look-younger-longer

As guys, we don’t often talk about wanting to look younger.

There’s that romantic notion of becoming more distinguished with age…

But the truth is, after a certain point most men want to preserve their youth just as much as women do.

…To maintain that vitality and appearance of being in our physical prime.

While we can’t stop time, there are things we can do to keep ourselves looking our best. And with many of these tips, the earlier we start, the better off we are in the long run.

Below are 7 ways to continue looking younger longer:


Big thanks to Rogaine(R) for making this article possible. Of course, we can’t really talk about looking younger if we don’t address that elephant in the room: hair loss.

man-with-hair-loss-wearing-a-hat-wishing-to-look-youngerI still have a pretty decent head of hair, but not all my friends are so lucky. It’s no surprise, since 32% of men experience hair loss by the time they’re 35.

Hereditary hair loss–thinning hair at the crown of the head–is a progressive condition. So if you don’t do something about it, you just keep losing more hair. And for many guys, that’s a scary proposition.

Fortunately, you’ve got Rogaine(R) in your corner. If you use Men’s Rogaine(R) Unscented Foam twice a day, you can fight back against hair loss.

So, if you’re seeing the signs of hair loss, don’t wait. Man up and take action. Believe me, Future You will thank you.


1. Take Care of Your Face (It’s the Only One You Have)

man-with-sunglasses-face-looking-up-at-sun-looking-youthful

When people look at you, the first thing they see is your face.

Along with your hands, it’s also one of the most exposed parts of your body to the elements. So it’s critical for you to take care of it to make sure it stays healthy for the long haul.

We’ve known about the importance of sun protection for awhile. But a recent study confirmed that regular sunscreen use actually slows down skin aging in healthy men and women.

That means if you still don’t apply sunscreen when you’re out in the sun, you’re basically asking to have a face that looks like a baseball glove later on.

Apply sunscreen regularly when you go outside, and if you’re out for extended periods, wear a hat for added protection.

But protection from the sun is only part of the story. Keeping your skin hydrated and healthy is a also a big part of it. On top of making it more prone to infections and skin conditions, drier skin is more likely to lead to wrinkles.

A few years ago, most guys wouldn’t be caught dead using “mansturizer.” But now guys are starting to understand that taking care of your face is not an unmanly thing. Try using a daily moisturizer–preferably with SPF–to keep your skin healthy and happy.

2. Maintain a Smile Worthy of Your Glowing Personality

While you’re at it, don’t neglect your smile. Maintaining a healthy mouth and pearly whites gives you that fresh and glowing look of a man in his prime.

As humans we’re biologically programmed to be attracted to potential mates who look stronger and healthier.

So even if it’s just on a subconscious level, having brighter, healthier teeth will make you more attractive to women.

man-with-healthy-smile-who-looks-younger

And I don’t know about you, but when my teeth look better I smile more…which always makes someone look more youthful.

At minimum, you should visit the dentist every 6-9 months. But if you’re not doing your part at home–brushing twice-a-day, flossing daily–then you need to up your commitment to oral health.

On a cosmetic level, there are also things you can do to keep your teeth looking whiter longer.

Aside from brushing, try to limit your consumption of dark foods that might stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine–and try to brush or rinse immediately after having stain-causing foods. You can also use a whitening toothpaste and try an at-home whitening product or whitening procedure in your dentist’s office.

3. Tame Your Unruly Body Hair

It’s ironic that as many guys are losing the hair on their heads, the hair on the rest of their bodies starts to go crazy.

man-with-fake-bushy-eyebrows-and-mustache-looks-older

It starts gradually, but before long we can begin looking like an untended yard where the lawn has grown wild and the hedges are sorely in need of pruning.

…Back hair out of control

…Nose hair suddenly making unscheduled appearances

…Eyebrows sprawling beyond their usual territorial borders

…And what’s this lovely bonus? EAR HAIR!

I’ve definitely noticed the eyebrow creep. And my wife is watching my ear hair growth with great interest.

But the big one has been my gray beard hairs.

The rest of my beard hairs are willing to play by the rules. They grow at a regular rate and don’t mind the occasional trimming.

But these gray hairs! They literally appear in a day and they’re an inch long…So you can imagine how much work it takes to keep my fabulous beard looking as beardtastic as it does.

It’s a big change from when, as young men, we thought all we had to do was cut our hair and shave our faces to stay put-together.

