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Bad Habits to Drop to Appear More Youthful and Healthy

Do less and get more? That’s how it often goes in the quest to look healthier and more youthful. However, that advice flies in the face of the influx of companies designed solely to make you feel bad about yourself (and buy more cosmetics, supplements, and other alleged wonder products). While aging is a natural part of life, there’s no reason you can’t look healthy at any stage—and in some cases, more youthful.

Sometimes it’s what you don’t do that makes all the difference. Here are a few bad habits to quit in order to look and feel younger, healthier, and happier:

1. Stop washing your face more than once a day. There’s no reason to wash your face multiple times per day, unless you have a specific job or hobby that truly coats your face with unhealthy substances. Instead, try the ayurvedic suggestion of simply splashing cool water on your face in the morning. It is still more than clean enough from the previous night’s washing. Otherwise, you risk removing too much sebum (oil) from the face, which is the body’s best lubricant, moisturizer, and ticket to looking younger.

2. Drink less alcohol. If you want to avoid alcoholism and the side effects associated with too much booze (which can include bloating, weight gain, and broken blood vessels), it’s best to limit your drinking to under seven per week. However, some studies show that the less you drink, the better. Ultimately, there are no benefits to drinking that you couldn’t achieve through other healthy habits (such as consuming heart-healthy foods instead of a glass of red wine for heart benefits).

3. Don’t stay up so late. The National Sleep Foundation reports that Americans are chronically fatigued, and it’s partially due to poor sleep hygiene. If you don’t have a solid sleep routine, you’re likely tossing and turning in bed. Follow best practices and learn how many hours your body naturally needs to wake up without an alarm. That might not be possible every night but, allowing your body the sleep it needs will work wonders for your health and aesthetics.

4. Avoid stressful commutes. Avoiding stress in general should be a top priority not just for your health, but for your sanity. However, there’s only so much within your control. Try ditching driving and instead choose public transportation where you’re not at the wheel. Not only can you avoid road rage, but you’ll be lightening your carbon footprint.

5. Stop gossiping. Some studies have shown that gossiping is a natural way to connect with other people. However, it’s steeped in negativity and can quickly spiral into competitions, cattiness, and guilt. One of the easiest ways to stop is to surround yourself with people who are positive, kind, and not prone to gossip. If that’s not possible, you may need to be the one in the conversation to steer the discussion elsewhere or speak up about your commitment to not gossip.

Stopping bad habits can sometimes be easier than starting new ones. Everyone already has a very full plate, so take joy in your ability to let some habits go. However, also keep in mind that it will take practice. Most habits are easy to form, and much harder to break. Go easy on yourself and consider it a work in progress.

Rachel O'Conner is a California based writer who writes on a variety of topics from travel to technology. To learn more about Rachel you can reach her here:

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