When you’re a kid or teen, you don’t think about the signs of premature aging. Instead, you focus on having fun and enjoying life. By the time you hit your 30s, though, you’re often faced with an uncomfortable reality: You’re getting older, and your body is beginning to show some wear and tear.
At that point, you can simply accept your fate and continue doing what you’ve been doing. Or, you can take the proverbial bull by the horns and start thinking about ways to reverse (or at least mitigate) the signs of premature aging. Most people, naturally, do the latter. That’s why the beauty industry boasts a comprehensive value of $532 billion. It’s also why beauty is projected to be big business for as long as humans walk the earth.
How can you not just acknowledge but address the signs of premature aging? There are a few key ways. Below, you’ll find recommendations to help you avoid looking and feeling older than your calendar years. In fact, if you pay attention right away and make some changes in your lifestyle and habits, you may start to get more compliments than you did a decade ago.
Take Care of Your Skin
Here’s a big question: What’s the biggest organ in your body? If you guessed the heart, you’re wrong. Same with the kidneys and liver. The answer will probably surprise you: It’s your skin.
Your skin is a living organ that protects your body and also serves a host of other purposes. You regulate your body temperature through your skin, for instance. By perspiring, you can handle 100-degree days. Without the cooling abilities of the skin, you’d be in sorry shape.
Unfortunately, most of us take our skin for granted. Though that’s not a problem in small doses, neglect takes its toll over time. That’s why your skin on your face, neck, and other visible parts of the body begin to show signs of premature aging.
What can you do about those signs of premature aging? First of all, spend time moisturizing your skin from head to toe daily. Be sure to use a moisturizing product that’s suitable for your skin type, whether your skin’s oily, normal, sensitive, or combination.
Next, consider attacking those wrinkles and fine lines around your eyes, between your eyebrows, on your forehead, and at the corners of your mouth. A trained, certified professional can introduce fillers into the skin to smooth out the rough spots. When properly injected, fillers plump up the looks of your skin without hurting it.
Finally, wear sunscreen when you’re outdoors. Remember to slather it on when the temperature’s not hot, too. If you hate the way sunscreen feels against your skin, consider using an umbrella or parasol, or wearing a hat. The sun may feel good on your skin, but it’s a huge culprit in bringing out the signs of premature aging.
Don’t Rule Our Orthodontic Treatment
Your skin isn’t the only part of your body that will show signs of premature aging. Your mouth will, too. Take yellow, discolored, crooked teeth. They can make you look older even if you’re in the prime of life. The good news is that you can fix this issue by heading to your nearest orthodontist for a consultation.
Even though the concept of braces for adults isn’t new, many adults still hesitate to ask a dental professional whether or not they can fix overbite problems or solve gapped teeth. They can, of course, and they don’t need to use bracketed braces.
Advanced technologies have made clear braces an everyday solution to straighter smiles. Clear braces work by forcing the teeth into more natural positions through the use of a plastic aligner. The plastic aligner fits snugly over the upper and lower arch of teeth. Every 10 days or so, the aligner is switched out and replaced with a new one. Eventually, the teeth move to the preferred position.
Getting orthodontic treatment isn’t cheap, to be sure. (Hat tip: Check your dental healthcare insurance to see if orthodontics could be fully or partially covered.) Yet it’s a proven way for older patients to feel more confident and attractive. In today’s society, straight teeth are associated with tons of positives, including visual appeal. Therefore, talking with an orthodontist may end up being one of the ways any person can stop the signs of premature aging.
Consider Cosmetic Enhancements
You might not be all on-board with cosmetic surgery or enhancements. However, you shouldn’t dismiss them altogether. Plenty of cosmetic options aren’t as invasive as you might fear. Others that are, such as full-blown facelifts, might be a practical choice.
For example, let’s say you’re in the business of being on camera quite a bit. Lots of professionals are now, especially since the pandemic forced so many business people online. You want to look your best during videoconferencing, or when giving a keynote speech during a live streaming event. Consequently, cosmetic enhancements could be the perfect fit.
You don’t have to decide on your own about cosmetic surgery or choices, though. Rather, get in touch with a professional in your area. Sit down for a meeting and talk about what you need. Getting an objective opinion (or even two, if you go for a second opinion somewhere else,) can help point you in the right cosmetic direction.
Make Sleep a Priority
Have you ever noticed that after a few nights of sleeping poorly that you begin to show signs of premature aging? Your eyes develop a sunken-in look. Your under-eye area becomes darker and puffy. Your skin takes on a grayish cast. And your lips seem to lose their vibrant hue.
Sleeping is extremely important to functioning at your best. The longer you go without getting a good night’s sleep, the worse you’re going to look and feel. After months or years of extreme fatigue and sleep deprivation, you can’t help but appear worn out and worn down.
