As a woman who is just a few weeks away from turning 36 years old, I somehow still have the face and body of a 23 year old. Some of this is due to sheer luck and genetics, but a lot of it is due to the care I have taken with my skin. I get asked all the time how I am able to stop myself from aging at a normal pace. I normally don’t share these secrets, because I like to hoard them all to myself and keep the advantage over everyone else [insert evil laughter here]. But since I’m feeling rather generous today, I’ve decided to go ahead and let my readers in on my anti-aging secrets. So pull out a pen and paper and take notes:
1. No Kids
You would think that this one would be a no-brainer, but there seems to be a large abundance of women who seem to have no idea how badly pregnancy and childbirth–especially multiple pregnancies and childbirths–can utterly destroy your body and youth. And it’s not only the pregnancies and childbirths that can destroy your youth, but the constant stress and fatigue from raising children also wreaks havoc on your body and appearance. A lot of women report getting facial wrinkles only a few years after having children due to stress and fatigue. And then there’s the stretch marks, sagging lopsided breasts, and the sagging skin that can only be put back in place with surgery. I know this won’t go over well with women who have kids, but like it or not, not having any kids does keep you looking younger for longer.
2. No Junk Food
Most people know that eating unhealthy junk food makes you fat, but they don’t know that it also ages you faster. Any type of impurity you put into your body is going to have a negative effect on your body. That is why eating unhealthy foods full of sugar, fat, and preservatives not only slows your body down, but also causes you to age faster. The people who age the slowest are full on total vegans who go for decades without eating any kind of animal products and stick to eating nothing but fruits, vegetables, and natural juices. There is actually an elderly woman in Miami who is in her 70’s and yet she looks like she’s in her TWENTIES because she has been a vegan for most of her life. She’s married and people constantly mistake her husband for her grandfather!! Of course, it’s very difficult for most people to be a full-on vegan, including myself. I love to eat seafood and eggs. But I rarely ever eat junk food or fast food. I don’t eat cookies, snack cakes, or potato chips, and I cannot recall the last time when I ate at a McDonald’s or any other fast food place. Once in awhile I eat candy like Reese’s Pieces or gummy bears. My only major dietary downfall is that I have a terrible addiction to soda, which I have been working really hard to kick lately. I keep my refrigerator filled with cases of cold bottled water in order to entice me to drink more water. Drinking lots of water really IS the fountain of youth for your skin!!!
3. No Drugs, Smoking, or Alcohol
Here’s another no-brainer. Nothing will age you quicker than heavy smoking, alcohol, or drug use. This is a FACT. For a multitude of reasons other than trying to preserve my youth, I rarely ever drink alcohol, I have never smoked, and I have NEVER used illegal drugs. There were a few years when I heavily smoked hookahs when I went out to certain places, but after overdoing it one night, something suddenly happened to my brain and I am no longer able to smoke hookahs anymore. Just one or two hits from a hookah gives me instant headaches and nausea now, so I cant do it anymore. It’s probably for the best though, since that’s just one less bad habit that I’ll have now. But seriously, heavy drinking and drug use will age you faster than anything. I cannot tell you how many women I have met here in SoFla who are barely into their 20’s and yet already look like they are in their 40’s because of heavy drinking, smoking, and drug use. And not only will this shit age you faster than that “Jack” character played by Robin Williams, it can also easily KILL you. I’ve seen that happen to more than a few of my friends and acquaintances, too.
Again, this one should be a no-brainer. The more you exercise and work out, the more muscle tone and skin tightness you will have, and the younger you will look and feel. Just like with the elderly vegan woman who looks like she’s 25, there are women out there in their 50’s and 60’s who have exercised all of their lives and still look like they are in their 20’s. I go running all the time, and pole dancing is my favorite workout activity. Remember: The more muscle tone you have, the younger your body will look. This is one of the reasons why I’m into pole dancing, despite how many uptight Puritanical people disregard it as “slutty” and “scandalous”, because it is one Hell of a core workout and muscle building exercise!!! (P.S.: The muscular pole artist pictured above is 63 years old!!!)
5. Genes and Ethnicity
Yeah this one isn’t going to be much of a help to you, but it’s one of the reasons why I age slower than most people. I’m roughly 30-40% Native American, and just like with the Asians, Native American Indians do not show their age at all until much later in life. Back when I lived in Illinois, a young Vietnamese woman used to do my nails for me. She had a young daughter, and I assumed she was in her mid-twenties based on how young she looked. I was utterly shocked when she told me she was in her forties. The ethnicity that ages the slowest are Africans. The darker your skin tone, the more collagen you have in your skin, which is what allows you to stay looking young for longer. This is why I know so many African and Dominican black women in their 40’s who don’t have a single wrinkle on their face.
