Monday, August 16, 2010

Skin Secrets

Poochie Close-up 3am, February 2010

I’m a long range planner. I have goals for ten years out. And I was thinking about how my skin would age back in high school. I'm not as OCD as it sounds, I hope. Part of that is because I grew up in Miami, FL but have exceedingly fair and sensitive skin. I had to be careful of it. And because of that and learning from a few things I’ve read, I think I’ve aged pretty well so far. I get a lot of surprised reactions when I say my age.

I’m 38 by the way.

So what have I learned and what regimen do I follow? How you age does have some genetic factors to it, but a lot of it is under your control. Start incorporating these tips now and I think you will go a long way to looking healthy and full of energy.

1. Wash your make-up off every night. No matter what kind of make-up you are using, it’s best to wash it off before you go to sleep. No matter how late I’ve been out or even if I was a bit tipsy, I’ve always washed my face. Mascara, which I love, is especially bad to leave on. It can cause your eyelashes to break and I’m very protective and vain about my lashes.

2. I wash my face with a mild soap, Cetaphil bars, and then tone with Thayer’s Rose Water Witch Hazel. Thayer’s has several versions of witch hazel but this is my favorite. It’s also great to refresh your skin in the morning or other times throughout the day. It’s not drying at all.

3. Always moisturize. I use an eye serum and face lotion or serum morning and night. I’ve never been fussy about the brand. As long as my skin reacted okay with it and it didn’t feel too goopy or smell weird, I used it. Freebies are a good way to test this out.

4. Don’t forget to moisturize your neck, chest and hands. These areas have delicate skin and age as well.

5. Avoid the sun! Yes, use sunscreen too, but frankly just stay out of the sun as much as you can, especially the 10am-3pm time period. Tanning is not your friend. And especially don’t use tanning beds; they are even worse than being outside. Invest in pretty parasols and bronzer. And make sure to get a full body check at your annual check-ups.

6. Drink lots of water. Water, water, water. Tea is good too.

7. Avoid coffee and alcohol. Coffee is very dehydrating. So is alcohol. And soda too. Especially if you are on a plane. Get the water. Skip the pricey drinks.

8. Don’t smoke. Not only can you get lung, throat, lip and tongue cancer, it’s a bitch on your face.

9. Never eat junky fast food like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, BK, Taco Bell, etc. Not only is this food devoid of nutrition, it also suppresses your immune system. Frankly, where your body is concerned: Garbage in, Garbage out. And that garbage is going to land right on your face. There are a ton of quick options out there that are delicious and healthy.

10. Eat vegan or raw. I haven’t been sick in years because I don’t eat meat, dairy, eggs or much processed food at all. But I do feel great, have great skin and never get an upset stomach. Nowadays its an easy switch. Great for you, the animals and the environment.

11. Exercise in moderation. It’s important to exercise but don’t get obsessive about it. There are even studies that show people have increased the amount of sag on their faces because of the high-stress repetitive impact that is generated in exercises like running. Better to walk or swim (although be careful of the drying chlorine!)

12. Don’t make yourself get too thin. Women’s bodies need to have some fat on them to be healthy. You know how celebrities are injecting fat into their face (duck face look). Yeah, that’s because they starve themselves thin their whole lives and then as your skin naturally loses fat their face looks hollow.

13. Don’t do unnecessary plastic surgery. That is all. It never works out. Just my opinion.

14. Use a humidifier if you live in a dry area or have the heater on in the winter. I also like to add essential oils to mine, which is a cool mist humidifier. The room smells great and I breathe easier at night. I even have a travel sized one for my office and hotel rooms and keep a mister in my purse all year round. I take hydration seriously.

15. Take care of your teeth. Nothing is as aging and painful as dental problems. Avoiding coffee and smoking will lesson the amount of staining. Get regular cleanings – maintenance is cheaper than pricey dental work down the road. Floss whenever you can. Use an electric toothbrush so you don’t scrub your gums away. Mine is a $20 model that I had to get after I was told I was, you guessed it, scrubbing my gums away. But I've never had a cavity!

16. Don’t pick at your face. Just back away from the magnifying mirror.

17. If you can, do yoga and meditation. I’ve read that 50% or more of the aches and pains people associate with aging is because they just don’t stretch. Also, sit on the floor at least once a day. The reason many people in the US can’t sit on the floor and then get up is because we all sit on these cushy couches and chairs all the time.

18. Sleep.

19. Try not to stress out. Enjoy the moment.

20. Be happy and fun-loving and your happy, youthful outlook on life will shine through.

There you go! My top 20 tips. What are your tips to looking great and staying healthy?


