Let's face it. We would all love to look 10 years younger, but the vast majority of us wouldn't go under a plastic surgeon's knife to achieve it. There are many reasons why, including risk of complications, fear of anesthesia, scars, and, possibly most prominent of all, cost.
After being a plastic surgeon for over 16 years, I've come to the conclusion that virtually everyone can look ten years younger without having surgery. You don't need a facelift, eyelid lifts, or fat injections to take a decade off your appearance. In my new book, The Age Fix, I reveal an easy and straightforward plan that almost anyone can follow to achieve this. And, believe it or not, it works.
Here are seven simple steps to get you started:
1. Decrease your sugar intake -- Multiple studies have revealed that sugar is the absolute worst food to eat for your skin. It ages the skin by creating inflammation and through the process of glycation. In order to look younger and slow your skin's aging, skip sugary drinks and desserts, and make the switch from refined to whole grains.
2. Choose healthy fats -- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are known to soothe the skin, decrease inflammation, and moisturize the skin from the inside out. Sources of these healthy fats include nuts, olive oil, avocados, and cold water fish (like salmon and tuna). Try to avoid foods high in saturated fats (like fatty cuts of beef, dark meat poultry, and especially cured meats like sausage and bologna) since these foods can increase inflammation and speed up your skin's aging.
3. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables -- Antioxidants are your body's best defense against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that attack the healthy cells of your body, including skin cells, causing them to be damaged and age more quickly. Therefore, eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as colorful fruits and vegetables, to slow down and even reverse the aging process. This is a great reason to visit your local farmers' market!
4. Ditch the cigarettes -- Studies of identical twins have proven that smoking cigarettes will make you age prematurely. I see this in my office almost every day. Smokers' skin is drier, less vibrant, and more wrinkled than the skin of non-smokers. Although quitting smoking won't reverse all of these changes overnight, it's the first step that all smokers should take if they don't want to age prematurely.
5. Exfoliate your skin 2-3 times per week -- When we're young, our skin turns over every 6-8 weeks. This process slows as we age, causing the upper layer of dead skin cells to clump on the surface, making our skin look drier, appear more wrinkled, and feel rougher in texture. Exfoliating the skin removes this upper layer of dead skin, revealing the smoother, healthier skin below it. There are many ways to exfoliate, but the easiest is to use an exfoliating scrub that you can buy at the drug store, or you can make one at home by combining baking soda, honey, and milk.
6. Apply a vitamin A cream to your skin -- Prescription strength vitamin A, otherwise known as tretinoin or Retin-A, is scientifically proven to reverse aging, thicken the skin's collagen, lighten blemishes, and even reverse early pre-skin cancers. Without a doubt, it is the best anti-aging cream there is. Unfortunately, it must be prescribed by a doctor and can cause temporary but profound irritation when it's first applied. For those who can't tolerate or obtain tretinoin, there is retinol. Retinol is an over-the-counter version of tretinoin. Although it is less potent, it has many of the same anti-aging properties. Retinol can be found in the anti-aging creams of many skin care companies. Best of all, it's usually not that expensive.
7. Consider a touch of Botox -- Botox is definitely not for everybody, but it is the most popular cosmetic treatment in the United States. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more than 4.2 million people underwent injections of Botox last year to smooth their frown lines and crow's feet. The treatment is safe, FDA-approved, nearly painless, and lasts 3-4 months on average. If you'd like a quick and dramatic age reversing treatment, you might consider giving it a try.