Aging is inescapable but it is also a glorious thing, you have done the work, you have learned many of life’s lessons now you can sit back and enjoy life without all that youthful angst and uncertainty.
We all want to look beautiful, and have probably read up on beauty tips such as using more olive oil for improved skin care, changing our makeup products, drinking more green tea for health, and lots of lukewarm water for beautiful skin, but which actually work? In this article, we delve into simple things you can do to look and consequently feel great. So, why not age gracefully and beautifully and maybe get back that natural glow?
1. Use Sunscreen
While the sun nourishes us with vitamin D, it also has harmful ultraviolet rays which can potentially lead to skin cancer. Some dermatologists say that 90 percent of dark spots, wrinkles, and sagging are as a result of sun exposure.
This is because as we get older the structural fiber of the skin known as collagen begins to degenerate. Exposure to the sun accelerates this degeneration.
Therefore, it is advisable on a hot day to make sure to apply sunscreen generously. Before going out, wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your skin.
Regular moisturizing will do wonders to the smoothness and elasticity of your skin. Leaving it protected against wrinkles and scarring and keeping it soft and touchable.
On many occasions, we forget to pay attention to the hands and focus purely on the face, which leads to visible signs of aging on the hands. To avoid this, apply a generous amount of sunscreen in the morning and a hand cream that has retinoid at the end of the day.
2. Use Retinoid to Reduce Wrinkles
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A. Most dermatologists recommend it because of its anti-aging effects. It increases the production of collagen which prevents fine lines. It is also responsible for the development of new blood vessels leading to a healthy rosy skin.
3. Exercise Regularly and Practice Good Posture
The benefits of exercise are extensive. Among them are the feel-good hormones which are produced when we exercise: endorphins. These make us happier and improve our energy levels.
Exercise is also a great way to build muscle. The older we get, the more muscle we lose; this is as a result of degeneration. However, we can remedy this through resistance training which increases mass and strength.
Staying active does not have to involve the gym. You can go for a walk or take the stairs instead of the elevator, play with your children or grandchildren, or even attend yoga sessions. These activities keep your heart rate up and keep you looking young and feeling healthy.
Exercise is also great for the skin because it increases the blood flow to the cells including skin cells hence nourishing them. At the same time, the blood flow carries away the waste products from the cells.This process, therefore, cleanses the skin.
Exercise helps straighten up your posture by reversing the bone loss that occurs as we age. Weight training and resistance exercise help you develop a strong back and shoulders.
This bone loss starts occurring after you are 40 years old. When your shoulders are hunched and your head is down, people interpret this to mean that you are unhappy. A good, strong posture, on the other hand, is seen as confident, open, and energetic.
Also, Vitamin D plays a role in the regulation of aging tissue, the skin being one of them.
4. Watch Your Diet
Diet plays a huge part in our appearance, health, and our mood. It is important that we pay attention to this part of our lives. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low in sugar is highly advisable.
This is in contrast to a diet that is rich in fatty foods and processed sugars, which will leave you feeling lethargic and accelerates aging. Vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants which reverse the signs of aging.
Including good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in such foods as walnuts, salmon, and tuna are great for protecting your skin and making you look younger.
According to a study done on bone loss, taking a certain prescribed amount of vitamin D and calcium daily for postmenopausal women helps reduce the bone loss rate by almost half. This, therefore, strengthens and straightens your posture.
5. Avoid Cigarettes
According to a report by the Mayo Clinic, smoking significantly speeds up the aging process.The chemicals infused in the cigarettes have also been known to damage the skin fiber, collagen and reduce the skin’s elasticity. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid smoking cigarettes
6. Maintain a Positive Attitude
According to a study from Yale University, people who viewed aging positively lived 7.5 years longer than those who approached it with a negative attitude.
To reiterate this, according to the Journal of American Medical Association, seniors who viewed aging positively (wisdom and overall satisfaction) are 40 percent more likely to recover from a disability than those who see it as synonymous to helplessness. The more you embrace getting older and appreciate its positive aspects the happier you are and the younger you look
7. Revise Your Style
Sometimes, it’s difficult to let go of a style of hair or dressing that has always worked for you since it feels comfortable and familiar but trying out new styles may surprise you and make you feel younger. In a study that was conducted in 2010, women who cut or colored their hair thought they appeared younger and had lower blood pressure.
When it comes to hair color, some people prefer coloring while others embrace their gray. Your gray hair can look sophisticated with just the right cut and just the right hairdresser to execute it. Dark hair causes your features to look severe while a lighter blonder color softens your appearance.
Hormonal changes that occur during menopause can cause your hair to become thin and brittle; however, coloring it can bulk it up. This is because the hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching agents causes the hair shaft to swell making it appear thicker.
8. Visit Your Dentist
Over time our teeth discolor due to wine stains, coffee, tea or smoking. A visit to your dentist will have your teeth whiter and looking great in no time. Other than aesthetic reasons, other age-related issues such as natural recession of the gums which causes teeth to look longer may occur.
For this reason, it is advisable to go for a dental check-up twice a year. It is also advisable to brush regularly and floss. Drinking milk and taking calcium supplements is also a good way to maintain your teeth.
9. Get Enough Sleep
In the high paced world that we live in, the value of sleep is overlooked. The need to sleep is numbed down by another cup of coffee. Sleeping poorly will not only show visible signs of aging on your face, but it will also make you perceive yourself as being less attractive.
This is according to a study conducted in 2015 in the Clinical and Experimental Dermatology journal. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the time you spend sleeping should be 9 hours every night.
When compared to those who had less than 5 hours of sleep. women who slept 7-9 hours had skin that bounced back better from exposure to ultraviolet rays.
This indicates that the more hours of sleep you get the more time your skin has to recover from the negative effects of the sun hence delaying the aging of process. It turns out the term beauty sleep is not a mythical concept after all.
While you are asleep, your body will release a hormone that aids in growth which in turn restores collagen and elastin, which are the main constituents in the essential building blocks of young, glowing skin.
According to James Maas, Ph.D., psychology Professor at Cornell University and ‘Power Sleep’ author, effects of sleep deprivation have been seen to be high cortisol and glucose levels which in turn lead to hypertension and type II diabetes which accelerates aging.
He recommends 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep. “Skin cells turn over more quickly when you sleep,” says Jeanine Downie, MD, director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey, and coauthor of Beautiful Skin of Color.
“If you don’t get enough sleep, your skin won’t renew itself and will start looking dull—especially as you age, when cell turnover is slowing down.” Skin temperature also rises when you sleep, allowing topical treatments to penetrate the skin more effectively than they do during the day.
10. Drink Plenty of Water
‘Water is life’ is a commonly used phrase which happens to be very accurate. Water is the way to look and feel youthful. Drinking plenty of water daily nourishes the skin by keeping it moist and your nails and hair looking healthy and soft. Other than drinking you can spray your hair with some water daily to keep it healthy and moisturized.
In addition, water also aids in smooth digestion. When combined with herbal teas it helps flush toxins out of the body leaving you feeling reenergized. When you do not take enough water, your skin becomes flaky and dry leading to early aging.
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On a hot day, apply sunscreen generously, and wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your skin.
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