Cheap and Free Plastic Surgery Alternatives

If you're looking for cheap or free plastic surgery alternatives, you're not alone. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), surgical procedures declined by five percent last year. While minimally-invasive procedures such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels increased by nine percent, they aren't the only options available.

These cheap or free plastic surgery alternatives can help to turn back the clock and let you look your best - in any economy.

Use skin replenishing creams daily. These aren't your granny's cold creams. Brands that contain glycerol, hyaluronan and aquaporin-3 nourish your skin with chemicals it naturally contains. Glycerol is a natural humectant in the epidermis. Hyaluronan (or hyaluronic acid) helps to renew skin cells and protects the epidermis. And aquaporin-3 is a protein that regulates water content in the skin and maintains elasticity.

Apply a seaweed mask weekly. Protect your skin from sagging by using a firming masks made from wakame, a Japanese seaweed. Packed with nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and E, and B vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid, wakame replenishes and renews skin cells, helping to maintain moisture and elasticity. As a cheap plastic surgery alternative, soak raw wakame until it's soft and blend it with a piece of aloe into a pulp. Apply to your face for 20 minutes.

Practice facial exercises. As you age the muscles in your face start to sag, dragging your skin along with it. Facial exercises are free plastic surgery alternatives that give your face a natural lift, preventing wrinkles, jowls or a double chin. Here are three to try daily (do 50 reps each):

  • Raise your eyebrows slightly and pull your ears back.
  • Close your right eye (like a wink) and pull the muscles along your cheekand nose up. Relax by stretching your jaw and nose downward. Repeat with your left eye.
  • Open your mouth and say a wide "Ah" until you feel the muscles in your jaw and neck tighten, then blow out to relax your face.

Exercise. Walking, stair climbing, jogging and in-home yoga are cheap and free plastic surgery alternatives that shave years off your appearance. Exercise increases blood flow to your skin, supplying it with vital nutrients and flushing out toxins. It also helps to stimulate collagen production and tones your muscles, which keep skin looking taut and healthy. Try to get at least 2 ½ hours of exercise a week.

Quit smoking. Studies prove that cigarette smoking enhances wrinkling, especially in the faces of females. It decreases collagen production and slows down renewal of skin cells. Smoking also reduces blood flow through the vessels, which damages or kills off healthy tissue. Giving up smoking is one of the best free plastic surgery alternatives - not just for your appearance, but for your overall health.

Drink more water. Your skin needs water to function normally and reduce dryness and flaking, which accelerates wrinkling and sagging. Most of us drink far less than the generally recommended eight glasses of water a day. A good start is to drink a glass of water when you wake up and before and after every meal.

Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep disrupts hormone balances and metabolic activity in the body and leads to premature aging. Try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep a night to maintain a youthful appearance.

Sleep on your back. This free plastic surgery alternative reduces sleep lines - wrinkles that become etched in your skin such as nasolabial folds - lines that run down from the sides of your nose. It also prevents wrinkles on your chin and cleavage.

Stay out of the sun. This is one of the best free plastic surgery alternatives available to you. You only need about 15 minutes of sunlight a day to get bone-building vitamin D. More than that makes skin wrinkle and sag sooner, and causes sun or age spots. Practice proper sun protection - use a sunscreen and lip balm with at least 15 SPF, and wear a hat and wraparound sunglasses.

Adjust your diet. The muffin top isn't inevitable. Diet, stress, lack of sleep and a sedentary lifestyle all conspire to pack on the pounds around your tummy and elsewhere. Reducing bad fats, sugar, salt and alcohol in your diet are cheap and free plastic surgery alternatives that can slow the signs of aging.