Friday, June 11, 2010

Top 10: Habits That Improve Your Appearance

The desire to look good is in our nature as human beings. After all, attractive people are more popular with members of the opposite sex and some studies suggest they're financially more successful, too. Of course, there are an overwhelming number of things and products you can try in your quest to be the best version of yourself. What really works, however, are these top 10 habits that improve your appearance. Adopt these habits today and you'll see a noticeable improvement in your appearance in two weeks' time.

No.10 - Change your bedsheets
Dirty pillow cases are a prime reason for breakouts, so switching your sheets once a week will reduce your skin's contact with pore-clogging grime. It's particularly important to lay out some fresh bedding if you frequently have a female in your bed, as residue from women's makeup and hair products can get left behind on your sheets and subsequently be transferred to your face

No.9 - Shampoo no more than once a day
Ideally, you should wash your hair no more than a few times a week as over-shampooing can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dull and brittle. If you're a regular exerciser, however, you can't get around lathering up on a daily basis, so make sure to follow up with an intensive conditioner. For men who can't get morning workouts in, skip the shampoo session if you shower in the a.m. and suds up only after you exercise later in the day.

No.8 - Floss every day and whiten teeth every six months
For a more attractive smile, nothing beats regular flossing as it gets rid of any unsightly buildup between your teeth. Take things one step further by using a drugstore whitening kit, which will do an excellent job of noticeably, but not freakishly, lightening the color of your teeth. Just make sure you whiten no more than once every six months or you could develop sensitive gums. For a week after whitening, avoid consuming products that could stain your teeth, such as red wine, coffee and soy sauce, and brush your teeth as soon as you can if you slip up.

No.7 - See a barber every three to six weeks
Keeping your hair trimmed is an easy way to ensure that you always look polished. It's also typically inexpensive and quick. Once you've found a barber you like, stick with him so that he'll always get it right when you come in for a cut.

No.6 - Shave after showering
Steaming up your bathroom is a bit like creating your own personal sauna. This humid environment will open up your pores, make your facial hair softer and plumper, and prime your follicles, all of which will reduce your chances of developing ingrown hairs and experiencing razor burn. If you don't have time for a shower, create a hot compress by soaking a face towel in hot water and then applying it to your face for two to three minutes.

No.5 - Cleanse, moisturize, apply eye care cream, and use lip balm every morning
A basic skin care routine is an absolute must for improving your appearance. Start with a mild cleanser, preferably one with a 2% concentration of salicylic acid to help zap zits. Follow it up two to three times a week with an exfoliant to really get the gunk out of your skin and slough off dead cells. Next, apply a moisturizer that contains a broad-spectrum SPF to replenish your skin's moisture levels and prevent aging related to sun damage. Then dab on an eye cream, working from the outside in toward the center of your face, to hydrate and keep the thin skin in this region supple. Finally, slick on a lip balm with an SPF of 15 to keep your lips soft, smooth and kissable

No.4 - Avoid sugar and simple carbs
A diet that's high in lean protein, vegetables, slow-digesting grains, and healthy fats is one that will reduce bloating in your belly and decrease any puffiness in your face. Furthermore, steering clear of sugar and simple carbs will go a long way toward eliminating acne or keeping it at bay as junk food, even in moderate amounts, is a common cause of troubled skin.

No.3 - Get eight hours of sleep
Those seven to nine hours that you should be spending unconscious every day are when your body repairs itself. Skimping on this vital restorative process makes your entire system run less efficiently, and the signs of sleep deprivation show up on your face first. In fact, all it takes is a few nights without enough sleep before you start looking like a haggard zombie. On the other hand, prioritizing sleep will guarantee you appear refreshed and alert and it will also decrease puffy eyes and unflattering dark circles.

No.2 - Drink eight glasses of water a day
Staying hydrated keeps you healthy and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Sipping water slowly rather than pounding it also makes it easier for your body to absorb. Additionally, be mindful of your caffeine and alcohol intake. Both substances are diuretics, meaning they cause your body to release water, which can translate into pasty, dry skin and more visible fine lines. Offset your consumption of these beverages by drinking an 8oz glass of water for each caffeinated or alcoholic drink you
indulge in.

No.1 - Consider exercise non-negotiable
The No. 1 way to improve your appearance is to get fit. Start thinking of exercise as a must-do item on your to-do list and you'll slow down the aging process, get better-looking skin, increase your confidence, and on top of everything, you'll feel amazing. Engage in physical activity in the morning, and you'll benefit further by burning more fat and kicking off your day with a feel-good endorphin rush. An early sweat session will also boost your circulation, so you'll have clear, bright skin all day long -- a potent sign to women that you're a virile, healthy bedmate.

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