Somewhere around mid-January we realize that despite our best intentions, the only thing the new year has brought us is one more year of crow’s feet and gray hairs that appear in more places than an Everybody Loves Raymond rerun. The ten tricks below will keep you looking younger than ever. The best part? They’re totally stress-free—and isn’t that really the key to looking younger longer?
1. Green Tea
I’m not going to bore you with details about what the scientists are discovering about green tea, or why Chinese women have been drinking it for centuries, or why I drink it by the gallon a day. But I will tell you this—this is one of the only scientifically backed natural remedies for wrinkles, cancer prevention, and heart health, and it boosts up that metabolism. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, specifically the antioxidant superpower—Epigallocatechin Gallate, otherwise known as EGCG. Feel guilty about that pizza you ate an hour ago? Or shouldn’t have had the cheesecake? Drinking green tea after consuming fatty foods is scientifically proven to help reduce how much of that fat your body actually absorbs. Drink green tea daily for an all-over younger, healthier, skinnier look this new year! My favorite brand? Mighty Leaf Tropical Green Tea ($9.95–$49.50, Mightyleaf.com)
2. SPF, SPF, SPF
It doesn’t matter if there’s still twelve feet of snow on the ground and you’re months away from trading knee-high boots for flip-flops. The sun (even when it doesn’t seem like there is one.) is the main culprit in premature aging. At least an SPF 15 and sunglasses this winter will keep your eyes wrinkle-free, soften any wrinkles that you might have, and prevent other sun culprits from making their mark. For a silky complexion, I wear Olay’s Total Effects UV fragrance-free cream ($20.97, Walmart.com)
3. Omega 3, 6, and Fatty Acids
Essential fat. That sounds oxymoronic, now doesn’t it? But the omega-3s found in fish oil supplements, salmon, and eggs, for example, keep your brain functioning (meaning you’ll fight off Alzheimer’s better) for longer and keep that heart pumping stronger. But most importantly, these fatty acids keep your skin soft and supple, so you can look as young as you sound.
Nature Made odorless fish oil in 1200 mg softgels ($10.29–$21.49, Soap.com)
4. Bang! Bang!
Sick of catching sight of every frown you’ve ever made? Try cutting bangs; not only do they help round out the face, which those of us over twenty-five start to need, thanks to collagen depletion, but they also hide pesky forehead lines. Not into the look? You can buy clip-in bangs and road-test the look! Try Hair Bangs Clip on in Extension—Italian Remy 100 percent human hair ($21.99, Amazon.com). You can also avoid bringing attention to your forehead and lines by minimizing the amount of makeup you wear there. Cut your foundation in half and skip the powder. You’ll be shocked to find what an impact this will have on re-creating a smoother forehead.
5. Vitamin C Serum
I read once that anyone over the age of twenty-six should regularly use a serum with their daily skin regimen. But anybody that’s shopped for a cream or serum knows that the options are limitless—and the price can be a deterrent. Vitamin C helps the body produce more collagen, over time giving your face a plumper, more youthful complexion. One of my favorites? Lumene Vitamin C radiant dual serum AM and PM ($19.99, Dermstore.com)
6. Quit Smoking
Not trying to sound like your mother here, and I won’t go through all the numerous reasons why smoking is hazardous to your health—you already know those. But what you might not know is exactly why it makes you look older. Carcinogens in cigarette smoke act as a toxic plastic bag around the face, depriving it of oxygen (and nutrients). This is one of the reasons that smokers have a hard time getting rid of the rippled lines around their mouth, nose, and eyes. Not going to get preachy about this one, but just quit already.
7. Whiten Those Pearly Yellows
Over time, our teeth become an artist’s palette of everything we’ve chewed, sipped, and smoked over the last ten years. Luckily, there are several options for whitening your teeth, from laser whitening in the dentist’s office to bleach trays to Crest Whitening Strips. I love the Go Smile whitening kits, especially if you’ve had your teeth professionally whitened before and are looking for a great way to maintain. Go All Out, Go Smile two-step whitening system ($120, Sephora.com)
8. Hit the Gym
Usually when talk of the gym comes up, it’s because someone wants tighter abs, slimmer thighs, or toned arms. While it’s true that losing weight can help you look younger, there’s another reason why going to the gym on a regular basis can take years off your face: oxygen. When you turn that iPod up and engage yourself in thirty minutes of cardio three to four times a week, more oxygen is pumped through your bloodstream, refreshing skin and giving you up to ten years of youth back—while adding years to your life.
9. Come to the Dark Side
Leafy greens and spinach—that’s it. A personal trainer once told me that if you want to stay alive as long as a plant, you should eat more of them. Sounds a little strange, but dark greens, especially kale and spinach, contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (which we need especially after consuming sugar) to keep skin from deteriorating.
10. Stress Less and Smile
Simple solutions sometimes offer the biggest results, but they aren’t always so simple to maintain over time. It’s a crazy world we live in, and everywhere we turn someone or something is trying to pull at our energy, our focus, and our happiness. Take a minute throughout the day to consciously remember to smile and that, no matter what, you’ll be okay. Reflect upon the good in your life—and be grateful for what you already have. Try this for a few weeks, and watch as the compliments on a younger-looking you roll in.
Originally published on BettyConfidential