When it comes to looking and feeling your best, there are a few common mistakes many men make that prematurely ages them. Have you noticed that you’re feeling more sore than usual or perhaps a few wrinkles have popped up on your face?
If that sounds familiar, you could be making these mistakes. Now, before you furrow your brow and wonder what you’re doing wrong, never fear, as we’ve spoken to multiple experts who have simple fixes for these faux pas – mistakes you may not even realise you’re making…
If you’re wanting to get in the best shape of your life – and look a tad younger too – these are some straightforward and easy things you can incorporate into your hair, skincare, mental health, diet and exercise routines. You’re welcome.
If you want to look your best, you’ll need a haircut that truly suits you. As Jacob Martin – barber & founder of Tate & Lyle Sydney – recommends, you need to consult your barber and ask what haircut or hairstyle they believe, in their professional opinion, will be the most flattering.
“…always remember to find a cut that suits your style, profession and face shape. The key is an age-appropriate [style]. A cut seen on a teen might not suit a 50-year-old dad of three. [Ultimately,] rely on the professional advice of your barber or stylist.”
Aside from the cut, your hair will inevitably either go grey or go bald – unless you’re the luckiest SOB on the planet. Both greys and/or hair loss can severely age you, however, there are steps you can take to combat these problems.
Jacob says you should be open to letting your barber colour your hair – don’t do it yourself!!! – and you should also invest in quality hair care products.
“Colouring your hair can be a great way to take some years off your look but the key is to make it look subtle. Too many gents don’t take into account other factors such as skin complexion or other facial hair, such as eyebrows, and dye their hair an unnatural colour or [use a] cheap box dye which screams ‘I’m dyed and trying to be young’.”
“In our shop, we use Goldwell which blends naturally and leaves a very natural finish; people would never know [you’ve coloured your hair]! Speak to your barber/stylist about options.”
“Thinning or loss of hair… can be helped with great products and styling. Sea salt sprays [and] hair powders, which help with volume, can be a great tool to use to help combat this. Also, semi-permanent pigmentation can also help with giving the illusion of fuller hair if you don’t fancy a more extreme [option like a] hair transplant or medication like finasteride. Always seek professional help though.”
Your skin is the largest organ of your body and yet, most men don’t have a skincare routine. If you’ve neglected your skin and it’s starting to show, you can ensure no further damage is done; you just have to start being sun safe daily and, if you’re a smoker, cut out the cigs.
As Dermatologist, Dr Leona Yip advises, “The commonest causes of premature skin ageing by far is sun exposure and cigarette smoking; [which] degenerate skin collagen and elastin. In the longer term, this leads to the appearance of dry skin, uneven skin complexion, yellow leathery skin and deep wrinkles.”
“Stop smoking and be sun aware as much as possible – sunscreen is only one component of sun protection, and should be used in combination with a broadbrim hat, protective clothing, sunglasses and staying in shade.”
Dr Leona Yip
Dr Yip also recommends to those wanting to vastly improve the way their skin looks, use skincare products daily and for, ultimate results, look out for the following specific ingredients:
“… [If your] all-important skin moisture barrier weakens, lipid production, hydration and elasticity all drop, which can contribute to your skin looking drier and older.
To avoid this, establish a consistent cleansing and moisturising daily routine with products that contain ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E and Panthenol to really protect your skin’s moisture barrier.”
Dr Leona Yip
In recent years, the stigmas associated with discussing mental health have started being broken down – which is fantastic. But there’s still a shocking amount of men who don’t prioritise their mental health.
Health & Community Psychologist, Dr Marny Lishman says that looking after yourself psychologically can take just a small amount of time but it needs to be done daily; just like exercise.
“Looking after your physical health comprises little actions on a daily basis, and so too does looking after your mental health.”
Dr Marny Lishman
Dr Lishman also advises that men should learn to open up more if they’re wanting optimal mental health and should most definitely seek help – whether it be from a professional or a friend or family member – if they’re particularly struggling with the stress of everyday life.
“It is important for our psychological well-being to learn to express our emotions and be vulnerable about how we are feeling and why. Life can be stressful and many men have a lot on their mind – learning to identify and control their unhelpful cognitions when they are worried about things going on for them is extremely important, and in many cases that means reaching out to get additional help.”
Men who are wishing to improve their mental health should also prioritise living in the moment and should stop constantly focusing on work.
“We live in a very busy society where we often focus too much on working and trying to be successful! Learning how to not get bogged down in working all the time – particularly the ‘all work and no play’ mentality – and [instead] focusing on ‘being’ is extremely beneficial to our mental wellbeing.”
Dr Marny Lishman
Here’s the part you were dreading. Diet – the worst four-letter word in the English dictionary. Sure, while cookies and burgers are ridiculously delicious, that doesn’t mean we can just indulge in eating that sort of ‘junk’ food all the time.
However, while Alex Thomas, the founder of the Sports Nutrition Association, declares nutrition is key to your health, he admits you can, and should, satisfy your junk food – or as Alex calls it, ‘energy-dense food’ – cravings once in a while. He also advises that sleep and hydration are also important.
“Nutrition is an extremely important part to overall health, as is sleep and hydration…”
“Putting it together… eat veggies three times a day, eat fruit one to two times a day, eat protein three times a day; also include some of the energy-dense foods that you like. [Plus, you should] sleep six to eight hours per night, limit excessive alcohol [and] limit excessive caffeine.”
Most of us think of ‘exercise’ when we hear the word ‘health’ and while we’ve proven above there are many factors that contribute to your wellbeing and health, exercise is still important. Director of Flow Athletic, Ben Lucas says men wanting optimal health should be incorporating mostly strength training and just a little cardio into their fitness routine.
“The general goal should be around 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day for your health, according to the MAYO Clinic. For men, I would recommend around three days a week of strength training and some cardio such as running, cycling or a brisk walk on other days.”
Ben highly recommends strength training as it can combat common issues people face in their old age, such as “aches and pains” and “brittle bones”.
“Strength training is important for every individual because as we age, our muscle tone starts to reduce and that can lead to musculoskeletal issues that crop up as we age, such as brittle bones, struggling to hold our posture which can lead to a bunch of aches and pains.
Strength training can also raise your metabolism. In fact, some research suggests that you can burn fat even at rest for up to 38 hours post-workout. And let’s not forget that you will also feel stronger, fitter and healthier which can improve self-esteem.”