We are living longer and our population is getting older - and more attractive. No longer satisfied with looking good for our age, many of us would, if possible, would prefer not to show any effects of aging at all. Wrinkles, age spots, forehead furrows and baggy eyelids have become optional. Got crow's feet? Freeze them with Botox. Got laugh lines? Fill them in with Restylane. Got a saggy neck? Have a doctor tighten and tuck it with a scalpel. Through a combination of such procedures, a surgeon can spackle, stuff and carve a face to achieve perfectly smooth, unlined, ageless skin.
Many celebrities appear to have stopped or slowed the clock and essentially frozen their appearances in time for years or even decades. Can you believe that supermodel Christie Brinkley is 57, British actress Helen Mirren is 65, actor Harrison Ford is 68, singer Cliff Richard and actress Raquel Welch are 70, "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek is 71 and TV icon William Shatner is 80? It's hard to say whether these individuals' deceptively young appearances are natural, but there also are many celebrities who have fought Father Time through anti-aging techniques and clearly lost; consider Priscilla Presley, Joan Rivers, Kenny Rogers and even relative youngster Courtney Love, all folks who were once handsome or pretty but who now just look, well, odd.
The anti-aging industry thrives because a certain amount of beauty in aging is out of our control. Some say if you want to age well, choose your parents well. But talk to anyone you admire for looking younger or aging well and they will tell you that it's really about lifestyle choices. It's a proven fact: eating right and exercising help you age well. Fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains all are high in antioxidants. For younger looking skin, make sure you get plenty of vitamins C and E, which work together to restore collagen in your skin. You also need plenty of Omega 3, which maintains the structure and fluidity of cells and moisturizes the skin from within. Meanwhile, exercise will give you more energy, build muscle mass, increase blood flow to your skin, help prevent high blood pressure, reduce anxiety, strengthen bones and raise your metabolic rate so you lose more weight more quickly.
Other ways to naturally look younger include:
- Quit smoking. Smoking accelerates skin aging by encouraging the destruction of collagen. The telltale signs of "smoker's face" are dull, greyish, dry skin, increased wrinkling around the eyes and puckering wrinkles around the mouth.
- Protect your skin from the sun. Sun damage is the number one enemy of younger looking skin. Always have sunscreen with you so you never get caught out on a sunny day. If you want a tan, fake it.
- Drink green tea. Recent research shows that drinking green tea during the day can protect you from all forms of cancer, build your resistance to heart disease and dementia and contribute to your body's ability to burn fat, especially abdominal fat, resulting in weight loss even where there is no change in your daily diet.
- Get your beauty sleep. When you sleep, your body releases growth hormone which stimulates cell turnover.
- Relax. Stress hormones suppress the immune system and accelerate the aging process.
- Drink more water. Without sufficient water your skin will dehydrate, and essential anti-aging nutrients cannot get to your system.
If you have the means, you could spend thousands of dollars to try to stop the effects of aging, with mixed results. Or, you can realize that if you live well, you can age gracefully and naturally and be beautiful just the way you are.
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