Prevent Wrinkles and Look Younger
Are you hoping to find practical, affordable and realistic ways to prevent wrinkles, lines and other signs of aging? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. Lots of people – including men – look for natural ways to preserve their skin with the goal of looking young for as long as possible.
And while you may not hear about this much, the male grooming industry has exploded in recent years into a multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, more and more, companies that once exclusively marketed to women are now setting their sights on men to help them look their best.
Just walk into any Sephora, ULTA or other establishment that sells cosmetics and you will see entire aisles that have become exclusively dedicated to guys. You’ll see everything from wrinkle reduction eye creams to forehead smoothing masks. They’ve even got bronzers and toners available for purchase.
But do you really need all of that produce in order to achieve a younger, sexier look? The answer to that question is: it depends on your current age and goals. For example, if you are in your twenties or thirties, you may benefit from engaging in certain routines.
If, however, you are in your 40’s or older, it’s probably a necessity that you use something to keep the signs of aging at a minimum (see our post on how to be a sexy dad’s here).
Given interest in the topic of preventing wrinkles in men, we decided to consult with a number of guys who model for a living. Our hope was to find out the specific things they do (and don’t do) in order to obtain the youthful look you often see in print and online.
The information we learned might surprise you. Specifically, what we discovered that it wasn’t so much what these models used but instead, what they did. And while use of certain products certainly is important, so are specific lifestyle factors.
It’s like this – as people age, the collagen and elastin structure of the skin breaks down, leading to brow furrows, crow's feet and fine lines. Dermatologists and the cosmetics industry offer a range of products and procedures to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but if you ask any male model, they’ll tell you it’s prevent them from forming in the first place.
Here are eight nutrition and lifestyle choices we learned from male models that you can use to obtain younger, healthier looking skin.
1. They avoid sunbathing
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is the No. 1 cause of wrinkles and premature skin aging. UV light breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin and even damages the skin's DNA.
Your body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D, but there's no need to bask in it for hours. When you do spend time in the sun, wear a quality sunscreen; it will help protect you from skin cancer as well as wrinkles. An excellent one is Cetaphil Dermacontrol Moisturizer SPF 30 ($13 to $14.00).
Wearing a baseball hat will also reduce the amount of UV light hitting your face. Next time you are at the beach, notice how many of the guys are them. The male models tell us whenever they are in the sun for an extended period time, they bring a cap with them.
2. They eat tomato sauce
Tomatoes are the best source of a carotenoid called lycopene. This powerful antioxidant helps protect the skin by neutralizing free radicals produced by UV radiation. In one study, people who ate 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste daily for 10 weeks showed 40 percent less skin damage when exposed to a sun lamp, compared to a control group.
Heating tomatoes and eating them with fat allows more of the lycopene to be absorbed by the body. For younger-looking skin, indulge in Mediterranean dishes made with cooked tomatoes and olive oil.
3. They get a good night's sleep
There's a reason it's called “beauty sleep.” Sleep deprivation can lead to premature aging of the skin. Inadequate sleep raises levels of the hormone cortisol, which breaks down skin cells, and decreases the production of growth hormone which stimulates tissue repair and promotes skin elasticity.
In a UK study, 30 women had their skin examined after eight hours of sleep. On the following five nights, their sleep was restricted to six hours. When their skin was re-examined, they had up to twice as many fine lines and wrinkles.
If getting a restful night’s sleep is a challenge for you, speak with your physician to rule out potential medical problems. Some guys benefit from natural solutions, such as using a sleeping mask with ear plugs. Home Pro offers a great combo product that can be purchased online for less than $15.00.
4. They don’t squint
These days, people are squinting more often as they attempt to read different sizes of text on computers, tablets and phones, in addition to print media. Squinting causes the muscles around the eyes to contract. When done repeatedly, it can cause wrinkles that persist when your eye muscles are relaxed.
If you find yourself squinting at text, increase the font sizes on all your devices and wear reading glasses if necessary.
If your job involves staring at a screen, take “eye breaks” whenever possible. Sunglasses will help prevent squinting in direct sunlight.
There are tons of styles to choose from and you don’t have to break the bank either to look fashionable. Check out this selection from Amazon online for a number of options.
5. They eat lots of oily fish
Oily fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, herring and mackerel are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 protects against wrinkles in two ways: it enhances skin cell membranes, thus helping the skin to retain moisture, and it lowers levels of inflammatory compounds involved in the aging process.
By eating oily fish on a regular basis, you can do a lot to naturally prevent wrinkles while adding a healthy source of nutrition to your diet.
A laboratory study published in the Journal of Lipid Research concluded that EPA (a type of omega-3 found in fish) is a potential agent for preventing and treating skin aging. Aim to eat at least two servings of oily fish a week.
6. They don’t scrub their faces
Washing your face too often or scrubbing it vigorously can exacerbate wrinkling. Soap removes the oils that protect skin and act as a natural moisturizer. Scrubbing can loosen cells in the epidermis, disrupting the skin barrier and allowing water loss.
It can also lead to depletion of collagen. The result is dry, wrinkle-prone skin. Some dermatologists advise that men who wash their face in the evening shouldn't wash their face again during their morning shower.
The male models we spoke with don’t use scrubs or soaps at all. Instead, they opt for cleansers and exfoliators.
7. Some eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of the plant flavanols catechin and epicatchin, which can help to maintain healthy skin. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, subjects were given a high-flavonol cocoa drink every morning.
Their skin was evaluated at the start of the trial and again after 12 weeks. They showed increases in skin density, skin hydration and blood flow to skin tissue.
The surface of their skin became smoother and damage from UV radiation was significantly decreased.
8. Many sleep on their backs
If you see pillow creases on your face when you look in the mirror in the morning, your sleeping habits could be accelerating wrinkle formation. If you sleep on your front or side, years of resting your head in the same position can cause sleep lines to become permanently etched in your skin.
You can prevent wrinkles by sleeping on your back, so that your face doesn't press into the pillow. Alternatively, you could invest in a special anti-wrinkle pillow to support your head without causing creases.
Keep in mind that, even if you follow all the advice above, your skin will still age faster if you're a smoker. Nicotine impairs blood flow to the skin, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients. Chemicals in cigarette smoke damage collagen and elastin.
In addition, the repeated muscle movements you make while smoking, such as pursing your lips and squinting your eyes, will cause wrinkles to develop.