According to one recent study, more than half of Americans (53%) feel that the last two years have aged them. While we can appreciate the beauty of embracing the aging process, the reality is that most of us would love to look younger than we really are.
While there are surgical procedures that can attempt to turn back the hands of time, you don’t have to go under the knife to look less than your age.
Today, we’re sharing the ultimate guide on how to look younger, with methods that are easy, affordable, and simple to try at home.
1. Drink More Water
Of all the anti-aging tips you’ve heard over the years, we’d venture to guess that drinking more water is the most oft-repeated one. While it can be exhausting to hear, this advice is truer than most people realize.
Think about it: The organs inside your body start to shut down if they don’t receive an adequate amount of water. If they’re susceptible to damage, your delicate skin is even more vulnerable. The signs of dehydration can make you look years older than you are, making your skin appear dry, wrinkled, and saggy.
You may also notice that your skin is more sensitive or irritated if you’re not getting enough water. While most healthcare providers recommend that women drink 11 cups of water and men drink 16 cups of water each day, it’s not as simple as that.
Factors like your life stage, body weight, and activity level will influence the amount your body needs. Use this easy hydration calculator to determine your true amount, and try to stick to it!
2. Use Sunscreen
Ah, sunscreen! You’ve also heard this piece of advice for years, with experts claiming it can give you healthy, young looking skin. We’re here to report that they were right.
Sun damage does more than increase your risk of skin cancer. The ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun damages your skin, causing wrinkles, sun spots, and dark areas to appear in affected areas, including your face.
Years ago, the idea of slathering SPF meant for your body onto your face might have sent skincare gurus into a tailspin. Thankfully, there are now plenty of facial sunscreens designed to blend beautifully under your makeup and offer all-day protection. Lather up from head to toe, even on cloudy days, to keep your skin smooth and protected.
3. Get Enough Sleep
How many hours of shut-eye do you get each night? If you’re like 70% of U.S. adults, it’s not enough. Blame it on that pesky blue light from our smartphones, those binge-worthy streaming shows, or the fact that there never seems to be enough hours in the day.
Either way, we’re staying up later and waking up earlier and it’s affecting more than just our appearance. Sleep deprivation can lead to a range of health issues, including:
- Weakened immunity
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Risk of heart disease
- Balance problems
It can also make you more susceptible to common illnesses, such as colds and the flu. Skin-wise, it leads to dark circles under your eyes, droopy eyelids, and can even cause more wrinkles.
If you find it hard to turn down at night, try shutting off your devices at least an hour before bed. Then, indulge in a nighttime routine that signals to your mind and body that rest is around the corner.
Pour a warm bath, perform your favorite skincare routine, and read a non-stimulating book. You’ll be counting sheep in no time!
4. Exercise More
You don’t have to start training for a marathon, or suddenly take up weightlifting. However, adding a moderate amount of exercise into your weekly schedule is a great way to prioritize healthy aging.
To see the most results from your efforts, focus on workouts that target your core, such as yoga. Here are a few simple core exercises to help you get started!
Another benefit of moving your body more? It also does wonders to improve your posture. Great posture not only helps you appear taller and thinner, but it can also take years off your look.
The only problem? Most of us spend hours each day slumped over our desks or phones. Over time, this creates a natural shape to our spine that’s more crouched than straight.
It will take conscious effort to practice your posture at first, but it should become second nature before long. It will also become easier to stand or sit up straighter the stronger your core becomes!
You can round out and amplify your workout and wellness routine by adding an anti-aging supplement to the regimen. Look for research-backed companies that are transparent with their ingredients, like Tru Niagen. Check out this Tru Niagen review to learn more.
5. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Did you know that you can actually eat your way to a younger-looking appearance? By choosing foods that are high in antioxidants, you can give your skin the boost it needs to stay taut, bright, and healthy. They’ll also give you that coveted glow that everyone wants!
Antioxidants help promote the production of healthy collagen in your skin. They can also help it fight free radicals and ward off sun damage. If you suffer from inflammatory conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, or rosacea, they can act as beneficial, skin-calming agents.
How do you know which foods to pick? You can’t go wrong with fruits and veggies, specifically superfood berries! Some of the most delicious and antioxidant-rich ones around include:
- Goji berries
Add a cup to your morning yogurt, or sprinkle them into your favorite healthy muffin recipe. You can even snack on fresh or frozen berries right out of the container! Don’t forget to add plenty of fresh veggies to the mix, such as baby carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery.
At the same time, it’s just as important to know which foods to avoid. If possible, steer clear of overly-processed foods and shop the perimeter of your grocery store, instead. These items tend to be high in processed sugar, which glycates and stiffens the collagen in your skin.
6. Create a Skincare Routine
Hop on any influencer’s social media page, and you’re bound to find a bevy of must-have skincare tips guaranteed to give you the complexion of your dreams. While these posts are fun to browse, it’s important to take them with a grain of salt.
What works for one person isn’t promised to work for you. Instead of blindly following their product recommendations, take the time to establish a skincare routine that’s designed to cater to your unique skin properties.
Read reviews, scan labels, and reach out to brand consultants to learn whether or not a specific product will benefit you. While the exact items you choose will vary, a solid skincare routine will include these basic steps:
- Sunscreen (daytime)
That’s it! If you’re concerned about aging, look for products that advertise anti-aging properties. You can also purchase supplementary products, such as masks, essences, and serums, that are marketed specifically for this purpose.
7. Stop Smoking
If you’re looking for a sign to stop smoking, this is it. Not only is it proven to increase your risk of lung cancer, but it can also make you look way older than you are.
The nicotine contained in cigarettes reduces blood flow to your skin. At the same time, carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen within it. This is a two-punch combination that does nothing for your complexion.
You’ll find that smoking causes your skin to appear dry, dull, and paler than normal. This habit also inhibits your skin’s natural production of Vitamin C, which it needs to fight off free radical formation.
The bottom line? Ditch the habit. If you need assistance with this step, here is some guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
8. Smile More
This might sound like a bogus tip, but it’s rooted in research! Studies show that people perceive those who smile more as being years younger than their age.
In one study, German researchers asked people to look at 171 images of young, middle-aged, and older people.
In some of the images, the subjects were smiling. In others, they had a disgusted or upset look on their faces. Then, there were some images in which the subjects had a blank expression that didn’t reveal any emotion at all.
Results showed that participants guessed the ages of the smiling subjects as lower than the others. Even if you have to fake it on a particularly stressful day, try to turn the corners of your mouth upward as often as possible. Soon, you’ll start to feel it, too!
Learn How to Look Younger
We’re all for embracing the process of time. Aging is a beautiful and natural evolution that should be celebrated at every turn! Still, looking younger can boost your confidence, enhance your wellbeing, and keep you feeling your best for years.
Now that you know how to look younger, you can start putting these steps into practice. They don’t cost a lot, they’re easy to do, and they’ll benefit your body both inside and out.
In the meantime, we’re here to keep you updated on all the tips you need. Check out our Lifestyle section for more tips!