Maybe it’s my youth, but the thought of aging doesn’t necessarily scare me. There is something I have always seen as beautiful and even graceful, and have always wanted to maintain that—again, maybe it’s my youth. Despite this, possibly naive thinking, I have strictly maintained a skincare routine employed by my grandmother, because she is 85 years old and looks 62, her claim to ageless beauty, stay out of the sun, don’t drink, don’t smoke, and moisturize.
Below are some more tips, to help you reclaim your life, and hopefully help keep your beautiful skin, looking beautiful. I mean, after all, these things are all means of getting your shit together, and getting your skin together.
#1: Shed’s a Salty Summery Tear, Sunbathing
As wonderful as it feels, sunbathing/tanning/anything revolving too much sun is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Besides the risk of cancer, excessive UV rays weaken skin cells and blood vessels leading to the tanned-leathery-skin-look that you see on certain types of beach bums.
The sun also is known to cause serious eye damage to the retina, leading to cloudy bumps along the edges of the cornea, preventing clear vision. Oh, and you can also get cataracts, and no one wants that.
#2: No Surprise, Energy Drinks
Although I have been known to turn to these sugary little drinks when I take a long trip or need a sudden burst of quick energy they are essentially caffeinated water and sugar, which BTW, ages you quicker.
Regardless of added nutrients, common energy drinks advertise, they are packed with sugar causing you to drink them quicker, spiking your blood sugar which leads to weight gain, pre-diabetes, insomnia and, for some, anxiety and mood disorders. Yikes!
Not only that, the amount of sugar and dyes in energy drinks are extremely damaging to your teeth enamel. Causing staining, yellowing, and even gum decay.
#3: The Obvious One, Your Phone
There is now a new medical condition that is directly linked to mobile addiction—”digital dementia,” which is the result of too much screen time. This sort of screen time behavior disrupts normal communication between the two hemispheres of our brains, causing serious issues to parts of the brain responsible for seeing, hearing, memory, emotions, motor control and even decision-making.
“If you feel a little bit absent-minded—like “senior moments” are coming a little bit early. Maybe you walk into a room and forget why you’re there, or you go to the grocery store to pick up one specific thing and you come back with two bags of groceries with everything except for that one thing that you needed to get. If you’ve ever read a page in a book and got to the end and just forgot what you just read.” Jim Kwik, CEO of Kwik Learnings and host of the podcast Kwik Brain Podcast.
People tend to blame general retention, but Kwik says, “it’s a function of attention.” In theory, having a device that does so much is a great thing, but it becomes a crutch for your brain, this could cause atrophy.
If you are in your twenties and already forgetting what happened yesterday, take a few days away from screens and just live life. That was enough of a wake-up call for me.
#4: You’ll Probably Want to Sit Down for This, Sitting
Just don’t sit down for too long. By the age of 75, we lose half of the lean muscle mass we once had at 25, making us more prone to bone breakage. Despite every fitness guru on the planet telling you to get up and exercise and weight train, although you should, this doesn’t actually curb excessive sitting. No matter how much you exercise, sitting for long periods of time without 30-minute breaks to stand and move, increases your risk of an early death.
#5: I Cried a Little, Margaritas
Alcohol, if consumed over 14 units regularly is aging and risky for your health. Between dehydration, the liver-damaging effects of acetaldehyde and the negative impact of sleep, you could feel a million times better without too much booze.
Sleep is one of the most important and restorative things for your body to get, and too much alcohol is a REM sleep-cycle inhibitor, which means all of your deep sleep, remains fairly shallow. Pair alcohol, specifically tequila and margarita mixes together and you get a ton of sugar, anywhere really from 12 to 25 grams—making the margarita the winner for the most damaging alcohol you can consume.
#6: Not Enough Deep Sleep
I have been that person who claims to feel great after six hours of sleep a night, but I quickly learned that was doing my body no good. It took its toll, and now I need sleep. I’m getting old.
The adage that you need beauty sleep is, in fact, true. Sleep is when your brain and body take out the metabolic junk from your work week and bring forth sustenance from the gods, i.e., moisture, proteins, and detoxing dead cells. Lack of sleep also impairs working memory and focus and tends to drive one to sugar and caffeine, which, if you’ve been paying attention, leads to a vicious aging cycle.
Simply put: cut out the added sugar, get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, move, stretch and sweat, stay out of the sun, always wear sunblock, take a break from heavily consuming alcohol, and turn off your phone. These practices and I’m sure, more, are going to improve every aspect of your life. Listen to your elders, respect them, even when they’re a little off and voted for Donald Trump, like my grandmother, they might have the tricks to looking youthful. It’s really that simple.
Illustrations via TWCreates