Contributed by our friend, Chris Barry, staff writer and senior editor for Zwivel
Everyone would like to look as youthful as they can for as long as they can, but no one is immune to the steady advancement of the clock. Sooner or later, age catches up to everyone. Fortunately, you can slow things down with a few simple changes in your lifestyle and habits. This article will give you some ideas that you can easily follow on your own for a younger look.
The sun is not your skin's friend. It causes wrinkles and discoloration, and plays a strong role in the development of skin cancer, too.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should apply sunscreen everyday to all skin that is not covered by clothing. Don't forget to apply it to your hands, feet, and the back of the neck. If you want some color in your face, try a good bronzer instead of spending hours in the sun.
If you tend to slouch, stand up straight and pull your shoulders backwards. This will help your midsection look tighter. Proper posture can make you look as much as ten pounds lighter, and helps make you look more confident as well.
Perform bent-over rolls, stretch your chest muscles, and exercise your shoulder blade muscles to improve your posture and unhunch your back.
3—Get Plenty of Sleep
Feeling exhausted? You’re not alone. In 2016, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 33% of American adults aren’t getting their required amount of sleep.
When you look tired, you invariably look older as well. Lack of sleep contributes to higher stress and anxiety levels, creating a vicious circle that adds to your years.
4—Eliminate Refined Sugar
Refined sugar is devoid of nutrients and full of calories. It can also be addictive, and causes something known as insulin spikes. Insulin spikes occurs when simple sugars such as table sugar, or sucrose, are consumed. The sugar floods the bloodstream, prompting the pancreas to release insulin to metabolize it. Blood sugar levels plummet, creating a vicious circle of sugar consumption and craving for more sugar.
Skin is supported by collagen and elastin. These compounds abound in young skin, which is why it's so firm and plump. Sugar links with collagen and elastin, creating undesirable by-products, which damage the two critical compounds so important to young-looking skin. It's hard for the body to repair the damage, too. In short, avoid refined sugar. There's really nothing sweet about it other than the taste. Enjoy the natural sugars found in fruits or raw honey instead.
5—Don't be a Stranger to the Dentist
Yellow or brownish teeth are a sure aging indicator. People with poor dental health are inclined not to smile as much or as wide as those with nice, white, healthy teeth. Visit your dentist at least once a year.
If your teeth aren't as white as they should be, natural teeth whitening treatments can help get rid of stubborn stains and discoloration.
Try brushing with a paste made of baking soda and lemon juice: put a generous amount of the paste on your toothbrush, and brush your teeth as you normally would. Don’t leave the paste on for more than 1-2 minutes though–the acidity in the lemon juice can potentially damage your enamel.
Then smile! Studies have shown that smiling people are assumed to be younger than scowling ones.
6—Wear a Correctly-Fitting Brassiere
It’s been shown that 80% of women aren't wearing a bra that fits them correctly. When the breasts are not held in place, it can look as though they are sagging, which is definitely associated with age. Most good department stores have female staff trained in the correct fitting procedures for brassieres.
Take the time to consult with one and then purchase the right kind of bra for you. Also keep in mind that styles, sizes, and bra shapes will change over the course a woman’s lifetime. Weight loss or gain, breastfeeding, and new exercise regimens have an impact on your ideal bra size–what might have been right for you ten years ago probably won’t be the best fit today.
7—Stay Active and Social
We're a social species so make sure you stay social and active with your friends and family. Smiling and laughing together, or even just sharing stories of pains and woe can go a long way towards making you feel happy and confident in yourself. Making a habit of meeting old friends for lunch or going for a walk in the park together is a great way to add fun to your life—and having fun takes years off your appearance.
8—Don't Try to Dress Like Your Son or Daughter
Dress for yourself. Feeling comfortable and confident in your outfit, goes much further than wearing the latest styles. Simple, classic clothing in colors that you like, without obvious branding, are great for staying timeless in your own fashion.
9—Use Caution with Cosmetic Enhancements
There is nothing wrong with enhancing your look with a bit of Botox or filler. But make sure you choose a physician experienced in their use, and don't overdo it. You want to subtly improve how you look so you can radiate confidence in your age and beauty.
10—Wear Your Hair Short
Both sexes tend to lose hair as they age. It's more noticeable in men, since they are prone to male-pattern baldness, but women may notice that they have much less head hair overall than they did when younger, too. Short hair will look thicker than long hair when that hair is thinning and scraggly. Find a shorter style that you like, and make sure it's flattering to your facial contours.
These are some easy ways to look younger. Also be sure to stay active mentally and socially. Try some of these suggestions yourself, starting today.
Chris Barry is a staff writer and senior editor for Zwivel. He has written stories on everything from motorcycle gangs in the Caribbean to traveling the USA with Ringo Starr. His articles have been published in such high – and sometimes low – profile publications as Vice, Maxim and The National Post.