Sunday, August 12, 2012

Start Fighting Wrinkles in Your Prime

Out of sight, out of mind. Everybody knows the saying and it holds true to everything, including wrinkles in your youth. Nature's out to get your skin. The sun is out to get your skin, I know. Aging is an inevitable insidious process and like all insidious processes, it needs to be treated long before it is seen. Some people may argue that I am way too conscious of future wrinkles for a young women in her 20s, however, I am what you might call an investor- a person who understands that if you invest today, reducing disposable income now, you yield more later. Fighting wrinkles at an early age  starts with three things, in my opinion. Notice I said "starts" not ends.

1) Moisturizing all the time: I am not going to endorse any moisturizers. I actually use a very generic brand of moisturizer. Whether or not you moisturize, I believe, will always be more important than what you use. Moisturizing must be done after every bath or shower. Whenever I come out of the shower, I apply lotion to almost every part of my body, paying extra attention to the parts I know are more prone to drying up during the day. The critical areas (more so when the weather is cold) are your cheeks, your legs, feet and arms. Naturally, if you have oily skin, application must be sparse.

This is your skin each time you let it
dry (on a microscopic level)
Have you ever wondered why the skin on people's hands ages a lot faster than the skin on other parts of their bodies? It's because our hands are constantly getting washed and aren't moisturized as often. If you don't carry a hand lotion around in your handbag, you have got to start doing that. Whenever I wash my hands, even if it's away from home, I follow that up with my hand lotion.

Dry skin not only cracks, it also ages faster. Try to picture a river bed drying up and how it looks during a drought. You do not ever want to put your skin through that kind of stress. If you do not do that, your skin will look better when you're older.

Sunscreen's not only for the beach and it sure isn't only for
2) Sunscreen- no matter what race you are: The sun is a real aging accelerator. Everybody has heard that, but few people actually think about it. Women of color have an advantage over women of other races, and that advantage is melanin. It makes us darker skinned than everyone else, and a century ago, that was considered a bad thing. Now it's widely known that melanin, actually protects from the sun's UV rays, one of which, UVA, is responsible for wrinkles. Collagen is found in your skin and gives it elasticity. Unfortunately for all the sunbathers out there, UVA penetrates skin barriers and depletes collagen, leading to looser, weaker, wrinkled skin. Women of color enjoy the benefits of the natural sunscreen called melanin, but they could really boost their advantage by acting like they don't have it. Wear sunscreen daily. Don't slather it on like you're going to roast on the beach, but put some on your face, your neck and chest religiously and it will pay off. I go out of my way and use it on my arms and legs if they are going to be exposed. What you are doing is slowing down aging. It is better you do so now than when you are 39 years old and start to see the first few furrows on your forehead and crows feat. One way to cheat is to find a moisturizer with a good SPF (20+), then you'll be moisturizing and protecting from the sun simultaneously.

Your skin loves cold water, even if you don't
3) Don't wash your face with water that's too warm: Cold water is actually very good for your skin. Believe it or not, it decelerates wrinkling. I remember when I was 13 years old, my dad and I went to visit one of my aunts in the UK. I haven't seen her since then, but I remember back then she was one of those women in their mid-40s who looked 10 years younger. We'd been sitting at the dining table and the conversation took the direction of youthful looks. She turned my way and said, "You know, people always ask me what I do to the skin on my face. I'm not spending a fortune on it. You know why I look like this? It's because I have never once washed my face with warm water." I, of course, thought that was a little odd. I thought that was just an old wive's tale. Turns out it isn't. A little bit of online research proved me wrong. I started washing my washing my face exclusively with cold water when I started college. It was tough to stick to the cold water but you get used to it. It got to a point where splashing cold water on my face was the most refreshing part of my day. I am nowhere near old and still boast the best skin among my girlfriends. It's not all genetics. Thanks to this part of my skin care regime, I will hold on to that title for many years.

No comments:

Post a Comment