How to Naturally Look Younger Than Your Age
Naturally Looking Younger Than Your Age
It isn't just about vanity. Looking younger doesn't mean trying to be something you aren't. Nothing screams “old” like a middle-aged woman wearing teenager's clothing. Looking young is more about “attitude." Those who are naturally healthy look younger, have more spark and vitality, and even tend to have a greater edge when it comes to landing jobs and finding clients.
When we look our best, it tends to boost our confidence, which in turn, leads to better performance.
So, whether you want a boost of sexy self-confidence or you simply want to feel youthful and energetic, this article has tips for you.
Diet & Lifestyle
What you put inside your body reflects on the outside. A youthful appearance starts with good health and taking care of your body's needs...
- Greatly reduce or eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates. This includes cakes, cookies, white rice, pasta, etc. Opt for whole grains and kick the sugar demon. Nothing ages the skin and packs on the pounds like sugar or it's evil twin, high fructose corn syrup.
- Avoid prepackaged foods and any foods with things on the label you cannot pronounce. Eating a diet rich in preservatives, additives, colorants, and other chemicals is toxic to your body. It will show in your energy levels, mood, and will even cause your skin to look dull and dry.
- Drink WATER. Coffee and tea are fine, but they don't count towards the water your body needs daily. Filtered water is cheap and the most natural way to keep your body healthy, your skin supple and your hair shiny.
- Keep sodium in check – it contributes to puffiness and swelling especially around the eyes.
Eat your veggies – raw fresh or frozen are best because they are the most nutrient dense. Below are just a few examples of vegetables to eat to keep yourself young.
Carrots: Keep your eyesight keen with carrots.
Avocados: Filled with “good fats” that help control cholesterol and fight liver damage and are also amazing for the skin.
Pumpkin: This squash is a fall favorite, but loaded with health benefits. It is anti- inflammatory, has a lot of vitamin C and has been shown to protect the joints from arthritis.
Spinach: Keeps the mind sharp and also protects against a variety of cancers including ovarian cancer.
Cauliflower: helps prevent the growth of breast cancer cells. It's cousin Broccoli has also been shown to help prevent breast cancer and fight the negative effects of diabetes.
Asparagus: helps promote healthy intestinal flora, important for strong defenses and building immunity.
Cabbage: This vegetable is one of the most nutritionally dense when it comes to preventing cancers.
Fresh Fruit – this is the best way to satisfy the sweet tooth and still give your body what it needs. Fruits are filled with anti-oxidants and nutrients that are essential to great skin. Some of the best fruits for your health and their benefits are listed below.
Fresh Berries: Blackberries, blueberries, strengthen collagen for better skin structure. They have also been shown to help maintain/improve memory function because they protect the brain.
Strawberries: help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, lower bad cholesterol, and are packed with B & C vitamins.
Papaya: Contains an enzyme that helps fight fat and it also aids digestion.
Kiwi: One kiwi has much more vitamin C than an orange and they are good at fighting wrinkles.
Plums/Prunes: Loaded with antioxidants and help prevent bone loss
Watermelon: Helps prevent sun damage to the skin
Pomegranates: Extremely potent anti-oxidants. Pom helps protect against sunburn and fights bad cholesterol.
Strength training is vital for protecting the bones and keeping up healthy and strong. As we age, we naturally lose a certain percentage of muscle mass. Strength training helps ensure a strong body. It also enhances energy and helps burn excess fat. Your body expends more energy maintaining and building muscle.
Stretching and doing exercises that promote flexibility are also essential for our health. They improve the look of the body, making us appear longer and leaner. They also help us to maintain balance and improve posture, both of which contribute to a more youthful appearance. What looks younger, slouching and stiff – or longer and leaner?
Does this mean spend hours on a treadmill? Not necessarily, unless that's what you like to do. There are many activities that are fun that also promote cardiovascular health. Movement is essential to good health and numerous studies have proven to us how detrimental to good health our sedentary lifestyles are.
In order to have energy and feel younger we have to move. Exercise is the single most important factor when it comes to good health. Exercise also improves the appearance of skin through increased respiration/blood flow – not to mention fat loss.
Natural Anti-Aging Skin Care
You don't need to purchase overpriced cleansers, skin creams and miracle potions. You can use simple to find ingredients to make wonderful facial masks and exfoliants that are 100% natural and will not irritate or harm your skin. Most of us as we age are prone to dry skin. Here is my favorite treatment for exfoliating and doing a mask for extra dry skin.
To exfoliate: use a ¼ cup sugar or sea salt (or combine the two) and add just enough olive oil to form a paste. Rub into the skin gently in a circular motion – rinse with warm washcloth.
Follow with this mask: Smash ½ a banana with ½ an avocado and add the liquid from a few vitamin E gel caps and a tsp of coconut oil. Mix thoroughly, spread over face, neck, and chest area and allow to sit for 15 – 30 minutes. Rinse of gently with warm water. Your skin will be so soft you won't recognize it. You can put this all over the body for a body mask if you wish.
- Always wear sunscreen, even in the winter and even when it's cloudy. Also be sure to regularly place sunscreen on your arms. A lot of damage is done while driving when the sun hits your arms for example – things we don't typically think about that add up.
- See the list of fruits and veggies above – several of them are great for helping skin ward of sun damage and for boosting collagen production, which keeps skin buoyant and firm looking.
- When you moisturize daily (and you should) be sure to get the neck and chest area which are often overlooked and tend to age the fastest.
- For smoother looking hands, rub heavy cream into them at night. Shea butter or cocoa butter are good choices. Place white cotton gloves on overnight and in the morning your hands will be smooth and silky. - also, NEVER crack your knuckles! It's bad for your joints and will make your hands age faster than anything.
