The stress of modern-day life can age men faster than they imagined when they were leaving school, what seems like only a handful of years ago.
Between a lack of sleep, hectic jobs and dubious diets, your average man can start to look beyond his years sooner rather than later. No wonder so many want to know how to look younger and healthier.
How can a man retain a younger face?
We’ve pulled together all the best tips, tricks and health hacks based on recent science and research to give you the most useful advice found on the internet. Before you despair that you will never again have a youthful appearance, check out this practical and actionable guide.
While your mileage may vary for some of these techniques, they all have a definite benefit that can help improve and refine your overall look.
What then, should be the first steps in restoring a younger, healthier appearance?
Before taking big steps, like cosmetic surgery, it is always best to try step by step, reversible things first. Unless you already live a ‘perfect’ life in terms of fitness, health and nutrition, there is going to be plenty for you to do to bring out your youthful best.
Where should the average guy start on this journey?
Like anything else good in life, these tips and tricks can take some effort. Pick what works for you but remember they take dedication and consistency to see results in both the short and long term.
So while there are some quick tricks if you’re about to head out of the door or are going on a date this evening, you’ll want to integrate most of these into your daily or weekly ritual.
Before we start, it may be useful to know what really makes us look younger. After all, targeting the wrong thing is a waste of money and time. In the worst-case scenario it could make you look even older – a ‘try hard’ who looks older than their years.
Demas and Braun (2001) gave this list of the main features of an aging face that we will want to avoid or improve:
- A lined forehead;
- Drooping eyelids and eyebrows, with a hooded appearance to the lateral upper lid;
- Loss of check roundedness and deep nasolabial folds due to loss of subcutaneous fat;
- Sagging neck lines due to loss of neck muscle tone;
- Loss of chin definition, from submental fat deposition;
- Drooping of the nasal tissues; and
- Wrinkling of the skin around the mouth, with thinning of the lips.
The aged appearance can be emphasized by other skin damage, such as pigmentation, as well as hair loss. Loss of teeth can also make the contours of the mouth less defined.
This of course just covers facial appearance. Someone’s impression of your age also depends on the other factors included in this article like your behavior, general appearance and more.
Read on to make sure you have everything covered.
15 Simple tips for men to look younger
1. Making your skin look younger
Let’s start with the biggest organ in our body and the one that is most visible. We’re definitely talking about skin before you think of anything else! Skin is clearly one of the most important aspects of a youthful appearance, and the public already know this: Americans spend over $12 billion on spa treatments and over $43 billion per year on skin treatments from simple creams to Botox.
But just how effective are these treatments, are they the best way to slow the onset of age-related changes?
Most creams claim to restore your skin on some level, but remember that the ‘active ingredients’ like proteins cannot pass through the epidermis, the outermost layer. This means you have to choose only the best moisturizing creams if you want your skin to feel the effect.
Simple or cheaper creams can clog pores and leave residue on the skin which can lead to the appearance of blackheads and spots. In these cases washing your face regularly would be more effective in keeping your skin healthy and hydrated.
Instead men should keep up a self-care regime that means you can avoid looking for the quick fix of plastic surgery later in life.
That means a daily regimen of effective and natural products. First, cleansing and washing your face to rid it of build-up from the previous day or night, whether it be environmental pollutants or dead skin. Then, as gravity is an unavoidable part of life, toner is a great addition which will help combat the daily droop and keep your face in place.
Finally, as we will see in the remainder of this article, an excellent moisturizer is a must to keep your skin hydrated and youthful. Of the many factors that come into play, dehydration and drying of the skin lead to both short and long term damage that causes wrinkles, cracks and sagging that become more pronounced and difficult to deal with over time.
Remember that prevention is always better than cure.
The sun is a vital part of our lives, giving us Vitamin D and improving our mental health. But too much sun, particularly it’s Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, can lead to dermatoheliosis.
This scary sounding medical condition is actually just the name given to sun damage over a long period of time. It thickens and dries the skin, causing wrinkles and puffiness that would not otherwise be there.
Unprotected skin dries out and is left depleted of its supply of natural oils. This is before there is any hint of sunburn!
The sun definitely ages your skin and too much is one of the main culprits of premature aging. Apart from the changes mentioned, too much UV loosens the skin, gives early age spots and ruins a man’s complexion.
