Saturday, October 27, 2012

Look Younger

I get told all the time that I look 10 or more years younger than I am. I find it annoying, especially professionally as I don't think people take a younger therapist as seriously, but also know that it's not something I should complain about.

Recently, I was reading Natural Health magazine and the entire issue was devoted to things you can do to look younger. I was reading it just because I had it, not for the tips. The tips, it turns out, are things I already did, that seem common sense to me. I suppose not all common sense is so common, so here, without any advertisements, any product placements, or recommendations (unlike the magazine, which has to fund itself) is the list of things that you can do to look younger. This information is unisex.

For your face:

  • Sleep - Get enough sleep every single night. Now you won't have bags or dark circles. 
  • Wash - Wash your face with a gentle foaming wash 1-2 times daily. Use your hands and warm water.
  • Toner - Once daily, after washing, use a toner that does not sting all over your face/neck. Use a cotton ball.
  • Serum - In the morning, after your face wash/tone, use eye serum under and around your eyes. Serum is lighter than moisturizer and your eye skin is thinner, so it'll soak in better/faster and not cause drooping or extra weight. You can put this all over your face, if you want, but serums are usually more expensive than moisturizers, so save money by using 2 products. Use your ring finger as it has the least pressure of any finger - true.
  • Moisturize AM - Then, put moisturizer lightly all over your face and neck. Use your fingers.
  • Base - If you wear makeup, use a base before you put it on. This protects your pores from getting makeup gunk in them. I'm not going to give you any tips on makeup as I feel that personal style varies widely.
  • Wash Off Makeup - When you get home from where ever you were that you wanted makeup on, wash it off when you get home or at least before bedtime. Never sleep in your makeup. The less you wear it, the less scrubbing your skin takes. You can use your foaming wash for this and your hands, but if you use "waterproof" makeup, you'll need remover (or baby oil) and a cotton ball.
  • Moisturize PM - Before bed, put moisturizer all over your face, it should not be thick and sticky, just moist. Use your fingers.
  • Exfoliate - Once a week, use an exfoliating scrub with a soft washcloth and cool water. 

For your body/skin:

  • Exercise - Exercise a few times a week - sweating is good for removing the junk in your pores and keeps your skin elastic.
  • Shower - Shower after your exercise to get the dirt and sweat off your pores and out of your hair. Plus, you want to smell good. 
  • Hydrate - Drink lots of water every day. Skin sags with dehydration and it helps you coloration not be sickly. 
  • Eat Right - Eat good foods, of course. Garbage in, garbage out. Limit your caffeine, your sugar, your alcohol and drugs, and anything you know really isn't good for you. 
  • Sunblock - Whenever you're going to be in the sun, even for 10 minutes, even in the shade, wear sunblock. If you wear makeup, wear one with sunscreen in it. Same with lotion. SPF 45 is sufficient for anyone.
  • Lotion - If you have cleavage, rub some lotion/moisturizer on there every day or so to reduce wrinkles. Similarly, if you have any rough/dry patches of skin, lotion those, too. Remember that hands and feet age fast, so remember to lotion those and wear UV gloves if you get gel manicures or you'll look like Angelina Jolie with her skeleton hands!

For your hair:

  • Wash - Wash your hair every couple of days. Generally, washing daily strips the natural moisture out and makes it unnecessarily dry and fly-away. For most people, 2-3 times a week is sufficient. If you sweat more, wash more, but it's really lifestyle based. A shampoo should be clear, not opaque. Wash the roots, not the ends, and let the shampoo simply fall down your back washing the middle and ends. Do not make a pile of hair on top of your head as that overworks and breaks the strands. Massage the scalp with shampoo and rinse off, easy. If you have dandruff, use a dandruff shampoo then a moisturizing shampoo.
  • Gentle - Go easy on the treatments. Anything you do ruins your hair, so don't do much to it. Learn to be happy with your natural color and texture and work with it. If you can't do that yet, then learn to go as easy as possible. Do these things as infrequently as possible as they all make it damaged in the long run: blow-drying, curling, flat ironing, crimping, teasing, dyeing, perming, highlighting, frosting, you get it, right? Natural is healthier. And the less products you put in it, the better also.
  • Condition - Don't buy conditioner; it weighs hair down and creates its own set of problems. Use a leave-in conditioner after you've towel-dried your hair. Look for any product with argan oil as it's good for keeping ends from splitting. Apply gently. If you have long hair, use a wide-toothed comb to get the product all the way through.

Shopping list:

  1. foaming wash for face (and can be for body)
  2. toner (non-stinging)
  3. cotton balls (for the toner and removing makeup from eyes if necessary)
  4. exfoliating scrub
  5. soft washcloth
  6. moisturizer (lightweight)
  7. eye serum
  8. sunscreen (SPF45)
  9. lotion
  10. clear shampoo
  11. leave-in conditioner w/argan oil

Again, I'm not affiliated with any products or companies related to beauty, so I don't care what you use. I like Clinique because their products seem gentle on my skin and they don't animal test or use animal byproducts. But that's my preference. You can get stuff from the grocery store wherever you live that meets the minimum standards I set forth here and can spend a minimum amount on them. If you like your products scented or with glitter or whatever it is you like, go for it. The magazine had all sorts of suggestions, but there's no need to spend a bundle on basic tasks of living.

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