Looking good is not about cosmetics, but about how well you are taking care of yourself inside and out.
So lots of things can affect how you look, stress, illness and hormone imbalance can all play their part so to help yourself to look better these are all things to watch out for.
It is about getting enough, and of the right quality, because if you don’t then your skin can start to wrinkle and sag early.
That’s in part because your body releases more cortisol, a “stress hormone” that breaks down the collagen that keeps your skin smooth and springy.
Try to set up a quiet, soothing bedtime ritual with regular hours, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and electronics before bed.
If you use tobacco, besides raising your chances of getting cancer, you could end up with wrinkled, sagging skin at a younger age.
Smoking lessens blood flow that carries essential nutrients like oxygen to the surface of your skin and may slow your body’s production of collagen.
Too much sun
Some sunlight is good for you, but soaking up too many UV rays damages collagen in your skin and may cause your body to make too much of a protein called elastin.
You might notice your skin start to thicken and develop a rough feel with deep wrinkles and varied colour (age spots).
If you must be in direct sun, cover up with hats, long sleeves, and sunglasses. Use a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that’s got a rating of SPF 30 or higher.
Too little moisture
If your skin dries out, it can give you the rough and scaly look of a much older person. Wash your skin once or twice a day either in the shower or a bath.
Try to be fairly gentle because hard scrubbing can irritate it and on your face use a mild cleanser without alcohol or other ingredients that could inflame, roughen, or dry out your skin.
Put in extra moisture with a rich body and face cream twice a day to help seal in the moisture that keeps you looking young.
An unhealthy diet
No one eats perfectly all the time, we all nee a few treats, but there is no doubt that the right foods help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses that sap your youthful energy.
Consider the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet or DASH diets as they are good for your brain, too.
You may have to cut back a little on fatty red meat, but you’ll get healthy fats from foods like fish, nuts, olive oil, and avocado, as well as plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Not enough exercise
Regular physical activity is a key way to keep yourself feeling young. It strengthens your muscles, boosts your energy, and improves your mood.
Moving around keeps your brain sharp and lessens the risk of age-related diseases like heart disease. You don’t need to go to a gym or join a rugby team. Some brisk walking, gardening, or even dancing is just fine — 30 minutes on most days of the week should do the trick.
Whether from the sun, or not having your glasses always to hand if you need them, it is a real wrinkle former.
When you squint, you crinkle up the skin on your face, which over time can lead to lines and wrinkles. Actually, any expression you make over and over can be a problem.
If you’re outside a lot, sunglasses might keep you from squinting and help prevent the “crow’s feet” that can develop on the outside corners of your eyes. A large brimmed hat wouldn’t hurt either.
Not enough contact with others
Staying connected with friends and family can help you stay young at heart — and boost your emotional and physical health, too.
It helps stave off anxiety, depression, and the dementia linked to old age, including Alzheimer’s disease. And when you look for a community, remember, it’s the quality of your social connections that matter, not the quantity.
If you have no immediate social network in your area, be brave and look for simple ways to connect with others. If you have time volunteer in some capacity and if busy find social groups on the internet that you can get interaction with and that share your interests.
Ignoring your blood pressure
High blood pressure raises your risk of age-related problems like vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, probably because it damages the tiny blood vessels in your brain.
People who control their blood pressure with diet, exercise, and medication seem to be able to slow or prevent this brain decline so make sure you get yours checked regularly.
Your body releases more “pleasure hormones,” or endorphins, when you spend money on other people than when you spend it on yourself. But it doesn’t have to be money.
The calmness, pleasure, and connection you feel when you help someone often makes you do it more, which in turn makes you even calmer and happier.
It lowers stress and may even help your heart health and immune system — your body’s defence against germs.
Avoid check ups
You should see your doctor at least once every year after age 50 for a thorough check up to have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels determined.
High levels can lead to heart disease, dementia, and other age-related illness and the earlier you find out about problems, the quicker you can start to treat them.
We all want to age well, and taking care of yourself is the best way to do that. Diet, exercise and a positive attitude go a long way to making you feel good about yourself.
Stress and anxiety will always affect you, and that includes your hormone balance, so make sure that you have it under control.
WARNING: Stress can seriously damage your health.
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