Can you guess what you should never do?
That’s right: sunbeds and tanning salons. Heavy use of UV based tanning products can drive your skin to show age-related changes in under 12 months. Not great for men trying to make their skin look younger!
Sun damage isn’t just a cosmetic or aesthetic issue either. As sun damage continues over time, aside from increased lines on your face you may notice scaly skin patches appearing in the most exposed areas.
But why are these serious?
Often these patches are actinic keratoses which are precancerous cells, the stage before a serious skin condition called squamous cell carcinoma.
Proper skin care and sun protection are clearly paramount for every man.
If you still need convincing check out the American Academy of Dermatology photos of hidden UV damage. It clearly shows sun damage can begin in as little as 4 years of life and by 17 years old you can have built up significant hidden damage.
For us men who left our teens behind some years ago, you can imagine how much there could be and why choosing the right product will make all the difference.
As the Academy of Dermatology put it: “Act your age when it comes to skin care”.
3. Nature: The key to a man’s youthful look
Vitamins and oils are used by dermatologists medically and are known to pass through the layers of skin all the way to blood vessels. This gives your skin a better chance of staying hydrated as moisture is held deeper within the skin.
Choosing natural products often gives multiple benefits as opposed to synthetic ingredients that serve a single purpose.
Calendula oil for example, has shown great promise not only because of its moisturizing effect but because of its effect on skin over time.
Research has shown that sustained application of Calendula over 3 to 4 weeks can significantly increase the production of collagen, the protein that maintains a youthful and healthy skin structure.
The benefits of nature don’t stop there.
In the last couple of decades researchers have uncovered a mountain of little-used natural skincare resources.
By 2011, “The cosmetic and therapeutic applicability of Calendula [was] well established especially when concerned with skin-related disorders”. It has shown great potential in inhibiting free radicals, reducing inflammation and possesses a remarkable anti-inflammatory and wound healing effect.
Clearly this is a moisturizing ingredient that should not be missed.
Be careful when choosing your moisturizer – not all Calendula is created equal. Calendula extract has many of the same benefits, but only Calendula oil has been shown to improve the emolliency (softness) of skin while also improving elasticity.
In terms of returning skin to healthier, brighter days, Calendula oil is a must.
Maintaining or reducing the degradation of collagen is covered in other topics in this article as it is a vital part of skincare. Here are some initial hints and tips to keeping your skin structure firm and youthful.
As with most things you put into your body, striving for natural sources and ingredients is usually best. Collagen is ubiquitous amongst animals, so a great source is bone broth. You can make this at home using leftover bones from previous meals. Simply put, the bones or carcass into a large pot of hot water and cook slowly until you see that fat has dissolved into the water. This creates a stock rich in both protein and collagen.
To help your body formulate collagen, it needs a good source of protein as well as Vitamin C from citrus fruits and other foods.
By both ingesting collagen directly and supporting your own internal production you can help stave off the appearance of wrinkles and damaged skin.
5. Get more sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the biggest health concerns facing our modern world. For the past 100 years technological advances and society itself have squeezed our time asleep into a smaller and smaller part of the day.
Not only do we not get enough sleep, the sleep we do get is often of low quality. Work, stress, alcohol and light from phones and other gadgets have a big impact on our circadian rhythm.
This low volume and low quality sleep is the perfect storm to bring about a whole host of knock on effects, many of them directly making men look not only tired but much older.
So what does a good night’s sleep help you avoid?
- Fatigue Even if you look the part, nothing will make you seem old like having no energy or lust for life. Even if you feel like you can get by with less than 7 hours sleep, long term sleep deprivation will eat away at your daily energy. Running on adrenaline to keep going will also make you foggy minded and agitated. Not the bright, healthy persona you want to be putting forth.
- Tired eyes It’s bad enough that the skin around our eyes ages so noticeably as we grow older. Poor quality sleep will only accelerate this process leaving you with crow’s feet, dark circles and puffy bags under your eyes.
- Lackluster skin Sleep is a vital part of our lives for many reasons. During this downtime at night our body starts to repair and mend damage accumulated throughout the day. Research has shown that even short term sleep deprivation can increase pore size, leading to spots and blackheads while also increasing pigmentation. Just 1 day of sleep loss has been shown to increase the appearance of wrinkles. Long term sleep deprivation also reduces skin hydration and elasticity. This of course leads to an ashen appearance and less supple skin. Finally, when we sleep we release Growth Hormone. Aside from implications for testosterone, Growth Hormone allows new skin cells to grow, reduces inflammation and lowers your cortisol hormone levels, which protects collagen production and helps prevent wrinkle formation.
