Wouldn’t it be great to look a bit fresher and younger? We have five tactics you can use that will give you a more youthful look without invasive and expensive surgery. Of course there is nothing wrong with plastic surgery; it’s just nice to have a few easy options to try. And some plastic surgeons even recommend these types of tricks even if you get cosmetic procedures, so you can maintain your results as long as possible.
But don’t worry, you can reduce wrinkles and fine lines without the surgery. For starters, dry skin will show more lines and wrinkles. And few things make skin look as old as lines and dark spots.
Here are a few things you can use to reduce both and look and feel younger.
1— Make Good Sleep a Priority
Skimping on sleep takes an instant toll on your appearance. In fact, a single restless night can have you thinking that you’re staring at a stranger in the morning!
How much sleep do you really need? According to the American Academy of Sleep Physicians, adults need a minimum of 7 hours of shut-eye every night. They cited a study that found that just a single night of insufficient sleep is all it takes to make your cells age faster. Science Daily reported another study that discovered a link between poor sleep and skin aging.
If you often struggle to fall and stay asleep or have serious sleep issues like insomnia, you’ll want to talk with a doctor. There may even be an underlying health issue to blame that they can help you uncover and resolve.
If you have occasional problems sleeping, you have many options to help you improve your shut-eye. You can get lots of advice in books, and there are also apps and gadgets designed to improve your quantity and quality of sleep. But first, you may want to try some good old-fashioned tips known to help boost sleep, such as:
- Stop consuming caffeine after noon.
- Cut off alcohol consumption within 2 hours of bedtime (no, alcohol is not a sleep aid)
- Stay away from screens (phones/mobile devices) for 1 hour before bed
- Get 20 minutes of exercise daily.
- Stay hydrated
- Put pets into their own space to sleep
- Use earplugs if there is external noise
- Use a sleeping mask to block light, if that is a problem
2 — Brighten Your Smile
The color of our teeth is a tell-tale sign of age. As we grow older, our enamel gets thinner, making our teeth far more prone to staining. If you happen to smoke or use tobacco, it’s likely that you have more yellowing than you might otherwise for your age. Some foods and drinks also stain teeth, including wine, coffee, tea and even some fruits.
An easy fix for this is to add tooth whitening gel to your daily oral care to help make your smile more youthful. While there are many options on the market, be careful what you buy. Your best bet is to use a product that also remineralizes your teeth in the process. This helps protect teeth from further decay, and can provide some defense against future stains.
You will also want to start rinsing your mouth after you eat and drink to limit staining in the first place. When possible, use a high-quality mouthwash. If you don’t have any with you, you can swish strongly with water for at least 30 seconds. This helps remove and dilute staining chemicals from your food and drink. It also reduces sugar, which can damage teeth.
3 — Cleanse & Exfoliate Daily
Dry skin looks unhealthy and older, no matter what your actual age may be. It gives you a blotchy appearance, and can even lead to clogged pores. You can turn the tide on dry skin by exfoliating it every few days, or at least weekly. This will remove dead skin cells and reveal fresher skin.
You’ll also want to start using soap-free facial cleanser that can be used twice a day. Regular soap can leave your skin dry, even if it has moisturizer. Look for one that is gentle, but effective, so you can balance your need for clean skin with your need for well-hydrated skin.
4 — Moisturize & Wear Sunscreen Daily
Skin changes as we age, so we need different ways to care for it during various stages of our life. If you have sensitive skin, or aren’t sure where to start, ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
According to Self, your daily skin care routine should change based on your decade:
- During your 20s: This is the time to prevent problems, so use moisturizer with sunscreen daily to limit damage from sun exposure. You may want to add over-the-counter retinol to boost natural collagen production.
- During your 30s: Preventing problems is still key, but you’ll also want to add in ingredients that can repair damage. For example, consider using a high-quality moisturizer that includes sunscreen and antioxidants. You may also want a prescription-strength retinol, but first ask your dermatologist.
- During your 40s: Work to increase collagen production by using peptides. Keep up with the sunscreen as well to further protect your skin. Now is also a good time to step up your game with retinol and eye cream with emollients.
- 50 and older: Protective work is always necessary, so keep using an SPF-fortified sunscreen. You may want to look for a ceramide moisturizer to maintain hydrated skin and prevent wrinkles.
One theme you may notice is sunscreen. No matter how old you are, or your race and gender, sunscreen is necessary to protect your skin from the sun. MD Anderson recommends the daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. You have to apply it at least 30 minutes before going outside.
And remember, there is not only a link between UV rays and skin cancer, but sun damage makes your skin look older! It creates “liver” spots and makes your skin look drier and more wrinkled than it needs to.
5 — Match Age to Makeup Use
We are not here to tell you that you should skip makeup or give up on looking your best. You should wear the type of makeup that makes you feel confident! But we all know that makeup can go two ways: If it is done well it can make you look younger; if it is not done well it can add years to your age!
The key is to forgo things that tend to age you. For example, using heavy black eyeliners, powder eyeshadows or glittery colors can make you look older and out of place. Just think of the fact that young girls use makeup to look older, and you’ll see what we mean, only in reverse!
If you really aren’t sure what to do on this one, you may want to talk with a professional makeup artist, licensed esthetician or skin care specialist. Your dermatologist may be able to recommend someone to you as well.
To get you started, however, here are some makeup tips for women over 40:
- Focus on your brows, being careful to avoid the drawn-in look
- Avoid heavy under-eye eyeliner
- Go light on eye makeup and switch to natural tones
- Go light on concealer, as it can accumulate in fine lines and wrinkles
- Use a high-quality primer under your foundation. Be sure to change the color with the season, and as you age.