Twenty secrets to staying young and beautiful
Have you always envied enternally-youthful celebrities who seem to defy aging? You can do the same by utilising this advice.
Looking fabulous well into your forties is not impossible -- all you need to do is keep healthy and fit now, by following these simple tips regularly:
Water hydrates your skin, improves its elasticity, hides ugly wrinkles and keeps it glowing. Enough reason to drink eight to ten glasses per day. And in case you're wondering, tea, coffee, colas and alcohol are not adequate substitutes.
Fruits, nuts, and vegetables are rich in antioxidants.These chemical compounds are your natural defense against the free radicals that wear down your body's cells and accelerate aging. Carotenoids (found in apricots, carrots, mangoes, papayas, sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli), Vitamin C (found in amla, oranges, cantaloupes, grapefruit, guavas, litchis, strawberries, tomatoes and cabbage) and Vitamin E (found in almonds, avocados, and kiwi) neutralise toxins, fight infections and keep you fighting-fit.
Image: Model Miranda Kerr credits her smashing looks to an organic diet
Photographs: Ayyildiz Swimwear ad campaign
Switch to green tea
Antioxidants are not restricted to fruit and veggies. The polyphenol ECGC, or epigallocatechin gallate, is a super antioxidant that is abundant in green tea. It rejuvenates dying skin cells, heals scrapes and bruises, removes blemishes, and protects against damage from sunlight.
Choose healthy cooking oils
While fighting the flab, don't make the mistake of going off all fat. Monounsaturated fat in oils such as olive, canola, and flax seed, can actually help you stay lean and fit. What's more, these oils help you absorb fat soluble carotenoids and vitamins that have an anti-aging effect on your skin.
Image: Shilpa Shetty has a cup of green tea every afternoon to
Photographs: Vikram Bawa
Eat enough protein
Protein contains amino acids that are essential to build and repair your body cells. Eating an adequate amount of protein (about 120 gms daily) supports the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails.
Shoot the sugar
It's official now, sugary foods are bad for your looks. This is because a rapid rise in blood sugar causes the sugar molecules to bind themselves to the collagen, a kind of protein, in your skin. This process, known as glycation, makes skin hard and rigid, causing sagging and wrinkling. Pass those gulab jamuns on.
Image: Popstar Britney Spears went on a high-protein diet to regain her figure after two children
Photographs: Cover of OK! Magazine
Get it right, sunlight is actually good for you. It provides Vitamin D, helps absorb calcium and phosphorus, bolsters immunity, and relieves skin trouble. It's the extended exposure, especially to the overhead afternoon sun, that is harmful. This is because UV rays in sunlight break down collagen in the skin, making it rough and leathery and causing wrinkles and premature aging. It also increases the risk of skin cancer. Protect skin against direct sunlight by covering all exposed areas or using a good sunscreen.
Use soap safely
Buy soap to match your skin type, such as dry, oily, normal or sensitive. Avoid soaps with high pH or acid content, as these can harm your skin. Also, herbal soaps are a gentler alternative to those containing chemicals. As a rule, use minimal soap to preserve the natural oils in your skin.
Image: Model-actress Yana Gupta does not use soap to bathe at all, preferring coconut paste instead
Photographs: Courtesy Maxim India
Look for retinoids
While buying cosmetic products, check labels for those containing retinoids. Derived from Vitamin A, these compounds increase collagen production and cell regeneration in your skin, thus helping you stave off the effects of aging.
Lotion in bed
Apply moisturisers, creams and lotions just before going to bed. Because your body temperature is slightly higher when you sleep, there will be better absorption of these products. As a bonus, the obstructing effect of sunlight will be absent.
Image: Retinoids will keep your skin as youthful-looking as Claudia Schiffer's, who turns 40 this year
Photographs: Cover of Rolling Stone magazine
Condition with care
Hair conditioners tend to soften hair, so that it hangs flat and looks lifeless. One trick is to apply conditioner only on the outer tips of your hair. This way the lower portion of the hair retains its natural bounce.
Heal your hands
Your hands bear the brunt of the work you do. The result is discoloured or hardened skin and chipped nails that make you look older. To keep your hands looking good, treat them with facial care products such as creams and lotions. Brushing them with a toothbrush and a solution of sea salt and lemon will also keep them soft. Occasionally, treat yourself to a manicure.
Image: Condition only the tips of your hair for healthy bounce like Scarlett Johansson
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Pamper your feet
Feet, along with hands, are the neglected extremities of your body. It's important to keep them clean by scrubbing them daily with warm water and a brush. Using a pumice stone once a week will help to keep your feet smooth and soft.
Take a massage
An occasional massage offers immense physical and psychological benefits. It stimulates the skin, regulates blood pressure, purges toxins and eases stiffness in the joints. In addition, it reduces stress, promotes relaxation and makes you feel just great...which in turn influences the way you look.
Image: Amisha Patel is known to enjoy frequent massages at high-end spas
Photographs: Cover of Maxim India
Go for yoga
The balancing, bending and stretching movements in yoga are excellent for improving physique and toning muscles. Also, poses such as suryanamaskar and sirshasan increase blood flow towards the head, which helps to release stress and rejuvenates skin in the facial area.
Running helps you lose weight, keep fit and fight off stress. The result is that you not only look, but also feel, much younger. And yes, the fresh air helps too.
Image: Kareena Kapoor has taken to yoga in a big way of late
Hit the gym
Vigorous exercises, such as aerobics or cardio, pump up your circulation and give your skin and face that healthy flush.
Unbelievable but true. A simple smile lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity and releases endorphins and serotonin that make you 'feel good'. Plus, it is infectious, so that you set people around smiling back at you. Now that's reason enough to keep smiling.
Image: Light up with a lovely smile like Julia Roberts
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Meditation helps you connect with your inner self, calms you, cheers you up and makes you feel tremendously good about yourself. The results are for all to see.
Enjoy good sleep
Adequate sleep is crucial for your body to perform functions of cell renewal and regeneration. Regularising your patterns and sleeping early will ensure that you get the optimum eight hour sleep daily.
Image: Lara Dutta practices not only yoga but meditation too