Going under the knife isn’t the only option to slow down aging. Celebrities may flaunt their cosmetically-enhanced looks on social media. But there’s no need to follow suit, especially since cosmetic surgeries come with plenty of risks and a hefty price tag, too. But we’ve got good news for you – you can slow down the effects of father time without breaking the bank! Check these 9 natural ways to continue looking young and fabulous.
But first, what are the factors that contribute to aging?
Growing old is inevitable, but the rate of aging will depend on a person’s genetic makeup, lifestyle, and the environment they’re exposed to. Two main factors contribute to aging – intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
Intrinsic means innate. We’re all born with this genetic clock that starts ticking the moment we are born. As time passes by, signs of aging start appearing. At first, it’s just fine lines and wrinkles. Then crow’s feet form around the eyes. More years go by and the skin losses its elasticity, leading to deeper wrinkles, sagging skin, and rough skin texture. Brittle nails and thinning hair are also signs of intrinsic aging.
Unlike intrinsic aging, it is possible to prevent many extrinsic factors from making you look older. But it certainly won’t be easy… after all, sun exposure is the biggest contributor to extrinsic aging! Other extrinsic factors include smoking, alcohol consumption, air pollution, chemicals, poor diet, and chronic stress. Prolonged exposure to these factors can accelerate aging (1).
9 ways to slow down aging without invasive cosmetic options
Here are all-natural tips to help you stay younger-looking for a while longer. No botox, laser, microneedling, dermal fillers, and other invasive medical-grade procedures necessary…
1) Eat collagen-rich foods or supplement with collagen powder
Topping up your collagen stores is one of the best ways to slow down aging naturally. Why? Because declining collagen production (which begins in our 20s) is a leading contributor to intrinsic aging. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It’s the “glue” that holds the body together.
One of the most effective ways to top up your body’s collagen stores is by supplementing with our Intelligent Labs Collagen Peptides. We use Types 1 and III hydrolyzed bovine collagen (these are the two most abundant collagen types in the body). Hydrolyzed collagen is bioavailable, meaning the body can readily absorb all the amino acids and nutrients it contains.
In addition to taking our collagen supplement, you can also try making bone broth. It’s naturally rich in collagen, but can be time-intensive to make. We recommend making a huge batch so you can portion it out over several servings. Here’s a simple bone broth collagen recipe that you can make at home:
2) Eat healthy foods
Eating nutritious foods and avoiding tasty-but-nutritionally-empty junk foods is a must for longevity. Good nutrition involves eating a balanced diet of protein, grains, veggies, fruits, dairy, and healthy fats.
Alternatively, go on an anti-inflammatory diet if you want a more structured diet plan that can help slow down aging. Check out this list of 15 anti-inflammatory foods that can help fight chronic low-grade inflammation brought about by aging.
3) Slow down aging by exercising regularly
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and more. It also strengthens the bones and joints, increases muscle mass, burns fat, improves immunity, and helps maintain a healthy weight. It makes you feel good about yourself, too! Improved physical fitness can lead to a longer lifespan and reduces/delays the inevitable consequences of aging (2).
Check out these home workout tips and CrossFit beginner guide for various exercise options!
4) High-quality sleep can slow down the aging process
There’s a reason why the term “beauty sleep” exists. An uninterrupted 7-8 hours of sleep at night can lead to a glowing look in the morning. You feel refreshed and re-energized, ready to go about your day.
On the other hand, if you don’t get enough sleep or frequently wake at night, you’ll feel really tired in the morning. Chronic poor sleep quality can be really bad for you. You will not only look tired and old, but lack of sleep can lead to excessive weight gain!
If you have trouble sleeping at night, eat magnesium-rich foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, fish, and whole grains. Alternatively, our MagEnhance Magnesium Complex is a great option, too. It contains 3 forms of magnesium, one of which is Magnesium Taurate. This is the form known for calming nerves and helping with sleep quality.
5) Laugh more often
This might sound cliché but laughter truly is the best medicine. Laughter can make you forget all your worries and just be present in the moment. Laughing heartily releases endorphins, making you feel good and happy. This leads to a more positive mindset and decreases stress levels as well.
For even more health benefits, check out how to do laughter yoga. Studies have shown that a daily session of laughter yoga can help reduce blood pressure and even boost your immunity, too (3).
6) Moisturize frequently
Moisturizers help plump up your skin. They trap moisture in the skin, effectively creating a barrier that traps water within, thus hydrating your skin. This smoothens the wrinkles and fine lines on your face.
Moisturizers won’t totally remove wrinkles, but every little bit helps if you want to retain a more youthful appearance. To avoid the harsh effects of the sun on your skin, use a product that includes broad-spectrum sunscreen.
7) Stay out of the sun to slow down aging
The sun’s rays are indeed important for Vitamin D production (4). However, prolonged exposure, especially during high-risk hours (10am-4pm) can cause the skin to age prematurely (known as photoaging).
To slow down aging, limit your time in the sun. And if you do need to go out, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher (do this even on cloudy days). Cover every inch of your body that will be exposed to the sun because getting sunburnt is awful! If you go swimming, reapply every 2 hours.
What about tanning beds?
Well, these artificial tanners use bulbs that emit even more intense UV radiation! The FDA also considers them carcinogenic since they can cause skin cancer. So, yes, do avoid them as well.
8) Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol can dehydrate skin, which can reduce skin moisture and elasticity. This makes the skin look dry and even more wrinkled than usual. Alcohol is also calorie-rich, meaning drinking huge quantities regularly may lead to weight gain.
Additionally, you can get a nasty hangover the following day if you drink too much. I don’t know about you, but a hungover individual’s appearance – bloodshot eyes, flushed skin, puffy face, and sluggish movements – is repulsive to many people.
It will take some time to wean yourself off of alcohol. But take baby steps and try these guilt-free cocktails to reduce alcohol consumption.
9) Smoking is horrible
Puffing on cancer sticks can do more than just make you look old. It can literally damage your entire body – from your skin to your internal organs and even right down to your very cells. It’s oxidative stress overload.
Even worse, this silent killer affects you – the smoker – and everyone around you, too. This means everyone in your immediate vicinity is at risk of getting various types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, asthma, diabetes, gum disease, mental health issues, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), erectile dysfunction, infertility, pregnancy complications, and so much more (5).
Now that you know how to slow down aging and stay younger for longer, it’s important to remember that consistency is key. Be proactive with your skincare and healthcare by applying all of the tips we’ve outlined in this blog post.
(1) Zhang, Shoubing, and Enkui Duan. “Fighting against Skin Aging: The Way from Bench to Bedside.” Cell transplantation vol. 27,5 (2018): 729-738. doi:10.1177/0963689717725755
(2) Garatachea, Nuria et al. “Exercise attenuates the major hallmarks of aging.” Rejuvenation research vol. 18,1 (2015): 57-89. doi:10.1089/rej.2014.1623
(3) Heid, Markham. “You Asked: Does Laughing Have Real Health Benefits?” Time, 19 Nov. 2014, time.com/3592134/laughing-health-benefits.
(4) Holick, M F et al. “Photosynthesis of previtamin D3 in human skin and the physiologic consequences.” Science (New York, N.Y.) vol. 210,4466 (1980): 203-5. doi:10.1126/science.6251551
(5) “Health Effects of Smoking and Tobacco Use.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Mar. 2022, www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/health_effects.