and Luminate.
Check Your Posture
When you picture a young person, you do not see a person with a hunched posture. Poor posture does not only make you look old, it causes a lot of pain.
So, do you want to remain young? Check your posture. To look younger and taller, try posture exercises, learn to walk, stand, and sit correctly, sleep on a firm, flat surface, and eliminate pillows.
Cut Down on Stress
Have you looked in the mirror when stressed? Do you like what you see? When stressed, your body releases high amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. These make your heart beat faster, increase your blood pressure, and make your internal organs work harder. When these happen, you end up tired, weak, and older.
Do not bite more than you can chew. Learn to do tasks in bits and manage your time. When stressed, try stress-managing activities like meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, music therapy, games, and massage. These activities trigger the relaxation response inside your body, relieves stress, and prevents aging.
You can take both natural and synthetic supplements for your skin. They could be used orally or topically. Skin supplements provide anti-aging benefits such as smoothening your skin and preventing wrinkles. Examples include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Polypodium leucotomos extract, Vitamin A "retinol", L-theanine, curcumin, zinc, selenium, coenzyme Q10, Epigallocatechin gallate (high in green tea), peptides, and nicotinamide.
1. Choosing Skin Care Products: Know Your Ingredients (2021). WebMD website. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-product-ingredients
2. Davidson, K. (2021). 10 Foods That Support Healthy Aging. Healthline website. Accessed on June 3, 2022 on https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-support-healthy-aging#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
3. Sanderson, W.C., Scherbov, S. (2013).
The Characteristics Approach to the Measurement of Population Aging. Population and Development Review 39:4 p. 673-685. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00633.x
4. Skin Care Tips Dermatologists Use (n.d). American Academy of Dermatology Association. Accessed June 3, 2022 on https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/skin-care-tips-dermatologists-use
5. Sullivan, C., Capetta, A. (2022). The 14 Best Anti-Aging Supplements to Support Healthy Skin. https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/wellness/a23829699/best-anti-aging-supplements/