As we get older, we need to put up more of a fight against wayward body hair. Otherwise it’s very easy to go from regular guy to looking like that old “crazy professor” with the wild eyebrows and the bushy, unkempt hair.

  • Trim your eyebrows (carefully) with scissors and a comb, or have your barber do it with clippers
  • Have your partner trim your back hair with clippers–or at the very least trim the neckline so the “shag rug” doesn’t peek out above your collar. (Or if you’re really hairy, get one of these)
  • Shave or pluck your ear hair when it rears its ugly head
  • Clip your nose hair with small scissors (do not pluck) or get a nose hair trimmer to take care of the nostril spiders
  • Take another pass at your beard with scissors after you trim with clippers. It helps if you stay patient and think of it as a bonsai tree

You’ll be amazed how a little “yard upkeep” can help you look more youthful and put-together.

4. Don’t Just Eat Well, Eat These Foods

plate-of-foods-to-help-look-youngerOf course we all know that we SHOULD eat healthier. But sometimes that vague advice isn’t very helpful. Beyond avoiding processed and pesticide-filled foods, what else should we do?

It turns out that there are specific foods that can help us look younger.

According to Authority Nutrition, the following 11 foods improve the health and appearance look of our skin:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Beyond all the cardiovascular benefits, studies suggest that “EVOO” has strong anti-inflammatory properties and may protect skin elasticity and reduce the risk of sun damage.

Green Tea: Green tea is packed with antioxidants, which among other things may help to protect collagen (a protein in your skin) from sun damage, which can reduce the signs of aging.

Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon contains a lot of omega-3 fats, which among other benefits may help protect the skin from inflammation and damage that occurs during sun exposure. Salmon in particular has another antioxidant ingredient that may also help improve skin elasticity and hydration.

Dark Chocolate/Cocoa: Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavinols, which may protect the skin from sun damage, and may also improve skin hydration, thickness and smoothness.

Vegetables: Many vegetables are high in nutrients like beta carotene, which can protect against sun radiation and free radicals (which can contribute to skin aging). Many also contain high amounts of vitamin C, which has antioxidant effects and can help collagen production.

Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are a great source of an omega-3 fatty acid that may protect your skin from sun radiation and may reduce sun-related skin damage. Studies also suggest eating flaxseeds can help improve skin hydration and smoothness.

Pomegranates: Pomegranates contain antioxidants that decrease inflammation and help protect the skin from sun damage. Plus, studies show that eating pomegranates may help repair existing skin damage.

Avocados: Avocados contain compounds called polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols, which can fight inflammation, preventing sun-related skin damage and help repair damaged DNA in your skin cells.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain an ingredient called lycopene which can protect your skin from sun damage and may help reduce wrinkles.

Spices: Some studies suggest that certain spices can help your skin look younger. Cinnamon has been shown to increase the production of collagen in your skin. Other spices like ginger have anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent age spots caused by the sun.

Bone Broth: By slowly cooking the bones from meat, fish or poultry, you can release many beneficial minerals and compounds like collagen. When collagen is cooked, it can give off amino acids that, when consumed, may help you generate new collagen in your own skin–which can help improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles and help improve the signs of aging.

5. Learn to Enjoy Exercise, Not Just Tolerate It

man-cycling-to-look-younger

Not only does exercise help improve your overall health and keep your waistline in check, it can also physically change the way your skin ages.

Separate from sun damage, as we age our skin naturally changes. This results in wrinkles, crow’s feet and sagging. The outer layer of our skin, the stratum corneum, gets drier and denser with age. And the dermis (the layer of skin under the epidermis) gets thinner, giving the skin a more translucent, saggy look.

It turns out exercise can help slow and maybe even reverse this process.

A recent study showed that participants who exercised frequently had dramtically healthier skin than those who were sedentary. After biopsying their skin, they found that men and women over 40 who exercised regularly had thinner, healthier stratum cornea and thicker dermis layers–like people in their 20’s and 30’s.

But if we really want to tap into the age fighting benefits, the key phrase is “exercised frequently.”

We’ve all been banged over the head with the idea that exercise is essential for healthy living. I mean, it’s the closest thing to the fountain of youth or a miracle drug there is, right?

Yet so many of us don’t make exercise a part of our normal routine. According to Dr. Michelle Segar in the book No Sweat, this is because we have the wrong “why” for exercising.

