7 Years Younger: The Ultimate Anti-Aging Plan

Want to kick off the year by turning back the clock and taking 7 years off your appearance? Dr. Oz shows you how!

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Reversing the effects of aging means taking all the misinformation you’ve been fed by marketers, diet schemers, and so-called health gurus and throwing it out the window. With these simple, practical tips, you’ll not only look younger – you’ll feel younger, too.

From This Episode:

Diet Myths Debunked

Anti-Aging Skincare

We all know it’s important to wash your face, but too much washing and using the wrong skincare products can actually lead to dryness and premature wrinkles. Add the three following skincare tips to your routine to turn back the clock.

Wash With AHAs

Every night – and only at night – wash your face using an alpha-hydroxy (AHA) based cleanser. Most non-AHA cleansers don’t do a good enough job getting rid of all the dirt that’s built up on your skin throughout the day, with soap and water just cleaning the top layer of dirt. AHAs are gentle acids derived from fruits that actually help dissolve dirt and clumps of dead cells, clearing them away and allowing young skin cells beneath them to grow faster.

You can find AHA-based cleansers in drugstores for about $10-15. Look for “-ic” ingredients on the product label, such as glycolic, lactic, citric, malic, or tartaric acid. Use a dime-size amount every night to clean your skin and remove makeup. Your exfoliated skin will better absorb the creams that you’ll apply afterward, leaving you with luminous, radiant, and younger-looking skin.

Home Peels

For a more youthful complexion, be sure to complement your nightly AHA wash with a weekly AHA at-home skin peel. Doing so will remove dead skin cells, making your skin brighter and tighter. Look for at-home peels containing glycolic acid, for best results.

Mega Moisturizers

Every morning and after your nightly AHA cleansing, be sure to apply a skin moisturizer containing ceramides. Ceramides are a type of fat that helps your skin keep moisture in and irritants out. Simply apply a dime-sized amount, and spread over your entire face, morning and night, for maximum moisture.

Anti-Aging Nutrition

It takes more than skin care to look 7 years younger – what you put inside your body is just as important. Add the following four foods to your weekly shopping list to keep your skin youthful for years to come.  

Yellow Peppers for Wrinkles

Peppers aren’t just tasty in stir-fries and salads, they’re also great for your skin. Yellow peppers are rich in vitamin C, which helps stop harmful free radicals from damaging your skin.

Eggs for Sagging Skin

Studies show that the lean proteins contained in eggs help provide building blocks for collagen – the protein-rich connective tissue that plumps your skin to prevent sagging.

Whole-grain Barley for Damaged Skin

Whole-grain barley is a good source of selenium, a mineral that helps protect your skin against injury from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Salmon for Blemishes

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to calm the inflammation that makes your skin break out in blemishes. Salmon also contains a chemical called astaxanthin, which gives the fish its pink hue. That chemical can have the same helpful effect on your skin, giving it a youthful appearance.

Anti-Aging Sleep

The wrong sleeping habits won’t just lead to fatigue-related grumpiness, they can also lead to premature aches and wrinkles. Here are three tips to ensure you get the right kind of sleep to reverse the effects of aging.

Change Your Pillow Position

The key to anti-aging sleep is to sleep on your back. Keeping your face up will prevent it from squashing on your pillow, which can contribute to wrinkles. It will also reduce discomfort from acid reflux, by allowing gravity to bring your diaphragm down, and expands your rib cage to allow a much bigger breath. Lastly, sleeping on your side can lead to spinal misalignment; by maintaining a neutral position at night by lying on your back, you’ll feel less achy in the morning.

Switching to sleeping on your back can be an adjustment at first, but by putting a pillow under your knees and one under your neck, you’ll make the switch in no time. Use an inexpensive wedge pillow or a down pillow that you can mold yourself, placing the filling in the pillow’s bottom lower-third for a great night’s sleep.

Sleep Consistency

Surprisingly, the consistency of your sleep may be more important than the number of hours you sleep. When you keep to a consistent sleep routine, your body’s biorhythms and certain hormones are released during specific stages of sleep. A lack of consistent sleep disrupts the normal release of those hormones, impacting every single biological process. This disruption can lead to an increase in inflammatory substances in your blood stream. These same inflammatory substances damage your skin on a cellular level, leading to premature aging. Be sure to make a sleep schedule and stick to it, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, whether it’s a weekday or the weekend.

To ensure that you wake up at the same time every day, banish the alarm clock from the bedroom. And yes, that means getting it off your nightstand or even from across the room on your dresser! The lights and simply the idea of the clock being in the room disrupt your sleep. Instead, place your alarm clock in the hallway. It gives your subconscious mind the safeguard of making sure you’ll wake up in time, without the constant distraction. Plus, it will make it a lot harder to hit the snooze button!

Get Moving Before Bed

For years, doctors have been telling people that any sort of physical activity before bed was counteractive to a good night’s sleep. But the latest research shows that nighttime exercise can actually help you wind down and decompress. Mild nighttime activity also helps lower your body temperature, which helps you fall asleep faster.  

You don’t need to do a full exercise routine; a quick workout like simple stretching or holding the plank position is a good way to slowly increase your heart rate without energizing you too much before bed. Every day, you’ll wake up fitter and more well rested – a win-win combination for your health and a more youthful appearance.

Anti-Aging Supplements

You can tuck and lift your sagging skin without surgery, simply by taking a supplement called pycnogenol.

Here’s how it works: Hyaluronic acid is the primary agent made in our bodies that keeps skin tight and wrinkle-free by retaining the moisture in your skin. Pycnogenol, which is derived from pine bark, contains incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, and has been shown to boost women’s levels of the enzyme that generates hyaluronic acid by a whopping 44%. That means that in about 12 weeks of taking pycnogenol, you may see smoother skin, a reduction in fine lines, and more supple skin.

Pycnogenol has no known interactions with herbs or supplements, but in rare cases can cause headaches, digestive issues, or dizziness. It’s been shown to be safe at high dosages even for long periods of time. Take 25 mg, three times a day, with liquid and a meal. Additionally, some over-the-counter creams now contain pycnogenol, which you can apply directly to your face, morning and night. Use about a dime-size amount for glowing, younger-looking skin.