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While it’s unfortunately not possible to stop the march of time completely, there are many healthy lifestyle habits that can keep you looking younger, longer. Taking care of yourself is important, not only because it makes you feel good, but also because it can help you maintain smoother skin, a youthful physique and fuller, shinier hair.
Beauty Benefits of a Healthy Diet
A diet rich in antioxidants and the right kind of fats can benefit your skin just as much as any anti-aging lotion. The omega-3 fatty acids found in wild-caught salmon help skin stay moisturized and feeling supple. The mineral selenium offers some protection from the sun, although that’s not at all an excuse to skimp on sunscreen! Selenium is found in salmon, as well as shellfish like shrimp and oysters. In addition to giving you glowing skin, these seafood favorites help keep hair shiny and full. Not a fan of fish? You’ll also find heart-healthy, age-defying omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts, soybeans and chia seeds. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that has demonstrated anti-aging properties. Blueberries, kiwis, sweet potatoes, beans, apples and artichokes are a few other healthy foods packed with antioxidants.
As we age, the eyes can start to look dull or cloudy, with whites that are not as white as they once were. The nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin work to keep eyes looking bright and clear. Leafy greens like kale, spinach and collard greens are excellent sources of both. In addition to the cosmetic benefits, lutein and zeaxanthin prevent sun damage, macular degeneration and cataracts.
Maintain an Exercise Regimen
The health benefits of exercise are already well-known, and a regular workout will also help you turn back the clock by giving you more energy, preventing poor posture and keeping your metabolism revved up and burning fat. Exercise even helps your skin maintain the elasticity necessary for a more youthful appearance! A recent study at McMaster University showed that adults over 40 who exercised regularly had skin that resembled the smoother, more elastic skin of 20-somethings in the group more than their similarly-aged compatriots who didn’t exercise – even after taking sun exposure into account.
It’s important to get in the habit of exercising regularly and stick with it. Yo-yo dieting is very bad for the skin, causing it to look less tight and contributing to the development of cellulite. Have you ever seen a balloon that’s been blown up and deflated a few times? Even when the air is let out, the balloon looks a bit stretched and saggy. Your skin works much the same way. Stretching it out and then losing weight can cause skin to appear loose and less elastic. By maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle, you’ll keep your skin taut and youthful for much longer, as well as enjoy a more toned physique.
Avoid Sun Damage
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to prevent the physical signs of aging is protecting your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. UV rays cause fine lines, wrinkles, sunspots and a coarse appearance, in addition to significantly increasing the risk of skin cancer. The absence of a sunburn does not mean you are protected from the aging effects of the sun, either. Small amounts of daily sun exposure that don’t result in a sunburn can still cause plenty of damage over time. Be sure to wear a lotion with broad-spectrum SPF every day, even if you are not spending a great deal of time outdoors. “Broad spectrum” means the product protects from UVB rays that cause visible sunburn, as well as UVA rays that cause melanoma.
If you are planning to be outdoors in the sun, cover up as much skin as possible with a floppy hat and loose, long-sleeved shirt if you can. Make sure to apply sunblock of at least SPF 30 every two hours or more, starting about half an hour before you go outside. Many people do not receive the full protection promised on the sunblock bottle because they aren’t using enough. Apply about a teaspoon of sunblock to your face, and use about an ounce to adequately protect your body. Your skin is your body’s first line of defense, and you only get one skin, so protect it as much as possible.
Anti-Aging in Houston
Taking care of your body goes a long way to keep the visible signs of aging at bay and keep you looking and feeling good. But getting older doesn’t mean you have to look old. Please contact Livingston Plastic Surgery if you have any questions about skincare, sun damage prevention and aging aesthetically.