While aging is a natural part of life, it’s also natural to want to look and feel younger at any age. If you are looking to age gracefully and in good health, here are 11 ways to look and feel younger no matter how old you are:
Limit your sun exposure
The no. 1 contributor to visible signs of aging is exposure to UV rays, which includes good old sunshine as well as tanning beds. To limit your sun exposure, try to stay in the shade as much as possible, especially during peak hours when the sun is the strongest (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Cover up with SPF clothing, hats, and sunglasses, and apply SPF 30 or higher to all your exposed skin. Even if you are sitting inside all day, you should be wearing anti-aging sunscreen on your face and neck to fight the signs of aging!
Moisturize your face
As we age, our skin’s oil production slows down, causing our faces to become dry and dehydrated. Unfortunately, dry skin emphasizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making you look older. To reverse these effects, try an anti-aging face mask, layer on hydrating toners and serums, and then top them off with a thicker moisturizer both morning and night. This will lock in both oils and water and help to prevent moisture loss throughout the day.
Speaking of hydration, you’ll want to make sure that your body is getting enough water from the inside out as well as the outside in — skincare products will only do so much good if you’re already dehydrated! Drinking enough water will help your joints stay lubricated and cushioned and encourages natural detoxification through sweating and bowel movements. It also aids in digestion, helps regulate your body temperature, and maintains your electrolyte balance. All of this will help you feel younger and healthier every day.
Get enough sleep
A bad night’s sleep will instantly make you look older, and chronic sleep deprivation can hasten the aging process. To stop this from happening, make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night: Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night, but some people need even more. Practice good nighttime habits to help yourself fall asleep and stay asleep, such as not drinking caffeine after lunch and putting away screens at least an hour before bed.
Exercise has many benefits for helping you to look and feel younger. Cardio keeps your heart and lungs strong, while strength training fights bone loss from osteoporosis. Exercise also increases blood flow to your skin, which ensures that it’s getting enough nutrients and helps to improve your appearance. Just be sure to wash the sweat off right after exercising; if you leave that bacteria sitting on your skin, it can lead to breakouts and irritation.
Eat a well-balanced diet
You are what you eat, and your diet plays a major role in how you look and feel. If you want to feel your best, then follow a well-balanced diet that is full of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. You should especially prioritize fruits and vegetables, which are low in calories but high in nutrients.
Watch out for inflammatory food and drinks
On the subject of your diet, there are some items that encourage inflammation in the body and, thus, should be avoided when possible. Common culprits include caffeine, alcohol, fried and fatty foods, and foods high in sodium and/or sugar. It’s fine to indulge in these a little bit, but you should limit your consumption overall to reduce inflammation in your body and help yourself look and feel younger.
Consider taking supplements
Not all supplements are backed by science, but it is true that we need certain amounts of vitamins and minerals in order to stay in our best health. Some people definitely have nutrient deficiencies — for instance, vegetarians often lack iron since they don’t eat meat and vegans need B12 — and, in these cases, taking a supplement can be very beneficial. If you think that you might be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test to establish your baseline levels before you start self-medicating at home.
Avoid tobacco and nicotine
Besides wearing sunscreen, the next best thing you can do to slow premature aging is to stop smoking and using tobacco. While they were originally hailed as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, the fact is that e-cigarettes (vapes) still contain nicotine and can be just as damaging to your skin and body. If you’d like to stop smoking or using tobacco products, seek out resources for quitting, like those provided by the CDC, to start your quitting journey today.
Manage your stress
Chronic stress can cause persistent changes in hormone levels that increase inflammation, trigger health problems, and lead to premature aging. While it’s easier said than done, managing your stress will help you to look and feel younger and combat the signs. There are many different stress management techniques, and you may need to experiment to figure out which ones work best for you, whether that’s taking a long bath or going for a walk around the neighborhood.
Boost your mental health
Having good mental health will help you feel younger and also boost your physical health. Many of the other tips we listed here, including exercising regularly and managing stress, will support your mental health. There are also plenty of other things that you can do to boost your mental health even more, including socializing with friends and family and seeing a therapist regularly. Taking care of your mental health will help you to live your best life both now and in the future.
What are your other top tips for looking and feeling younger? What other anti-aging strategies are you pursuing? Let us know in the comments below!