We all want to look our best, but that gets more challenging as we get older.
So how can you beat the clock without needles, surgery or spending much money? The answer comes straight from one of America's top beauty doctors, who says you too can look like a celebrity -- with beautiful, youthful skin.
Anti-aging specialist, Dr. Doris J. Day, M.D., authored a book on how you can have younger-looking skin entitled Forget the Facelift.
Many famous faces walk through her office door, located on the upper east side of New York City, and money is no object to them. However, Day has anti-aging tips for people on any budget.
Avoid the Quest for the Perfect Tan
Topping the list -- AVOID SUN EXPOSURE. Yes, you get vitamin D from sunshine, but it's also the number one cause of older-looking skin. So get your vitamin D from a bottle and cover-up, stay in the shade or wear sunscreen with UVB and UVA protection.
"The great thing about sunscreens," Day explained, "is that there's something for everyone. Sensitive, oily, dry skin, face, body, gels, powders, creams, lotions, wipes and sprays."
Although sunscreens themselves have improved dramatically over the years, research shows people don't use them properly. Many people use too little and don't put it on often enough.
Instead, wear sunscreen every day, year-round. Put on a generous amount and re-apply every two hours, more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.
Every time you go out in the sun you're accumulating sun damage. Young people need to realize that the number of rays they're soaking up now, is the number of wrinkles they'll be wearing in the future. Sun exposure doesn't wear off. Instead, sun damage builds up over time.
Tanning beds damage the skin just as bad.
"A million people go to tanning salons every day and the majority of those are teenage girls. And it's just damaging for your skin. It's just the worst thing you can do for your skin," Day told CBN News.
Your Skin's Enemies
Your skin's other enemies include smoking. Chemicals in cigarettes break down collagen and elastin, making the skin saggy and wrinkly. Alcohol and junk food also wreak havoc on your skin. Too much salt leads to puffy bags under the eyes. And processed foods, especially sweets, dull your skin's appearance.
"Sugar is really unhealthy for your skin," Day explained. "Because it's something called pro-inflammatory. And when we talk about oxidation inflammation, glycemic index, all of these are things that affect your metabolism, that affect skin cell turnover can be very aging."
Turn Back Time by Eating Right
A good diet can also help turn back the clock. Load up on Omega-3s, that can be found in salmon, flaxseed and walnuts. Free-radical fighting antioxidants are in most fresh vegetables and fruits, especially berries, green tea, coffee and dark chocolate.
Also, drink lots of water -- a pitcher of water a day. Avoid all other beverages, even fruit juice.
"Fruit juice is sugar water. So I'm not a big juice person," Day said. "As much as possible have regular water, have the whole fruit. If you're going to have fruit juice, or if you want to give fruit juice to your children, make it half water-half juice, and don't get them used to having something sweet."
Exfoliating creates a youthful glow by sloughing-off the dry, dead cells on the skin's outer layer, revealing the fresher, younger cells beneath. But just do it once a week.
Retinoids, sometimes called retinol or Retin-A, are clinically proven wrinkle-reducers. The topical, vitamin A derivative is contained in many over-the-counter products. You can get a stronger, prescription formula from your doctor.
Studies show that people who exercise have firmer skin, because working-out infuses skin with oxygen and nutrients needed for collage production, and it reduces the aging effects of stress.
Get the Rest You Need
Finally, get your Z-Z-Z's. It's called "beauty sleep" for a reason.
"You can actually have a whole makeover without doing anything but getting eight hours of sleep a night for a whole week straight and it really helps to have a routine to go to bed at the same time each night and wakeup at the same time each morning when possible," Day explained.
So by getting rid of bad habits and adopting good ones -- you can look younger, feel better and be healthier.