As 2019 comes to a close, I reflect on how interesting the year was, especially as it pertained to my age…or at least perceived age, based on my appearance. I’ve always looked young for my age, but this year, it seemed that peoples’ shock over my age (compared to how old they thought I was) was happening all the time. Once they discover my actual age, they ask all the expected questions…What skincare do you use? Does it run in your family? What makeup do you use? Are you a vampire? (seriously, someone said that) My answers…it’s a combination of all those things – well, not the vampire part 🙂 I follow a good skincare routine, I use makeup that works for me, and yes, I’m blessed with good genes. I also took care of my skin when I was younger. To further explain, I’m going to break it down into three posts – prevention, skincare and makeup. Let’s start with how to prevent, or at least slow down, your skin’s appearance of age.
Yes, genetics can play a role in how “well” you age. I am very fortunate that both my parents also look younger than their age. However, there are other steps you can take to help slow down the skin’s aging process.
Reduce Sun Exposure: Studies show that up to 90% of aging is caused by sun exposure*. Since I was born and raised in Florida, you probably wonder how I avoided sun exposure. From a young age, I made it a point to protect my face from the sun. It helped that I don’t tan very well, but even when I did sun in the backyard, covered in baby oil, I still covered my face. Even now, I wear a foundation that contains an SPF. Even if you don’t live in a state as sunny as Florida, the sun is still there and can still damage your skin. Any opportunity you can take to protect it will help with the aging process. Studies also show people who used sunscreen regularly were 24% less likely to show increased signs of aging*.
Wear Sunglasses: It’s ok to smile wide or make the occasional duck-face selfie. It’s the facial expressions that you are not aware of that can cause unwanted wrinkles. Back to that bright ball of glowing gases (aka the sun). Whether it is shining bright or a dull overcast day, if the sky makes you squint, then you are likely encouraging forehead and eye area wrinkles.
Just Say No to Smoking: Bad habits, such as smoking, can cause havoc on your skin. It may take years to show, but once you develop the smoking wrinkles around your mouth, there is no turning back. You may be able to spritz on some perfume and chew some gum to eliminate the smoke smell, but the mouth wrinkles are much harder to disguise.
Moisturize! It’s never too early to start moisturizing. In your younger years, when you’re dealing with greasy skin and breakouts, the thought of putting any additional substance on your skin is frightening. However, you still need to make sure your skin is getting the right type of moisture. This is especially important if you are using products in an attempt to eliminate your oily skin. Often, products containing alcohol or other drying ingredients are used. Believe it or not, doing this can cause an increase in oil production. If it does work to dry up all the oil, it’s also drying up the skin. Try to find a nice balance, where you are removing the bad moisture and replacing it with good moisture.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much damage you’ve already done to your skin, it’s never too late to practice what I’m preaching above. However, if some damage is done and you’re looking for a way to correct and/or cover it, stay tuned for part two and three of my Make Age Just a Number blog series.
Until then, stay beautiful!