Try these tricks to make you look as young as you feel.
Yelena Moroz Alpert 1 / 14
Update Your Medicine Cabinet
If the idea of using eye cream sounds too girly, suck it up! Men are jumping on the bandwagon and stocking their medicine cabinets with grooming products—in fact, sales of eye creams for men have gone up 16 percent this year, reports The NPD Group, a market research firm. There is no shame in starting a routine to protect your good looks. “The first obvious signs of aging are the fine lines around the eyes,” says Michael Bruggeman, founder of natural skin care line, Organic Male OM4. Since the skin under the eyes is very thin it's easily susceptible to the damages of stress, late nights and hangovers. To stave off dark circles, puffiness, and old-man bags look for products with natural ingredients like soothing cucumber, inflammation-reducing fennel and brightening bearberry. Vitamin K is especially great for dark circles, which are technically mini bruises, because it helps regulate coagulation. Try Organic Male OM4 Radical Fine Line Eraser Eye Gel, $60; om4men.com.
You misplaced your wallet. Again. Before you Hulk out close your eyes and take a deep breath. Meditation improves memory, mental clarity and brain function. Stress causes the fight or flight reaction, but if you meditate even a few minutes per day, you can rewire your brain to have a broader perspective on decision making. A study in Consciousness and Cognition showed that you can see benefits of meditation after just four days. “We topple into the next thing, and the next thing,” says Tara Brach, clinical psychologist and author of True Refuge. “This obsessive behavior affects our body’s biochemistry, and the very thing that ages us.” To find balance in this crazy, busy life take a momentary, but premeditated pause, even if it’s just 10 seconds before you jump out of your car while running errands. Novice meditators should try this trick: when your mind starts wandering, focus on your breath to come back into the present moment.
Add Color to Your Wardrobe
Revamp your closet by expanding beyond greys, blacks and blues. Start by shopping for tops that bring out your eye color. “You’ll get more attention if you wear something that reflects your eyes,” says David Zyla, Emmy Award-winning stylist and author of Color Your Style. Look for a sweater, tie or shirt that matches the specks of your iris. Keep in mind that not all colors are apparent right away. Brown eyes often have a shade of rust, olive and aubergine; while grey eyes compliment turquoise, mint and lavender fabrics. The easiest way to discern the best shade for you is by holding up the merchandise and asking a stylish friend or salesperson for help.
Take It Outside
Working out outside not only saves you money, it can free your mind and body of boredom. “The modern gym has only been around for a few decades, but mankind has been getting fit since the dawn of time,” says Danny Kavadlo, personal trainer in New York City. “Outdoor workouts tend to focus on the entire body, unlike functional movements typically done in gyms.” Start off with basic exercises like pull-ups and high-jumps which employ all muscle groups. Move on to the jungle gym and shimmy across the bars to build a strong upper body. Need a nudge to brave the cold? A Stanford School of Medicine study suggests that cool palms help exercisers feel less fatigued, allowing them to workout longer and stick with their regimen.
Kick That Bad Habit
To ensure your sperm army is ready for action when you need it, kick those butts. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, smoking cigarettes not only whittles your sperm count, it also causes abnormalities in their shape and function. Research shows that free radicals from smoke can damage up to 40 percent of your sperm. Even if you don’t light up, you’re likely exposed to these ball busters through second-hand smoke and pollution. Fight back by filling your diet with antioxidants. “Just two Brazil nuts provide the recommended amount of selenium, which helps prevent cellular damage,” says Peggy Kotsopoulos, nutritionist and host of Peggy K’s Kitchen Cures on Veria Living. It’s not a bad idea to slurp a few oysters as well. A study in Nutrition Research states that seminal zinc in nonsmokers positively correlates with sperm count.
Go For the Big 'O' More
Even if you’re not looking to pass on your genes just yet, make sure you get plenty of (well-protected, of course) practice. Turns out, having sex is good for your ticker. A University of Bristol researcher followed-up with almost 1,000 men who had heart disease after 10 years and found that mortality dropped by about 50 percent for a group of men with high orgasmic frequency, compared to men in the low orgasmic frequency group.
Focus on Your Assets
A tight and toned tush is the mark of a young man. Exercising your backside will not only get you appreciative looks from the ladies, it can improve posture and help you avoid injury. For best results, focus on power training. “When you train explosively, you’ll activate fast-twitch fibers that will help build muscle, increase your metabolism and allow you to jump, sprint and excel in just about every sport, including the bedroom,” says Jason Greenspan, owner of Practical Fitness & Wellness and author of Real Life Fitness (out this spring). Kick some ass with this exercise:1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed straight ahead. 2. Squat slightly as if sitting in a chair 3. Jump up, extending arms overhead. 4. Land softly and repeat limiting the amount of time your feet are in contact with the ground. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions. (Make sure to land with the ankles, knees and hips flexed and do not let the knees buckle in or out.)
