The first visible signs of ageing can really sting. That first wrinkle, that first grey hair. All these things can have a severely negative impact on your self-esteem in a society that idolises youth so much.
If you are generally okay with the idea of ageing but always want to look like a BAWS, there are ways to mitigate time’s more deleterious effects. From what to do with your beard to eyes, this is your guide to Benjamin Buttoning it.
1. Groom Your Grey Hair
Whether you consider them a sign of wisdom, or just that you’re starting to become wizened, grey hairs are one of the first signs of ageing, with most men spotting their first in their thirties. Reaching for the bottle, however, shouldn’t be your first reflex.
Skin pigmentation naturally lightens as you get older, and hair pigmentation works with that. So no matter how subtle the results you’re promised, bottled hair colour won’t bring back your youth.
If anything, it’ll only highlight how devastated you are about having lost it. Instead, make the most of your newly silvered locks. Try using a silver shampoo once or twice a week to help strip grey hair of any brassy, yellow tones.
2. Get More Sleep
We all know sleep is important, if only for the fact that we feel like a bag of smashed crabs when we don’t get enough. But a good night’s kip also plays a key role in keeping you young-looking.
A study at University Hospitals Case Medical Center found that subjects who didn’t sleep well exhibited more signs of skin ageing including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced skin elasticity.
That’s because shut-eye helps the skin regenerate and repair itself in a variety of ways, including by promoting human growth hormone, reducing inflammation and lowering the body’s cortisol levels. How much time between the sheets do you need to stay looking fresh? Between seven and nine hours is best, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
3. Tame Your Beard
Not that you need the journal Behavioral Ecology to tell you but facial hair ages a man. Why else did so many of us spend our teens begging the beard gods to make our bum fluff grow faster?
A sign of physical maturity, virility and dominance, hair on a man’s face instantly ages him – for better or worse. As with most things in your twenties, you can get away with going wild, but come your thirties, big, unruly beards look more Rumpelstiltskin than niche record label executive.
The same goes for your eyebrows, ear and nose hair; all of which, due to hormonal changes, tends to grow faster and thicker once you hit middle age. Arm yourself with the right tools, a beard trimmer, detail set and a bit of oil is a good place to start, to keep it all in check.
4. Kick The Habits
Sugar, staying up late, sun-tanning. If it seems only the fun things in life kickstart the ageing process, then that’s because they do. All of them. Including smoking and drinking alcohol. Sorry.
As well as lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, the Department of Geriatric and Environmental Dermatology at Nagoya City University concluded that cigarettes also cause skin to age prematurely, gradually breaking down both the elasticity and collagen your skin needs to stay looking its best.
Booze, meanwhile, not only does the same when consumed in excess, but also dehydrates your body, dilates the blood vessels in your face and leads to a poor night’s sleep.
So, if you want to give your genes their best shot, bin the death sticks and limit your boozing to no more than two drinks per day. No one said this was going to be easy.
5. Invest In Eye Cream
Your eyes might be known as the windows to the soul, but the skin around them serves a different purpose: letting everyone know how long in the tooth you are. Along with browlines, crow’s feet are the first facial wrinkles to develop, starting to form as early as in your mid-twenties.
The first line of offence? Eye creams. While they won’t work miracles, they can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as make your skin look fresher.