In our youth-obsessed culture, adjusting to wrinkles, ailing joints, and gray hair can be pretty overwhelming, but learning about the way your body ages is your best defense. Did you know that only 10% of the ‘diseases’ we associate with aging—things like belly fat, memory loss, and arthritis, for example—have to do with genetics, while 90% have to do with lifestyle, diet, and exercise? In other words, aging doesn’t have to simply happen to you, some things are in your control. Let’s take a look at some popular aging secrets from around the world that will keep you feeling and looking your best long after 40.
Greece/Italy. The Mediterranean diet has been at the forefront of cardiovascular health for decades. Abundant in fish, olive oil, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, it naturally promotes longevity. Aside from cooking, people have been soothing dry skin with olive oil (rich in vitamin E) for centuries and adding sea salt to olive oil for a natural exfoliant. Try a Greek yogurt and honey face mask with a bit of lemon for a quick, DIY treatment that promotes youthful skin by getting rid of dead skin and tightening pores.
India. A country rich with exotic spices, Indians often add turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, and ginger to everything from recipes and teas to luxurious facial treatments. Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, contains powerful anti-aging properties and is attributed to the spice’s antioxidant potency, making turmeric face masks quite popular.
Sweden. The original champions of the dry-heat sauna, Swedes have been using saunas to detox the body and skin, improve circulation, and ease pain and asthma for years. It’s no surprise that they’ve made their way into nearly all modern-day spas. Among the sauna’s many benefits to the body, they also promote relaxation and stress relief.
Japan/Korea. Japanese and Korean women are very conscious of their complexion, preferring minimal makeup and pale skin, and are therefore serious about UV protection. This doesn’t only go for their faces. They’re careful to avoid direct sunlight by wearing wide-brimmed hats, carrying umbrellas, wearing long sleeves, and even gloves. Avoiding the sun’s harmful radiation reduces the progression of aging skin, making many women in these countries appear younger well into their years.
South Africa. You’ve surely heard of all the health benefits of green tea, but what about rooibos? Often overshadowed, this herbal, caffeine-free, South African specialty is packed with antioxidants and helps to soothe skin ailments like eczema, skin allergies, acne, and aging. You can drink it or apply it directly to your skin.
What tips do you have for looking fabulous after 40? Let us know in the comments!