It’s perfectly okay for our features and bodies to change over time — aging, after all, is the most natural process in the world. Most of us, though, are looking for ways to slow the process and achieve the ultimate goal of aging gracefully. The world of “anti-aging” can seem a little bit arcane — especially with so much commercialized information (and misinformation!) pinging around. Here’s the skinny on anti-aging techniques that actually work — and how they work — so you can choose the method that’s right for you.

Pamper Your Skin

There are a lot of products out there that say they’ll stop or even reverse the effects of aging, but it can be overwhelming to suss out what’s legitimate and what’s just marketing snake oil. Luckily, it turns out you don’t need anything especially fancy (or expensive) to take good care of your skin. This, unlike so many other things, might actually be simpler than you thought!

We’ve all heard the advice that we ought to be wearing sunscreen whenever we go out, but how many of us actually put that into practice? Using a lotion or face cream with an SPF feature can help protect your skin from the sun’s rays, which, apart from aging you and blemishing your skin, can put you at risk of skin cancer. So it’s a no-brainer, really. And don’t forget to apply it at all times of year, not only in the summer. Contrary to popular belief, it can be most essential to wear sunscreen in the winter, when the sun’s rays bounce off the snow.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

The phrase “beauty sleep” might feel like the province of vain characters on TV, but science says that it absolutely works. Sleep is one of the most important parts of maintaining good health. It’s the time when our bodies repair themselves, and that absolutely translates to keeping a youthful appearance. For one thing, sleeping improves circulation around the eyes — having puffy or sallow skin around the eyes can really age you! Getting proper sleep can also help to alleviate stress, another leading cause of aged appearance.

Perhaps the most important thing that sleeping does for you, however, is it takes care of your gut. That may seem unrelated at first blush, but while you’re sleeping, the cells that line your gut are being renewed, allowing for better absorption of nutrients. This is a huge boon for your health overall, and for skincare, it means that the nutrients you eat can be properly transmitted to your skin, keeping it healthy

Eat Right

It's said so much that you’re probably tired of hearing it, but watching what you eat really is the key to health — including healthy skin. The issue is figuring out exactly what that means; there is so much conflicting advice floating around, so many buzzwords and, of course, so many different ways to be healthy. If looking younger is your goal, here’s a good place to start.

The biggest change you can make to boost your healthy skin? Cut your sugar intake. Sugar contributes to the production of advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, which, well, age you! They lead to wrinkles and diminished levels of collagen, a compound which keeps skin looking healthy.

Another good course of action, especially if sugar is hard to part with, is increasing your intake of omega-3s. Omega- 3s are healthy fats that help prevent your skin from looking sallow, and they can be found in foods like fish, nuts and certain seeds.

Try to Quit

Quitting smoking is far easier said than done, but it’s absolutely worth it. Of course, smoking comes with a Pandora’s box of health woes, but a lesser-known one is what it does to your skin. Smoke and nicotine residue causes the cells in your skin to be starved of oxygen, which can lead to an aged appearance over time. This effect happens to everyone who smokes, even if it’s only an occasional habit, so if you’re looking for a way to keep looking young, giving up cigarettes might be a good place to start. But really, quitting brings with it a whole host of health benefits and decreased risks, so it’s worth a try no matter what!

In our consumerism-saturated world, it can be hard to tell what advice is good and what’s just marketing mumbo-jumbo. There are so many brands and companies vying for your attention, especially on highly sought-after goals like a more youthful appearance. Try to fall back on simple, well-tested solutions to get the job done, and to save money you might have otherwise spent on fancy procedures and creams!

Starting healthier habits can not only make you look younger, but feel younger and more energetic as well — and in the end, how you feel is what really matters.

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