How to hold back time and look and feel younger

Ever look back at photos of yourself when you were younger, and wonder why you didn’t appreciate your youthful looks more?

As we get older, our bodies and minds age. And the plump skin and flexibility body we once took for granted can gradually slip away without us even noticing.

But as much as aging is a natural process (and a privilege – how many people don’t get the chance to get old?), we don’t have to passively accept every sign of it.

There are several things we can all start doing today to help slow the passing of time, and ensure that we enjoy good physical and mental health into our later years.

To help you design your own anti-aging strategy, the people at OGLF (Our Good Living Formula) explore the factors that impact the aging process, and outline some of the ways you can help to look and feel younger.

The biology of aging

In order to identify ways we can help to slow aging, we first need to understand the biology of the process.

Hormones make up a huge part of the chemistry of our bodies, and as we get older, the balance becomes compromised due to a number of external and internal factors, such as stress, menopause, diet and general health issues.

It’s important to be aware of what kind of hormones affect what part and how it contributes to aging, so that you can take supplements or alter your diet and lifestyle to bring that balance back into play, and help stay younger for longer.

Eight hormones that play a role in aging

There are eight hormones that affect the way you look and play a role in your appearance as you age.

1) Testosterone

This hormone plays a significant role in how your skin looks. As you get older, your levels of testosterone can become imbalanced. Too much testosterone can result in acne, and too little can cause your skin to dry out.

2) Estrogen

At some point, if you’re a woman, you’ll go through the menopause. Menopause is associated with many physical and emotional symptoms, and can significantly affect the way women feel, act and look as they age. The reduction in estrogen can make skin thinner, which in turn results in sagging and wrinkles.

3) Growth hormone

If you’re experiencing elasticity and sagging issue anywhere on your face, then growth hormone could be the culprit. This is common as you age, and there are plenty of supplements that can help with this hormone in particular.

4) Insulin

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then this can catch up with you over time, and affect the appearance of your skin and accelerate the rate at which it sags and wrinkles. To mitigate this, it’s advisable to limit your sugar intake.

5) DHEA

This hormone is crucial for smooth and hydrated skin and, as you age you can have less of this hormone in your body. So if you’re starting to look older faster, it’s important to test to identify whether you have a deficiency in this hormone.

6) Cortisol

Cortisol and DHEA go hand in hand – if you have too much cortisol and too little DHEA, your skin will be affected, something that is common in old age. The rise in cortisol usually occurs due to stress, so finding ways to reduce stress is essential.

7) Melatonin

Melatonin is one of the most important hormones in your body, and plays a huge role in staying young. It is an antioxidant that keeps your skin ‘happy’ and bright, as well as acting as a protector from the sun’s UV rays.

8) Progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone that is exclusive to women. And as you get older, stress and menopause can cause your levels to drop. Progesterone plays a huge role in the effectiveness of your circulation, and in turn affects the elasticity and quality of your skin’s health and appearance.

Four healthy lifestyle choices that can help to slow down aging

In the age of knowledge and technology, it’s no secret that the way we live our lives greatly affects our mental and physical health – and the way we age.

Staying physically and mentally young well into your senior years is more achievable when you adopt a health lifestyle. Here are four healthy lifestyle choices that can help hold back the years.

1) Yoga

Yoga is a popular way to stay looking and feeling younger. It can help to reduce stress, while keeping you toned, strong and flexible. Yoga is a gentle exercise, and you can find classes suitable for any ability or age.

2) Diet

The food and drink we consume is the fuel on which our body derives its energy and nutrients. So it makes sense that the healthier your diet, the healthier your body – and the easier you’ll find it to hold back the aging process. The right diet is one of the most important factors in aging. 

3) Alcohol and tobacco

The tag team of alcohol and tobacco are the enemies of youthful looking skin and hair. But, while smoking is an absolute no-no, if drunk in moderation, alcohol doesn’t have to be completely eliminated. Indeed, people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol – particularly red wine – appear to have a lower level of heart disease.

4) Exercise

Yoga isn’t the only physical activity that can help you retain your youth for longer. Most exercises are safe to do as you age, and can help keep your body and mind younger. Exercise also come with other benefits – taking on an interest, especially a sport, has been shown to have a rejuvenating effect and defies the stereotypes of old age. 

The cosmetic aids that can help hold back time

While giving your body and brain every possible natural advantage through lifestyle choices is the most important strategy to combat aging, we also need to consider any cosmetic aids that can help you look younger than your years.

There’s an important reason to cover this. Looking younger isn’t just a vanity – if we feel better about our appearance, we’ll have more confidence. This will contribute to greater wellbeing, and enable us to be more active and sociable. All of which will contribute to feeling and acting younger.

So you could argue that looking younger can actually help you feel and be younger as you age.

Makeup and skincare products

There are plenty of advances being made in the world of makeup that help to hide wrinkles and fine lines while still keeping your skin looking natural.

Many of these products have become very environmentally aware, and more advanced in identifying the ingredients that best protect your skin.

Whichever products you choose, it’s important to have a skin care regimen, and take steps to nurture and protect your skin. Finding the right moisturizing products, and skincare that protects you from the sun’s rays are basic essentials.

Cosmetic surgery

A good skincare routine and expert applied makeup can only do so much. Some women and men are increasingly turning to surgical help to turn the clock back and give them a fresher, younger look.

Cosmetic surgery doesn’t have to be as drastic, invasive and expensive as a full face lift. Today there are many choices of non-invasive procedures that are offered by high street beauticians and spas. Here are some of the most popular anti-aging treatments:

  • Botox and injectables – Botox and other similar options help by filling out wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Coolsculpting – Coolsculpting is the process of freezing the fats in your body so that they can be easily melted naturally. 
  • Vitamin shots – If you have a deficiency such as vitamin B12 or D, then many medical spas offer shots or IV drips.
  • Laser treatment – This treatment helps to get rid of unwanted hair anywhere on your body, including your face, and the results last for a considerably long time.
  • Facials – There is an array of facial treatment options for all kinds of facial skin care issues and care.
  • Microneedling – This is the process by which microscopic needles pierce your skin to stimulate the production of collagen, which promotes healthier skin.
  • Chemical peel – This is popular facial treatment allows your skin to rejuvenate itself by shedding all of the old skin on your face.
  • Platelet rich plasma treatment – Your own blood is used in this face and body treatment. Some of your blood is taken and infused with vitamins and protein. It’s then either applied topically onto your body and face, or injected into your scalp to promote hair growth.

How you age is YOUR choice

If you’re lucky, getting old is an inevitability. We’re all going to age, and our bodies and minds will start to slow down and function less efficiently.

But the speed at which you age, and how you feel and act as you get older, is partly a choice.

When you understand the mechanics of your body and how it functions – and what it needs to stay healthy – you can make the right lifestyle choices for you to help you slow down the aging process as much as possible.

So you can enjoy a healthier, happier and more confident and fulfilled life, whatever age you are. (Or act.)

Photo by Yayan Sopian