I was taught in medical school, that the best (and sometimes only) treatment for most conditions is prophylaxis, and this couldn’t be any more accurate when talking about aging.
Aging is a long-set, extended process, defined as the slowed rate of the body’s regenerative power which occurs naturally with time. This basically means that in young age, the cells that die every day are replaced very quickly and efficiently by new cells, but with aging, the replacement process is not as quick or as efficient.
The aging process starts from as early as your 20s yet is only starting to show in your 40s or even late 30s. And here lies the problem, when you start seeing signs that you have aged, it usually means you’re too late. Proper anti-aging methods (that don’t involve injecting toxins to paralyze your facial muscles) can only do as much as delaying aging, not reversing it.
Here are the guaranteed lifestyle changes that will help you age like fine wine:
The Antioxidant Therapy:
As much as it seems like the name of a fancy serum or treatment, it really isn’t.
Antioxidants are natural compounds that inhibit oxidation, a process where multiple chain reactions produce substances known as ‘Free Radicals’ which cause oxidative damage to cells, proteins, and DNA, thus speeding up the aging process.
Antioxidants are found in food and drinks such as dark chocolate, berries, Green tea, and coffee, and foods (or supplements) rich in vitamins E and C.
Having a diet rich in antioxidants, or using cosmetic products infused with antioxidants is one of the most effective anti-aging measures you can take, as it keeps your cells ‘younger’ and more tolerant to damage.
Sunscreen is your new best friend:
Aside from reducing the risk of getting skin cancer, daily use of a high SPF (30 or more) sunscreen is proven to protect from all the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, which causes noticeable premature skin aging also known as photoaging: the wrinkling, spotting, and loss of elasticity caused by sun exposure to skin.
Drop those cigarettes, now.
Smoking is one of the most disastrous habits performed by humans, and aside from the cardiovascular complications it causes, and the soaring-high risk of fatal lung cancer, it ages you like nothing else.
Smoking is the strongest predictor of facial wrinkling in men and women, the nicotine in cigarettes cause vasoconstriction (narrowing) in the facial blood vessels which causes reduced blood flow to the skin and therefore, not enough nutrients or oxygen can reach the skin to give it essential nutrition. Also, tobacco contains chemicals that damage collagen and elastin (the major proteins in healthy tissue which are responsible of skin elasticity) both of those factors dramatically accelerate aging and wrinkle development.
Exercise like you love it
Aside from the fact that being in good shape makes you seem younger, working out actually keeps your body young. Exercising regularly significantly improves your peripheral blood flow and keeps your metabolism high, which leaves your skin glowing and radiant.
It also helps delay aging on the chromosomal (DNA) level, as it causes lengthening of your ‘Telomeres’ (which are the terminal parts of your DNA sequence that help protect you DNA from damage, those telomeres usually shorten with age until or even disappear, which is one of the main causes of senility and its associated complications.) Lengthening of those telomeres indicates longevity and better health on a cellular level, and delays aging.
Also, exercise relieves stress and causes a general “feel-good” mood because of the Endorphins released from the body, which are natural endogenous opioid peptides that produce painkilling (analgesic) effect and euphoria (known as the runner’s high). This general stress-repressing effect of endorphins helps fight aging and improves general mental and physical health.
Drink Lots Of Water
Taking extra trips to the bathroom seems like a fair price to pay for the plethora of benefits that come with decent water consumption.
Staying well hydrated does wonders to your skin, it helps in clearing of acne, detoxifies your blood, and brightens your skin, replenishing the skin tissue, maintaining moisture, reducing appearance of fine lines, reducing spots and scar appearance, and even reducing weight. To make sure you’re properly hydrated, your urine should be pale and clear.
Exfoliate, Moisturize, Serum, Repeat:
Keeping your skin clean and fresh from atmospheric pollutants is very essential for all of those tips to actually show, make sure you gently exfoliate 2-3 times a week, moisturize multiple times per day, and use vitamin-enriched serums to maintain a glowing skin appearance.
Just remember to steer clear from products that contain harsh chemicals, alcohol, or those that tend to sting your face on application, irritated skin isn’t happy skin.
Finally, remember that no matter what you do, aging is inevitable. and it’s how you embrace your true self is what matters most, so don’t get too overwhelmed with trying to reverse time that you forget what matters most, living.
Salma Kamal is a healthcare content writer and editor based in Cairo, Egypt. Specializing in content related to Women’s health, fitness, and wellbeing, She is also a full-time medical student and an in-field health education and human rights advocate.