The Fastest Way to Look Younger, According to Science

We all know diet, exercise, smoking, excessive drinking and chronic stress not only plays a part in how we feel, but how we look. Not practicing health habits can speed up the aging process and while there's no shame in aging, there's also nothing wrong with wanting to maintain a youthful appearance. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share their tricks for looking younger. In addition to the following tips, eating healthy, working out 150 minutes a week and managing stress go a long way. As always please speak with your physician for medical advice. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Sleep 7-9 Hours a Night

sleep
sleep

Dr. Kim Harris, a Naturopathic Medical Doctor with Prescott Medical Aesthetics says, "During sleep, our bodies produce human growth hormone (HGH), which helps to repair and regenerate cells. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a decrease in HGH production, which can in turn cause skin to look dull and tired. To help promote a good night's sleep, establish a regular bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening, and create a calm environment in your bedroom by keeping it dark and cool."

2

Whiten Your Teeth

white teeth smiling
white teeth smiling

Sargon Lazarof, DDS  Cosmetic Dentistry&Dental Implant Specialist shares, "By the time we reach our 50s, five decades of coffee, wine, cigarettes, etc…have gone by and have stained our pearly whites, which can make you look older than you are. Getting your teeth whitened can make a big difference and reduce signs of aging. Having clean and healthy teeth results in smiling more, and having a happy face is more youthful and takes years off a person's looks.  There are a variety of ways to do this, over the counter whitening strips, in-office professional whitening treatments, or veneers. All these methods not only improve your smile but give you more confidence to live a happier life."

3

Wear Sunscreen

woman applying sunscreen lotion standing outdoors at the urban location during the sunny weather
woman applying sunscreen lotion standing outdoors at the urban location during the sunny weather

Dr. Karan Lal, Board certified dermatologist  Fellowship trained Pediatric dermatologist  ASDS Cosmetic surgery fellow with Schweiger Dermatology Group in Hackensack, NJ says, "I know everyone is tired of hearing this from dermatologists but there is a reason: it works. Being out in the sun more than 15 minutes without wearing at least a 30 SPF or more will cause aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. In theory, you should put on sunscreen even if you're just going to the mailbox. Sunscreen doesn't prevent vitamin D from being created, you'll still make vitamin D with sunscreen application. 

Aging can be split into intrinsic aging(due to age, medical issues, etc) and extrinsic aging(diet, lifestyle, and sun exposure). Sun exposure contributes to skin thinning, crepiness, sun spots, wrinkles, and dyspigmentation. Wearing sunscreen on a regular basis can help prevent all of these things. It is affordable, requires no effort, and is backed by a ton of science."

4

Use a Topical Retinoid

woman customer choosing sunscreen lotion at the pharmacy store
woman customer choosing sunscreen lotion at the pharmacy store

Dr. Lal explains, "Topical retinoids like tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene (not safe for women trying to conceive), help stimulate skin cell turnover. They help your skin grow better and thicker. They also stimulate collagen. They help with fine lines and pigmentation as well. This is a powerhouse evergreen product. You can get a prescription from your dermatologist. The key is to start slowly two or three times a week and moisturize after use to reduce the risk of skin peeling and irritation."

5

Think About Minoxidil

young man in white t-shirt and jeans looking in mirror at thinning hair
young man in white t-shirt and jeans looking in mirror at thinning hair

"Looking young in part comes from your hair," Dr. Lal tells us. "As we age our hair does decrease in density. Over 50% of people over the age of 50 will develop hormone related hair loss and thinning. Using minoxidil early in the game can help reduce your risk of developing hair loss over time. This will also help thicken your hair. It is safe and affordable. Warning, you may have slight shedding once you start as new follicles start to grow. Also once you start you should commit to using it a couple of times a week. If you stop, your hair may go back to being the way it was."

**There can be side effects so please consult with your physician beforehand.

6

Chemical Peels

Unhappy woman wearing white bath towel checking skin after shower, looking in mirror, touching face skin.
Unhappy woman wearing white bath towel checking skin after shower, looking in mirror, touching face skin.

​​According to Dr. Lal, "Chemical peeling goes back to the times of Cleopatra. Chemical peels are safe for all skin colors and types. They basically remove the tops layers of your skin to remove sun damage, reduce redness, and clear dark spots. They also reliably stimulate collagen. They are often cheaper than most laser treatments and can be done more regularly. There is about 3-5 days of downtime with most peels so plan ahead."

7

Consider Non-Invasive Options Like Neuromodulators

Female doctor in latex gloves performing the laser skin resurfacing on the young patient face
Female doctor in latex gloves performing the laser skin resurfacing on the young patient face

Dr. Lal says, "Neuromodulators like Botox, Xeomin, Dysport, and Jeuveau are used to soften wrinkles that occur from excessive facial movement. Common wrinkles that contribute to aging are the eleven lines(in the center of the forehead), crows feet(by your eyes) and smoker's lines (above the lip). Using intentionally placed neuromodulators in these areas will take you back a few years. They will make you look refreshed. Nowadays we are using less and less products to make people look refreshed and not obvious. Studies have shown consistent use of neuromodulators over time can lead to significant softening of wrinkles. Neuromodulators have also been shown to improve mood. You are only as young as you feel!"