There’s a brutal truth in life that there are some things you just can’t control (public transport, the weather, and the taxman hitting you up every April 15th) and some things you can. Though ageing may seem like another inevitability, it is possible to take steps to slow the process.

Thanks to gravity, we all know where things are heading (south, mainly), but how quickly you get there is entirely up to you. And to most, considering a facelift is not the most appealing option, so a man needs a slightly more nuanced approach to getting one over on Father Time.

To that end, here are the five most obvious signs of ageing and how you can, if not stop them altogether, then at least start applying the brakes.

Age Spots

Caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays, these little clusters of melanin (the pigment in your skin) are a dead giveaway of age. Though they mostly appear later in life, it’s important to pre-empt them now.

Dark patches can take up to 25 years to develop, so the dark spots that you start to see in your forties might actually have been caused much earlier in your life.

Numerous products exist to help fade the spots, but they often take months of continued use to reap any benefits and the results are variable. It goes without saying that prevention is always better than cure, so wearing SPF daily is your best bet for keeping these blemishes at bay. And, since hands are a prime location for dark spots, extend this sun protection scheme to your mitts.

As well as using sunscreen, a diet rich in omega oil and antioxidants to support the skin’s defense mechanisms.

Saggy Jowls

The most common cause of jowls is the combined effect of gravity and a marked deterioration in collagen as we get older. Tooth loss is also a major contributor to the jawline jiggles.

Once you start losing your teeth, the surrounding bone shrinks and with no substructure to hold things in place skin will start to sag and look wrinkly.

So, now’s the time to invest in an electric toothbrush, ideally one that features a ‘massage’ setting to ensure good gum health – something critical to tooth retention.

Greying Hair

While dyeing hair might seem like the obvious remedy, for men it’s fraught with difficulty. Plus,
an all-over dye-job rarely looks convincing. The solution is a slightly more nuanced approach.

If you’re disguising grey hairs with dye, don’t apply it to the whole head as this can be more ageing than leaving it natural. Instead, use a fine comb to subtly blend color into areas of the hair that have lost their color. This produces a more natural look.

Alternatively, you could your colors and go full-on sexy, silver fox.

Wrinkles

Owing to its thickness and increased collagen content, men’s skin tends to age more slowly than women’s. But once a man hits his forties, and the ageing process kicks in, the signs can be a lot more noticeable.

The biggest ravages of youth are the sun, smoking and stress, but sugar can also make your skin lose its elasticity and plumpness.

So, what can you do? Cut back on the sweet stuff. Glycation is the bonding between sugar and protein in the body, and it makes proteins like collagen and elastin less effective. This can result in a loss of elasticity of the skin, encouraging the formation of wrinkles.

But it’s not just the doughnuts you should ration if you want to stay looking young – cutting back on the booze will help too. If you drink more than moderate amounts of alcohol on a very regular basis, the constant dilating of the facial blood vessels that alcohol induces puts a lot of pressure on the collagen and elastin in the dermis.