Secret of Aging
The thing I probably get asked most about on my Instagram is what my 'secret' is to looking so young.
At 45 I have still not developed any wrinkles but I'd say my skin certainly isn't as taut as it once was, but so far I have somehow escaped having wrinkles.
I recently wrote on my Instagram about how I felt it was time to break up with the heavy black eye makeup I have worn for most of my life. I can't explain why is started to feel wrong on me, but it just did. It no longer flattered me in the way it used to so it was time to say goodbye.
I don’t believe in the ‘rules’ of ageing so often dispensed by magazines etc but there are decisions you just naturally begin to make when you reach your mid 30’s and beyond. Beauty or clothes that you once relied upon no longer feel right, and I think it’s those feelings that should guide you through ageing, even if it means saying goodbye to a favourite makeup look.
Ageing is such a personal thing and I don't think there are any real 'secrets' on how to do it well but I think there are ways you can look after your skin to make it last better. So I’m honestly not sure why I don’t look my 45 years, but here are the things I think have made the difference.
I have never smoked a day in my life. Not a single cigarette has ever passed my lips. I totally abhor it as both my parents smoked and, well, they both died of lung cancer but even as a teen I had no desire to try smoking. It poisons your entire body and is a huge contributor to ageing skin. So if you smoke, give it up.
I have never been a sunworshipper. At 20 I decided to always wear moisturiser with an SPF of at least 15, which is what I’ve done every day since then. Until this summer I never really sunbathed so my skin has had minimal exposure to sun so has been protected from UV rays for many years. My advice is enjoy the summer sensibly, as sunshine is good for you, but for all other seasons wear a moisturiser with an SPF30 every day.
I exfoliate my skin once a week with a fairly heavy duty exfoliator - St Ives Apricot Scrub. I have used this for about 15 years. It’s not for everyone, as it’s pretty harsh, but it really helps sort my skin out when it’s looking a bit dull. I have white bumps under my eyes which I’ve never been able to get rid off. It’s not milia but whatever it is the scrub helps make it slightly less visible. When I scrub I imagine any little wrinkles that are thinking about appearing are being scrubbed away!
I have the most oily skin imaginable. I’m not talking t-zone oily, I’m talking my entire face is oily and has been my whole life. So whilst oily skin is a curse for makeup, I think that’s contributed to keeping my skin smooth and wrinkle free. I have escaped any wrinkles or dry skin on my body too because my whole skin is naturally very well moisturised.
The secret no one wants to hear. My mum looked youthful in her 40’s, and had she not smoked she would have looked even younger. Her skin was plump and smooth with only fine lines around her mouth from smoking and some laughter lines as she was constantly laughing and smiling. My dad died when I was a teen so I don’t have the clearest recollection of what he looked like, but the few photos I have of him he looked quite old for his age, so I think I got mostly my mum’s skin DNA!
state of mind
I do feel that the phrase “you’re only as old as you feel” is absolutely true. I think our state of mind massively impacts upon how we look. For example, when you first fall in love with someone, when your heart literally lurches when you see them, I believe there is a perceptible physical change in you, especially in your face and body. You do actually glow. Well, I feel the same applies when you live your life youthfully. When you decide to do what you want to do regardless of your age, your body responds.
In the 90’s a Japanese author, Masaru Emoto, wrote about his believe on how positivity has a physical impact on the world around us. He did an experiment on water where he exposed a body of water to negative words and thoughts and a body of water to positive words, thoughts, music and prayers. He then froze both and the water which had been exposed to positivity created the most beautiful, ornate crystals compared to the water which had been exposed to negativity, which produced basic, bland crystals. I have no idea whether or not this would have happened anyway, but it’s a compelling thought.
Whether it was coincidence or not, I do believe that how you feel about ageing can have an actual impact on how you age.
These are the main factors I feel contribute to ageing well, for me anyway. There is no secret that works for everyone though. I think with ageing most of it is the hand you’re dealt but you can do some things to at least slow the process a little and make the best of your face and body.