Irresponsible time in the sun without using the proper protection is just one of the ways that you can damage your appearance. When most people consider enhancing their looks, they think of what surgeries or treatments they can get, or how to modify their bodies. However, you can also enhance your looks by not making the everyday mistakes that will take a dramatic toll on your skin, smile, and other aspects of your appearance.
Discover five mistakes to avoid if you want to look your best.
Prevention is Always Easier Than the Cure
In most situations, it takes a tiny fraction of the effort to prevent problems than to solve them. One example is weight loss: It’s far easier to stick to a responsible diet in the first place than to spend money on tummy tuck surgeries years later.
It’s true for your smile as well. Putting the time into good oral hygiene each day to prevent problems is far easier than spending the time and money to fix your teeth down the line. Ultimately, understanding the power of prevention will save you a lot of pain, time, and money in the long run.
Five Common Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Appearance
When it comes to improving our appearance, what you’re not doing is often as important as what you are. These are five common mistakes people make that can wreak havoc on the way you look.
1. Excessive Tobacco Use
About 14% of American adults smoke cigarettes, and while smoking used to be commonplace, it’s been drastically reduced in recent years. Decades of research shows that tobacco use leads to a massive array of health problems, ranging from gum disease to lung cancer, and it takes a toll on your looks as well.
How Does Smoking Cigarettes Affect Your Appearance?
There are numerous ways that smoking takes a dire toll on your appearance. Beginning with your teeth, tobacco use is one of the biggest causes of staining, so it almost guarantees that you’ll be flashing a brown or yellow smile as you age. Aside from stained teeth, these are some of the changes to your appearance you can expect if you continue smoking:
- Smokers are 4x more likely to develop bags under their eyes.
- You age faster if you’re a smoker because smoking decreases blood flow to your face.
- Smoking destroys DNA in your follicles, so your hair is thinner and turns grey quicker.
- You’re three times more likely to suffer from skin cancer if you’re a smoker.
2. Neglecting Your Smile
Since the time we were kids, most of us were trained to brush our teeth each day, but 30% of Americans don’t do it. While brushing your teeth may seem like a burdensome task that we do to stay healthy, there’s another reason to care about your oral hygiene: it greatly affects your looks.
How Does Avoiding Oral Care Affect Your Appearance?
There’s a lot of research showing the power of smiling – how it can relieve stress, improve your performance, and brighten the mood of those around you. Our smile plays a major role in making our first impression on people.
If your smile is crooked, cracked, or severely stained, people will make assumptions about you and your socioeconomic status. While we’d like to pretend that these opinions don’t matter, they affect everything from career choices to dating prospects.
Solutions for Your Neglected Smile
Fortunately, fixing problems with your smile is just as simple as making the decision to do it. From teeth whitening to porcelain veneers, numerous procedures are available for enhancing your smile and getting the dental care you need. Check out these examples of dental procedures that can fix common aesthetic problems.
- Missing teeth: Visit a doctor like Dr. Bloomquist for dental implants to replace them.
- Stained teeth: Most dentists provide effective professional whitening treatments.
- Damaged teeth: A dentist who provides veneers like Dr. Jon Flint can fix your smile.
3. Eating a Reckless Diet
Do you feel like you eat a healthy diet? Could you identify what a healthy diet was if you had to? With over 160 million Americans dangerously obese, there’s clearly a dietary crisis happening in America. The FDA confirms that we consume too much sugar and sodium, and about 90% of us don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Aside from the many ways a poor diet affects our health, a poor diet can contribute to skin aging.
The Over-availability of Junk Food
In 2019, it’s easier than ever to get food, but getting quality, healthy food is another story entirely. On any given day, more than 85 million Americans eat some kind of fast food.
There’s no doubt that the allure of cheap, high-fat, high-sodium foods plays a huge role in our obesity crisis. Opting for these fast solutions in our diet may be convenient, but it’s rarely the best choice when it comes to looking our best.
Improving Our Looks Through Food
With so much conflicting information out there regarding what we should and shouldn’t eat, it can be confusing to make the best decision for your health and body. Here are some simple tips that will keep you looking your best for a long time to come:
- Fresh fruits and veggies are great to have with every meal.
- Bread turns to sugar when broken down and carbs cause weight gain, so eat it sparingly.
- The only bad fats to avoid are trans fats – all others are vital for your health.
- Limiting processed foods and ingredients you can’t pronounce is always a good idea.
- Staying hydrated is good for your skin and aids digestion.
4. Living a Sedentary Lifestyle
How many ways does technology make your life easier and faster? From our televisions which give us information from around the world to our cars that allow us to travel many miles without burning a calorie, it’s never been easier to be lazy. For many Americans, engaging in physical activity requires planning and commitment, but if you care about looking attractive, it’s crucial to make working out a regular part of your life.
Fit vs Flabby
Even if you’re not morbidly obese, it’s still easy to tell when someone lives a sedentary life or not. When someone exercises regularly, they have muscle tone, their clothes hug their body tightly, and they have the type of confidence that only comes from knowing they’re physically fit.
If you’re thin or average-sized and have been skating through life thinking you don’t need to exercise, start a workout plan and stick to it — you may be surprised at how it enhances your overall appearance.
5. Irresponsible Tanning
There’s nothing like a perfect tan when it comes to bringing out the glow in someone’s skin. Even a short time in the sun can make a person look healthy and can vastly improve your attractiveness. However, when it comes to sun exposure, there is such a thing as too much.
Getting the Most Out of Your Time in the Sun
Did you know that only 14.3% of men and 29.9% of women wear sunscreen? Even if you rarely get sunburned, it’s important to know that wearing sunscreen is more about protecting yourself from the long term damage caused by the sun. This means that using sunscreen now can keep your skin from getting leathery, wrinkled, and dry as you get older.
Avoiding the Sun Also Hurts Your Appearance
Part of irresponsible tanning includes those who don’t go into the sun at all. The pale, pasty appearance of someone who stays indoors is unmistakable. If you want to look your best, some time outside is absolutely crucial.
If you find it hard to spend sufficient time in the sun, consider planning a long walk or bike ride, working out outside, or at least staying outdoors for 15 minutes to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.
Don’t Sabotage Your Looks With Simple Mistakes
Consider the things you do that can jeopardize your appearance. Which are you most prone to? Do you hate wearing sunscreen or like to justify to yourself why you need sugary snacks every day?
These are the weaknesses that will make a negative impact on your looks, and it takes real soul-searching to figure out what they are. Once you know the mistakes you’re most prone to, and how to avoid them, you’ll be well on your way to looking your absolute best.
Nicholas Napier is a Navy Vet and MBA living in San Diego. He works as an SEO specialist and writer while hosting the Rogue Writers Podcast. His interests include philosophy, fitness, nutrition, and martial arts. For inquiries, email Nicholas.