I always admire people who take aging in stride, looking beautiful and confident at any age. That being said, I believe in taking care of what we are born with and taking steps to reduce damage to facial skin. I’m lucky to count a few dermatologists as friends, and I’m always picking their brains about skin, products, and that elusive formula for turning back the clock. Here are a few pointers that I try to incorporate, and it’s never too late to start!
Prevent sun damage. No matter what history of sun exposure you’ve had, today is Day One. I have many happy childhood memories of frolicking in the sun but I never wore sunscreen on a daily basis until college. I’m religious about it now, and even if I go outside for a few minutes without sunscreen, my mind runs to the dangerous UV rays penetrating my skin damaging elastic fibers and allowing wrinkles to appear. Of course, I get those annoying spots on my cheeks despite wearing sunscreen, so wearing a hat with a wide brim is important too.
The lightest but most efficient sunscreen moisturizer I’ve come across (and I’ve tried dozens!) is the Resveratrol Face Lifting Moisturizer SPF 20 from Caudalie. It blocks the sun’s rays, and also contains a powerful antioxidant in grapes and red wine, called resveratrol, which may help lower your odds of getting cancer, heart disease, and premature aging. I like to use this as encouragement to drink a glass of red wine each day! The hydrating daily moisturizer is a part of Caudalie’s Resveratrol Lift Collection, products developed in collaboration with Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard University powered by a patented molecule proven to reverse visible sings of aging. Key ingredients include Stabilized Vine Resveratrol, micro hyaluronic acids, anti-slackening peptides and soft-focus pigments. It is an amazingly weightless and airy sunscreen, which is perfect for spring and summer. The scent is very faint and won’t bother even the most sensitive noses. Pores can breathe and the light moisturizer does more than double duty, providing protection and fighting environmental stressors which age skin quickly.
Eat well. Easier said than done, but keeping this in the back of my mind helps sway me to reach for the tangerine instead of the brownie (although sometimes I just eat both). Antioxidants are found in high concentrations in colorful fruits and vegetables. You’ve heard it from your mom, and now you’re hearing it from your face, yellow and green vegetables are the most potent for preventing wrinkles. Whole grains like quinoa, oats, and brown rice help keep blood vessels healthy, keeping skin looking young and vibrant. Fish, nuts, and beans do the body good in lowering blood pressure and risk for diabetes and heart disease. My weakness is sugar, but I also add salt to everything- which retains water and adds pounds that aren’t even fat. I certainly could do without that!
Stay away from smoke.
I won’t be lecturing on this much, but just a friendly reminder that smoking decreases blood flow to the face, and toxic chemicals cause deeper wrinkles sooner than they would normally appear. Smoking also encourages squinting to keep smoke out of the eyes, so this leads to crow’s feet and lines around the eyes, and droopy skin. Smoking really affects gums and bone in your mouth as well- and slows healing. That smile is worth a million bucks, and smoking ages it faster than anything else.
Treat your skin. An investment in quality skin products goes a long way, so it makes sense to use well thought-out products to nourish, moisturize, and protect skin. A regimen of philosophy is healing for skin as well as the soul, and their night and day renewed hope in a jar treatments work over each 24-hour period. They cover all the bases: hydration, resurfacing, antioxidants, and restoration. The oil-free overnight moisturizer is rich but absorbs easily, and focuses on deep hydration, working hard to refine and smooth. It capitalizes on sleep which is the natural time for skin to regenerate and rebuild damaged cells. Myramaze is the natural plant extract which replenishes and preserves skin’s moisture levels. Alpha hydroxy acids are praised for their exfoliating properties and work particularly well on scaly dry skin which can lead to darkening of skin. A trio of these acids work in renewed hope in a jar to renew skin overnight. I like to layer the renewed hope in a jar day moisturizer underneath the Caudalie Lifting sunscreen for some extra refinement and moisture. It works on smaller pores and fine lines, and my complexion looks fresh. Three forms of hyaluronate restore by binding water causing cells to plump and look youthful. Alpha hydroxy acids restore, and Asian fruit extract naturally promotes healthy color.
An alternative (and inexpensive!) moisturizer I use when I need a vitamin-pack for my face is Alba’s good and healthy moisture lotion. It’s like a green smoothie for your face which contains extracts from kale, spinach, and swiss chard extracts- and even smells a little like veggies (don’t worry, it’s very faint but makes me feel healthy!). It’s also ultra-lightweight so it won’t drag skin down in warmer weather. It’s perfect for oily skin as it provides nutrients without the shine. Anti-oxidants and phytonutrients like lutein abound in the formula for a smooth glow, as one would expect from a tall green smoothie!