What then should a man do to combat these side effects?
As always, do your utmost to get more, good quality sleep. That means cutting out caffeine in the evening, reducing alcohol intake when possible and putting down that phone at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Sometimes though, despite our best efforts it is not always that easy to get more sleep. There is help out there to get your skin and eyes looking more alive and youthful, despite the daily pressures of modern life.
As eyes are our main focus whenever we are talking to someone, good eye care should be your first stop in working towards a younger appearance. Moisturize and massage any dark circles and puffiness that you find. Keeping it in the fridge is a great idea as the coolness helps reduce any swelling or redness.
After a night of poor sleep, what your skin really needs is a refresh. Keep a good exfoliating wash to hand and remove tired, dead skin in the morning.
If you are very tired or possibly suffering from a hangover you could have dry, red eyes. Whilst these will clear as time goes on you will spend most of the day looking like you have just woken up. Find a good quality eye drop solution to use on these occasions, it will reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels, leaving your eyes fresher, whiter and more importantly more youthful.
With all these skin and eye treatments to consider don’t forget that the bed you sleep in can make you look older too.
Gravity again, the enemy of skin and the eternal ager.
Sleeping with cheap or rough sheets form strong wrinkles and lines along the fabric. While you toss and turn in your sleep these folds pull across and press against your skin, leaving pressure marks and minor skin blemishes every morning. Over time these effects will build up and age your skin prematurely.
If all of this evidence hasn’t been enough to convince you that sleep is important for your appearance – look at this latest research from the Royal Society, carried out on participants who had only 2 days of sleep deprivation.
The research team found that aside from obviously looking more sleepy, to onlookers the group were generally seen as both less attractive and less healthy. In fact, it showed that the general public are less inclined to interact with you even when suffering short term sleep deprivation.
6. Stop smoking
Just behind UV radiation from the sun, smoking is one of biggest contributors in aging a man’s appearance prematurely.
Don’t think that it just dries the skin, there are many more negative effects.
This is the big headline to sit up and notice:
Smokers in their 40s often have as many facial wrinkles as non-smokers in their 60s.
Starting to doubt that smoking habit yet?
Even if you only started smoking in the last ten years there are unseen changes damaging your skin. Research has shown that smoking can activate an enzyme in your skin that actually breaks down collagen, causing your skin structure to weaken and sagging starting to appear.
Even the action of dragging on a cigarette causes excess wrinkling around your mouth and eyes.
But getting back to basics, smoking does indeed dry your skin. It reduces blood flow near the surface of the skin as well, constricting blood vessels and robbing the skin of essential nutrients and minerals.
To combat this a combination of effective moisturizing, skin care and smoking reduction is required to increase the chances of recovery and slowing or even reversing the aging effects.Enjoying this article? Get similar skincare content direct to your inbox! Subscribe to our exclusive newsletter and we will help you master your routine. Receive regular tips and tricks, how-to's, special offers and more...
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7. Reduce alcohol
Alcohol is another common issue that ages not only your skin but your general appearance as well. For men wanting to stay looking fit and young, alcohol moderation is a must. Heavy or binge drinking has direct effects on your body and brain, as well as many indirect effects that can make you look tired and older.
As we know, proper hydration is important for many reasons, including keeping your skin looking fresh. Men who drink too much are continuously pulling water out of their body with high blood alcohol levels. As well as drying your skin being dehydrated leaves your body with a sallow and lifeless appearance. Think the opposite of how your body looks after a quick session in the gym.
For those who struggle with alcohol, one of the big concerns is the effect excess has on your brain structure and function. Chronic or long term intake is widely known to be a cause of brian shrinkage and dementia.
Nothing screams’ older guy’ more than someone who is slow in thinking, muddled and generally not as sharp as their younger peers. Remember as well that excess alcohol can make it more difficult to sleep, exacerbating any accelerated aging from alcohol.