Brighten Up Your Whites
Yellow teeth can instantly age you. Your choppers constantly deal with pigment-inducing beverages such as tea, coffee, and wine; even the acids in sport drinks can lead to Stainville. “Teeth stain as soon as staining food is consumed,” says John Koutsoyiannis, DDS, and head cosmetic dentist at SohoSmile in New York City. To combat yellowing, eat strawberries which contain teeth-whitening malic acid. Koutsoyiannis also suggests brushing with baking soda twice a month or rinsing with lemon water. If you must down a sport drink after a grueling workout, lessen the damage by drinking from a water bottle with a straw (Camelbak, $15).
Don't Get Caught with a Muffintop
Clothing can hide body imperfections. “When buying pants, make sure the waist actually fits,” says Brad Andrews, brand president of Bonobos. “You shouldn’t have to cinch your belt in a way that creates fabric bunching, nor should it be so tight that you can't tuck in your shirt comfortably.” Look for a trim (not tight) style that fits cleanly through the thigh and leg.
Book a Super Cut
Grey is not the only thing that will make you look older. “How a man chooses to cut and style his hair can have a huge effect on how young or old he looks,” says Oscar Blandi celebrity stylist and owner of the eponymous salon. “Long hair is a risky choice, especially if you have receding hairlines. Nine out of 10 times it tends to look messy and ages you simply because longer hair makes the recession more noticeable.” In between cuts, keep hair shiny with a pomade—it will keep you looking polished and may make grey even less noticeable.
Hang With Youngsters
Sip from the fountain of youth by making buds a few years your junior. “These friends are typically more active and always up for something,” says Barry Jay, co-founder and director of curriculum of Barry’s Bootcamp. “If you keep up with them, they won’t treat you like you’re older.” Just don’t get carried away when it comes to their partying. Cut back on booze and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your fitness regimen. “If you don’t have to sweat out the alcohol first, you’ll have a better workout,” says Jay.
Shave off a Few Years
To shave off a few years, establish a grooming ritual that will decrease inflammation—a culprit for acne and skin dehydration. Look for products infused with calming aloe, chamomile, avocado oil, green tea, geranium, licorice or lavender. You can also reduce inflammation by eating foods rich in Omega-3 fats such as salmon. Or, simply swap soda for green tea. Failing to keep pesky ingrown hairs at bay can weather your face. “Men should always try to incorporate a salicylic-based astringent into their shaving routine to prevent ingrown hairs,” says Fredric Brandt, a Miami and New York City-based dermatologist. “It can be used either before or after shaving.” Try Dr. Brandt Blemishes No More Daily Exfoliating Cleanser, $25, drbrandtskincare.com.
Say Goodbye to Sleepless Nights
“Sleep is key to regulating brain function,” says Nick Hounslow, celebrity trainer and instructor at Cycle House in West Hollywood, California. “It repairs your body and enables everything from strength to stamina.” Hounslow, who frequently wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to teach a spin class, suggests going to bed a little hungry; hitting the sack on a full stomach can slow down your metabolism and negatively interfere with sleep cycles. Not sure if you’re getting the most out of z-time? Try Sleep Cycle ($0.99), an app that tracks sleep patterns throughout the night and gently wakes you while you’re in the light stage of sleep. By outsmarting your cycle you can avoid that groggy feeling.
Put Your Best Face Forward
When your body harbors toxins, your entire system can feel sluggish and leave you with dull skin. “A facial massage can increase circulation to remove waste via the lymph nodes,” says Ellen Sackoff of Cornelia Spa at The Surrey in New York City. “Once you nix the toxins, your body will be better equipped in transporting nutrients through the blood stream.”Don't want to be that guy at the spa? Here is how you can be your own esthetician in the privacy of your home. Start by applying cleanser to the face and neck. Using light circular movements massage behind the ears and work in a downward motion toward the neck. This will help relieve tension. Move hands to the forehead center, apply light but firm pressure to your temples. Continue to the jaw line, slowly pressure-pinching from chin to ears. Using fingertips work the area between the nose and the upper lip. Tap around the orbital bone of the eye, moving toward temples. Finish off by draping your face with a washcloth soaked in warm water. Wipe clean and pat dry.Want to be that guy at the spa!? Book a Gentleman’s Facial (from $195) at Cornelia Spa for a first-class antidote to skin impurities.