Don’t smoke. Sleep well. Exercise often. Stay out of the sun. Load up on antioxidants. Eat organic foods.
We know. We’ve heard it all before. We know how to maintain youthful skin… Or do we?
While you should be staying out of the sun and munching on blueberries, there are many more things you can do to ensure that your skin stays clear, smooth, and youthful when you hit an age where wrinkles and age spots are supposed to be part of your life.
Some of the following 10 secrets might surprise you:
1. Drink Plenty of Water
If you have a moment, take a look at Christie Brinkley.
Take a stab at how old she is. 35? 40? 45? Nope. She’s 60 years old. Yes, sixty. Let that sink in for a minute.
So, what’s her secret? Water. During her modeling days, she drank at least one liter of water a day, which was a smart move. Because water evaporates from the skin, you need to constantly replenish your body with water. If you don’t, your skin will end up dry and saggy. Water keeps your skin plump, elastic, and smooth. So skip the Coke and load up on H2O. Your future self will thank you.
2. Eat Cooked Tomatoes
Cooked tomatoes? What?
Yes, you read that right. Cooked tomatoes are one of the best foods you can eat to maintain youthful skin. Tomatoes are chock full of a powerful antioxidant called Lycopene, which helps protect the skin from sun damage. Lycopene is best absorbed by the body when cooked or processed, hence the cooked tomatoes. In this case, opt for some roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, or organic ketchup instead of raw tomatoes.
If you don’t like tomatoes, no problem! Red peppers and beets also contain Lycopene.
3. Eat Red Meat
Red meat gets a lot of flak because it’s fatty, bad for the heart, and loaded with hormones. All that may be true, but if you want youthful skin, you better start stocking up on steak.
When taken in moderation, red meat is actually great for the skin because it’s loaded with protein and zinc. It’s also been found to treat acne better than antibiotics. The protein found in meat contains high concentrations of the amino acids (Proline and Glycine, to be specific) your body needs to produce collagen. Zinc is also just what the doctor–er, dermatologist–ordered, because it produces a lot of collagen and has anti-inflammatory properties.
If you don’t eat red meat, all hope is not lost. There are plenty of other collagen-boosting foods you can load up on, such as berries, soy, citrus fruits, nuts, and eggs.
4. Develop a Green Tea Addiction
Everyone and their mother knows that green tea is full of antioxidants, but what not everyone knows is that drinking a cup of green tea twice a day for six months can actually reverse the sun damage on your skin.
Green tea has high concentrations of Catechin, an antioxidant that’s well-known for its anti-aging effect. It protects your skin against UV radiation, thus helping to prevent the growth of moles and age spots. Catechin also has some anti-inflammatory powers that help delay the onset of wrinkles.
If you don’t like the taste of green tea, you’re in luck, because you can apply it topically and still get the same anti-aging benefits!
5. Or Go for White Tea
If green tea’s not your cup o’ tea (sorry, couldn’t resist), then consider grabbing a cup of white tea. It doesn’t offer the same benefits as green tea, but it is beneficial. The anti-aging properties in white tea help protect collagen and other structural proteins of the skin. It prevents the enzyme activity that breaks down collagen and causes wrinkles.
6. Snack on Carrots
If you want smooth, beautiful, youthful skin, you need a healthy dose of Vitamin A every day. Look no further than orange veggies, like carrots and sweet potatoes, because they’re rich in Vitamin A, and will help restore and regenerate damaged collagen.
7. Opt for Natural Skin Care Products
Many skin care products are laden with harsh chemicals that will actually speed up your skin’s aging process. You’re better off using natural skin care products, because they contain properties derived from plants. However, you should always check the ingredients to ensure that your skin will benefit from the product you’re about to buy.
8. Avoid Toxic Cleaning Products
What do cleaning products have to do with wrinkles? A lot, actually. Your skin absorbs toxic chemicals (which happens a lot when you spray cleaning products on surfaces), and that speeds up your skin’s aging process.
9. Wash Your Face with Honey
Did you know that Cleopatra took milk and honey baths to keep her skin fresh and wrinkle-free? She was onto something, because honey is fantastic for your skin. It’s full of antioxidants, it opens up your pores, and it moisturizes your skin. So ditch the face wash (which is probably loaded with harsh chemicals anyway) and start washing your face with honey!
10. Slather Turmeric All Over Your Face
People in India have been doing this for a thousand years. They’re doing something right, because the anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric soften the skin, clear acne, reduce swelling, and diminish wrinkles.
So, how exactly can you slather turmeric all over your face? By making a turmeric face mask, of course! Here’s how you can do this:
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons rice flour (for oily skin) OR finely ground oats (for dry or mature skin)
3 tablespoons plain yogurt (or milk, cream, or sour cream)
Slather the mixture on your clean face, and then let it dry. After 15-20 minutes, rinse it off. Try doing this once a week, and if it goes well, increase the frequency to every day or every other day.