As we approach or even pass the mid-point of our lives, we are thankful to still be here, enjoying life – it is a privilege denied to many. I am not a fan of “anti-aging” since I think we should embrace our wisdom (and maybe even a few wrinkles) and enjoy to the full whatever stage of life we currently inhabit.
Aging well, that is a different matter – we don’t want to give up on looking as good as possible! These days, 60 is the new forty-something. Just look at a few naturally beautiful celebrities, such as Lauren Hutton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren, who definitely have lines, wrinkles and even grey hair, but look naturally youthful and beautiful.
Gracefully aging while maintaining a youthful attitude requires putting forth a little effort, incorporating habits like healthy eating and regular exercise for long-term benefits such getting (or keeping) your weight within healthy range, having strong bones and the ability to keep active as long as possible.
Happily there are are a few “immediate gratification” strategies to institute if you want to look younger while you patiently wait for the many benefits from long-term lifestyle changes to kick in!
STOP doing the following, if you want to quickly and effortlessly look younger than your years!
1. Dying your hair a dark, too blonde or unnatural colour: Shades like solid black or bright red that do not flatter come to mind. The harsh contrast will emphasize lines, wrinkles and sagging in your face. A shade slightly lighter than your natural colour or some subtle highlights looks best, unless you are brave enough to embrace the silver highlights mother nature has given you!
2. Powder cosmetics: These products cake and seriously highlight any lines you have in your face. Dewy finishes work best, but search out products without toxic components endemic to the beauty industry, such as fragrance, phthalates and parabens. Check out this site to see how your personal care products stack up!
3. Wearing baggy (or too snug) clothes and painful shoes: You may have gained a few pounds around the middle, but don’t resort to oversized apparel which will make you look bigger and sadder than you are. Going the opposite direction and buying things that are too snug is also a bad idea. Don’t worry about the label size – try things on and choose what skims your curves. Wearing all one colour (a dress or matching pants/top) with a contrasting jacket over that subtracts pounds.
A comfortable wedge or platform shoe that adds a little height helps too. Uncomfortable shoes, despite being pretty, are aging, since the pain will show in your face. Eventually, the damage to your feet will cause that frown to be permanently etched on your brow.
4. Slouching and looking glum: Good posture subtracts 5-10 pounds. A big smile lights up your face, distracts from lines and makes you look much younger. Need I say more?
5. Glittery eyeshadow: Looks garish (especially in a bright colour) and shows off those wrinkles. The older you get, the better you look with minimal makeup.
6. Neglecting to exfoliate and moisturize: Exfoliation gets rid of dead skin cells on the surface that make your complexion look dull and dry. Regular scrubs will enhance cell turnover, encourage collagen growth and give you a healthy glow, due to enhanced circulation. Dry brushing (or just use a dry facecloth) toward the heart is a healthy practice for the body – it is also beneficial for your immune system!
I like to use natural plant oils over slightly damp skin as a facial moisturizer. Argan and rosehip oils are good, non-comedogenic choices. For the body, coconut oil or olive oil applied after a bath or shower works great and is very inexpensive. If you like a scent for your body moisturizer, consider adding a drop or two of 100% pure, organic essential oils, some of which also have therapeutic benefits – just mix between your hands.
7. Drinking tea or coffee instead of water: Both of the first two options are dehydrating. Sure, you can have your cup of caffeine, but make sure to also drink a lot of water to plump up the appearance of your skin. A pinch of sea salt in the water will help your cells to hold onto it as will sipping it slowly throughout the day instead of guzzling.
8. Neglecting to add a little colour: Although I get the appeal of wearing all black or neutrals (so easy to coordinate) there are a lot of benefits from wearing some colour near your face (a pretty top or scarf, especially in lipstick shades like pink or coral) will reflect into your skin and give you a brighter, more vibrant appearance. Applying a little non-toxic lip colour or blush will also perk up your look but make sure to choose something with natural, clean ingredients – click here to find a database to see if your cosmetic product measures up!