Years of exposure to glossy magazine ads and slick television commercials for anti-aging serums have taught us that our faces tell our stories. They reveal the cumulative damage from all those summers you worked as a lifeguard or camp counselor, the marionette's lines from a nasty breakup or two, and the perfect "11" of a furrowed brow. If you'd rather not be an open book, there are ways to make sure your story is a little more Faulkner and a little less Danielle Steele.
Maintain a healthy weight
Most of us fret about wrinkles as we reach middle age, yet carrying an extra dress size ages a person much more than a few wrinkles ever could. Managing weight is also a much more realistic goal than getting rid of wrinkles.
If you smoke, it's likely you'll age either more than you want to or not at all because you will die from smoking long before wrinkles show up. Quitting smoking improves your circulation, lowers your risk of developing varicose veins, reduces the likelihood of obesity, and makes exercise easier and more enjoyable. You'll also have a better sense of taste and smell as you age, and you'll smell better to others without smoke clinging to your hair and clothing.
Follow a nutritious diet
Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. And, stay hydrated. Plenty of water intake is the one of the easiest, most effective ways to keep your skin looking healthy.
Participate in sports, dancing, or other activities you enjoy. Follow the federal government's most recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. For adults ages 18 to 64, the recommendation is to engage in 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, combined with strength-training exercises two days a week.
Avoid sun exposure
Use sunscreen on your face and other exposed skin every day. Wear a hat, and use sunglasses to protect your eyes, since some evidence links sun exposure to later formation of cataracts.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is responsible for the development of ‘dark circles under the eyes’ and can result in other issues like weight gain and depression.
Consider facial cosmetic enhancements
Think about having a facial rejuvenation procedure like Botox or pursuing a surgical option such as a facelift, browlift, or necklift. These procedures can tighten or remove sagging skin beneath the chin, at the jawline, or around the eyes or remove puffy fat pads beneath the eyes that give you a prematurely aged look. However, these enhancements can be obvious to the trained eye if the outcome is not as good as you had hoped. Your money would be better spent on a gym membership and healthy foods.
Breastfeeding is a great way to bond with your baby and to lose weight gained during pregnancy. Breastfeeding results in loss of 200-600 calories per day. Getting the weight off will help a new mom to feel young and healthy.
Be a wise consumer
Don't be taken in by a website or salesperson pitching expensive, unproven anti-aging products or services. Check with the Better Business Bureau and do your homework before you buy.