There are countless ways to have people doing a double take when you tell them how old you are. While, short of finding the fountain of youth, you may not be able to look 20 forever, ditching these 12 habits that make you look older can have you turning back the clock in no time.
1. Acting angry
Though we all get angry from time to time, wearing a permanent grimace or having a generally angry affect can make you seem significantly older than you are. After all, there’s nothing like a little joie de vivre and a well-placed smile to make you seem and look young.
2. Piling on the mascara
While full lashes are always in, clumpy ones only make you look older. Those spider-like lashes draw attention to the lines and wrinkles around your eyes while obscuring one of the more youthful parts of your face: your eyes themselves.
3. Splurging on sugar
Bad news for anyone with a sweet tooth: regularly indulging in dessert could be the reason you look older than you actually are. In fact, according to researchers at Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology, regular sugar consumption is linked to a more rapid rate of skin aging.
4. Washing your hair every day
If you don’t want your hair to age you, there’s no time like the present to skip that daily hair wash. “Depending on the shampoo you use, it can strip your hair of its natural oils,” says Campbell. “Cleansing it too much can make it look dry and dull.”
5. Overdoing the powder
6. Not drinking an adequate amount of water
If you’re eager to start getting carded again when you go out, it’s time to start adding some extra water to your routine. Dehydration can make your skin look dull and lifeless and may even emphasize fine lines and wrinkles, while well-hydrated individuals typically enjoy more plump and youthful complexions.
7. Avoiding moisturizer
Though those with oily and breakout-prone skin may avoid moisturizer like the plague, doing so can make you appear older than you actually are. Hydrated skin has more of a youthful, dewy glow, and the right moisturizers, like those with hyaluronic acid, can help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
8. Letting stress build
If there’s one habit that can make anyone look older, it’s leaving stress unaddressed. In fact, a review of research conducted by researchers at Avon reveals a significant link between emotional stress and skin aging. And, of course, all that time spent frowning or scowling will naturally speed up the appearance of wrinkles, too.
It likely comes as little surprise that smoking is bad for you, many people ignore just how much it ages you. Smoking stains your teeth, causes skin damage, and can even cause premature wrinkles—all that pursing when you smoke can create vertical lines around your mouth that make you look significantly older.
10. Avoiding exercise
If you’re skipping the gym on a regular basis, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice on the aging front. Exercising on a regular basis not only boosts circulation, making your skin look more healthy and youthful, increasing your muscle tone also helps prevent skin from sagging.
11. Skimping on sleep
While being able to pull all-nighters may be a youthful characteristic, getting inadequate sleep is actually making you age faster. According to a study published in the journal Sleep, sleep deprivation can increase aging at a cellular level, meaning there’s no time like the present to start aiming for eight hours a night.
12. Not standing up straight
That minor slouch now could be a major giveaway about your age. Poor posture can make you look significantly older—as well as heavier than you actually are—so if you want to shave a few years off your appearance, it’s time to straighten up.
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