Pablo Picasso once said, “It takes a very long time to become young.” To that, we say: bogus. Start following the 10 tips below today and you’ll be shocked at how much younger you’ll look by next week.
Incidentally, Picasso—who remained vibrant all his life and died at age 91 when throwing a dinner party with his wife who was 45 years his junior—followed at least six of these tips to the letter. (And probably more than one of these 25 Ways to Be Happier Now.)
Cut your hair short
As we age, the density of our hair decreases. By the time you notice that your crowning glory isn’t what it once was, it’s likely that you’ve already lost about half the hair you had during your mane’s illustrious heyday. Clinging to a longer style might be perceived as a vain attempt to hang onto your youth, and it’ll make you appear older that you are. A shorter cut will thicken and give body to thinning hair. To maintain a sleek crop, find a barber you like and see him every four weeks.
Tame your “guybrows”
As you get older, your brows can get woolly. This change can happen slowly, making it harder to recognize (and leaving you scratching your head when people start offering you their seats on public transit). Resist the temptation to shape them yourself. Instead, ask your barber to do a trim during your regular visits. And while you’re at it, have him take care of excess ear and nose hair too. Don’t be shy—he’s used to it. Or grab one of these 10 High-Tech Grooming Gadgets You Need Now to stay perfectly manscaped.
Change how you frame your face
Our faces appear to lengthen as we age. One way to forestall looking like an old codger is to foreshorten your look and make your face appear more rounded (read: youthful). Crew necks make the face look more rounded than V-necks. For the same reason, when you’re dressing casually, wear button-collared shirts rather than a wide-spread collar. They narrow the face.
Dress your age
Passing 40 can “inspire” us to dress younger. Bad move. “Dressing younger only serves to highlight your advancing years,” says Alex Wilcox, co-proprietor of New York men’s clothing store Lord Willy’s. “You end up looking like a old head on a young body. This in contrast to dressing classic—albeit with a few playful little touches — which tends to do the opposite.” For ideas on establishing the right look, follow these 25 Rules of Office Style!
Stand up straighter
Another quick, simple way to appear younger is to stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and tighten your core. Experts say you’ll appear 10 pounds lighter and be perceived as healthier, more confident, alert, and more youthful. It’s also a hedge against back pain.
A 2011 study demonstrated that happy-looking people are perceived to be younger (compared to pictures of the very same people sporting a neutral or angry expression). In the study, 154 adults guessed the age of 171 faces of men and women. Researchers discovered that the age of happy or smiling faces was likely to be underestimated by an average of about two years! Need some motivation? Check out these 25 Ways to Be Happier Now!
Dry skin looks so dull that you can actually end up looking like you’re covered in a thin layer of dust. Use a moisturizer on your face, but also on your hands and body. An effective, natural and inexpensive option is to use coconut oil. Not only is it effective at locking in moisture and staving off wrinkles, you’ll smell and taste like a macaron. Women love macarons!
Keep your teeth pearly white
Dingy chompers speak to all the coffee, red wine and cigarettes you’ve enjoyed over the years. Not good. Your first move? Exactly what you were told as a kid: Visit the dentist for a cleaning and exam twice annually, and heed their advice about flossing. Once stains have been removed, try a whitening toothpaste. Smile still not popping? Look into a professional whitening treatment. Going forward, eat apples, celery, raw carrots, broccoli and other crunchy greens, which can actually exfoliate fresh stains. They’re just a few of the 25 Foods That’ll Keep You Young Forever!
Get more sleep
When your co-workers tell you that you look tired, they really mean that you look bad, old or both. Next time you’re at the water cooler, hand them a tall glass of STFU by snoozing your way to a more youthful, vibrant appearance. Studies have pinpointed seven to eight hours of shut-eye as optimal, and it ought to have you looking younger, happier and more attractive. Talk about an easy route to reeling back the years. (And extending them: According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, getting less than six hours of sleep a night comes with a 10% increase in risk of death!)
Cut out sugar
Your skin has its own support system in the form of collagen and elastin, two compounds that keep your skin tight and plump. But when elevated levels of glucose and fructose enter the body, they link to the amino acids present in the collagen and elastin, producing advanced glycation endproducts, or “AGEs.” That damages these two critical compounds and makes it hard for the body to repair them. This process is accelerated in the skin when sugar is elevated, and further stimulated by ultraviolet light, according to a study in the journal Clinical Dermatology. In other words, eating lots of sugar poolside is the worst thing you can do for your skin.