Image source: Chuando Tan photo from Instagram
If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you’re likely aware that a lot of fake content lives there.
From fabricated news stories to photo-shopped UFOs, the internet is a rich source of bogus material.
Perhaps that’s why it’s no surprise the stories of a 50-year-old man and woman who look like they’re in their 20s have been greeted with great skepticism.
Chuando Tan is a photographer from Singapore who looks at least 25 years younger than the age he says he is.
Photos that Tan shares on his personal Instagram account show a toned, fit, attractive man. He’d easily pass as a 25-30 years old, but the former model is actually in his 50s. (He modeled during the 1980s and 1990s before becoming a photographer.)
Likewise, Liu Yelin, a Chinese mother of one, posts photos of herself that could make someone 30 years her junior envious of her toned physique and picture-perfect skin.
Image source: Liu Yelin photo from Instagram
Like Tan, Yelin is a former model whose physical appearance and face could fool discerning age detectives.
Yelin even poses with her 22-year-old son, whom some of her followers confuse as her boyfriend.
Little is available in terms of cold hard facts that would prove these Instagram stars are indeed the ages they say.
However, both have histories as models, which could shed some light on the truthfulness of their declared ages.
It’s entirely possible they’ve been gifted a rare bit of anti-aging luck —or at least the time and energy to invest into defying the natural signs of aging.
The truth behind aging
The story of two remarkably young-looking quinquagenarians is certainly novel.
However, everyone ages at different rates and in different ways.
While their stories may make for great viral internet sharing, it’s perhaps not a great marker for grading your own aging.
“These are just two individuals, and in my opinion, the photos are also probably retouched in some way. That’s not to say they don’t look great for their age. They do. But these photos are not up close, high-definition, where I could actually see wrinkles and sun damage,” Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a board-certified dermatologist practicing in New York, told Healthline. “One of the photos of the woman has lots of heavy makeup and large sunglasses. They are both fit and trim — great. Lots of people are. We know exercise is very good for you and helps keep the body in shape.”
There’s also another possibility to explain their youthful good looks.
Both of these individuals may spend a lot of effort and money to maintain their figures and faces.
“Sometimes when someone seems to defy the physical aging process, they are putting excessive time, money, and energy into that goal. Many ‘regular’ people might not be able to make a youthful appearance their first priority,” said Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and author of “Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One.”
“Looking older is a normal part of the aging process. Everything inside our body changes as we age,” FitzPatrick told Healthline. “Just as the inside of our body is changing, the outside evolves as well. For example, nearly everyone experiences some hair thinning or graying and whitening. Almost everyone has sun spots and some wrinkling as they get older. This is just normal aging that most of us experience.”
Both Tan and Yelin credit their exercise routines, as well as healthy eating, for their age-defying looks.
Also, each has a unique strategy they tout as a possible anti-aging booster. For Tan, he avoids late-night and early-morning baths. Yelin credits a daily swim, even in winter’s cold temperatures, to her slow aging.
Though you might not be able to look half your age, both of these young-looking social media stars provide some inspiration for people looking for ways to slow their own aging.
After all, what they admit to the world are rational and healthy messages.
What you can do
Aging is inevitable. It’s a lot like death and taxes in that way.
For some, aging comes swiftly. Gray hairs are a mainstay before you’ve even reached your 30th birthday.
For others, aging is delayed, and you may still have hints of dark hair even into your 60s.
“Looking a little older is a small price to pay for being alive,” FitzPatrick said. “Do the best you can to look and feel good, but know that you will not likely look or feel like a teenager again. It can be hard to accept that and feel good about yourself, especially as a woman, you see examples of people who seem to defy aging, like Christie Brinkley.”
Whatever your natural aging process is, these tips may be helpful in slowing it down.
“A healthy regular exercise routine is a critical factor in keeping the body, mind, and spirit healthy, as well as in extending a healthy lifespan and protecting a youthful appearance,” Dr. Celeste Michele Castaldo, American Board Certified Naturopath. “A few of the main reasons for this effect is that exercise boosts our metabolism and affects our DNA, helping to keep the DNA strands healthy and prolonging the length of the telomeres, which play a huge factor in our aging processes.”
As a bonus, exercise is good for more than just your face.
It can help protect against age-related diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Treat your body like a temple
In addition to frequent exercise, you should also aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet that’s high in fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins, as well as low in saturated fats, sugar, and sodium.
Likewise, you should also tend to your mental health and find ways to reduce stress and alleviate anxiety.
“There are no products or injections or surgeries which can stop these processes,” Dr. Barbara Bergin, a board certified orthopedic surgeon in Texas, told Healthline. “You’re going to be ahead of the game if you don’t smoke, don’t gain a bunch of weight, don’t play contact sports, which can cause injuries which can result in earlier onset of arthritis, don’t do drugs, which can result in dementia, and stay out of the sun.”
There are things we do which can promote the more rapid deterioration of our body,” she added. “The absence of doing those things does not slow down your scheduled aging process. It just allows you to take full advantage of what you got on the day you were a twinkle in your folks’ eyes.”
Slather on the sunscreen
“Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Every day. Reapply every one to two hours while outdoors,” Baxt said. “Wear a large hat. Sit in the shade. Wear sunglasses. They’re all critical, and it’s amazing how few people actually do these things regularly.
Talk with a dermatologist about the products you need for proper skin care. Many items can be purchased over the counter.
Dermatologists can also prescribe some products or minor cosmetic procedures to repair signs of aging like sun spots and sun damage.
Consider your genetics
You can’t do anything to alter your genetics, but you can look to your relatives for an idea of what your aging trajectory might be.
“Getting lucky in the genetic lottery for youthful looks helps a lot,” Dr. Judith Hellman, a dermatologist based in New York, told Healthline.
“Our genetics play a huge role in how we age, but we also change our genes through our lifestyles and environments,” Castaldo said. “The best way to predict how well you will age is by paying attention to your health, and also working with your physician for any preventative screenings or any medical esthetics that you would like to benefit from.”
Have a good attitude
A good attitude and graceful acceptance of the inevitable changes can go a long way to making you both feel and look younger.
“It’s funny and a little uncanny how we grow to resemble our parents as we age,” Hellman said. “But we live in a more advanced world, with better nutrition and much more self-awareness than previous generations. We tend to live longer, and we look younger. You know what they say about 50 being the new 30? If you apply that to all age groups, you will understand that taking care of yourself the best possible way is a great investment into the long-term future.”
“Anyone who says they feel like they’re 20 is either lying, or they have a really good attitude,” Bergin said. “And that is sometimes the difference between feeling and looking your age.”