8 ways to look your best at any age

A woman laughs while lying on a bed.

No matter how many birthdays you’ve had, age is just a number. For many people, what matters most is to feel—and look—their best. Follow these simple tips to help you look great now and to keep looking your best as you get older.

Protect your skin

As you age, your skin becomes thinner and drier. It also gets less plump, smooth and elastic, which may cause wrinkles. If you take good care of your skin, it may actually make you look younger. Remember these 3 tips for younger looking skin:

Use sunscreen

Being exposed to the sun can lead to wrinkles, age spots and other problems. It puts you at risk for skin cancer and related complications. Using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 every day, even on cloudy days, is 1 way to help prevent these common signs of aging.1

Wash your face at night

Remember to clean your face with a cleanser at the end of the day to remove dirt and makeup. Make it part of your nightly routine. Harsh soaps or cleansers may irritate your skin and strip it of its natural oils, so find something gentle.2 Ask your doctor or a dermatologist for recommendations.

Use moisturizer

After you clean your skin, use a good moisturizer. Like sunscreen, it can help protect your skin from the elements. It can also help you avoid dry skin that may show wrinkles easily. Some moisturizers even have an SPF of 15 or higher. Try 1 of these, and use it as sunscreen as well.

Watch your diet

What you eat can make a big difference in how you look and feel. Think fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products (like milk, yogurt and cheese) and lean proteins (especially fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, nuts and beans).3 Talk with your doctor about your diet and ways to eat healthy. Follow his or her recommendations.

Get active

Workouts do more than help you lose weight. Exercise helps flush toxins from your body and skin, giving you a healthy looking glow. It can also improve your posture and muscle tone, which can make you look and feel better.

Sleep well

The term “beauty sleep” exists for a reason. Lack of sleep may not only give you puffy eyes and dark circles under them, but it may also make your skin look dull, dry and lifeless. So definitely try not to skimp on sleep if you want to look and feel your best.

Manage stress

How you feel on the inside may impact how you look on the outside. Stress, anxiety and depression may affect both your emotional and physical health. For example, stress can aggravate skin conditions. It’s even been linked to hair loss.4

To project your best outer self, take good care of your inner self. Try to reduce stress and stress symptoms. Practice relaxation and stress relief techniques like yoga, meditation or even a walk in a park or garden. Talk with your doctor about ways to reduce stress.

Don’t smoke

Finally, if you smoke, do everything you can to stop. Smoking is not only harmful to your body, but it can make you look much older. That’s because nicotine and other substances in tobacco prevent the proper flow of oxygen and important nutrients to your skin cells, causing wrinkles.5

Sources

  1. “Sun Safety,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed Aug. 30, 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm, opens new window.
  2. “How to Care for Your Skin in Your 60s and 70s,” American Academy of Dermatology, last accessed Aug. 30, 2019, https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/anti-aging-skin-care/creating-anti-aging-plan/skin-care-in-your-60s-and-70s, opens new window.
  3. “What Are Some Skin-Friendly Foods?” Medical News Today, last accessed Aug. 30, 2019, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322986.php, opens new window.
  4. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, “Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed Aug. 30, 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress-and-hair-loss/faq-20057820, opens new window.
  5. J. Taylor Hays, “Is It True that Smoking Causes Wrinkles?,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed Aug. 30, 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking/expert-answers/smoking/faq-20058153, opens new window.