Look younger now!
You can’t stop time, you can turn back the clock to achieve more youthful-looking hair, hands, and skin. All you need to do is examine your everyday habits and make simple anti-aging tweaks to your routine.
Apply SPF every day: Dermatologists always preach about wearing sunscreen every single day to protect against skin cancer, but slathering on the SPF is also the most effective tool in your anti-aging arsenal. A 2013 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people who applied SPF three or four days a week were less likely to suffer from skin aging compared to those who applied it at their discretion after a 4.5-year follow-up. Turn back the clock: Apply it every day, rain or shine. And use more than you think you need.
Use lotion on your hands: The skin on the backs of your hands is very thin, which makes it prone to accelerated aging compared to the rest of your body. And when dry air saps moisture from skin, your hands look even older than they should. Using lotion helps; pick one that contains sunscreen. It will greatly reduce sun damage, which appears as brown spots and wrinkles. Turn back the clock: Rub an SPF 30 moisturizer onto the backs of your hands every morning.
Avoid foods that stain your teeth: White teeth are seen as a sign of good health and youthfulness. Dark, hot, sticky foods like barbecue sauce or soy sauce are some of the worst stain-causing culprits. Red wine, coffee, and cola are also notorious tooth-stainers. Turn back the clock: Teeth-saving swaps are easy—and can be delicious. Instead of using barbecue sauce on your chicken breast, for example, top it with a fruity mango salsa or fresh herbs. Skip the dark soda in favor of seltzer (you shouldn’t be drinking soda anyway, even diet).
Exercise regularly: Exercise improves healthy circulation, which allows skin to look its best. Exercise may reverse skin aging. Besides, when you’re in shape, you naturally look younger. Turn back the clock: Count it as one more reason to clock your 30 minutes of exercise every day. Make exercise a lasting habit.
Watch your sodium intake: Eating salty foods can make you retain water, resulting in a puffy look—especially in the area below the eyes. Turn back the clock: Banish the bloat by searching for hidden sources of sodium in your diet. Salt lurks everywhere—bread, cereal, condiments, sauces, deli meats, and even some sweet baked goods are loaded with it.
Keep your smartphone addiction under control: Over time, keeping your head down when you’re texting or scrolling through Facebook promotes wrinkles that ring your neck. Any movement you repeat over and over eventually etches in lines permanently.
Turn back the clock: Think about where you text most—in your office, on your couch—and hang photos (of family, friends, places you’ve been) nearby at eye-level and use those as a reminder to keep your head up while using your phone.
Eat your greens: Greens are nature’s toothbrushes. “Fiber-rich vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and broccoli help naturally clean teeth,” says Dr. Layliev. Their fiber can prevent plaque from sticking to enamel. (Of course, you still have to brush every morning and night and floss daily, he says.) Another bonus: a diet brimming with veggies perks up your complexion, shows a study in PLOS One. People who ate about three servings of carotenoid-packed produce—found in dark leafy greens and broccoli—were perceived as having a healthier and more attractive skin tone.
Turn back the clock: Just as the USDA suggests, aim to fill half your plate with vegetables. That will help you get the 2.5 cups of vegetables they recommend women younger than 50 eat per day.
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