6. High Quality Skin Care Products
Another no-brainer and easy to do tip to keep yourself looking young is using high quality skin care products. You don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive products there are, but not all brands are equally as good, and you need to know which brands and products really work. So here is a list of the specific skin care products I use on a daily and weekly basis:
For daily face cleansing, I use Olay Pro X exfoliating cleanser. I’ve tried all kinds of different brands and products on my face over the years, but I’ve noticed that this particular formula of face wash works VERY well for my face. When I first began using it a few years ago, there was a very noticeable change in my skin’s appearance after only a few weeks of using this product. I had fewer lines under my eyes and on my forehead, and my skin tone was a lot more even. You can find this product at any store like Walmart, Target, or Walgreens, and it will cost you around $17-$20 for a bottle, depending on where you buy it from. I have to warn you, though, that this product will burn your face when you first begin using it. That’s because it does such a thorough job of exfoliating all of the dead cells and impurities from your skin. You can literally feel it working. So you’ll want to make sure to moisturize your skin and calm it down after using this face wash. After a few months of use, you will no longer feel any burning sensation when you use it. I also noticed that I began breaking out in acne pretty bad after I began using this product, because all of the exfoliating was bringing the crud in my pores to the surface. So I used Oxy 10 Spot Treatment to quickly zap the zits when they appeared.
For extra anti-aging defense, I also use the Olay Thermal Contour and Lift kit three or four times a week. I began using this product several years ago, and I absolutely LOVE it!!! The heated scrub acts like a skin polisher. As with the face wash that I use, the heated scrubbing cream in this kit will make your skin burn and tingle, but it will work absolute wonders for your skin. Years ago, I used to have noticeable “crater marks” on my cheeks from bad acne I had as a teenager. After several weeks of constant use of this product, the old acne craters on the sides of my face disappeared!!! Both sides of my face are now completely smooth and even. The smaller jar of purple cream that you put on your skin immediately after washing off the thermal scrub acts as a skin tightener and lifter. It’s like Botox in a jar. Seriously, out of all the anti-aging skin products I have ever used in my lifetime, THIS one ranks at the very top!! Unfortunately, I have not seen this product for sale in any stores for a few years now, so I have to order it online from Amazon or directly from the Olay website. Depending on where you order it from, this product will run you anywhere between $50-$80, but it’s worth every penny!!
It’s always recommended that you use a masque once every week or two in order to draw impurities out of your skin and fight skin fatigue. The White Clay Empreiente Masque from Lancôme Paris is my favorite. I’ve been using this for several years, and it was recommended to me by the specialists at the Lancôme beauty counter because I have always had very oily skin. This masque works wonders for my skin that other masques don’t seem to do. When I use this masque, it literally sucks all of the impurities and toxins out of my skin. After I wash it off, I feel like I have brand new skin on my face….it looks and feels noticeably different!! I like to use this masque once a week or whenever my face looks and feels tired, because it perks me right back up! Lancôme is not a cheap brand, and you can only get this from a Lancôme beauty counter or their direct website, so a tube of this clay masque will cost you about $40. But again, it’s worth every penny. Of course, Lancôme has a variety of masques in different formulas for different skin types, so you should probably consult a Lancôme product specialist before choosing one. While the white clay masque works great for me, it may not be the best formula for someone else.
In order to keep your skin looking young, it is imperative that you moisturize, moisturize, MOISTURIZE!!! Keeping your skin moisturized is especially important if you’re using extreme exfoliating skin products like the ones I use above, otherwise your skin will become very dry and irritated. I prefer to use Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair for my moisturizer, since it both moisturizes my skin and works as an added defense against lines and wrinkles. This product comes in a day and a nighttime formula, but I just prefer to use the daytime formula at all times since it smells nice and has SPF 30 sunscreen in it. I put this on my skin after each time I wash my face, use a thermal scrub, or use a masque. You can find this product at any store like Walmart or Target, and it costs about $20 per bottle. I also noticed that I began breaking out in acne when I began heavily moisturizing my face, so I keep a little tube of Oxy 10 Spot Treatment handy to quickly get rid of any zits that pop up. Oxy Ten products have A LOT of benzoyl peroxide in them, so it clears the zits up in only a day or two.
7. High Quality Make-Up Products
This one is just as important as using high quality skin care products. And unfortunately, this one is going to cost you a good chunk of money. If you want your skin to look young and flawless when wearing make-up, then you’re not going to achieve that wearing make-up products from Walmart like Cover Girl, Revlon, or Maybelline. You’re going to have to go to a make-up counter or store like Estée Lauder, MAC, or Lancôme to achieve this. Back when I was doing beauty pageants in my 20’s, I used Estée Lauder make-up products. I bought a complete full set of make-up products from an Estée Lauder counter when I was preparing to compete in my first pageant at age 18, and it cost me $250 (luckily it was paid for by my pageant sponsors instead of me!). After moving to southern Florida four years ago, I switched to MAC make-up products after my personal make-up artist used them on me and taught me all of her tricks of the trade. When I put my MAC foundation on my face, I instantly look twenty years younger!! MAC is an expensive product, so it has taken me awhile to build up a complete collection, and whenever I go to the MAC store or beauty counter to stock up on products I’ve run out of, I usually end up paying a hefty price. But it’s worth the cost, because the results I get with MAC products as opposed to generic products like Cover Girl, Revlon, or Maybelline are incomparable. Using high quality makeup products makes a HUGE difference!!!! Since I have very oily skin, I use the Studio Fix formula for my foundation and powder. The powder can absorb up to ten times its own weight in oil, and the foundation stays in place without melting off (although I’ve noticed that the intense heat of the Florida sun CAN still make my make-up melt).
So there you have it, this is my bag of secret weapons to keep Father Time at bay. With consistent use and any luck, hopefully I’ll be able to still look like I’m in my 20’s after I reach my 40’s. 😉