Aging is inevitable, and while we can’t stop it, we can help to slow down the process. Keep reading for easy lifestyle changes and grooming habits that can extend your healthy lifespan, whether you’re 65 or 35.
Nutritional therapist Evie Whitehead says, “From my experience, my male clients want to take better care of themselves these days and are much more self-aware.”
"Remember that a good skin care regimen and a few treatments will reveal a healthier you and that is always well received from people around you too," says celebrity facialist and skincare expert Pietro Simone.
It’s all in the eyes
Your eyes can be a dead giveaway for your age. They’re often the first places to get fine lines and wrinkles, and whether you view them as a sign of life experience or just plain annoying, there are a few things you can do that might help. As well as your face being more sensitive than your body, the skin around your eyes is even thinner still, which is why you have to be gentler when applying products here too. Getting enough sleep, using an eye cream and anti-aging ingredients can all make a difference.
Without enough sleep, your eyes might appear redder, eyes and skin puffy, and you might have dark circles. Getting your recommended 8-10 hours each night can make a massive difference to your skin, wellbeing, along with your gut health, and immunity, not to mention your mood, appetite, and sex drive. A lack of sleep means your body isn’t getting the right amount of restoration to recharge and reset properly.
Exposure to UV rays is the number one contributing factor to aging, as Simone notes: "I have witnessed a huge usage of UV tanning in order to achieve gold skin and without SPF!"
We should all be wearing SPF every single day (not just when it’s sunny) because UV rays are present whenever it’s light outside (hint: that’s every day!). SPF protects your skin against free radicals that lead to oxidative stress from external aggressors like pollution, and cause aging skin like fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, and dullness.
Use anti-aging products
Skincare experts recommend starting to use anti-aging products in your twenties and adding different ingredients or concentration levels as you get older. The key here is that prevention is better than cure. A great skincare routine goes a long way.
"Peptides and advanced serum with great textures are strong allies for good skin quality for body – this is especially true for those, like me, who love to train in the gym," says Simone.
As get older, collagen and elastin (the stuff that makes our skin plump and glowy), decrease by about 1% a year. Collagen supplements and topical treatments, and vitamin C can boost collagen production for a more youthful appearance.
To tackle aging and acne-prone skin, retinol (or vitamin A) is the holy grail. It helps skin to make more collagen and increases cell turnover, but dry, dehydrated, or sensitive skin types should tread carefully. Retinol can be harsh on the skin, and cause redness and irritation so don't forget your SPF.
To avoid premature skin aging, you want to avoid dry, dehydrated skin at all costs, in which case, hyaluronic acid and squalane are the ingredients to look out for, and when you’re applying your moisturizer, don’t forget your neck and hands – thanks to their exposure to the sun, along with your face, they can age more quickly. "Hydrate your body as you would your face – you will reap the benefits!" reminds Simone.
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Keep things tidy on top
Whether you’re going bald, thinning, or going grey on top, there are lots that can be done. A tip for going bald gracefully though? You might need to realize it’s time to shave it off completely. Trust us when we say, a bald head is better than a comb-over!
If you’re going grey, it’s not the end of the world. Experts are keen to stress that reaching for the box dye can make you look older. Dark hair dye can often give grey hair a blueish tint and will fade over time. If you can, embrace the silver fox in you – it probably looks better than you think it does! There are some rules when it comes to grooming though: keep your hairstyle neat and tidy with regular trims.
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The Ginkgo Hair Care Plan
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Neaten your beard hair (and hair everywhere else)
A beard naturally ages you, but if you don’t want to go without, keep it short and neat to retain a youthful edge. Longer beards tend to make you look older, especially those flecked with grey hair. You should also keep an eye on any areas that are sprouting more hair than usual (which is normal as you get older) – places like your nose, eyebrows, and ears – and trim any excess fluff when you notice it.
If you can, ask a professional to trim your eyebrows when you visit the barber – it’s easy to get it wrong if you slip or misjudge. If you’re tidying them up at home, avoid plucking. Instead, use a fine comb to comb them upwards towards your forehead, then use some nail scissors to trim them in line with where your eyebrow shape falls naturally.
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Stay fit & healthy
One of the key contributors to making men look and feel older is weight gain and lack of hydration. Drink 2-3 liters of water each day, and exercise between 30 minutes intensely or 1 hour moderately 5 times a week, and ideally a mixture of strength training and cardio-based exercise like running, or HIIT. Lots of us have sedentary lifestyles than means we’re sitting at a desk all day, and it’s so bad for our health!
Exercising regularly not only helps you to feel more confident and look trimmer and younger, but it releases testosterone, and this is key for regulating appetite, sex drive, mood, and energy. It helps to keep your joints and bones strong and healthy too. As you get older, without regular movement, these are areas that can cause you pain. Remember the motto: if you don’t use it, you lose it!
Kick bad habits & get to grips with your gut health
Drinking excessively, smoking, late nights, overexposure to the sun, stress, blue light radiation from digital screens, and eating sugary or processed food can cause you to put on weight, and lead to premature aging. “Focus on improving the colours and fibre on your plate for balance and satiety, and work on improving your sleep routine. Ensure your evening meal is nourishing, balanced including some quality protein, complex carbohydrate (wholegrain, vegetables, salad) and a small amount of healthy fats i.e., a drizzle of olive oil,” says Whitehead. “Give evening drinking and smoking a miss – this will help improve the quality of your sleep and help you look more youthful and energised.”
These bad habits increase toxins in your body that can lead to chronic stress and inflammation – specifically, oxidative stress caused by free radicals can speed up aging to make you look old before your time.
“30g - 40g is the recommended daily amount of fiber that men should be eating every day. In the UK, we fall well short of this goal and gut distress and IBS is prevalent. Plant-based fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrain, lentils, beans provide the substrate to nourish your gut microbiome (the bacteria that hang out in your gut.) In return for feeding your gut bugs correctly, they make short-chain fatty acids that nourish your enterocytes; the cells lining your gut. With a healthy gut lining, you are now able to absorb nutrients from your diet effectively. Considering the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients – vitamins A, D, E and K – which are critical for a healthy immune system and for making hormones i.e. testosterone – this is a killer move in improving how you feel and how you look,” says Whitehead.
As with most things in life, looking after ourselves with healthy diet and lifestyle habits, along with tweaking our skincare routine can go a long way to preserving our youth. Try these anti-aging tricks for smoother skin and an age-defying appearance.