We all want to look young and healthy for as long as possible. Maintaining a youthful appearance isn’t just a vanity issue. Research has found that people who look younger have increased odds of living longer. Doctors hypothesize this is because people who look younger tend to have healthier habits and less depression.
You can buy all the expensive creams in the world, but if you aren’t following these cardinal rules, age will catch up to you much more quickly.
Stress isn’t just hurting your heart – it’s accelerating the aging process. Since 2004, studies have confirmed that chronic stress can damage cells and speed up cellular aging. Stress also leads to the release of cortisol, which is known to cause inflammation and damage collagen. If you need physical evidence, just look at before and after pictures of recent presidents.
That’s why it’s so important to know your stress triggers and find ways to relax. One of the quickest ways to unwind is a massage. When quality body massage oil and lotion is used, your skin will get a healthy dose of moisture. Meditation and focused breathing are two other highly effective ways to ease stress at home.
Get More Sleep
Deep sleep is when our bodies go into repair mode. When you skip on sleep it’s setting the repair process back. It’s one of those unhealthy habits that we convince ourselves is okay because we’re just so busy. Most of us think we can get by with five or six hours of sleep a night, when in actuality we need at least seven to eights hours of shut eye.
Chronic sleep deprivation is a growing problem that’s starting at a younger age. While we sleep our body is getting rid of dead cells, regenerating cells and clearing out toxins. Not getting enough sleep can also wreak havoc on the pH balance and moisture levels of skin. Try these beauty sleep tricks to catch a little more wink eye every night.
Always Wear Sunscreen
Nothing ages the skin more than ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunlight provides vitamin D, but it also breaks down the collagen and elastin that keeps skin firm and smooth. An easy fix is to wear sunscreen every day. Not just before spending time outdoors but every single day.
Sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays offers protection against skin cancer, sunburns and photoaging (wrinkles, elasticity loss, discoloration). Sunscreens that also help skin fight off free radicals provide even better protection.
There is a lot of new, interesting research that connects exercise to the health of our skin. It turns out that exercise has a direct impact on the aging of skin beyond keeping your body toned. Researchers at McMaster University found that exercise not only keeps skin looking younger, it can also reverse the aging process.
As we age, the deep layers of skin get thinner and the top lay (epidermis) gets thicker. This leads to less skin cell turnover, which makes the skin look dull and decreases the production of collagen. The McMaster University study found that exercise alone was enough to reverse this process, leading to younger looking skin. Exercise also provides aging benefits because it helps ward off depression, protects against muscle loss and helps relieve stress.
Eat Whole Foods
Processed food isn’t just adding to our waistlines. It’s also impacting the aging process. Many processed foods are full of additives and preservatives and devoid of essential nutrients that our bodies need to function. The simple solution is to fill your plate with whole foods.
Fresh vegetables, fruits, lean unprocessed meats and whole grains are going to give your body the fuel it needs without all the extra junk. One of the worst things for the skin, and aging in general, is simple carbohydrates. These are found in white breads, pastas and sugary food. They cause your insulin levels to spike and create inflammation that breaks down elastin and collagen. And if you can’t get all of the recommended nutrients from whole food (which can be difficult), supplements are another good option for combating the signs of age.
Retaining beauty as you age is a matter of lifestyle choices more so than what you put on your skin. Follow the five healthy habits above and you’ll continue to look great for your age no matter how old you are.