8. Reduce hair coverage
Excess hair on your face and body puts you at a certain age almost without doubt. Ethnic variations aside, psychologically our brains know that there aren’t many young men running around with full beards with chest and back hair to go with it.
The same rings true for fly-away eyebrows, nose hair and ear hair. While you don’t have to go back to childhood and wax away all your hair, some neatness in your presentation goes a long way. Trim or excess or bushy hair away and smarten your hairstyle to avoid prematurely aging yourself.
9. Hair transplant or no hair transplant?
Hair loss and in particular male pattern baldness can age a man by decades in some cases. The most important thing is not to try to cover it up. No one believes the comb-over except you.
While the key for those with balding or thin hair is usually a short hairstyle, more men are turning to hair transplants to remedy the problem.
When researchers showed before and after pictures of hair transplant patients, the overwhelming majority thought of those with more hair both younger and more attractive. Going even further, participants also rated those with visibly more hair on their head as being more approachable and successful.
That being said, not every man with thinning hair needs to rush to get a transplant. In the quest to look younger, all that matters is the perception of your age in contrast to your biological age. Having an active lifestyle, along with plenty of sleep and well-kept hair on head and body will do wonders for keeping men looking younger than their years.
10. Don’t dye away the grey
The first few flecks of grey can make many men panic. But reaching for a bottle of hair dye isn’t always the right thing to do in the quest for retaining a youthful appearance.
Unless you are careful, dying mostly non-grey hair can have the effect of looking overdone or simply unnatural, rather than blending with your existing hair color. It is much better to own the age you are than to be seen as a try-hard failing to look younger. Make sure you make subtle changes at first and don’t overdo it.
However, a premature full head of grey or white hair can be aging as it shifts your overall skin tone to a lighter appearance. This can make you look tired and dehydrated even when you’re not.
Some research into people’s unconscious biases surrounding this are not promising. Just a few years ago the Employment Commission in the US found that almost a quarter of workplace discrimination charges were filed due to ageism!
At the end of the day it comes down to what makes you feel more comfortable. When you feel good in yourself you act with confidence and this placebo effect can bring back youthful vigor and self-esteem.
11. Improve your diet & nutrition
The age old adage ‘you are what you eat’ still rings true. But while having a ‘good diet’ can improve your appearance and make you seem younger and healthy, there are a number of other indirect ways food can reduce your aesthetic age.
For those who live in sunnier climes or work outdoors, reaching for cream or moisturizer with some SPF is a definite choice to keep your skin looking its best. While this is a worthwhile investment that any wise man should take for his self care regimen, it is always a good idea to boost your own body’s defenses.
The British Journal of Dermatology confirmed that Lycopene containing foods protect against skin drying sun damage, using antioxidants to reduce uneven skin and prevent the appearance of age spots. Foods that contain Lycopene include but are not limited to: Tomatoes, grapefruit and papaya.
For the nutritional version of the fountain of life – look no further than olive oil. Olives produce antioxidants, monounsaturated fatty acids and omega 3. Antioxidants reduce damage at the cell level as we know while monounsaturated fatty acids decrease inflammation. Together these give brighter, more refreshed skin over time.
Don’t forget to follow good general advice on nutrition.
Diets high in glucose and refined carbohydrates, like white rice and bread, produce chemicals in your body that have been linked to loss of skin structure and increased wrinkles. To increase collagen, eating Vitamin A containing foods like carrots can help maintain a well-structured face. Or as we mentioned in our collagen section [link] a good bone broth.
So now you know what to eat, what should you avoid?
Common sense prevails here. Eating large amounts of high fat and high sugar foods will promote weight gain as well as giving you an oily, spotty complexion. While this won’t make you look older straight away, having a poor diet does age men over the long term so avoid these foods where possible.
Fast food usually comes with an accompanying soft drink packed full of caffeine. So does your morning coffee. Drinking over 300mg of caffeine in a day as per government recommendations can lead to all sorts of side effects from palpitations to agitation. For men wanting to retain a youthful appearance however, the impact of caffeine on the hormone cortisol is what you need to worry about. Increased cortisol is known to contribute to fat gain and accelerated aging.
12. Exercise more
It is common knowledge by now that having a regular exercise routine has wide ranging anti-aging effects. The majority of these effects, like stronger muscles, a healthier heart and more effective breathing don’t necessarily make you look younger.