If you have a medical reason for your sleepless nights, such as untreated insomnia or depression, get help. Talk to your family physician and see what you can do to get more zzzs. If, on the other hand, you just don’t get enough sleep because of your routines, make sleep hygiene a priority.
What is a good sleep hygiene protocol? For starters, go to bed at the same time each night. Buy a new mattress if need be so you’re comfortable and cool the entire evening. Stay away from screens the last hour before bedtime. Also, stop eating and drinking for an hour or two before you hit the sack. Be sure your bedroom is dark and quiet. Oh, and set an alarm to wake up consistently at a specific time each day. You’ll ward off signs of premature aging and feel more alert during the day, too.
Listen to Young People’s Music
Believe it or not, what you fuel your mind can carry over into the way your body looks! Indulge yourself in finding out more about today’s youth culture. Listen to your kids’ music. Hang out on TikTok. Check out the current fashions.
You don’t have to adapt your style to try to “fit in” with young people, certainly. Yet getting closer to what’s important to today’s youngest generations will give you a unique perspective on the world. You may start to dress a bit differently and maybe even exhibit more of a trendy appearance. This can lead to you being perceived as a younger person by onlookers and folks you meet.
Don’t Ignore Pain
When you’re experiencing physical discomfort, you’re bound to show it on your face and in your body. Tons of people who have constant pain hunch over, walk with an unsual gait, or exhibit strained facial expressions.
This year, focus on pain management strategies. For instance, you might want to talk with your doctor about the latest in regenerative medicine. Or, you might prefer to look into holistic pain management through natural means, like meditation exercises.
Not sure why you’re in pain? Now’s the best time for a check-up. After all, you don’t have to live with pain. The sooner you can get to the root of the problem, the sooner you’ll be able to put discomfort behind you.
Invest in Regular Medical Appointments
Do you repeatedly ignore your medical checkups, even when you know that it would be best to get them? Avoiding going to the physician will only backfire, and could lead to signs of premature aging.
The more often you visit your doctors for dental treatments, eye exams, hearing exams, and wellness visits, the more likely you’ll be to get concerns diagnosed early. The earlier a physician can identify an issue, the faster you can take care of it.
Starting to see signs of premature aging in the mirror? Ask yourself if you’ve been skipping those doctor’s visits. If you have, you know what to do.
Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is not your friend when it comes to avoiding the telltale signs of premature aging. Though a glass of wine with dinner every now and then shouldn’t be a huge problem, drinking excessively can lead to unattractive skin.
Remember that when you drink to excess, your body may actually find clever ways to get rid of the alcohol. Sometimes, people start to smell like alcohol as it begins to seep from their skin. You can imagine that the process isn’t good for the skin or for anti-aging efforts!
Go lightly on the alcoholic beverages and look upon them as occasional treats, not as everyday must-haves. You’ll do your body a favor, and your mind will benefit as well. Plus, you’ll save money: The cost of alcohol isn’t going down.
When was the last time you invested fully in a weekly exercise regimen and stuck with it over the long-term? If getting fit has been on your to-do list for far too long, you need to make it a priority.
Start by thinking about a type of workout that you could actually enjoy, such as jogging or bike riding or walking. Then, make sure you find out how to do it safely. For instance, if you’re interested in finishing a 5K in the coming months, look up how to run properly to avoid injury.
Regular exercise flushes out toxins from the body. It can even give you a temporary glow that will make you seem like you’re much younger. Plus, you’ll probably gain muscle and lose fat, which will assist in keeping your body trim and youthful.
Eat With Health in Mind
You don’t need to starve yourself if you want to push away the signs of premature aging. But you should be cognizant of the foods that you’re putting into your body. At least two meals each day should be high in vitamins, protein, fiber, and calcium. Stay away from taking in too many saturated fats and simple carbohydrates.
By regulating your eating and reducing your reliance on sweets, salty snacks, and fatty finds, you’ll put less stress on your skin and body. Eventually, you’ll notice a big difference. Other people in your life probably will, too.
Supplement With Vitamins
Not sure you’re getting enough vitamins from your daily diet? While vitamins aren’t a total fix, they can be part of a healthier diet plan that will ward off signs of premature aging.
Talk with your physician about which vitamins you should be taking. Physicians sometimes prescribe certain vitamins based on a patient’s age, medical history, and goals. You might be told to just take a multivitamin, or your doctor could recommend a few key vitamins. Try the vitamins for at least 30-60 days before determining if they’ve made a difference that you can either see, feel, or maybe both.
Is There a Fountain of Youth?
So far, no one has found a fountain of youth. Still, making a few changes can impact those unwanted signs of premature aging that keep you up at night. Take it slowly and do a little at a time. Eventually, you’ll be treating your mind and body better, not to mention noticing in pictures a brand new you.