The Whole Picture
Have you ever noticed a beautiful woman whose face glows as someone much younger? Then you look at her neck and hands…not so much glowing going on there. The truth is these two areas, among others, will give away your true age faster than your taste in music! We have all been bombarded by sunscreen ads and warnings about not protecting our faces from the sun’s damaging rays. Well, guess what? Our necks, tops of our shoulders, chests, and our hands are absorbing those same destructive rays. My best advice for this problem is this, do the same skin care regimen for your neck, chest, shoulders, and hands that you do for your face. That’s right, everything! Those fancy crèmes and serums are just as effective on other body parts.
It’s Possible to Reverse the Damage
While enjoying the great outdoors several years ago, I spent too much time out in the sun, and I burnt my ears, of all places. The reason was simple; I didn’t apply any sunscreen to them. Because of the pain and discomfort of the burn, I decided to give my ears some TLC. After treating my red, rough ears with my skin care products in the weeks following the burn, I realized that they were actually looking much better. The extra attention I gave my ears reversed the damage that the overexposure caused. It dawned on me to do the same thing for other over-exposed areas.
There are products made to care for everything but your face, but facial care lines are more concentrated with age-fighting ingredients than your typical lotions. Yes, you will pay more for the good stuff; however, it’s well worth it. I am constantly asked, “What are you doing to have such young looking skin?” At age 42, I’m a walking testimony of how taking care of your skin can pay off, (I still get carded. It’s really funny to see people’s reactions when I tell them I have a 24-year-old).
Start Skin Care Young
I have used full skin care lines (cleanser, toner, lotion, night cream, etc.) since I was about 17. My four older daughters at ages 24, 22, 16, and 13 are following in my footsteps with their own daily beauty regimens. Stressing the importance of consistency, I taught them young to care for their beautiful faces with good products. Some of the best that we have used are Mary Kay, Arbonne, Aveda, Olay Regenerist, Origins, L’Oreal, and Avon. These days you’ll find mostly Aveda products on my bathroom sink, as they are more natural at their base and seem to agree with my older skin.
Skin Care Musts
Regardless of what products you use, it’s a must to follow some basic strategies for younger looking skin.
- Drink plenty of pure water (8-10 glasses a day).
- Limit your time in the sun especially during mid-day when its rays are more damaging.
- Limit your use of tanning beds. It’s so easy to keep going 2-3 times a week because it doesn’t take much time and it’s so accessible. Be aware of how your skin is reacting to the exposure, not just, how brown it’s getting. If you notice a wrinkling at your elbows and knees, deeper sleep lines in the morning, and an overall dry feeling, you probably should cut down on your visits to the tanning salon.
- Always use a foundation that has SPF 15 in it. Most bases have the sunscreen added, but if not, use a lotion that is specifically for your face.
- Don’t forget to put the sunscreen on your ears, shoulders, and chest area if those areas are exposed.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake especially when you know you will be in the sun for an extended time.
- Reduce stress as much as possible. Try yoga, walking, meditation, or anything that gets you to a place of peace.
- Exfoliation is a key to aiding skin’s regeneration. Use a mask 1-2 times per week and a daily exfoliation product like Aveda’s Daily Exfoliant.
- Be kind to your skin, no pulling, popping, stretching, and poking. (A facial massage is good, though).
- Take supplements that have good anti-oxidant properties like the Xocai healthy chocolate drink. Omega fatty acids, B, C, and A vitamins are also essential for great skin. The best ways to get these needed sups are through our food; unfortunately, we don’t always eat what we should. Just make better choices.