10 proven ways for younger looking skin without surgery

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Youthful skin: 10 tips to tone, firm and keep your skin young without surgery
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Maintaining younger and healthy looking skin can be accomplished by eating a healthy diet, avoiding smoking and limiting sun exposure. Over time, UV rays and aging can make our skin less firm and toned. Some common problems as we age are 'crow's feet', sagging jowls and eyelid drooping that can make us look tired and feel less attractive. Here are 10 ways to firm, tone and tighten the skin without surgery that will help you look and feel younger.

We've searched out the best ways to help you keep your youthful skin by ferreting out research and advice from top experts in skin care, minus the hype that can deplete your pocket book. When your skin is firmed and toned it is also a sign of overall health and well-being. Not only will you look better, but if improving the look of your skin is a goal, you will also get the added perk of better overall health.

1. Consider facial yoga. Exercises included in the practice might make you feel silly and even laugh. But that's a good thing because laughter stimulates the immune system and has known health benefits.

Facial yoga has increasingly become more popular. Proponents claim that with regular practice you can obtain the same benefits from the exercises as from a face lift.

Advantages include fewer wrinkles, less eye puffiness, a firmer jawline and even relief from headache and eye strain. Facial yoga practitioners claim exercises increase collagen production that is the skin's fountain of youth and declines with aging and sun damage. Does yoga for the face work?

According to Dr. Neil Sadick of "The Doctors" TV show: It’s not proven that face exercises can increase blood flow, but they can improve muscle tone and make the skin look more supple.” The practice can keep your skin looking younger, he says, based on his own research.

2. Hydrate your skin, According to University of Wisconsin-Madison, it's important to hydrate the skin, but it isn't just about drinking enough water.

Dry skin that becomes flaky is more prone to wrinkling. When we drink water the body uses the fluid to nourish other organs. The skin is the largest organ of the body.

In addition to using a daily skin moisturizing, it's important to drink 8 glasses of water a day to keep our skin firmed, toned and glowing - from head to toe. Not everyone agrees that water can improve skin tone and perhaps acne, but if you have no health problems like heart failure or kidney disease, try increasing your water intake.

Did you also know drinking more water can boost brain health?

To keep your skin hydrated, apply a moisturizer within 2-minutes after leaving the bath or shower when the skin is the most porous. Consider carrying a 'spritzer for the face' to replenish moisturize throughout the day. You can use a spray of spring water or purchase a skin spritzer of your choice.

3. Reverse sun damage. Neal Schultz, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist based in New York City and creator of DermTV.com. provides the followiing 4 tips to help get rid of skin damage from UV rays.

  • Exfoliate with a product that contains glycolic acid. Look for an exfoliant with at least 8 percent glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells and bring a glow back to your face.
  • Use a 'skin bleach' to get rid of brown spots. Apply two to three times a day. An example is Murad Age Spot & Pigment Gel that contains the ingredient hydroquinone that also stops melanin from causing more brown spots on the skin.
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen every day with an SPF of 15 or above. Check out the Environmental Working Group's guide to sunscreens for recommendations.
  • Protect the skin with antioxidants by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Look for skin products that contain vitamin C that will be directly absorbed by the skin.

4. Laugh often and loudly. In line with facial yoga exercise, practicing laughter yoga or just enjoying a hearty laugh for no reason (for instance at home alone) can nourish the skin by boosting collagen, improving blood flow to create a glowing face and relieving stress that creates frown lines and other wrinkles.

Stress raises hormone levels of cortisol that can show in our skin and even cause acne. High stress levels also removes blood flow from the skin, causing the blood vessels to constrict.

We can't always control stress, but we can find simple ways to lessen the effect. Laughter is a great way to improve your skin and overall health and well-being, including lowering your risk of heart disease and slow the aging process.

5. Get rid of sugar in your diet. Simply put, sugar stops the body's ability to produce collagen that is needed for firm, toned and tight skin through a process known as advanced glycation end products or "AGEs." The combination of eating a diet high in sugar, combined with exposure to UV rays accelerates skin aging.

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Getting rid of sugary sodas and baked good in the diet has the added perk of protecting the heart from damage.

6. See a cosmetic surgeon to discuss skin rejuvenation procedures that include laser skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion and chemical peels. Depending on the your need, skin care procedures that don't require surgery can improve skin tone, promote collagen production to firm the skin and reduce wrinkles, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

7. Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet in the form of fish, nuts and other rich sources. You can also take krill oil or fish or flax-seed oil supplements.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for skin health because they reduce inflammation and help keep skin moist. Deficiency in the essential fatty acid leads to dry skin that previously mentioned promotes skin wrinkling.

Omega-3 fatty acids might also help prevent skin cancer and help protect the skin from the effect of ultraviolet radiation.

8. Eat your antioxidants, but don't go overboard. The truth is even though we're surrounded with antioxidant labeling on foods and vitamins, too much of a good thing can be just that.

Did you know you can get to many antioxidants? Most of us have no idea that overdosing on supplements and any one food can tip the balance in the body and promote inflammation and disease - that manifests in the skin.

Focus on getting your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Incorporate good sources of protein from non-GMO soy and nuts into the diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will also help keep your skin hydrated. Don't fall for the hype that you have to take mega-doses of antioxidants to look and feel well.

The bottom line is you should eat a well-rounded diet to keep your skin toned, firm and glowing and not rely too heavily on eating walnuts, blueberries and other foods high in antioxidants.

9. Get rid of harsh soap that is simply bad for the skin. If you want younger, toned, firm skin, use gentle cleansers every day followed by moisturizer and sun screen year-round. Teresa Tannoos, EmaxHealth's veteran TV news anchor, medical reporter and host of the national television series "Healthy Living" reported earlier this year that using sunscreen every day can reduce signs of skin aging by 24 percent.

10. Stop smoking and avoid second hand smoke. When we are exposed to tobacco smoke the blood vessels in the skin contract. The result is fewer skin nutrients needed to keep the epidermis - the outer layer of the skin - healthy and supple. Just the act of smoking leads to wrinkles from puckering to inhaler. Consider smoking cessation programs or speak with your doctor for help.

Stopping smoking will also add years to your lifespan. It isn't just about skin health. If you want to look better, knowing you will take years off your appearance could be good motivation to quit now.

Younger looking skin does not mean having to spend a fortune for surgery. No one wants to look older than they really are. Start your skin care regimen early in life to keep your skin toned, firm and glowing throughout life with these 10 proven methods that are also good for health. Remember the skin is the largest organ of the body. Healthy youthful looking skin is also a sign of optimal well-being.

Resources:,
PubMed.gov
"Nutrition and aging skin"
2010

PubMed.gov

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
"Do antioxidants in your diet help your skin?"

Updated December 30, 2015

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