There are some advantages to getting older: a higher income, more personal freedom and finally being comfortable with who you really are. But poor skin texture, wrinkles, sagging skin, and flab aren’t something any of us look forward to as we age.
Heading to the spa for expensive treatments or injections, or going under the surgeon’s knife to get that “youthful look,” may seem like the quickest solutions, but they are not the only ones. Injections are not only expensive, but also painful and not guaranteed safe. Surgery always carries some risk and can make you look unnatural. Less extreme facial peels, laser and exfoliation treatments are better options, but they can still run into thousands of dollars over time.
While aging is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be a battle. Before you break the bank or do anything drastic, consider these natural and inexpensive youth-promoting alternatives that may help you avoid doing something you might regret:
Do Facial Exercises.
Facial muscles need toning too. We exercise our bodies to keep our youthful looks, so why not the face?
You can find free facial exercises online at sites such as www.thebeautytips.com or download a free eBook at www.facialexcercisesguide.com and find low-cost publications and DVDs that are loaded with ways to improve facial structure and appearances through a “targeted facial toning program.”
Practice Inversion Poses.
Gravity has a serious effect on our aging bodies. By defying gravity and going upside down in certain yoga poses such as headstand, handstand, shoulder stand and down dog, you can reverse some of those aging effects. These inversion poses also send fresh blood to your brain and face, help clear out your adrenal glands, remove toxins and increase circulation to prevent varicose veins.
You can take classes, watch Fitness TV, subscribe to Yoga Journal, rent or buy a yoga DVD or visit www.doyogawithme.com to learn how to properly do these simple, but ageless moves.
Eat Raw Foods.
Not everyone can or wants to become a raw foodist (that is someone who eats about 70 percent of their diet raw) like model-actress Carol Alt, but adding more raw foods to your diet could help freshen your looks. Raw foods like fruits, vegetables, raw cheeses, nuts and seeds contain enzymes that help the body replenish cells.
Alt swears by her diet, profiled in her book “Eating in the Raw,” and her smooth skin, lean figure and healthy appearance at the age of 49 may be proof that it works.
Eat Less sugar.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, natural health advocate, states on his website at www.mercola.com, that “Eating sugar and grains will increase your insulin level, which is one of the fastest ways to premature aging.”
In the book, “Lick the Sugar Habit,” author Dr. Nancy Appleton, reports that sugar not only causes obesity, which can lead to a host of health issues, but the sweet substance also causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, and accelerates aging due to increasing insulin in the blood.
Cutting back on the sweet stuff and switching from processed white sugar to more natural sweeteners, such as organic raw sugar, honey, molasses or Stevia, which don’t spike your insulin levels as much, could save your body-and face-from the ravages of aging.
While young people may start smoking because it looks cool, the nasty habit is torturous for your skin, teeth and not to mention your heart and lungs. Smoking gives skin a sallow appearance, creates wrinkles, especially around the mouth, and not only makes teeth yellow but also cuts off the oxygen to your gums so the roots of your teeth will eventually die. Yikes! How cool is that?
De-stress to Refresh.
Calming and revitalizing are two things that help skin stay youthful and fresher looking. As we get older, stress shows more on the face as lines and dull dry skin. Get as much restful sleep as possible, take breaks, meditate and get massages, if necessary, to keep stress-and wrinkles-at bay.
Hydrate with Purified H2O.
Most health professionals will tell you to drink lots of water, but you also want to make sure you drink the most hydrating, healthful water available. City water contains more than 200 chemicals and bottled water isn’t much better. Drinking, cooking with and bathing in tap water that is filtered and purified is the best choice. On his website, mercola.com, Dr. Mercola recommends using water purifiers that are certified by NSF or ANSI to get the best quality water.
Or if you really want pure water the way nature intended, find a natural spring near you at www.findaspring.com.
Think Green (Tea).
Free radicals can be murder on your face and body. That’s why consuming antioxidants like those found in green tea is so important. Antioxidants help neutralize your bodies’ oxidants or free radicals. Green tea contains polyphenols, which have been found to counteract the antioxidizing effects. Therefore, regularly drinking fresh-brewed (not bottled) green tea may help delay the signs of aging.
More information about the benefits of green tea can be found at www.organicfacts.net.
Many anti-wrinkle treatments on the market are not only pricey, but they also contain chemicals and preservatives, such as parabens, glycols and even formaldehyde, that can actually be harmful to aging skin. On the other hand, the lauric acid in virgin coconut oil is pure and natural moisture.
Whether taken internally, or used topically as a moisturizer, coconut oil carries many healthful benefits. Besides the lauric acid that is beneficial for hydrating, coconut oil also contains vitamins and minerals, and acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can help relieve acne, psoriasis and other skin irritations.
For more on the healthful benefits of coconut oil, visit www.coconutoil.com.
Beauty and youth come from within. If you are happy with your life and who you are, it will show on your face. You will radiate and glow with vibrancy. On the other hand, being sad and depressed leads to a tired look, wrinkles and dull skin. (And best of all, being happy doesn’t cost a thing.)
Instead of fighting aging, maybe it is best to learn to embrace it and slow it down just a little. That way we can age beautifully as well as gracefully.