The knock-on effects however definitely do make your general appearance and demeanor much younger. Subtle changes like your walking pace, how you bend down to pick up heavy items and how quickly you can react to last-minute situations all give unconscious clues about your age.
Keeping up regular exercise keeps you nimble and makes your whole being and behavior seem youthful.
With regards to your outward appearance, regular exercise keeps your blood flow and lymphatic system running optimally. This leaves you with a fresh-looking face that is well hydrated, rather than anemic and dry looking skin.
Interest is now building in facial exercises, specifically how they can help slow the appearance of aging. Although currently only pilot or initial studies are being run they show great promise.
The researchers are looking at the known physical manifestations of facial aging: namely skin laxity, sun damage and loss of fat and muscle amongst other factors. They are applying facial ‘yoga’ or exercise techniques to the face that can be done at home over a period of 8 weeks.
With just 2 weeks of practice participants had significantly improved their upper and lower cheek fullness, returning their face to a younger structure and shape. The average age of their faces, when graded on a scientific scale, reduced on average by 3 years. That is an amazing result for just 8 weeks of exercise.
13. Care for your teeth
A good, white set of teeth is essential when you want to stay looking young. Your smile can give away esthetic and physical signs of aging, with tooth wear and tear over time immediately noticeable to most.
The basics of brushing and flossing should be followed. If you find that you already have damaged or poorly looked after teeth then restorative dentistry may be for you.
Dentists have found that using ceramics to reverse aging teeth to their former beauty can reinforce a man’s smile and enhance his look, restoring his youthful appearance.
Make sure that you have a smile you are proud to show off!
14. Dress the part
Your clothes need to look smart without being stale or boring. They also need to reflect your complexion, skin color and build.
Dark blues and greys should be a staple of any man’s wardrobe. If you have grey or very fair hair however you will want to lighten your clothes to not wipe out the subtle colors of your face.
Whatever you do, don’t resort to the latest trends for 20-somethings. While you don’t want to look like an old man you definitely don’t want to look like you are dressed like a child.
Have some variation in your wardrobe but the idea is to look refined, not crazy.
15. Watch your posture
Having a hunched back can make you seem tired, old and weak all at once. For some people the spaces between the vertebrae in their spine shrink as they age, especially around the lower back and neck. This gives the classic ‘old man’ look that you want to avoid at all costs.
Unless you are in your eighties however, any sign of slumping or poor posture is usually a lack of proper exercise and too much time staring at a computer screen.
If you can see a curve already happening or friends have mentioned it to you, resistance training is the fastest way to solve the problem. Don’t think however that upper body exercises alone will cut it.
Your core and upper leg muscles do the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping your back straight. If you’re short on time then squats and deadlifts should form the majority of your workout routine with the bench press and pull-ups to keep your body mass even.
Resistance or weight training also has the added benefit of boosting your testosterone levels, something every man above 30 should be looking to do as they are dropping every day.
Conclusion: Consistency is key
So we’ve come to the end of our guide of how men can look younger. None of this advice is hard to follow but the key is forming good habits.
Remember that the majority of how you age comes down to your behavior. A lifestyle and lack of self-care that leaves you run down will not only prevent you from looking younger, it will likely age you faster as well.
There is a lot covered in this article so if you’re lost on where to start follow the steps below.
- Drink plenty of water: Around 8 glasses a day – for all the reasons listed above, your skin needs to stay hydrated to look its best.
- Start a regular skin care routine: Hydration alone won’t give the best results when trying to fight against sun exposure, alcohol and anything else that dries and damages your appearance. Avoid harsh soaps and alcohol-based cleansers which dry you out even more.
Instead look for high quality, natural products that not only hydrate your skin but support its growth and repair. Using a good moisturizer daily will help lock in that moisture around the clock and start to undo those troublesome signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
These two steps should form the core of your daily routine in your journey to maintaining a younger, more healthy look. Once you have these set as habits you can move onto the slightly more difficult lifestyle-changing steps.
That means watching your sun exposure and reducing alcohol and smoking where possible. If you have a sedentary job, get out for a run or get to the gym at least a couple of times a week combined with improving your diet.
If you haven’t refreshed your clothes or hairstyle in a while, get yourself to a stylist if you need help.
By following the steps listed in this article consistently you will be amazed how many years you can strip away in a few short weeks and months.
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