Every day, we engage in habits that can damage our skin and overall health, as well as age our bodies prematurely. From what we consume to the number of hours we sleep, these little choices can add up and make us appear way older than our biological age.
There are two types of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is the natural aging process that is influenced by changes in skin structure and cell function. Poor blood supply and genetics are the two major factors that can lead to intrinsic aging. Extrinsic aging, on the other hand, refers to skin degradation caused by oxidative stress or cellular damage caused by free radicals. As we become older, our skin loses its capacity to protect us from oxidative stress. These can be accelerated by different factors, like exposure to UV rays, pollution, smoking, and a poor diet.
So, what do we do about it? Before you spend a fortune on products, treatments, and procedures, try incorporating a few of these 10 anti-aging tips and habits into your daily routine. Not only will you end up looking younger, but you will also feel younger as well.
Whether you’re in your early 20s and want to take a few preventative measures, or you’re in your 40s and have neglected to care for your skin, there’s something here for everyone.
10 Natural Anti-Aging Tips
1. Wear sunscreen every day
Rain or shine, in every season, wearing sun protection is one of the best things you can do for your skin to reduce signs of aging. In fact, it should be an automatic part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 and says “broad-spectrum” on the label. That means it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Apply liberally and remember to reapply it every few hours for maximum protection.
2. Get Good Quality Sleep Regularly
Sleep is key for both preventing a number of health issue and maintaining a youthful appearance. Sleep is important because it strengthens our immune system, lowers stress, and improves memory, reaction and learning. During sleep, your body continuously releases hormones that promote cell turnover and renewal. Your skin’s blood flow also increases, enabling it to rebuild its collagen and repair damage from UV exposure, which reduces wrinkles and age spots.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Water keeps your body hydrated and rejuvenated, and helps maintain the elasticity of your skin. In fact, a key to younger-looking skin is hydration, because dehydrated skin often looks dry and dull, which emphasizes wrinkles and aging. Those who drink a lot of water are less likely to develop scars, wrinkles, and fine lines.
4. Use a good moisturizer
The loss of moisture in your skin can begin as early as the age of 40, however, it is important that you start using moisturizer as early as you can. Making the effort to regularly moisturize the skin is one of the best ways to keep your skin healthy as you age. Your body produces less collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid as we get older, which results in wrinkles, sagging skin, rough texture, or dull skin. Not only does hydrated skin look better, but it is also stronger and better able to fight off any irritants.
5. Eat Food that is Anti-Aging, Avoid Processed Food
As with anything related to aging, having a well-balanced diet can help with keeping the body healthy, which as a result, gives you a more youthful appearance.
A Mediterranean-style diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein, can help fight inflammation and keep you looking your best. This food also provides you with a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that can help you offset conditions, like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
That said, avoid eating processed food, particularly those with excessive added sugars, salt, or refined grains, because these can cause inflammation, and aging is basically a chronic inflammatory state. Not only can these foods damage your skin’s collagen, but they can impact your overall health, since they are tied to diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Eating too much processed and junk food can also cause cell and DNA damage (called oxidative stress) because of the increase in free radicals, which results in faster aging.
6. Walk at Least 15 Minutes Each Day
Staying active is not only helpful in maintaining a healthy weight, but it also helps you look younger by increasing blood flow, which moves oxygen and critical nutrients throughout your body. It is also key to maintaining strength and muscle mass, which also boasts a ton of health benefits and can add years to your lifespan.
Not everyone do high intensity exercises, but most of us can walk. Walking, even slow-walking can stimulate the heart and respiratory tract to pump more oxygen into the muscles. You can start gradually and progress according to your endurance and the right place.
7. Limit Alcohol Intake
The damaging effects of alcohol on the skin and aging cause damage to your health and can make you look and feel older than you actually are. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it pulls fluid out of your body and eliminates it via urine. It also dehydrates the skin, stripping it of moisture and elasticity, which leads to sagginess, dryness, and wrinkles.
8. Nurture Your Relationships
A big component of your overall health is the quality of your connections with friends, family, and community. Our relationships affect how we deal with stress, and multiple studies show that those who have strong relationships have fewer health issues and live longer.
9. Spend Some Time Outdoors
Spending time outdoors is extremely beneficial for our bodies and minds, because of the calming effect nature provides. Being outdoors can help improve your health and well-being by lowering your blood pressure, reducing stress levels, and improving your mood, focus, as well as mobility, and energy.
10. Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is great to combat aging, not just for skin-related issues, but also to support your overall health from the inside out. RLT works by delivering safe, concentrated wavelengths of natural light to your skin to supercharge your cells.
The most fundamental and far-reaching benefit of red light is increased cellular energy. It’s the start of a positive chain reaction that starts with increased cellular function and ends with improved systemic function.
When you incorporate red-light therapy into your life, along with other aspects of a healthy lifestyle such as circadian rhythm optimization, a nutritious diet, proper sleep, exercise, and stress reduction, you can keep your cellular energy production and your immune system working at an optimal level.
