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Are you searching for a natural anti-aging solution like Ponce de León searched for the legendary Fountain of Youth? While there may not be a mystical spring that will restore youth from its waters, there are ways just as simple and just as magical for treating and slowing the aging process.
Consider the following 10 ways you can take years off your age without going under the knife.
Get your sleep
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, resting your body will help it rebuild muscle mass and repair cells and tissues with sleep-triggered hormones. Adults should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Board-certified sleep specialist, Michael Breus, Ph.D., asserts in WebMD that: “ If you’re getting fewer than six hours, it’s likely affecting your appearance. Start getting one to three more hours of Zzz's, and you could see some improvement in as little as a day.”
Sufficient rest has also shown to help reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles that occur when blood isn’t flowing well — a common low-sleep symptom. Blood collects under eyes when it isn’t flowing properly and becomes more visible there due to the thin under-eye skin.
Fuel for the anti-aging fight
When it comes to turning back the clock, you have to focus on an inside-out approach. What you put in is going to contribute to what you see on the outside. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and is greatly influenced by nutrients and blood flow. Keep it looking clear, radiant and resilient with a diet rich in healthy fats. Nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocado can boost your skin with antioxidants like vitamin E, according to the popular Women’s Health magazine.
Adding a daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts and seeds) have also been shown to prevent the visible signs of aging by decreasing inflammation.
Don’t forget to add the antioxidant power of leafy greens and the vitamin C found in berries and citrus fruits to give your skin what it needs to be at its best.
Reduce your sugar intake
Sweets can be sweet to your senses, but they are anything but sweet to your skin. Too much sugar in your diet increases cortisol production and weakens collagen. Simple carbohydrates — like refined sugar, white bread and soda — trigger insulin spikes causing inflammation in your body. This inflammation creates enzymes that erode collagen and elastin leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Slow wrinkle formation with weekly exercise
According to anti-aging research, the Fountain of Youth may be on the salty side. The power of exercise can actually reverse the sign of aging in your skin. The New York Times reported that almost any amount and type of physical activity may slow aging deep within our cells. Regular exercise also helps to keep your blood circulating as it should. Proper blood flow is essential for cellular health and repair.
Scientists at St. Louis University discovered that, while both exercising and eating less produce weight loss, reducing calories also lowered the production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism. It is believed that lower T3 levels can also slow the aging process, according to Health.com.
Wear sunscreen daily
Did you know that sunlight is the cause of at least 80 percent of visible aging symptoms, like freckling, facial lines, skin thinning, and wrinkles? Not to mention that unprotected skin exposed to powerful UV rays can lead to skin cancer. Lather up before you go outside and don’t forget to re-apply; one application isn’t enough.
Combat the stress in your life
Don’t want to stress you out, but that chronic tension and physical stress you have been feeling isn’t doing anything for your beauty goals. Stress causes surges of cortisol in the body, a hormone that breaks down collagen and elastin ultimately leading to pronounced wrinkles.
Fitnessmagazine.com also reports that stress causes physical changes in the body that can accelerate aging. Try positive mantras and meditation to help you relax. Look for ways to eliminate what is causing stress in your life.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Your skin is thirsty most of the time. Maintaining the water content of your skin is fundamental for retaining radiant, healthy skin. Moisturizers retain water in the superficial layers of the skin while strengthening your skin barrier. Moist skin is more flexible and less likely to develop age lines and wrinkles.
Cleanse your face nightly
While late at night your bed may be calling your name, take a few foggy-eyed minutes to clean your face because it will do wonders for your complexion. Skin is weakened by environmental debris, dirt, air pollutants and microparticles that will continue to wreak havoc through the night if you don’t wash them off. Removing makeup also removes unnatural product ingredients from your skin allowing it to breathe and restore itself while you sleep.
Kick the habit
If you are a smoker, kick the habit and embrace a stronger, healthier, younger you. Nicotine destroys skin substructures leaving it saggy and listless. According to the Mayo Clinic, smoking leads to premature wrinkles and accelerates the normal aging process of your skin. Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity.
Supplement your skin with topical creams
You don’t need to break the bank to reap the benefits of topical creams for anti-aging treatment and prevention. Look for products at your local drugstore (or from your dermatologist) that contain the following ingredients:
- Retinol: A type of vitamin A, is considered the most effective over-the-counter treatment for achieving smooth skin and combating wrinkles. Retinol allows the skin to gently peel the outer layer, uncanvassing the softer, healthier layer below.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid: A natural antioxidant has been shown to reduce fine lines, restore skin texture, tighten pores and promote skin radiance.
- Green Tea Extract: Green tea is packed with nutrients called polyphenols, that fight damaging free radicals. Green tea ingredients can also reduce sun damage and offer you skin cancer protection when used topically on your skin. Green tea extract under sunscreen provides double protection.
A combination approach of both at-home and professional-strength strategies can help you find the timeless results you’re searching for.