9 Ways to Not Look Older After 50, Say Experts
Aging is the only inevitability in life (as we've seen in recent years, some people are able to avoid taxes). What isn't a given is how well you age—and your choices make a definite difference not just in how good you feel but how young you look. The good news: It's never too late to make changes and see improvements on both fronts. Here are nine ways to not look older after age 50, according to experts.
1; Manage Stress
"People exposed to chronic stress age rapidly," wrote the authors of a 2020 study published in the journal Biomedicine. "Inflammation is another important feature of stress that, along with aging, accounts for the phenomenon of Inflammageing." Simply put, that's aging caused by inflammation, which raises the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
2; Eat Less Sugar
"Findings from research studies suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging," says the American Academy of Dermatology. Sugar binds to collagen and elastin, two proteins that keep skin looking firm and young, creating advanced glycation end products (nicknamed AGEs), which damage collagen and elastin and preventing the body from repairing them. What's more, too much sugar can prematurely age your body, increasing your chance of obesity and associated health problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
3; Don't Smoke
According to a study published in JAMA, cigarette smokers have three times the wrinkles of nonsmokers. The hundreds of toxins in cigarette smoke cause blood vessels to constrict, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching the skin. "Smoking greatly speeds up how quickly skin ages," says the AAD. "It causes wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion."
4; Moderate Alcohol Consumptions
Alcohol dehydrates the skin and causes inflammation, two major contributors to skin aging. Experts say that if you regularly drink to excess, you can expect more fine lines, wrinkles, redness, and puffiness. To look younger and stay healthier, men should say when after two drinks, and women after one.
5; Add Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Your Diet
Antioxidants protect your skin from damage caused by harmful free radicals. Berries, nuts, and leafy greens are full of these natural age fighters.
6: Wear Sun Protection
Exposure to UV light is one of the biggest factors in skin aging, and shielding your skin from the sun is a smart move at any age. "My number one habit to start now for beautiful skin as you age is sun protection," says Mary Alice Mina, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Atlanta. This should include sunscreen daily on exposed skin as well as hats, sunglasses and sun protective clothing when outdoors for prolonged periods of time."
7: Stay Hydrated
Water keeps your skin hydrated, plump, and glowing. Keep H2O close by and sip throughout the day. According to Harvard Medical School, most adults need four to six cups of plain water daily.
8; Get Enough Quality Sleep
According to a study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, women who reported getting good quality sleep experienced 30% better "skin-barrier recovery" and "significantly lower intrinsic skin aging" than women who got poor sleep. Experts recommend getting seven to nine hours of good-quality sleep every night.
Consistent exercise can keep you young—even decades younger. That was the conclusion of a 2018 study that found older men and women who exercised for decades had muscles similar to people in their 20s and greater aerobic capacity than their contemporaries, making them biologically almost 30 years younger than their chronological ages. Regular physical activity also boosts blood circulation, bringing nutrients and oxygen to your skin, helping maintain a youthful glow.