Health & Wellness Articles

5 Healthy Habits That Fight the Signs of Aging

How to Maintain a Youthful Appearance

496SHARES
Since I turned 40 this year, the passage of time has weighed heavily on my mind. While I certainly don’t want to be 21 again, I wouldn't mind looking more youthful. But the anti-aging creams and surgical procedures that are often promoted as the only ways to ward off the hands of time freak me out. I've always believed that treating your body well and caring for your complexion throughout your life will have a greater effect on how well you age than a cream or potion ever will. And a little research proved that my hunch was right after all. You can look younger, healthier and more vibrant without going under the knife or spending hundreds of dollars on cosmetics. Here's how.

Eat Right: Healthy Skin Starts with Healthy Eating
You really are what you eat. Every cell in your body is made from the foods you eat, so why not feed your body high-quality, nutritious foods for best results? After all, your diet has a major impact on the overall health of your body, inside and out. If you need motivation to eat more fruits and vegetables, caring about your appearance may just be the push you need to fill your plate with more plant foods.

Nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamin C, selenium and zinc are abundant in fresh produce, while vitamin E is found in healthy nuts and seeds. These antioxidants help increase cellular regeneration and the production of elastin and collagen, keeping your skin firm and wrinkle-free. Essential fatty acids, such as those found in flaxseed and fatty fish, help your skin function properly and aid in tissue repair. Bottom line: If it's a whole food, it's good for both your body and your skin.

Wear Sunscreen: The Perfect Anti-Aging Cream
Too much sun exposure can damage your skin, causing wrinkles, sun spots, uneven tone, and dryness—not exactly the picture of youth. If you're sensitive to the sun or spend more than 10-15 minutes outside most days (the amount recommended you spend outside without sunscreen for vitamin D synthesis), then sunscreen is a must.

Dermatologists recommend applying SPF 15 (or greater) sunscreen every day, even in the winter. For maximum anti-aging benefits, make sure to apply sunscreen to your ears, neck, décolletage and hands, too. If looking younger is important to you, then add sunscreen to your beauty regimen. As a bonus, it also moisturizes your skin!

Stay Hydrated: Water is the Fountain of Youth
Drinking lots of water is one of the easiest ways to look (and feel) your best. Water is needed for almost every body process, including perspiration and the removal of waste products. Water also keeps the skin moist, plump and supple. Fine lines and wrinkles appear more pronounced when you are dehydrated, so make sure you meet your daily quota—that's about eight cups a day (or equivalent).

Drink Less: Alcohol Ages You
Alcohol may have some health benefits according to recent research, but it could be detrimental to your appearance. Drinking alcohol causes dehydration and depletes your body of valuable vitamins and minerals. When you drink alcohol,  your liver has to work extra hard to eliminate the toxins from your body, but when you cut down or eliminate alcohol, your body can flush out impurities more efficiently—resulting in clearer skin and a rosier complexion.

Don't Smoke: Tobacco Tarnishes Your Skin
Ever heard of smoker’s face? This term, added to the medical dictionary in 1985, describes the telltale characteristics that make smokers look older than they really are: grey skin, gauntness, and wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, and deep lines in the cheeks. If all the other health problems related to smoking haven’t made you quit yet, maybe vanity will.

Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 toxins, many of which are absorbed directly into the skin. Smoking causes the blood vessels in the top layers of the skin to constrict, reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood and causing a sickly pallor. Smoking causes the skin to thin due to poor circulation, making lines and wrinkles more noticeable. Smoking also reduces the production of collagen, which is needed to keep the skin plump and firm. One study of 25 sets of identical twins (one a lifelong smoker, the other a non-smoker) by British researchers at St. Thomas’s Hospital found that the skin of the smoker was 25 percent thinner than the non-smoker’s. In a few cases the skin was up to 40 percent thinner. Your appearance is just one of the many reasons why you shouldn't smoke, so take steps to quit today.


