Your face at 20 is the result of your parent’s choices. Your face at 80 is the result of your own choices. Isn’t that a little scary?!

Oh, how vain we are! Chances are fairly good you’ve contributed your share to the $260 billion yearly sales of antiaging products and services. Whether it’s antiaging creams, injections of botox or dermal fillers, or cosmetic surgery, we do a lot to look younger.

By the way, why is that? What’s wrong with a mature look?

Truthfully, as a senior woman myself I understand the desire to have full, healthy-looking hair, clear bright eyes, and smooth, even, youthful-looking skin. Stressing over every grey hair, fine line, wrinkle, or dark spot isn’t healthy, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to look our best as long as it doesn’t eclipse the more important things in life. And after a few basics, I have 6 things to suggest that will definitely keep you looking younger longer.

Your skin is the largest organ in the body, and it’s also the one that takes the biggest hit from whatever you expose it to in your environment. The appearance of your skin is directly related to your health as a whole. If you’re filling your body with processed foods, sodas, and other toxins your skin will show the results. If you’re keeping toxins flushed out through cardiovascular exercise and plenty of water, and providing your body’s cells with the phytonutrients present in fruits and vegetables, your skin will also show those results.

In choosing what to put on your skin there are some basics to consider:

  • Cleanse daily, and gently. Makeup and our environment fill the pores in your skin with “dirt” of various types, regardless of how carefully you choose the products you use. Using a gentle cleanser with tepid water very evening will help your skin breathe, heal, and refresh during the night. Don’t leave your makeup on overnight.
  • Keep your skin moist. Dry skin looks older and ages faster. Sunlight, heaters, air conditioning, and makeup all dry out your skin. Using a daily moisturizer helps your skin stay healthier under all the insults it receives. Choose carefully based on whether your skin is naturally drier or oilier.
  • Retinol decreases aging. Many antiaging skin products now contain retinol, and it’s one ingredient that has solid science behind it. Some skin may be quite sensitive to retinol. If you choose to use it, you may need to build up to daily use gradually.

What you keep off your face is more important than what you put on your face. Or more accurately, what you refuse to allow to get to your skin. Anything that damages DNA makes your skin look older and age faster. Lots of toxins can do that: sunlight, tobacco, or even the excess insulin and blood sugar of diabetes.

But enough about the bad stuff. What CAN you do to look younger?

Keys to Look Younger, Vibrant and Healthy

  • Stay hydrated. Lots of water is essential to keep toxins flushed away from your skin, and allow the skin’s cells to remain plump and healthy. Alcohol, sodas, or caffeinated drinks don’t count here. Why do you think many models and actresses constantly drink water?
  • Don’t smoke. By the time they’re middle-aged, tobacco users appear several years older than non-users. Smoking greatly speeds up the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots. Quitting will stop the damage, and allow your skin to repair itself to some degree.
  • Beware of ultraviolet rays. I once interviewed a husband and wife where he was a dermatologist and she was a psychiatrist. They had a love-hate relationship with sunlight; it damages skin, but improves one’s mood. The bottom line; when outdoors for any significant period of time, cover up with loose clothing and a hat, or use sunscreen. Ultraviolet rays are more dangerous than the chemicals in sunscreen if you’re going to be outdoors and uncovered for long.
  • Exercise regularly. The extra oxygen flowing through your blood vessels is wonderful for your skin, as is the sweating out of toxins. Exercise also helps decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, all of which are bad for your skin.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in fresh produce are the best ammunition your skin cells have to combat the DNA-damaging things they come in contact with every day. This is yet another reason why I take and recommend JuicePlus.
  • Smile! A lot! Research demonstrates that people who are smiling look significantly younger than people who aren’t. It takes fewer facial muscles to smile than it does to frown. You can actually improve your mental health by choosing to smile whether you feel like it or not. And smile wrinkles are so much more attractive than frown lines.

Investing in expensive antiaging products, dermatology procedures, or plastic surgery may help you look or feel a little younger – for a while. But no investment will pay off more than a pair of running shoes, some fruits and veggies, and a simple facial cleaning wash.

And don’t forget the smiles; they’re free!

Your Turn: What have you tried to do to look younger? Leave a comment below. 

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