Though we can’t exactly escape the aging process, that doesn’t mean we can’t put up a good fight. Get ready for battle with the help of these anti-aging tips that will slow down the clock no matter what your age.
Step 1: Work it out
As spa owner Lidya Wati points out, staying active is key to slowing down the clock, both physically and mentally. “Exercise to improve [your] energy level and keep the mind sharp,” she says. “’Use it or lose it’ may sound like a cliche, but it’s true in the case of the brain.”
Actress and fashion editor Margaret Luce agrees, crediting her slim shape to a regular exercise regimen including power walks, runs and Pilates. Looking for a quick and cheap face lift? Luce has a trick for that, too — simply hang upside down for about five to 10 minutes for a lifting and firming effect.
Step 2: Eat (and drink!) right
Fast food can be tempting when you’re short on time, but an unhealthy diet will only hurt your appearance in the long run. That’s why skin experts place so much importance on food consumption.
“Focus on getting more fruits and vegetables, and reduce [your] sugar intake and the amount of fat and carbohydrate consumption as you age,” Wati says. “Complement your diet with vitamins and supplements. Also, drink plenty of water. Make sure you get eight, 8-ounce glasses of water every day.”
Why is hydrating so important? Licensed esthetician Rachael Pagano explains: “Skin is the first organ to give its water to other organs that need it,” she says. “So keep hydrated for your organs, but also for your skin.”
Got the munchies? Nix that candy bar for a healthier, more skin-friendly option. Certified nutritional therapy practitioner and nutritionist Margaux J. Rathbun recommends eating more raw fruits and veggies such as grapefruit, kale, strawberries, cucumbers and bananas.
“Start sprinkling chia seeds, walnuts and ground flax seed on your meals for some added Omega-3 fatty acids,” she says. “You should also make it a point to limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption, as these can dry out your skin.”
When it comes to alcohol, moderation is key. If you’re opting for a glass of wine, licensed esthetician Rachael Pagano suggests drinking red wine, since there are higher levels of antioxidants in red wine than white.
Step 3: Butt out
Another big no-no — not just when it comes to aging, but for your overall health — is to nix the nicotine. According to dermatologic surgeon Dr. W. Patrick Davey, smoking is one of the worst offenders when it comes to aging.
“Skin aging is caused by intrinsic and extrinsic factors,” he explains. “Intrinsically as we age we develop fine wrinkles, thinner skin, loss of underlying fat, dry skin, inability to sweat sufficiently to cool the skin, nail thinning and hair loss. The extrinsic factors that accelerate this process are sun exposure, smoking, repetitive facial expressions, sleeping positions and gravity. Of these extrinsic factors, the two most damaging are sun exposure and smoking, both of which we can control.”
Step 4: Made in the shade
Sun damage is one of the leading causes of aging skin. “Excessive UV exposure breaks down the collagen in the skin, causing wrinkles and loss of elasticity, not to mention the risk of cancer,” Wati says.
The solution? Use sun protection daily.
Step 5: Take time for yourself
Treat your body right, and it will return the favor.
Certified makeup artist Josephine Fusco recommends starting with your skin.
“A skin care regimen is imperative,” Fusco says. “One of the best anti-aging products on the market that I always try to push for my clients to use is a serum. Serums are a fantastic way to slow down the aging process of the skin — they penetrate deep into the layers of the skin and literally turn back the hands of time on the face.”
Another key ingredient toward achieving a youthful glow throughout the decades? Get your ZZZs.
“Sleep well. Six to eight hours of sleep daily is essential to restore energy and maintain overall health,” Wati says.
Step 6: Get happy
Happiness goes a long way in terms of health and, ultimately, aging.
“The happier we are, the healthier we will be — and that will bring the glow of youth to anyone of any age,” Wati says.
Whether or not you’re religious, Wati recommends practicing some sort of spirituality to help you find that happiness.
“Spirituality, which may or may not be religion-based, helps us to let go, forgive and be adaptable. It alleviates emotional stress, which in turn promotes well-being and physical health. The connection between body, mind and spirit is undeniable. The more we are in touch with our higher self, the more fulfilling and happier we will be.”