WendyB said...

My big thing has been sun avoidance too. Not sun protection, but avoidance. Of course, some people love outdoor sports and it's better to follow your passion than give it up for the sake of your skin!

Poochie said...

That's true! I've had many a burn spending all day snorkling and diving. I always got bored sitting on the beach but could spend all day swimming and diving and horseback riding.

lisa said...

Whew this is a pretty comprehensive list! I agree with a lot of what you've said here, but I just can't give up my morning cup of coffee. I'll drink that and then spend the rest of the day guzzling water like mad to re-hydrate. :P

Bronwyn said...

When I was 38 I was often mistaken by strangers for my 20yr old son's wife. I've been carnivorous all my life, never used moisturiser, smoked, and drank a lot of coffee. No sun though, just because I hate it, and I hardly ever wore makeup either, so I didn't need to take it off.

Then I stopped drinking coffee and gave up smoking and now at 53 I look at least my age.

Some people would deduce from this that smoking and drinking coffee kept me looking young, but being a sensible person I know perfectly well that it had as little to do with my looking young (very young) at 38 than most of your list of rules does for you.

Your skin is supposed to look young at 38; it's mainly the way you dress and your attitude that give people clues as to your age.

Avoid sun damage, yes, very important. For health as well as looks, same with smoking. The bad effects don't usually appear until you're a good bit older than 38 though. As for the rest of it - it's mostly genetics. You'll end up about as wrinkly as your parents are. The least wrinkly one if you're lucky.

From wikipedia: " […] studies have generally failed to support the common notion that ordinary consumption of caffeinated beverages contributes significantly to dehydration."

And anyway, tea also contains caffeine.

Midtown Girl said...

I have to say - this is a great list! I've always had a beauty routine but never wore makeup regularly like I do now, so washing the face every night is top on my list (as is moisturizing.

Excellent post & ps - I thought you were 28...!!!

Caroline said...

These are great tips! Besides yours .. I'm also a big fan of exfoliation. I recently purchased a Clarisonic which I absolutely love, but before that I'd exfoliate at least once a week. Thanks for sharing!!

Poochie said...

Caroline - I use proactive every once and a while so that has exfoliation in it. I do a brisk rub with my towel too.

MG - You are too sweet!

Bronwyn - Was that funny or akward?

Lisa - I never liked coffee so I don't miss it. And I'm very sensitive to caffine, especially bean caffines (coffee, chocolate, sodas)which I find different than leaf/tea caffine. That said, if I have iced tea at lunch I'm still awake all night!

Brandon said...

Absolutely love this post poochie. as a fair skinned guy who cannot go out into the sun this is like a beacon of how to stay and look healthy. Thanks

Brandon aka shoeboy

Poochie said...

Brandon, I was just talking about you!!!

Yes, these go for guys and girls.

; )

Glad you stopped by and hope to see you again in NYC next month.

TheShoeGirl said...

Beeee-otch. You and Wendy B I swear. I thought you were my age. I love it.

Valerie said...

That was a fun read! I like to exfoliate with alpha hydroxy peels once a week too. It helps to get rid of that first layer of dead skin cells without being as abrasive as scrubs.

Emily//The Lesser Panda said...

I found your post via links a la mode, great tips! I am definitely trying to practice a lot of the tips you wrote about actually..

queengilda said...

you're so lying, you can't be 38!!! *gasp* i'm 27 and STILL break out like crazy and visiting the dermatologist helps sometimes, and doesn't at other times. i've come to terms with my shitty skin. oh it also really makes me pleased that i get all shiny every 1.5 hours. totally makes my day. *boohoo*

Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow said...

I loved this, especially the sitting on the floor part ! I actually have a Oriental-style floor-seating arrangement in my living room. And a surgeon told me that people in countries where they sit on the floor don´t get all these back & leg problems like the people in the west do !

Dolls Factory said...

Loved your Links a la Mode on IFB
Love your blog , lets become fashionable blogger friends , lets follow each other.

Maybe you'll be interested in the FENDI GIVEAWAY I'm having on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Certainly agree with sun avoidance, in theory. But I can't deny that rush of good feelings after getting off that tanning bed! Not to mention that I hate it when I'm pasty. Oh, the immortal feelings of youth.

queengilda -- I would suggest Accutane. I struggled with terrible skin since adolescence, and was finally able to get on Accutane when I turned 26. If you are willing to go through the annoying monthly pee tests and very dry skin for three months, the end result is completely worth it. My family was amazed by how my skin cleared up. I have much less oil production than before, and haven't gotten a cystic blemish since. I still get little blemishes, but now like a normal person and not every week (or day).