Not long ago, to bless our oldest child, I drove her Honda Civic to the carwash down the street.
So there I was, popping quarters into the pay-to-vacuum machine, crashing her floor mats together like cymbals, and enthusiastically q-tipping her coin holder slots. Soon after, a twenty-something boy parked next to me.
When the vacuum’s roar petered out, he sauntered over. “’Sup?”
I pointed to myself. “You talking to me?”
“Yeah. What’s up?”
I proceeded to tell him I was spiffing up my daughter’s car before she headed back to college in the morning.
He backed away slowly. “Cool. Take it easy. Ma’am.”
Later that night I told the story to the girls.
Sandwich-Child said, “Ew! That makes you a cougar.”
“Actually, this is good news for us,” First-Born declared. “It means we’ll age well.”
Not to be unkind, but if you saw my mother, you would know I cannot attribute my skin’s elasticity to genetics. Have you ever seen the breed of dog called a Sharpei? Enough said.
For years now, in order to avoid Sharpei-syndrome, I’ve been collecting how-to-age-well tips.
I’m more than happy to share.
- Next time you change your sheets, slip your pillow into something a little more comfortable. Namely, a satin pillowcase. Your facial skin will thank you. (And if you have curly hair, so will your curls.) The bonus is, if you have a hot flash, when you flip your pillow to the cool side, satin is way cooler than cotton.
- While we’re talking about bedtime, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends sleeping on your back to avoid premature facial aging.
- Guzzle water. It flushes out toxins and plumps up cells. I drink at least one quart a day and I’m trying to work up to two. To improve the taste, drip in 2-4 drops of essential oil. I like lemon. Tony Bear prefers orange. If you feel sluggish, try peppermint.
- When you sip cold drinks, if you’re prone to mouth or lip wrinkles, don’t use a straw. Repetitive pursing is a problem.
- Eat quality food. Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles and author of Feed Your Face told Prevention.com, “There’s a growing body of research showing that diet really does affect your complexion. What you eat can affect your hormone balance, cause acne, and create or lessen inflammation, which is associated with skin aging.”
- If you smoke cigarettes, stop. It’s bad for your skin due to free radical damage plus the repetitive pursing of the lips.
- Whiten your teeth. According to TheDailyMail.com, whiter teeth can make you look five years younger. If like me, you love coffee, tea, or red wine, chances are those beverages have discolored your teeth. I am currently using Crest 3D White Strips to brighten my smile. However, a friend swears the WalMart EQUATE brand of whitening strips works even better.
- Did someone say “red wine?” Like smoking, drinking is a no-no. “Alcohol is actually one of the worst, most aggressive compounds to destroy your skin,” says New York nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez, in an article on Vogue.com. “I always joke with my patients, ‘If you want to get older, go ahead and drink!’” If you’re not ready to cut alcohol out altogether, Rodriguez suggests cutting back “to once or twice a week—the lower the intake, the lower the damage to your skin.”
- To make sure your whitened teeth stay bright, invest in a Sonicare toothbrush. I’ve used one for over a decade at the recommendation of my dental hygienist.
- Invest in a Clarisonic Facial Cleansing Brush. It gets your face so much cleaner than soap and your fingers, and supposedly, it prepares your skin to receive subsequent skincare products. Using the Clarisonic has greatly reduced the number of breakouts I experience.
- Pamper your face with the best skincare products you can afford. I suggest an excellent cleanser, moisturizer, and eye cream. In my opinion, you can cut corners price-wise on your cleanser. It’s only on your face a few seconds so it doesn’t need to cost a million dollars. I like Dr. Bonner’s Tea Tree Oil Soap. Another way to save money is to use coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil to remove your eye make-up. I’ve done this for over 12 years with no ill effect.
- My #1 beauty tip is protect your skin from the sun. When our kids were younger and we went to the pool every day in the summer, hyperpigmentation spots showed up on my cheekbones. I took one look and upped my SPF number. And added a wide-brimmed hat. And made sure to always wear cute sunglasses. Thankfully, the dark spots have not returned.
So there you have it, all my beauty knowledge in one place. Do not delay. Begin right away. And if you have skincare secrets of your own, please share them down below in the comments.