Combat Aging With These Tips That Actually Work

Things change a bit when you start getting older, especially when you make it to age 30. For starters, you’re not a young, careless 20-something anymore and you might be able to feel the difference. You may feel stressed about where you are in your career, the amount of money you make, and your relationship status. One of the biggest and hardest things about turning 30 is that aging is suddenly inevitable.

You may notice slight wrinkles or discolorations of your skin or have the realization that you can’t shove junk into your body and expect your metabolism to clean it up. Some days your body may feel like it belongs to an 80-year-old as your joints begin to ache, you experience your first back problems, and you look into the mirror one day and notice an extra layer of flab covering your once-chiseled abs. Getting older is part of growing up, but there are ways to age slowly and gracefully so you don’t look in the mirror at 40 and feel, or look, like you’re 50. Here’s what you can do.

1. Steer clear of sun

Woman wearing hat applying sunscreen

Protect yourself from the sun. | iStock.com/LiudmylaSupynska

Exposure to ultraviolet light is actually essential for your health. It provides your body with vitamin D, which maintains a healthy mineral metabolism, bone growth, and may be critical in controlling autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. That being said, sun is the number one cause of wrinkles. One study on identical twins found that the sibling who spent ample time in the sun looked older and had more wrinkles than the twin who limited their sun exposure. The key when it comes to sun is finding a good balance and wearing skin-saving sunscreen daily.

2. Clean up your diet

healthy foods and junk food

Keep your diet clean to age gracefully. | iStock.com

It may not seem like what you eat could impact how you age, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Your biological age — or how well your body is functioning — may be higher or lower than the chronological age listed on your driver license. What you eat can do more than determine your BMI — it is the key to keeping old age at bay. If you have inflammation resulting in joint pain or stiffness, it’s a sign you need to need to eat better. When your eyelids start dropping it may be a sign of oxidative stress, which allows free radicals to accumulate and cause cell damage. Beat the droop by nixing processed foods. Instead, reach for healthier choices like fruits, veggies, and nuts.

3. Get serious about sleep

a man sleeping

Sleeping is a must. | iStock.com

When you were in your 20s, you may have pulled regular all-nighters and prided yourself on how little sleep you could get without crashing. It may seem harmless and fun, but skipping out on sleep is one of the most damaging things you can do. In addition to impairing memory and cognitive performance, one study found that sleep deprivation causes your skin to age faster. Sleep-deprived people experience accelerated aging of the skin and a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure.

4. Stop eating sugar (no, really)

various types of sugar

Sugar causes major problems in all aspects of your health. | iStock.com

If you’ve ever been on a diet, sweets were probably one of the first things you had to give up. It’s no secret sugar is bad for your waistline, but what most people don’t know is the impact of sugar on the skin. When you eat sugar your insulin levels jump, which then leads to a burst of inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation produces enzymes that actually break down collagen and elastin, two things necessary for healthy, supple skin. As collagen and elastin decrease, sagging skin and wrinkles increase.

 5. Start a skin care routine

young woman applying face cream

Make your skin a priority. | iStock.com/LuminaStock

If you haven’t already established a skin care routine, now is the time to start. Wash your face regularly and find a moisturizer that loves your skin as much as you do. As you age your skin naturally becomes drier, so you’ll need to find a light moisturizer with SPF you can put on every day. It’s also smart to invest in a night cream that contains antioxidants, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and retinol. In addition to a daily skin care routine, start exfoliating weekly and invest in a good facial peel every now and then.