The harsh winter weather often leaves skin looking dry, saggy, and dull. But experts say that with the proper skin routine and DIY fixes, we can look younger, longer without resorting to costly surgery.
Americans are spending more money on plastic surgery every year. According to a recent report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, we spent more than $1.56 billion on cosmetic plastic surgeries and minimally invasive procedures in 2018, a 4% increase from the previous year.
But Dr. Anthony Youn, a board-certified plastic surgeon and author of the bestselling book "The Age Fix," believes that surgery should always be the last option for most people who want to look younger.
"Every time I prepare to do surgery, I'm aware of the possibility of severe complications or even death," he tells Newsmax. "Surgery is serious and I respect surgery, but after spending 12 years worrying about my patients, I decided to come up with a plan that really anybody can follow to look 10 years younger without going under the knife."
His general rules of natural skin care are:
- Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30
- Wash your face every night with a gentle cleanser — NOT bar soap!
- Exfoliate with an anti-aging retinol cream nightly
- Take vitamin C
- Stop or drastically limit your intake of junk food
- Get sugar out of your diet. Sugar affects your skin, the largest organ of the body. Sugar molecules bind to your skin's elastin and collagen and deforms it. "Not a pretty visual," says Youn.
And then, if you feel you still need a little more help, Youn, dubbed "America's Holistic Plastic Surgeon," offers these inexpensive DIY tips to look younger and well rested:
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Almond oil has the power to decrease these signs of aging, as almonds contain vitamin E, zinc, and folic acid to help rebuild the skin and cells. Gently massage a small amount to treat areas where wrinkles most frequently appear, such as the forehead, crow's feet, and laugh lines.
- Banish dry skin. The water content and vitamin A in bananas provide excellent hydration. Mash a portion of this fruit and combine it with honey, which also has moisturizing power, for an easy face mask to soften and nourish the skin.
- Reduce under eye puffiness. Green tea has so many internally health benefits, but you can also use freshly steeped tea bags over your eyes for 10 minutes to shrink those unsightly bags. The caffeine shrinks the blood vessels in the area, while the tannins in tea help reduce puffiness and dark circles.
- Brighten a sallow complexion. The acid in lemon juice can brighten and even out your skin tone when applied. Mix it with orange juice and plain yogurt for an easy, 20-minute alpha-hydroxy face mask that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
- Tighten the jaw line. Save thousands of dollars by applying plain yogurt to your face to help tighten a sagging jaw line instead of resorting to a face lift. The lactic acid is the working ingredient, says Youn. "It also helps provide a gentle exfoliation to the face, creating a natural glow."
- Shrink large pores. Egg whites have astringent proprieties that lessen the appearance of large pores on your skin. Simply apply to the entire face or wherever you are having problems.
- Plump thin lips without injectables. Peppermint oil can make lips plump to a perfect pout, say Youn. "Add a drop or two of the essential oil to your lip gloss and apply. You'll feel a tingling effect in moments and see the results soon after."
- Make red spots disappear. Banish unsightly red spots by applying baking soda to itchy, irritated skin. The product balances the pH levels and counteracts the acid that can make your skin look red and sore. You can also use baking soda in your bath for full body relief.
- Lighten dark sports. The glabridin and licochalcone in licorice root extract has been known to improve dark spots caused by aging. Apply the extract with a cotton swab every morning and night. "You will see fading of these spots within two months," says Youn.