At 52 I can already see the signs of aging on my skin. It's not always easy to embrace a new fine line or wrinkle and a sagging neck. It's a tad unsettling to look at my hands and see how they tell the truth about my age. But I also realize that I'm lucky. I have a pretty healthy-looking complexion. And this is the result of a lifetime of taking care of it.
I got really sensible beauty and skincare advice early on: never go to bed with your makeup on. Get regular facials. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. And use sunscreen.
In my teens, I used face and body moisturizer daily, a habit I keep up to this day. My dad -- ah, men! -- would jokingly ask me if I was using so many products at 15 what would I do in my 40s? Well, my 40s have come and gone and I simply adapted my beauty routine to my changing needs. Something I still do.
So, when people ask me what my secret to glowing skin is, I say it's all of the above, plus drinking a lot of water, exercising, and not smoking. No matter what your age is now, I would urge you to take skincare seriously, as seriously as you take brushing and flossing your teeth. You will thank me down the road! If you never paid attention to your complexion, well, it´s never too late to start.
I'm not perfect, of course, and perhaps the biggest faux-pas I made in my youth was using sunscreen but frying in the sun anyway. Back then it was fashionable to have a deep tan. Skin cancer or photo-aging were not a big concern. If I could go back in time that's the one thing I would reverse.
I'd wear a hat and sunglasses and sit under an umbrella at the beach, like I do now! It's also what I tell my young daughters to do. I love it when they watch me during my morning or evening beauty routine and ask me what each product I use is for. I let them play around with my skin-care serums and lotions and read the ingredients.
So my tried and true habits to arrive in my 50s looking and feeling comfortable in my skin have been and still are:
Getting enough sleep. -- I've always managed to make sleep a big priority, even when I had babies, I always found ways to nap. Now that I'm menopausal some days fatigue takes over and the only way I can recover is by snoozing during the day.
Drinking lots and lots of water. -- I don't like soda, lucky me, so I pretty much drink water all day, every day. I do start my day with coffee, but after I'm fully awake, that's the end of that!
Exercising in one form or another. -- Whether it's running, swimming, dancing, or practicing yoga, I have always engaged in some form of weekly exercise routine. For life. This all adds up. It helps destress and also oxygenates the body and skin.
Moisturizing daily. -- Aside from moisturizing my face and neck morning and night, I also apply moisturizer on my body after every shower or bath. I also keep hand and foot cream by my bedside and incorporate it into my winding-down routine. In fact, my daughters (a teen and a tween) and I often share this moment together.
There is no reason to look and feel defeated after a certain age. On the contrary, all the more reason to celebrate being vibrant and alive. And if we can renew, repair and make our skin appear radiant, well, all the better!
What is the one beauty habit you wish you'd taken up earlier in life? What skincare habit are you willing to take up now?
[This post first ran on LorraineCLadish.com]