Everyone wants to think that they’ll be able to keep looking in the mirror and recognizing the person they see there – that, even as you get older, you retain something of your youthful self.
It turns out there are some simple things you can do every day that will help you age slower, and look more youthful as you do – here are 18 of them you can start incorporating today.
style expert Sharon Haver, founder of FocusOnStyle.com.
18. Up your protein intake.
Lean muscle requires protein, so you’ll want to make sure you have enough in your diet to feed your muscles, says Erin Palinski-Wade, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies.
“A loss of muscle can lead to a loss of strength and balance, accelerating the aging process. Less defined muscle on the body can also cause the appearance of looser, sagging skin, making you appear older than your biological age.”
17. Rethink your eyeliner.
You’ve probably been using a basic black eyeliner for years, but makeup artist on What Not to Wear Carmindy says it’s time to re-think it.
“Keep eyeliner light, like chocolate brown instead of black, and apply it as close to the roots of the upper lashes as possible. Keep away from using liner under the eyes, which can look aging.”
16. Get strong.
Exercise in general is great for keeping young, but if you’re not already strength training, Palinski-Wade says you should be.
“Regular strength training, with your own body weight or using external weights, can help to increase metabolism, increase strength, and improve balance. In addition, increased muscle tone helps to provide a more youthful appearance.”
15. Grab some antioxidants.
Vitamins A and C are great warriors against free radicals, which help you maintain a younger appearance, according to Palinski-Wade.
“When free radicals from diet or the environment threaten to damage skin cells, antioxidants may help to fight against damage from the sun and the environment, and protect against inflammation which accelerates aging.”
Oranges, strawberries, blueberries, bell peppers, and spinach are great choices to get more!
14. Look into pilates.
Pilates improves posture, and standing up straight with more energy smacks of younger folks, reminds Palinski-Wade.
“Pilates can help to increase core strength and improve posture. Holding your body more upright with improved posture improves balance, protects against falls, and helps you look younger.”
13. Lighten up your makeup.
If you’ve got wrinkles, heavy face makeup will settle into them and make them pop. Carmindy says your best bet is a primer followed by a light foundation and then some concealer.
“If you use a sheer dewy foundation first all over the skin, chances are you will need much less concealer. Then just add a spot of matte concealer over any areas that are still visible.”
12. Make sure your hairstylist is up to the task.
As we age our hair changes, and if you’re keen to keep your hair long, the cut becomes super important, says stylist Jenna Mast.
“Some women feel attached to length because they think it makes them look younger, when in fact, it just hangs and doesn’t do anything to flatter or soften features. Long, heavy hair really pulls down the face. Lifting up layers and adding texture to frame the face will take years off.”
11. Reach for the pink lipstick.
Sure, red is fun. That said, Carmindy says it’s not the best choice if youthfulness is your goal – pink is a girl’s best friend.
“Dark shades will make lips recede. Use a clear or flesh-color lip liner to seal in the color without getting that ring-around-the-lip look.”
10. Get plenty of rest.
Beauty sleep isn’t a myth, says sleep expert Richard Shane, creator of the Sleep Easily Method.
“Lack of sleep dries out your skin, making wrinkles deeper and more visible. Collagen production increases during sleep, preventing sagging, and blood flow increases so your complexion looks better and younger.”
9. Reduce your sugar and salt intake.
Palinski-Wade reminds us that what we put into our bodies has a huge effect on what people see on the outside, so don’t ignore it.
“Added sugars and excessive salt intake can increase inflammation in the body, which can accelerate the aging process. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen in the skin. The end result is accelerated wrinkling and sagging of the skin, leading to an aged appearance.
8. Bangs might be a mistake.
You might think that bangs will mix up your look and keep things fun and fresh, but hairstylists Mast says you should take a breath and assess before jumping in with your scissors.
“Too often I see women with these awful, unflattering, boxy bangs that they have because they think it makes them look younger, when really it just ages them further. If you have bangs that suit you, the bangs will bring out your facial features and distract from your problem areas.”
7. Apply your blush correctly.
Placing blush just under your cheeks makes you look bony, rather than like you have high cheekbones, says Carmindy.
“Place it high on the apples of the cheeks and use a big fluffy powder brush to apply it in a nice natural flush. Small brushes blend on too much, and placing blush under the cheeks makes faces look too angular and severe.”
6. Whiten your teeth.
The whiter your teeth, the longer you look, and now it’s fairly affordable to have it done professionally or at home.
Dentist Nancy Rosen does recommend that if you decide to do it yourself you read and follow all of the directions on the box – you don’t want to mess with your chompers.
5. Paint your nails.
One study found that painted nails makes hands appear younger – and not only that, it’s fun and allows you to express your individual personality and passions.
No rules here!
4. Embrace the gray.
Mast says that “for some women, upkeep becomes impossible and you actually look younger and fresher with a full head of gray or white natural hair with a gloss over it, rather than fully covered. It depends on maintenance and the the time you are willing to spend.”
Add up all the hours you spend waiting on color and decide if you wouldn’t rather spend them somewhere else!
3. Let go of toxic relationships.
Your body and mind will thank you for kicking that stress to the curb – research shows that love releases oxytocin, which makes everyone feel good. It also lowers your blood pressure and improves blood flow, says Dr. Orloff.
“Positive relationships nurture the positive energy in you. Love and appreciation from others makes you happy, more relaxed, and more attractive.”
2. Wear your hair down.
Messy buns and ponytails might be easy, but Mast says they aren’t doing you any favors as far as a youthful appearance.
“If hair is too coiffed, there is a definite feeling of ‘I put a ton of effort into looking younger,’ versus something that is less tight, less uptight, and more casual with a feeling of effortlessness.”
1. Just say no.
Alcohol might take the edge off, but it has poor effects on our bodies at even a cellular level, according to several studies. You don’t have to quit altogether, says Palinski-Wade, but like with sugar and salt, you’ll want to watch your intake.
“Alcohol can dehydrate skin and increase inflammation, both of which can accelerate aging and give skin a dry, wrinkled appearance.”
I’m definitely going to add a few of these into my daily routine, how about you?
Tell us in the comments which tips are going to work for your life!