Xanet Scheepers

Compiled by Xanet Scheepers

Digital Lifestyle Editor

5 tips that can help you look younger (no Botox required)

As the saying goes: looking young never gets old, but it’s not cheap either. Here’s how to maintain your youthful appearance without selling your kidney.

It’s one thing to say you are as old as you feel, but we are very age-conscious when it comes to our appearance. Both women and men spend thousands of rands every month on procedures and products to retain their youthful appearance, but what can we mere mortals, with budgets, do to keep the wrinkles away?

One of the first very important reality about ageing is to remember that skincare products and cosmetics will only keep you looking younger to a certain point.

“How you age is also influenced by your lifestyle choices. Taking care of yourself from the inside is just as important, if not more so, as any beauty regimen you may follow,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

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Changes in your body as you get older

As you get older, your body undergoes some massive changes. Your muscles tend to lose mass and strength, decreasing mobility and strength. Your bone density may decrease, increasing the risk of fractures and your skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity, resulting in wrinkles and sagging.

You also gain weight easier as you age because your metabolism slows down, which in turn makes it more challenging to maintain muscle mass.

This all sounds extremely depressing, but you can turn your frown upside down by implementing some cost-effective habits into your daily routine to slow down the hands of time.

5 habits that can help slow the ageing process down

Follow a balanced diet

A nutritious diet is the foundation of youthful skin and a healthy body. Incorporate these dietary habits into your daily life:

  • Eat various fruits and vegetables: These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals and support collagen production.
  • Choose lean proteins: Incorporate sources like fish, poultry, beans, and tofu to help repair and build skin tissues.
  • Healthy fats: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts can help maintain skin elasticity and hydration.
  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  • Limit sugar and processed foods: High sugar intake can lead to premature ageing by causing glycation. This process damages collagen and elastin fibres.
  • Antioxidant-rich foods: Berries, dark chocolate, and green tea are rich in antioxidants that can help protect your skin from oxidative stress.

Be sun safe

Did you know excessive sun exposure is a leading cause of premature ageing? Sun damage is cumulative, meaning that the effects of sun exposure add up over time. Even if you don’t see immediate signs of ageing, the damage may become more apparent as you get older.

Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by:

  • Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily, even on cloudy days.
  • Wearing protective clothing like wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves when spending time in the sun.
  • Staying out of direct sunlight during peak hours, typically from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Avoiding tanning beds, which can damage your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Sleep is important

Quality sleep is essential for a youthful appearance. During deep sleep, the body repairs and regenerates cells, including skin cells. Aim for 7-9 hours of restorative sleep each night to wake up feeling refreshed and looking rejuvenated.

Stay active

Regular exercise not only benefits your body but also your skin. Physical activity increases blood flow, which helps nourish skin cells and keep them healthy. Try to incorporate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.

Stress less

Chronic stress can lead to increased production of free radicals and oxidative stress in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells, including DNA, lipids, and proteins. This damage can accelerate the ageing process and increase the risk of age-related diseases. To help manage stress, try stress-reduction practises such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

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