While religiously applying retinol and hyaluronic acid play a part in anti-aging, a lot of what affects how we age comes down to our daily habits. Making a few lifestyle tweaks can have a more profound effect on aging than any skincare product, and the sooner you can incorporate these habits in your day-to-day, the sooner you will see results.
If you aren't already slathering on sunscreen every morning, now is as good a time as any to start. Nothing causes aging like the sun, and while we all love getting a sun-kissed glow, down the line you'll be glad you opted for spray tans over laying out.
Another culprit of rapid aging? Stress. While some stress is helpful for making deadlines and taking action, being chronically stressed wreaks havoc on your body, and especially your skin. While we can't remove all stress from our lives, finding ways to be mindful and removing as many sources of stress as possible can mitigate some of its effects.
Clean up your diet
It's no surprise that what you put in your body has a profound effect on how you age. A diet high in processed foods, hydrogenated oils, and sugar cause a host of health problems, not to mention dull, uneven, and tired-looking skin. Instead, eat whole foods—organic if you can—and incorporate anti-inflammatory foods like ginger and turmeric.
Catch some Z's
It's called beauty sleep for a reason. While one night of poor sleep might just have you waking up a bit cranky, chronic sleep deprivation weakens your immune system, disrupts your hormones, and will have you looking as tired as you feel. Most adults need between seven and nine hours a night, so head to bed early or sleep in if you can.
Cut back on vices
We all enjoy a cocktail or two, but alcohol is extremely dehydrating, causing the skin to lose firmness. Cigarettes are an even worse culprit, depleting the body of antioxidants and introducing toxins that cause the skin to age almost as quickly as exposure to UV rays. The good news is, your skin can bounce back, provided that you cut back on these vices sooner rather than later.
Caring for your skin should be a habit much like brushing your teeth. While you don't need to have all the latest serums and skincare devices, having a consistent routine that cleanses, hydrates, and targets your specific skin concerns will do wonders for your appearance over the long term.
Get some exercise
Evidence suggests HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training) can reverse aging at the cellular level. The workouts involve short bursts of high-intensity movements that combine cardio with strength training, and the aerobic activity improves the body's ability to create protein. In addition, exercise increases blood circulation, resulting in a youthful glow.