For some people, looking fantastic may be effortless, especially if they’re young and have spectacular genes. For those of us “of a certain age,” looking amazing takes a bit of work. Here are a few tips to help you look your best at any age:
1. Drink Green Tea. Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a powerful anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants protect our bodies from free radicals that damage our cells and contribute to aging. Studies show that green tea helps skin resist sun damage. It also helps your metabolism, which can help you lose weight. Green tea can also keep adult acne in check, because it kills acne causing bacteria within the digestive tract. Drink at least 2, eight oz. cups each day to get the benefits.
2. Reduce Your Sugar Intake. If you cut your sugar intake by half your skin will be better for it. Sugar ages your skin via a process called glycation wherein sugar molecules attach to the collagen and elastin in our skin, forming harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products or AGES. These ages accumulate, making the skin inflexible which leads to wrinkles. Cut way back and you’ll slow down the aging process and keep your skin supple. Some suggestions: Omit sodas and other sugary drinks. (Try tea instead!) Use Stevia in place of white sugar in your coffee or tea.
3. Cut Back On Processed Foods. Chemicals and other unhealthful substances in processed foods compromise your health and wellbeing. You’re much better off eating foods in their natural state, rather than foods laden with additives and packaged and preserved. By “natural state” I mean foods that are what they are and that can go bad if you don’t eat them in a timely fashion: Eggs, chicken, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, grains, etc. without all the additives. Cook more meals yourself, using whole foods, and you’re going to be feeding your body better nutrition. Great nutrition over a period of time can’t help but show up in a positive way.
4. Add Gelatin To Your Diet. Unflavored gelatin comes in packs in the baked good section of your supermarket. It’s inexpensive and it’s a wonderful daily addition to the diet, because plumps the skin due to its collagen content. It also protects against photo aging. Studies show that eating gelatin daily protects the skin from collagen loss. Dissolve a packet in a little cold water and then add to your hot morning drink. When added to coffee or tea, you won’t even taste it, but after a few weeks, you’ll notice fine lines and wrinkles diminishing.
5. Eat More Healthy Fats. Used to be that fat was a no-no for those of us trying to stay slim. But we’ve learned that omitting fats entirely leads to dry skin and other problems. Fats (the right kinds!) in moderation are very beneficial. They help our skin to stay smooth and supple. Try adding almonds and walnuts, (just a handful a day) and avocados to your diet for a boost to your skin. And cook with olive oil and coconut oil. Also, take fish oil or flaxseed oil capsules daily to get your Omega 3s, which will benefit your skin and help keep your heart healthy.
6. Work Up A Sweat Regularly. Running, hiking, stair-climbing and jumping rope are all low cost good ways to get your heart rate up and get you sweating. Not only is this beneficial for your heart, but it will also help you burn calories, rev up your metabolism and tone your muscles. An added benefit: the increased heart rate and sweating are a boon to the skin. The increased blood flow carries nutrients to the tissues and the sweating releases toxins, both of which result in glowing skin.
One caveat: If you’re prone to breaking out, be sure to shower quickly after sweating, because the sweat attracts bacteria that can cause acne if left sitting on the skin too long.
7. Protect Your Skin From The Sun. The sun is one of our biggest foes when it comes to aging well. Sun exposure leads to blotches and wrinkles and if you don’t protect your skin you’re going to age faster than you need to. Always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when you’re going outside. For added protection, wear a hat, too. Your skin will maintain its elasticity and vibrancy if you protect it.
8. Exfoliate. When we’re young our skin sloughs off dead cells quickly. As we age, that process slows down and the skin needs a bit of help to remove the dead cells and reveal the new. When you exfoliate regularly, your skin will look younger and clearer. You can do with a washcloth, buff puff or a brush. Or you may choose to use a product made for exfoliating such as a gel or a cream with fine grains. How often and how vigorously you do is up to you. Let your skin’s response be your guide. Don’t scrub too hard, of course, or you may damage your skin, but you should be a slightly red for a few minutes after you scrub. Exfoliating not only helps remove dead cells, it also brings nutrients to the new cells as it increases blood flow to the area. It makes the skin more receptive to whatever moisturizer you use afterward, so the products can work more effectively. Exfoliating regularly will improve the quality of your skin and make it look more vibrant.
9. Floss Daily. Years ago my dental hygienist told me that flossing every day would prevent ugly plaque build up between the teeth. She explained that it takes 24 hours for the plaque to calcify. Floss every 24 hours, you’ll remove it before it has a chance to harden and become difficult to remove. Flossing every day will keep your smile sparkling. An added benefit: The plaque the builds up in teeth is associated with the plaque that can build up in arteries. So flossing is also good for your body, too!
10. Get Your Rest. We know that getting enough sleep helps us look better, hence the term, “beauty sleep,” but did you know if can also keep you from gaining weight? According to WebMD there are over 24 studies that have determined a link between weight gain and lack of sleep. When we’re fatigued we have less energy to exercise and we tend to eat more to compensate for that lack of energy. Sleep deprivation can also slow the metabolism.
Our skin thrives when we have adequate rest, and it looks unhealthy when we don’t, because it’s during sleep that tissue repair takes place. Collagen production increases during sleep. Try to get 7 to 8 hours a night and you’ll be more beautiful and perhaps a bit slimmer, too.
11. Sleep On Your Back. If you don’t naturally sleep on your back this can be challenging, but the back is the absolute best position for your face and also for your chest area. Sleeping on your side, with your face pressed into the pillow can lead to lines that over time become permanent. You can also develop a crease on your chest between your breasts. Sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated and you’ll reduce puffiness around the eyes and develop fewer lines on your face.
12. Have Sex Regularly. Frequent sex within a healthy relationship is great for the body. According to an article in PREVENTION having sex three times a week can make you look up to 12 years younger! One of the beauty benefits of sex is that it can burn fat. Another benefit is that our bodies release endorphins during sex that reduce stress. Sex also stimulates the immune system, which can keep us healthier.
Implement these suggestions and you’ll see yourself getting younger and more vibrant. Have fun and enjoy being gorgeous. You deserve it!
Wishing you great heath and beauty!