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