10 Lifestyle Changes To Keep You Looking Young
Written By: Melissa Fiorenza
Unless your family traditions include the generational passing down of a secret map to a real live, fully functioning, non-GMO fountain of youth, you’re like everyone else in this world: getting older every freakin’ day. But fortunately for those of us who prefer to look younger than we are, there are plenty of ways to accomplish that feat that don’t involve elusive fountains, surgical needles, or patent-pending mud masks with questionable ingredients. Check it:
1. Use sun protection ALL YEAR ROUND.
“The sun is the most powerful energy source; why would you want it beating against the only thing protecting your body?” says Dr. Ben Johnson, MD, founder of holistic beauty brand Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare. “Anytime your skin is overexposed to the sun, it has to work overtime to try to protect itself, which can cause it to weaken and therefore, create sun spots, aging skin, and wrinkles.” Opt for a lightweight SPF that wears beautifully under makeup and never feels greasy, he says. His pick: Osmosis Skincare's Protect Ultra Sheer SPF 30 Moisturizer ($30). “This sheer SPF 30 is gluten free and vegan, giving you ultimate protection with zinc oxide. Witch hazel, sunflower oil and grapefruit oil treat your skin to light hydration, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties.”
2. Don’t pick your pimples.
Let those pesky breakouts come out on their own or use natural products to help eliminate them, advises Dr. Johnson. “Anytime you pick or pull at your skin you’re causing damage and creating irritation, scars, and, yes, even wrinkles!”
3. Sleep when you’re tired.
You’d never guess Terré Holmes’ age based on her youthful looks, but the transformational speaker and bestselling author of Love Lessons for Single Girls is happy to share her secrets: “When I’m tired, I sleep. It sounds simple, but most people fight sleep, get very little and look exhausted all of the time,” she says. “I have a cousin who teases me even today. She says when we were younger, I would tell her I was going into the house for a minute and she would come in an hour later to find me sleeping. The funny thing is, whenever I feel the urge, even today, I'll find a place to rest my body. Even if it means catching a quick nap in the car.”
4. Eliminate stress whenever you can.
Holmes told us that for any job, relationship, or situation that brings her high levels of unnecessary stress, either she finds a way to decrease the stress or she eliminates the problem. “When I worked as a classroom teacher more than 5 years ago, I visited my doctor’s office for routine visits more than once and my blood pressure was so high, that my doctor wouldn't let me leave her office. Teaching was stressful for me and I had to choose it or me. I chose me.”
5. Audit your diet through a scientific lens.
Taking out the foods you are especially sensitive to will keep you looking years younger, explains Maggie Berghoff, a licensed nurse practitioner, functional medicine clinician, and celebrity health expert. “Your skin will glow, the whites in your eyes will shine, and the bloat will be banished. You can figure this out by getting a simple blood draw.” Her top choice of labs for this: Elisa ACT/LRA.
6. Drink your H20 — and cut back on the lattes.
You’ve no doubt heard before that drinking pure water is perhaps the best thing to do for more hydrated skin. Well, more hydrated skin = youthful looks. “Our body is 65% water, and therefore drinking 6-8 8 oz glasses of water per day is super important to keeping your skin hydrated and smooth,” says RealSelf Contributor Dr. Anthony Youn. Avoid drinking too much caffeine and alcohol, he adds, which can dehydrate you and cause your skin to get drier.
7. Get enough of the right kind of vitamins.
Go for the letter C. “Vitamin C is a great antioxidant for the skin, both topically and orally,” explains Dr. Youn. “It's the easiest and least expensive one to purchase in serum form (just make sure the bottle doesn't let in sunlight which could oxidize it) and easy to get with so many popular fruits (like citrus fruits).” It also is important for the structure of the collagen of the skin, he adds.
8. Increase joy.
Easier said than done, right? Not exactly! Certified life coach Jennifer Bauer says that a simple way to infuse joy into your everyday without breaking the bank is to give yourself mini-vacations via your senses. “List at least five things for each of your favorite sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures. Find a way to incorporate them into your day, whether that's playing the sound of the ocean while working on a work presentation or lighting a citrus candle when paying your bills,” she says. “Giving yourself breaks throughout the day to enjoy simple pleasures with all of your senses ground you in the present moment and adds to your happiness.”
9. Breathe better to oxygenate the cells.
Shannon Dunn, eco beauty editor, and Green Your Routine life-stylist and coach at ecobeautyeditor.com says, “While yoga is a fabulous way to focus on our breathing, there are simple techniques that can be done to help us move from chest breathing to proper diaphragm breathing. When we breathe more deeply, our whole body is affected in positive ways—including cell oxygenation.” It can also help us to become more calm. Remember, stress directly affects how quickly we age. Research out of Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital showed prolonged stress and anxiety aged women prematurely by approximately six years, she says.
10. Drink veGgIe juices.
While drinking water is absolutely critical, Dunn is also a big advocate of regularly drinking cold-pressed organic vegetable juices. These juices are brimming with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which can be quickly absorbed by the body, she says. “I follow an 80/20 rule—80 percent vegetables, 20 percent fruit. Try silica-rich cucumber and Vitamin C-rich pineapple. I have experienced great results with my skin by drinking these juices, alongside other greens.”