Get Glowing, Wellness

10 Best Anti-Aging Foods and Natural Beauty Tips

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Ours is a society that’s obsessed with youth, especially when it comes to women. Our masculine ideal of beauty is strong, dignified, commanding–Brad Pitt, say, rather than Justin Bieber. On the other hand, women stars from 15 to 55 all look about 25 years old: perky, wrinkle-free, and voluptuous. There is no shortage of chemical peels and cosmetic procedures, Botox, estrogen pills and even Human Growth Hormone for anyone who wants to look perpetually young, though the results are often startling, and not necessarily in a good way. In chasing the narrowest ideal of youth, it’s easy to miss out on the beauty of gracefulness at 30, of sensuality at 40, and of wisdom at 50.

aging beautifully by ian roberts

Look radiant at every age.

But wanting to age gracefully doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take great care of yourself. On the contrary, healthy diet and lifestyle, and gentle, natural beauty regimes will help you feel comfortable in your skin–and look radiant and glowing, no matter what your age.

1. To brighten your skin and even out dark circles and dark spots…

Try bearberry extract, kojic acid, licorice extract, and niacin (Vitamin B3). Antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E can help undo sun damage and bring back youthful glow. Try using an organic rose water toner, which is rich in Vitamin C, to brighten and even. Organic sweet almond oil contains Vitamin E, which is good for healing acne scars and uneven texture.

rose water estercspray by shea terra

Shea Terra Rose Water Ester-C Collagen Regeneration Spray, $18

2. To plump skin and smooth out wrinkles…

The best way to prevent wrinkles is to always put on sunblock. Make sure you wear at least SPF 30 broad spectrum sun protection. Here are some of our favorite natural and vegan-friendly sunblocks.

To plump out fine lines, make sure you’re always hydrated. It might be surprising, but gentle exfoliation will help reduce the appearance of fine lines–and stimulate cell turnover. You can also try botanical anti-aging serums like Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Serum ($85) with red clover extract and anti-oxidants.

dr hauschka regenerating serum

Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Serum, $85

3. To maintain healthy vision...

Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables like carrots, spinach, kale, collard greens, bell peppers, oranges and cantaloupe.

Best Anti-Aging Foods and Natural Beauty Tips

4. To live long…

Go (eat) nuts! A 30-year Harvard study, published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that adults who consume a serving of nuts seven or more times a week were 20% less likely to have died for any reason than those who did not eat nuts. Eating nuts were linked to reduced risk of heart disease (29%), respiratory disease (24%), and cancer (11%). (Bonus: the healthy fats in nuts will keep your skin and hair smooth and healthy).

5. To keep your brain sharp…

Get enough vitamin D. Its deficiency can cause free radical damage in the brain, resulting in memory loss and difficulty learning new information. Surprisingly, recent research contradicts previously held belief that a diet rich in omega-3 has cognitive health benefits. Still, don’t be disappointed: omega-3 has plenty of other benefits to your body.

6. To prevent sagginess…

Weight-bearing exercises are your best weapon against everything heading downhill (literally). Weight lifting, yoga, pilates, and body weight exercises preserve lean muscle mass, which keep you looking toned and tight all over. If you want extra toning and anti-gravity effect, try rinsing with cold water at the end of the shower.

7. For youthful, lush hair…

Get regular trims every 8-12 weeks, even if you’re growing your hair out. To lift your cheekbones, try getting long, side-swept bangs or long layers. As you grow older, your hair should become more polished, for balance. And yes, do try coloring your hair–the right color won’t just cover grays, but also brighten your face. But avoid going more than 2 shades brighter than your natural color, since too-light hair can be aging.

8. To look 10 years younger in just 2 weeks…

Nope, it’s not a face lift. Try tooth whitening. For an all-natural, DIY treatment, try mixing a bit of baking soda and fresh lemon juice and apply on top of your teeth using a Q-tip. Leave on for just one minute, then gently brush off. Be careful not to leave on for longer since the acid in lemon can dissolve your enamels.

9. To maintain high energy levels…

This is a no-brainer, and not backed by science but by common sense. In your early twenties, you could probably party until 5 in the morning, sleep for a few hours, and wake up refreshed and bright-eyed–amiright? But as you grow older, you need to stick to a regular schedule, drink only moderately, and get enough sleep. There is nothing as exhausting–and aging–as sleep deprivation and too much alcohol.

10. To maintain healthy hormone levels...

Try maca powder, which is a Peruvian root vegetable rich in protein, B1, B12, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, which promotes healthy testosterone levels. Maca increases libido and fertility, and eases menstrual cramps, moodiness, anxiety, and depression. Dark chocolate is another libido-booster and mood-stabilizer, with copper, iron, and zinc. Overall, the best way to balance your hormone levels is to 1) maintain well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet and 2) avoid stress! Make sure you have relaxation strategies to decompress and let go of your everyday stresses. Simple, take-care-of-yourself rituals will help nourish your spirit and lower stress hormones.

Related: Dealing with Stress by Self-Gifting

7 Inexpensive Ways to Treat Yourself

Best Mood-Boosting Foods for Happiness and Calm

Natural Skin Care: Getting Your Best Skin Ever

 

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Photo: Ian Roberts via Flickr; Shea Terra; Dr. Hauschka; Katherine Martinelli via Flickr

Juhea Kim
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.
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