Aging is inevitable, but looking older doesn’t have to be. While a certain amount of how your skin ages is due to genetic factors beyond your control, just knowing I can help keep Father Time at bay with a healthy lifestyle makes me feel better about the future. Bring on the 40s—I'm ready to put my best face forward! Are you?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
Page 1 of 1  
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
496SHARES

Member Comments

  • Common sense stuff but it is nice to be reminded
  • Don't drink or smoke so I'm ahead of the game.
  • Best advice - for a woman is to stop wearing makeup completely. None of it is good for your skin. Well into my 50s I had "perfect Irish skin" because all I used was a mild soap and Nivea. I also didn't go out in the sun because I am photophobic. My skin didn't age until I had to take medications. That and natural aging (thinning skin) did it and that didn't happen until age 62. Before then I was "lucky" because people thought I was 15-20 years younger. Always nice - to look younger but have the "wisdom" (questionable) of age.
  • ISAACKIRKLAND
    After 30's, most people face the problem of aging skin. To fight with this problem one can use an anti aging cream like https://www.image
    skincare.com/
    by-concern/an
    ti-aging/tota
    l-repair-cr.html to maintain their healthy skin. Additional to this, one can also go for different supplements high in protein content which is beneficial for healthy skin.
  • Thank you for your very beautiful informative healthy aging..inside and out..I agree the more plant food I eat the more my skin glows
  • I would add exercise regularly, live a relaxed lifestyle, get plenty of sleep, and get involved with positive people instead of negative people to the greatest extent possible. Faith in God is a good means toward having a positive attitude and being involved with a good Christian church will help you meet positive people. I wear a wide-brimmed (usually cotton) hat and a shirt that at least covers my shoulders instead of wearing sunscreen; the hat also protects my eyes from UV rays, and it's just nice to have my face in the shade all the time.
  • KIMMY6611
    RWOMMACK. I'm very interested in this product. Do you use anything on your skin in addition to this such as sunscreen or vitamin c?
  • RWOMMACK
    @CRISTINA0115 Yes it helps, i have tried it like 3 years ago and iím still using it. remember that you can no expect any miracles when you are ageing, especially donít trust any creams, serums etc. You need solve the problem from inside, not outside. This is one of a few things that helps and trust me I've tried millions of them because i need to look good/young for my job. And the brand you are talking about is great iím using the same. It is expensive, but quality products are not cheap and this is your beauty and health we are talking about so donít be cheap.
  • CRISTINA0115
    I'm a 32-year-old women, and already noticing forehead wrinkles and little lines beneath my eyes. I want to know what my real options are. This hurts me particularly because my beauty and especially my skin is really important for me (it is by far the part of me that I get the most physical compliments on). I think botox looks horrid and i reject it. I'm 32 for God's sake! I'm too young to be old! Has anyone here heard of this www.certifiedphyt
    oceramides.com brand? Read a lot good reviews on the internet. Does it really help?
  • ZINGWOOD
    I like your blog and really appreciate to keep writing
    and i follow your blogs continuously.....
    .

    i have one more content to related your blog, hope to like this
    http://zingwood
    .com/4-wrong-
    habits-that-w
    ould-damage-your-skin/
  • ZINGWOOD
    I like your blog and really appreciate to keep writing
    and i follow your blogs continuously.....
    .

    i have one more content to related your blog, hope to like this
    http://zingwood
    .com/4-wrong-
    habits-that-w
    ould-damage-your-skin/
  • I'm not concerned about looking younger but I've been drinking water and wearing moisturizer with SPF 15 for years and it definitely helps. I also consume alcohol infrequently.
  • I have to laugh as I read this! Are people who are not quite 40 and in their 40's really concerned about looking older? I am 71 and hope to live at least into my 90's and my aging skin is the absolute last thing I worry about.
  • Then article has great suggestions for improving ones healthy, But are we REALLY that concerned with not looking our age. My Grandmother looked old because she lived a long and full life the laugh lines were apparent on her face as were the worry she carried for our family that is not a bad thing it shows that she lived. I can also see the stress printed on my mothers face and i see the joy. Honestly when i see older people with no lines or wrinkles i think your have to have led a very boring life if you have never laughed and cried and worried and celebrated enough to make a visible impact on your face and soul. There is a reason that the Catholic church declared Vanity one of the seven "Deadly" sins.

About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

x Lose 10 Pounds by September 2! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.