Well really, there’s just one rule. That is: seek out nutrients! By extension, this also means you’re better off avoiding those sugary carbs and processed foods like chips, crisps, cake, chocolate bars, pasta and rice.
These foods all spike your blood sugar and lower insulin sensitivity, thereby increasing your risk of diabetes (which you’re at increased risk of as you get older anyway!). Meanwhile, these foods increase your caloric intake without offering any nutrients that would be able to benefit your skin, hair, teeth or nails. So why eat them?
Instead, seek out fruits, vegetables, salads, meats, berries, fish, nuts and all that good stuff you would find in nature. Smoothies are great (although high in sugar). Seek out those Superfoods meanwhile! Did you know that bone broth is packed with collagen? If you’re looking for a set diet plan you can follow to make this happen, then there is no shortage of choice.
The following will all help put you on the right track:
- The Mediterranean Diet
- The Paleo Diet
- The Slow Carb Diet
And guys, don’t start this later once you start to see the signs of Aging creeping up. Start it now and you’ll be able to keep those signs at bay. Prevention is much better than cure!
Eat a Lot or Eat a Little?
Here’s another question: should you eat a lot, or eat a little?
This is actually one of the most important questions to ask when looking younger is your aim in fact! On the one hand, there is a school of thought that says you should eat very little. The latter strategy is what’s called ‘Calorie Restriction’ and does exactly what it says on the tin. The claim here is that by restricting calories, you can actually reduce the rate of your Aging and thus stay looking younger, longer.
How does this work? According to proponents, eating less means that your mitochondria work less and thus produce fewer free radicals as a result. The body is forced to rely on ketones and it becomes very energy efficient (eating a low carb diet could have a similar effect, as could intermittent fasting).
Studies show that mice that live on very low calorie diets can extend their lifespan by as much as 30% and there are plenty of enthusiastic people online trying this strategy right now. Does it work for humans? It’s currently too soon to tell. But with all that said, there are definite drawbacks to this strategy too.
For one, it makes malnutrition likely. While proper calorie restriction shouldn’t lead to malnutrition, it is of course much harder to get everything your body needs while eating a very low number of calories. It’s also largely unfeasible for a lot of us and not much fun. And there’s another argument too: that actually, having a little puppy fat will help to make you look younger as you age.
As we age, our skin becomes thinner and we start to carry less subcutaneous fat (fat stored beneath the skin). Thus, we start to look a lot more drawn. Compare a thin old lady to an old lady who eats a lot though and you’ll find that the latter looks young-er because their skin is smoothed out by the layer of fat beneath. Mean-while, they will usually have more color and actually be healthier.
Some women claim that as they start to approach their 50s and 60s, they are forced to make a choice between ‘face’ and ‘body’. What should you do? That’s entirely your call but just make sure that what-ever method you take you are emphasizing nutrients in your diet!
Skin Care for Anti-Aging
Anti-aging skincare is also about lifestyle, and how we treat our bodies will be reflected in the appearance of our skin. While soaking up the sun will help us to look bronzed and healthy in the short run, over time it will lead to damaged skin cells which will create more wrinkles in our old age.
This can lead to age spots and more problems as the UV waves of the sun damage the cell walls and cause mutations. Sunblock and getting shade can help this to a great degree. Similarly, it’s important that we make sure we get lots of sleep. One of the reasons for this is that our sleep is when our body repairs the damage done to our bodies throughout the day and so can rejuvenate our skin that way.
One of the ways in which this works is through the release of growth hormone, or HGH, which is a hormone that encourages anabolism in the body making it repair wounds, rebuild muscle, replace damaged cells and encourage growth in the muscles and bones (though the bones stop growing after puberty when the ‘growth plates’ will seal off).
As well as sleep, another way to encourage the natural production of growth hormone (synthetic growth hormone is used a lot by bodybuilders and celebrities, but is unfortunately illegal in most states and countries and very expensive in those that it is not it also has a lot of unwanted side effects, some of which are fatal) is to exercise and to take hot showers, both of which will trigger an anabolic cycle.
HGH is perhaps the closest thing there is to an elixir of youth right now, so anything you can do to stimulate it naturally should definitely be encouraged.
Creams and Other Products
Then the most obvious aspect of skincare – the use of anti-aging cream and products. These will work in multiple ways, both protecting your skin from outside attack from UV rays and environmental factors, and providing your skin with important nutrients and antioxidants applied topically. They can also hydrate the skin or even tighten it in some cases to provide instantly visible benefits.
You should make sure that you follow a routine and apply your face creams in the morning and in the night before bed. This routine should begin with an exfoliating cream or face wash which will remove dead skin cells (that can otherwise interfere with the mechanisms of the moisturizing creams and nutrients).
Exfoliating can also make your wrinkles appear shallower by bringing your skin down to the same level and it will give your skin more of a healthy glow (dead skin tends to look a little greyer). All this is instantly going to make you look and feel younger. (Another way to get more of a glow is to give yourself a bit of a tan and the best way to do this without exposing yourself to sun damage is with a self-tanning moisturizer.
This isn’t fake tan but rather a product that will increase your production of melanin naturally to give you a more glowing appearance. This can help to prevent that washed out, grey-skinned look that is associated with old-age.)
After this, you should then use a protective cream such as Protect and Perfect from No 7, which will protect your skin from UV rays and oxidative damage.
Finally, a rejuvenating moisturizer should be applied which should contain vitamins A and E both of which are vital in skin repair and collagen, which will help keep the skin plum and elastic (it can be considered ‘nature’s Botox’). Some creams actually do include collagen but there is some dispute as to whether this can actually penetrate deeply enough into the lower levels of the skin in order to have any benefit.
Some products, such as Bio Oil, claim to use carrier molecules and other strategies to get around this limitation. Take a look at the back of the pack when using any moisturizer and look for things like biotin (vitamin B7), retinol, green tea extract, CoQ10, etc. Be wary of bold claims though and be sure to check reviews before parting with hard earned cash.
There are tons of options out there including using hemorrhoid cream around the eyes to tighten the skin and remove crows’ feet. If you want to experiment with that then go ahead – but for the most part, there’s no reason to spend over the odds and any healthy moisturizer (ideally something organic, such as a deep sea mud) will do the trick.
The moisturizing element will also help give the skin moisture and keep it subtle and elastic. While you apply these creams, you should use circular motions with the pads of your fingers to massage the skin and encourage blood flow in the surface which will help provide it with more vital nutrients and keep the skin tone more even.
Use concentric circles moving inwards towards the center of the face it’s also very relaxing and will help to keep the skin subtle and soft. Whatever products you choose, just make sure you are using something to exfoliate, something to protect and something to rejuvenate and moisturize.