How Red Light Therapy Works
Red light therapy works by shining red and/or NIR light onto an area of the body. When
the body is exposed to red light, the light wavelengths stimulate the mitochondria to produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is a molecule that produces the energy our body needs to function, so that it can heal tissue, cells, and systems.
There is a lot more science to explain this, but the short and simple version is that: our cells work better when the mitochondria within those cells are producing more energy.
More than 4000 studies and scientific reviews have been conducted to investigate the physiological effects of red light therapy. The main benefits include collagen production, repair and recovery of muscles, and relief from symptoms of illnesses that stem from some type of inflammatory response.
Focusing on skin benefits in relation to aging, red light therapy improves skin health and appearance by helping your cells rejuvenate and heal. Studies have also found an increase in circulation after a session, which indicate that tissues are receiving more oxygen and other nutrients important for healing. RLT also has a proven anti-inflammatory effect and can boost your own natural collagen levels.
How Red Light Therapy Can Help Reduce Signs of Aging
Red light therapy is not a quick fix that only treats the surface layers of the skin. While it does promote skin health, more importantly, it stimulates the start of several biological processes and treats the underlying conditions that accelerate aging.
- Increasing Collagen Production
Red light therapy has the potential to increase collagen production in the skin, which lifts and tightens loose skin, reducing wrinkles.
A study published in 2019 by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that red light therapy sessions seemed to reduce the depth and severity of wrinkles and lines in 94% of participants.
In a 2013 study, a group of 136 people aged 27 to 79 received red light therapy twice a week for 15 weeks. At the end of the period, those treated with red light therapy reported significantly improved skin complexion, including a visible reduction in wrinkles, fine lines, and signs of aging.
Another 2013 study on women aged 30 to 55 showed a significant reduction in wrinkles around the participant’s eyes after just six weeks of treatment. The researchers concluded that RLT “had positive effects on wrinkle and moisture content of adult women’s faces.”
- Increasing Circulation
Other than collagen benefits, red light therapy also improves blood circulation and aids in both the production of fibroblasts and development of new capillaries. Through these, red light can give you smoother skin tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, repair sun-damaged skin, lighten and fade stretch marks, reduce the appearance of scars, and heal acne and other skin conditions.
- Supporting Mitochondrial Function
Red light can reverse a condition called mitochondrial dysfunction, which is the root cause of rapid aging. Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs when the mitochondria, the energy producers of the cells, are unable to convert raw materials into energy. This condition has been flagged as a leading contributor to many chronic conditions, including neurodegenerative disorders and rapid skin aging, since energy- depleted cells are unable to perform their functions and become more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria.
Mitochondrial dysfunction may be caused several factors, such as inflammation, genetic abnormalities, chronic stress, poor diet disease, or environmental factors such as certain drugs and cigarette smoke.
Deep penetrating red light therapy restores normal mitochondrial functioning by stimulating the production of a cellular fuel called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). More fuel energizes the cells so they can perform their specialized functions, repair themselves, and replicate.
- Delaying Telomere Shortening
Cellular senescence (the cell’s inability to progress through the cell cycle) is a normal process that happens as we age. The reason that cellular senescence occurs is due to our telomeres shortening over time. Each time cells divide for growth or tissue repair telomere length reduces. When it reaches zero the cells can no longer divide and die. But there are other causes as well. Stress, chronic disease, infection, and inflammation all contribute to telomere shortening.
Red light therapy, in conjunction with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, will delay telomere shortening and potentially help them regrow.
- Repair Genomic Instability
Genome instability is caused by defects in certain processes that control the way cells divide. It is a characteristic in most types of cancer. These defects may include mutations in certain genes involved in repairing damaged DNA or mistakes that don’t get corrected when DNA is copied in a cell.
Red light therapy can help genomes have less damage, which increases genome quality, reproducibility, and viable yield.
How To Use Red Light Therapy in Your Anti-Aging Routine
Thanks to LED technology, you can achieve younger-looking skin from the comfort of your own home.
The key to success is consistency and patience. It’s important to remember that red light therapy is not a quick fix. In contrast, it is an inside-out approach that treats the root cause of aging skin, such as chronic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction. You can expect to see results after around 1-4 months of consistent use.
There is no hard and fast rule for the duration of sessions. For some, 5 minutes is enough, while others may need longer sessions. As a rule of thumb, 10 minutes per day is a good amount of time to treat skin issues.
As to the frequency, red light therapy is safe to use every day. In fact, many people like to incorporate it into their daily routine. For the best results, we recommend having 3 sessions per week.
If you’re ready to make red light therapy a part of your anti-aging routine, check out our high-quality red light devices!
Sample Application: How to Use RLT to Minimize Wrinkles and Fine Lines
- Device to use
- Our Model 1 Pro is the ideal device to use, because of its size and coverage area. Shop the Model1 Pro and our other RLT devices here.
- 20 minutes is the optimal duration
- We recommend positioning the device 6 inches away from your face.
- For optimal results, we recommend 660nm (red light).
 Emília de Abreu Chaves M, Rodrigues de Araújo A, Piancastelli ACC, and Pinotti M. “Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing: LASER x LED.” An Bras Dermatol. 2014 Jul-Aug; 89(4): 616–623.