Making Youth and Beauty Last

I’ve loved a lot of things about being in college, but I think I loved one thing the most: being young! They say that youth is wasted on the young, but I don’t think that’s true of me. I really appreciate feeling good and being pain-free, active, and — well, if not “beautiful,” then at least as beautiful as I can be!

I’m graduating soon, and that has me thinking about growing older. I don’t mind getting old (as they say, it’s “better than the alternative!”), but I do want to make sure that you keep as much of my youth as Father Time will let me hang onto. So I thought I’d ask the experts: How do you recommend I keep my youthful beauty and energy? I know I should stay healthy and all of that, but I’m no expert in skincare or anti-aging techniques.

It’s wonderful that you appreciate your youth! The old fogies of the world love to say, as you mentioned, that “youth is wasted on the young” — but you’re living proof that this isn’t so, so ignore the all-too-typical cross-generational trash talk. Let’s talk about how you can preserve your youth and beauty.

You’re quite right to mention healthy living, of course. And while you may already know this stuff, is bears repeating: Nothing will age you faster than unhealthy habits and poor life choices, and nothing will keep you as vibrantly beautiful as good old-fashioned health! You can’t control everything about your health, but you can control this: Eat well by consuming lots of whole foods (which means unprocessed foods like meats and vegetables — the latter group is especially important), and exercise regularly (which means at least 150 minutes a week — which works out to just 30 minutes a day, five days a week). Do this, and you’ll stay fit and trim, nourish yourself inside and out (a healthy diet is great for your hair and skin!), and feel more energetic.

As for your beauty regimen, there’s no need to do anything all that unusual. The key to great skin is fairly simple: You need to wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and moisturize afterward. In between those two steps, you may decide to apply other products like toner — but this isn’t necessarily a mandatory thing, so you might want to start simple and see how a basic routine works for you! In between washes, try to protect your skin from the stresses and dangers it faces: Put on sunscreen anytime you’re in the sun (dermatologists say daily applications are the way to go), don’t stay in the bath too long or dry yourself off too vigorously (patting yourself dry with a towel is a smart move), be careful when you shave, always remove your makeup before you sleep, and, of course, don’t smoke!

There are plenty of other products and routines out there that you’ll hear about, but the one laid out above includes all of the most important proven things that you’d want to see in a skincare routine.

Of course, you will look older as you get older — that’s life! But you will also find that you’ll have more tools at your disposal for hiding and even “reversing” that aging. Beauty products like hair dye and makeup can hide signs of aging, and there are also powerful options from anti-aging clinics and cosmetic surgery practices that you may want to consider.

Take hormone replacement therapy for women, for example. You probably already know that hormones make all sorts of things happen in our body, and that many of them are associated with youth (remember those teenage years and all of those hormones?). As we age, we deplete our reserves of hormones. Some people choose to get a bit of a boost from hormone replacement therapy, which can make men and women look and feel a bit younger: Positive outcomes include increased energy levels, among other things.

Of course, you’re years away from needing something like this, but it’s great to know that these options are out there. It makes aging a little less scary, doesn’t it? Just don’t use the miraculous things that modern medicine can do as excuses for living poorly now. Focus on taking care of yourself, and get to old age with as much of your beauty and your vigor as you can!