The neverending quest to find the fountain of youth has led many to spend hundreds and hundreds on facial creams, plastic surgery, and to even undergo bizarre beauty treatments à la vampire facial. However, the secret to younger looking skin is not in the hands of a plastic surgeon or in an anti-aging jar, it’s in the way you live your life. To boost your overall skin health and reverse the effects of aging, adopt these seven everyday age-defying habits to reduce and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even the onset of a decade.
1. Drink tea, not coffee, for breakfast
While not having a morning cup of joe may seem unimaginable for most of us, the simple switch from coffee to tea in the morning could mean less wrinkles. Opting for tea, specifically white tea, can reduce your risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and even age-associated wrinkles, according to a 2009 study. The small amounts of enzymes found in white tea — less than what is found in a cup — could protect the body from enzymes that breakdown collagen and elastin. These two work together to contribute to your skin’s firmness and elasticity to prevent the onset of wrinkles as you age.
2. Feed your face fruits and veggies — not sweets
Tempted by an array of sweets can be hard to resist come snacktime, but replacing that chocolate chip cookie with a handful of strawberries will help you keep your skin looking younger and radiant. Limiting your sugar intake will be beneficial for your face, as too much sugar can lead to premature aging. A 2013 study found that an increase in blood sugar levels of people between the ages of 50 and 70 could make them appear anywhere from five to seven months older. To prevent evident signs of aging, consume berries — rich in antioxidant compounds – which can also slow the growth of certain cancers, improve brain function, muscle tone, and balance. A 2009 study found a topical application of the antioxidant ellagic acid can prevent collagen destruction and inflammatory response — the major causes of wrinkles.
3. Apply sunscreen before you leave the house
The daily use of a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher can help reduce aging of the skin caused by sun damage. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause more than 90 percent of the visible signs of aging, says the Skin Cancer Foundation. These include wrinkles, rough patches, sagging, and skin discoloration. Moreover, a 2013 study shows that not only can sunscreen protect against skin cancer, it can also help prevent photoaging caused by the sun. Daily use of sunscreen can effectively decrease skin aging after a long period of time.
4. Drink plenty of H2O
Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to keep your skin looking young and glowing over time. Staying hydrated promotes skin circulation and helps prevent skin repair from decreasing. A 2007 study found drinking 500 milliliters of water increases the blood flow through the capillaries in the skin, after being evaluated 30 minutes later. The skin contains up to 30 percent water, which helps give off a plump-like appearance, especially if consuming higher quantities of water. Drinking more water helps keep the skin hydrated and flushes out the toxins from the body to give off a healthier appearance.
5. Exercise your body
Those over 65 can reverse the effects of aging by exercising their way to younger looking skin. A recent study presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine annual meeting, found working out roughly three times a week has been shown to be a protector of youth, as it changes the body and reverses “skin age.” Working out prevents the dermis from thinning, and the stratum corneum — outer part of the epidermis — from thickening, making skin look decades younger at a microscopic level. Exercise has also been known to clear up acne by either removing toxins or reducing stress.
6. Up your sex frequency
To knock a decade off your age, simply heating things up in between the sheets can give you younger looking skin. Having sex on a regular basis can make you look up to seven years younger, Dr. David Weeks, a British psychologist, told the British Psychological Society. Weeks believes the key ingredients for looking younger are staying active, and maintaining a good sex life as you age. Having sexual intercourse three times per week, or more if you have the time and energy to do so, is the magic number for preserving your youth.
7. Get a good night’s sleep
It’s time to leave your late nights and all-nighters behind and get your beauty rest for your skin’s sake. As you age, it’s important to make sleep a priority to help your skin and body feel replenished and rejuvenated the next day. A 2013 study found a lack of sleep can cause premature aging of the skin, unevenness, and fine lines. Overall, poor sleep quality can accelerate the signs of skin aging and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night.
Try these seven everyday age-defying tips to keep your skin looking younger, possibly by a decade. You'll feel better and more confident about yourself.