The quest for youth is one that’s long been yearned for. From the mythical fountain to high-tech serums, each and every one in between holds the promise of being the ultimate anti-aging weapon.
“The problem with that is, while we’re too consumed over physical looks, we forget that it is more than just physical looks,” says Mary Cristine, an integrative nutrition and gut specialist as well as the founder of BE THAT LIFE Integrative Health, in an episode of The Mindvalley Show with Vishen. “It’s actually more important how we age on the inside.”
Take it from this incredible 42-year-old (who—let’s be honest—looks more like a 20-year-old), it’s possible to reverse that cellular aging. When you do so, it’ll show in your physical aging.
Watch the full 37-minute episode:
What’s Up With the Intrigue of Reverse Aging and Longevity?
Appearing young is often synonymous with being at the peak of your game—energetic, agile, and ready for challenges. On the flip side, longevity speaks to a universal human wish to learn, to love, and to leave a legacy.
One may not seem correlated to the other, but scientifically, there’s a tangible connection between the two. In fact, a 2013 study revealed that individuals who look younger than their actual age tend to have lower blood pressure and better cognitive functioning.
The thing is, society puts such an emphasis on looking younger and living longer. So much so that many turn to Botox, mesotherapy, and other modalities to achieve that desired external look. And as a result, Mary explains, “they neglect how they’re meant to look on the inside,” a.k.a., cellular aging.
This is where the real battle for aging gracefully takes place. The actions you take to maintain a youthful exterior—be it through diet, exercise, or skincare—play a crucial role in slowing down cellular aging, ensuring that your quest for youth is as profound on the inside as it is on the outside.
Mary Cristine’s 5 Science-Backed Tips On How to Reverse Aging
There’s no denying that Mary looks amazing for her age. And it has very little to do with her genetics.
What are her secrets? How did she manage to look like she’s in her 20s when she’s actually in her 40s?
In her sit-down with Vishen, the founder of Mindvalley, she shares five simple tips to improve your skin health.
1. Take in the morning sun
While a golden tan can make you feel like a sun-kissed god, too much exposure can have your skin crying for mercy. It’s a delicate balance—basking in the glory of the sun is essential for vitamin D, but the UV rays can be relentless on your skin, accelerating aging and damaging its health.
“If you’re going out in the sun and not using any protection and going during peak hours, it will age you,” Mary says. In fact, Johns Hopkins Medicine supports this by stating that sunscreen is crucial in preventing sunburn, skin cancer, and the early signs of aging
It really is about timing and protection. So, as Mary advises, embrace the early morning or late afternoon light and always arm yourself with sunscreen as part of your daily routine. This way, you’ll soak up the benefits without letting the UV rays write a harsh story on your skin.
2. Sleep well
You remember that saying, “You can sleep when you’re dead”? Toss it because, as it turns out, your nighttime slumber is actually a key biohacking strategy to maintain a youthful appearance and sharp mind.
There’s research that suggests getting either too little or too much has the potential to shorten the cells’ telomeres, the tiny caps at the ends of your DNA. This, unfortunately, can lead to poorer cognitive function and faster cognitive decline, as one study found.
The bottom line is, right amount of sleep (and let’s not forget quality!) protects your telomeres. It helps your cells—and, by extension, you—stay young and sharp. As Mary says, “it’s one of my top secrets for a youthful appearance.”
3. The power of Retinol
Retinol, if you’re unfamiliar, is a vitamin A compound. Its job is to fortify your skin’s defenses, boost collagen, and usher in an era of elasticity and smoothness.
“Basically, as we age, we lose a ton of collagen, and our skin is not as elastic anymore as it used to be,” Mary explains. “Retinol and vitamin A—apply it to your skin as an ointment daily; it really makes your skin so much younger.”
This isn’t just for the ladies; it’s a secret weapon for men, too. So before you hit the bed, let a retinol serum or cream be the last thing your skin savors. And come morning, wash away the remnants of the night and shield your skin with sunscreen.
It’s a simple step, but its impact on your visage is profound, keeping you looking as if you’ve just stepped out of a portrait of your younger self.
4. The role of diet and supplements
Aging gracefully isn’t just about what you add to your diet; it’s also about what you avoid. Steering clear of unhealthy foods that can accelerate aging is just as important as the nutrients you embrace.
Mary highlights the following supplements for their roles in promoting cellular health and reversing aging:
- Spermidine. Found in foods like broccoli, it aids in cellular renewal and longevity.
- Resveratrol. An antioxidant that protects cells from aging.
- NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide). Boosts energy production in cells, supporting their vitality.
These intentional choices in diet and supplementation are crucial for maintaining vitality and combating the aging process
5. Cut down your sugar intake
Oh, sugar—the sweet nemesis of graceful aging. According to Mary, “anything over 24 grams of sugar a day is too much sugar.”
Unfortunately, it lurks in your favorite treats, whispering false promises of instant gratification. The thing is, we know consuming too much sugar can lead to obesity. But did you know that it causes glycation? (That’s where sugar in your body sticks to proteins and makes them stiff and not work well.)
“We’re already losing a ton of collagen and elastin from our skin as we age,” Mary explains, “and glycation expedites that process.” So what are the consequences of sugary snacks? Wrinkles and other signs of aging.
But you hold the power to halt sugar’s insidious march. By reducing your intake, you’re not only thwarting wrinkles but also protecting the sanctity of your inner health.
Take the Next Step
Aging might be inevitable, but how you age is up to you. If you’re eager to explore more ways to maintain your youth and vigor, consider joining the Mindvalley Membership. You can start with:
- Biohacking your body with Dave Asprey in the Smarter Not Harder Quest,
- Learning about food psychology with Eric Edmeades in the WILDFIT Quest, and
- Exploring how to extend your lifespan with Ben Greenfield in The Longevity Blueprint Quest.
When you sign up for a free account, you unlock the first few lessons that’ll empower you to take charge of your health and well-being.
So take a cue from Mary Cristine herself. If she can reverse aging, there’s every reason that you can, too.