- Use a skin cream with Retinol in it (vitamin A) as it boosts natural skin production of Collagen.
- Keep a couple of spoons in the freezer. Take them out as needed to help reduce puffiness around the eye area by simply placing over your eyes for 5-10 minutes while you relax.
Anti-Aging Tips for Hair
- Don't wash your hair every day. Daily washing is a marketing gimmick and is not necessary to be clean and is very hard on the hair. Every other day is typically more than sufficient and you can do it less if you have dry hair.
- Never use shampoos that contain sulfates. This means you may have to purchase shampoo from a specialty shop or online as opposed to your local retailer. You get what you pay for with shampoos and sulfates strip the hair – not only of dirt, but of shine and color as well.
- Avoid over-processing your hair and opt for a hairdo that requires as little blow drying and appliance use as possible.
- Don't cut your hair too short – It used to be that once women hit a certain age they were issued their “bullet proof helmet” hair and that is so aging – and not very attractive. Wear hair that suits your face shape, is not overly processed and if you're hair is thinning consider wearing a layered style to give added body and bounce naturally. Don't ever tease your hair if you want to keep it - that is the worst thing you can do if you have thinning hair.
- If you have fair skin, avoid the use of very dark hair dyes. Dying your hair black when you have fair skin will age you very quickly. Opt for lighter, warmer shades of color.
- If your skin has become dull, add soft highlights around the face to brighten the skin and eyes and give a more youthful glow to your appearance.
- Watch for breakage – hair becomes more brittle as we age. Don't comb it roughly, especially when wet. Also avoid pulling into tight ponytails and braids all the time as it causes more breakage.Trim split ends regularly.
- Don't spend a fortune on deep conditioning treatments - do it yourself. Mix together 1/4 cup beer and 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil (or blend of oils) rub thoroughly into slightly damp hair, cover with shower cap and towel for 30 minutes and then wash your hair as usual. this will add moisture and shine (and no you won't smell like a bar.
Anti-Aging Tips for Teeth
- Teeth whitening products are great but don't overuse them! Overuse of these products actually weakens the tooth enamel making your teeth weaker and more prone to staining – the very thing you were actually trying to reduce.
- Brush your teeth with baking soda and finely crushed/powdered sage. These are both natural tooth polishers and whiteners. Strawberries can also be used for this purpose.
- Avoid lipsticks with yellow undertones as these will yellow the teeth and age you dramatically. When choosing a lip color be sure to choose one with a blue base as this neutralizes yellow and gives the illusion of whiter teeth.
- Drink staining drinks through a straw when possible. It minimizes contact with the teeth and can help keep your teeth whiter longer.
Makeup Tips to Make You Look Younger
- Avoid powders as they tend to settle into fine lines and accentuate them.
- Use moisturizer and/or a makeup primer before applying makeup to keep your makeup on top of your skin rather than allowing it to settle into fine lines and pores.
- Dark circle problems? These are sometimes just genetic and worsen with age, but typically they are triggered by allergies and/or dehydration. Be sure you are getting enough pure water in your diet and work to remove allergens and triggers from your home that may be contributing to swelling and pooling of blood.
- With eyeshadow, pick tones that complement your eye color (grays for brown eyes for example) and stick to more matte hues. The shimmer in many eyeshadows tends to crease and highlight fine lines. A soft matte shadow that is liquid and not powder is the best bet.
- Don't wear a lot of makeup and don't wear it everyday. Your skin needs to breathe and makeup is full of synthetic chemicals. Wear just a touch for daily wear if necessary and save the glam looks for a night out with your partner. Your skin will thank you and will also stay younger looking if you use makeup sparingly.
- Add a dot of white eyeshadow to the inner corners of your eyes and blend in – this naturally whitens the eyes and makes you look healthier and younger.
- Wear a very thin layer of liquid shimmer and apply all over the face - this gives the dewy, supple skin appearance of youth and also hydrates the skin.
Clothing and Fashion Tips to Help You Look Younger
- So you have a few extra pounds and you want to hide them. Most of us fall into this trap at some point – wearing baggy clothes, or worse yet – your husbands clothes, in an attempt to cover up excess bulges etc. Not only does this age you by making you look even larger and lumpier than you actually are, it also screams “lazy” and "I don't care about myself". Nothing is more unattractive than a person going to the store in their pajama pants or baggy sweats. Wear clothing that fits you. Casual is fine, but it can be done in a way that is comfortable without being frumpy.
- Ladies, invest in your appearance and your back health by being fitted for a properly fitting bra. A bra that fits well will easily take 10 pounds off your appearance and help you look younger by defying gravity. When considering fit – consider the back of your bra as well. If skin is folding over the tops and sides anywhere – it is not the proper size for you.
- Avoid clothing that is too tight or doesn't cover you properly. Women of a certain age can look sexy and ravishing in an outfit without looking trashy. If you're in shape, form fitting is fine – skin tight and painted on – not so much. At our age we shouldn't have to be trashy to get attention – it should be our self-confidence and great style that does that for us.
- Certain styles are wonderful – and universal, for slimming. A wrap dress is always a winner. V-necks or plunging necklines are always better than high collars and turtle necks. An opening there visually elongates the neck area and pulls the eyes to the face – rather than down towards more problematic areas.
Remember, women can look great at any age when they take time to care for themselves body, mind, and spirit. We tend to live in a “youth obsessed” society, which I disagree with, however there is nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel your best while embracing your age.
Want to learn even more ways to look younger or share some tips yourself? Be sure to check out the hub links I posted up top. Learn where to find more great tips and ideas for looking great at any age.
© 2011 Christin Sander