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The Easiest Way to Look Younger Instantly, Says Research

No Botox needed.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It's natural to want to look like the best possible version of yourself at any age—but not everyone is a fan of cosmetic treatments and endless rounds of injectables. Luckily, some very straightforward lifestyle changes can take years off your face—and do wonders for your health on the inside. Here are five proven ways to look younger, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Be Mindful of Sun Exposure

middle aged woman applying sunscreen lotion on face on the beach

Being careful about sun exposure is one of the most effective ways to prevent premature skin aging. "I see many patients who have a lot of sun damage," says Kathleen Suozzi, MD, director of the aesthetics at Yale Medicine Dermatology. "They feel like their skin aged them, that they appear older than some of their peers, and they're regretful of not being better with sun protection in their youth."


Don't Smoke

no smoking sign

Smoking will damage you on the inside and the outside, doctors warn. "Smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles and other changes to the appearance of your face," says J. Taylor Hays, MD. "These changes include crow's-feet, pronounced lines between the eyebrows, uneven skin complexion, a grayish tone on lighter skin, deep creases and puffiness below the eyes, wrinkles around the mouth, and thinner lips."


Limit Alcohol

Sad woman drinking wine at kitchen.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause havoc on your skin and make you look older. "Drinking is classified as two drinks a day," says New York nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez. "There's a huge amount of damage to the skin that occurs; alcohol affects any mucous membrane, from the pancreas and liver to the skin. The first effect is dehydration, as it actually takes all the fluid out of the skin. If you look at a woman who has been drinking for 20 or 30 years, and a woman the same age who hasn't at all, we see a massive difference in the skin—more wrinkles from that dehydration damage, which can make you look 10 years older."


Eat a Healthy Diet

Man eating pizza having a takeaway at home relaxing resting

What you eat will show on your face—and your body, experts say. "Habits such as adding sugars to foods and consuming ultra processed foods (i.e. most breakfast cereals, pastries) can accelerate aging," says Kara Burnstine, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES, a registered dietitian at Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida. "Whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, do wonders for the skin. On the other hand, processed foods like pizza, fries, and chips have little nutritional values and cause inflammation."



overweight woman at home lying on the floor, laptop in front of her, prepared to work out on mat according to video

Regular exercise not only helps maintain a glowing complexion, it can help make you younger on a cellular level. How? Research shows that exercise can help protect telomeres, caps on the end of each strand of DNA that naturally deteriorate with age and stress. "We all know people who seem younger than their actual age," says Larry Tucker, PhD, professor of exercise science at Brigham Young University. "We know exercise can help with that, and now we know that part of that may be because of its effect on our telomeres."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan
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