Our motivation for exercise is based on the health benefits, which exist in some vague future. Exercise just seems like something we HAVE to do, not something we GET to do. Since our bodies are hard-wired for immediate gratification, this is a tough sell.

Instead, if you can shift your focus to think about the immediate benefits of exercise–like how you feel after a great run–that can be way more motivating on a daily basis.

I have personally found this approach to be a game-changer in tricking myself into exercising regularly and tapping into its age-fighting benefits.

6. Turn Back Time With Clothes That Fit

Beyond targeting the physiological areas where we start to look older–our skin, our hair, our teeth, our waistlines–there’s another subtle way look younger…and this one is completely within our control:

Wearing clothes that actually fit our bodies.

So many men wear shirts and pants that aren’t the right size. As our bodies change with age, we often use baggier clothes to hide our problem areas.

This is a big mistake.

More often than not, the excess fabric makes us look sloppier and flabbier than we actually are.

One of the biggest culprits is dress shirts. When you buy them off the rack, until recently most shirts only used neck-size and sleeve length as measurements. So you might get a shirt that fits your neck and arms perfectly but leaves enough room in the torso that you could smuggle a pineapple in your shirt.

If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from starting to wear shirts that fit you better:

  • Find shirts that are labeled “slim fit” or “tailored fit”
  • Buy made-to-measure shirts, where you send in your measurements and order the shirt online
  • Tailor your existing shirts. If you’re stuck with a closet full of baggy shirts, don’t worry. With a quick fitting and $10 or $15, they can take your shirts in so they actually fit you.

Once you wear a dress shirt that fits you perfectly, there is no going back.

Here’s me in a made-to-measure shirt (left) vs. a baggy off-the-rack shirt (right):

made-to-measure-shirt-vs-off-the-rack

Other common culprits are “saggy butt syndrome” and the faded fabric that appear naturally as your jeans wear over time. These are the hallmarks of “dad jeans.” Once you’re wearing those, you might as well throw on a fanny pack and clip a flip phone to your belt.

I’m not saying you need to wear skin-tight shirts and skinny jeans–just clothes that fit your body more closely. Once you do, I guarantee you’ll hear people say: “Did you lose some weight?” and “Wow, you look years younger.”

7. Eliminate Toxic Influences and Put Yourself First

Of course, the positive changes above aren’t going to help nearly as much if you don’t eliminate the truly toxic things from your life.

There is plenty of research that shows that smoking causes premature aging and increases your risk for cancer and other health problems. So if you’re still smoking, you know what you need to do.

But there are more subtle toxins that may be taking a toll on your everyday life

Chronic stress and workaholism are wreaking havoc in this country. We are working longer hours than ever, and for the white collar “information worker,” being disconnected from email for even one evening seems as rare as a unicorn driving a Prius.

Studies have clearly shown a link between stress and all kinds of negative health effects, including premature aging.

If you want a vivid reminder of how quickly stress can impact your appearance, look at pictures of our past presidents at the beginning and end of their terms. The difference is dramatic:

President-Bush-before-and-after-presidency

President George W. Bush at beginning and end of term. Image Source

President-Obama-before-and-after-presidency

President Barack Obama at beginning and end of term. Image Source

You don’t carry the burden of being the leader of the free world, but you’re probably working too hard, not taking enough breaks, and generally not getting enough rest and recuperation.

Working harder isn’t the answer to getting ahead–you’ve tried that. For once, try “putting yourself first” to help neutralize your stress:

  • Set better boundaries with work, and give yourself some “no email time” in the mornings and evenings.
  • Recognize and let go of negative thought patterns (and distance yourself from chronically negative people)
  • Prioritize sleep. The national sleep foundation recommends 7-9 hours for most adults. Starving your body of sleep is like not putting gas in your car.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day. When you don’t drink enough water, it has an immediate effect in the form of dry skin. And over time, drier skin is more prone to wrinkles and the signs of premature aging. You’ll also feel WAY better when you’re hydrated.
  • Take frequent breaks, move around, and just BREATHE. You’ll be amazed how calm and focused you’ll feel after justing “being” and mindfully observing your breathing for just a few minutes a day.

Conclusion

While we can’t stop time, we can slow the effect it has on us. I’m all for growing old gracefully as a man. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to care for ourselves along the way. It’s not vain, it’s about respecting what we’ve been given. After all, we only get one body in this life. We might as well take care of it.

Thanks again to Rogaine(R) for sponsoring this post.

Credit: The Distilled Man

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