Ever notice how some people seem to be aging backwards? The more mature they get, the better they look. I’ve seen friends blossom from ‘cute’ girls to absolutely gorgeous women, even after hitting their mid-thirties, or even after having two children. I also have a boss who seems to have mastered the art of freezing time because she does not look a day older than 30 (and no, I am not sucking up). It also drives me crazy when strangers guess a friend’s age at 21 or attempt to card her at a bar when she’s actually five years my senior! All this pressure to keep looking young has prompted me to ask these women how they cheat aging. Here are their top answers:
- Laugh. Whoever said laughter is the best medicine was right on the money. Most people who appear ‘young’ have a fun, carefree attitude and have an amazing, gut-wrenching, beautiful laugh. They find reasons to celebrate, enjoy the little things, and even manage to laugh at themselves from time to time. Notice– they’re always smiling, with a sparkle in their eye, almost as if they’re just waiting for something great to happen. And with an attitude like that, great things always do come around. The best part? No wrinkles and frown lines!
- Sleep. Normally people who lack sleep are cranky and walk around with an ominous storm cloud over their heads. This happens to me all the time—and being short fused makes me feel like a gargoyle. So get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, preferably starting 10 pm which is about the time your organs get to work and you should be at rest. Then you’ll wake up feeling peachy, have a spring in your step, and generally be so chipper people will want to strangle you. And of course, the higher your energy level, the ‘younger’ you seem.
- Choose your fuel. If you want to keep your skin supple, your hair strong and shiny, your teeth healthy and all that jazz, you’ve got to start eating better. Choose food that’s as fresh as possible, with high nutritional value and fiber. None of that processed chemical junk and super fried stuff. And instead of wasting calories on sugared drinks, wash it all down with 2-3 liters of water a day. Your body will function better, you’ll feel better nourished, and yes it will show in the clarity of your skin, hair, teeth and nails.
- Maintain anti-oxidants and supplements. Sometimes if you’re on a tight schedule or on a diet, you really can’t get a full balanced meal down pat and your body needs more than the bare minimum to function. So make sure you get the dose you need from vitamins and supplements- aside from the usual multivitamins, you might also want to take grapeseed oil, or fish oil supplements, vitamin E, Co-enzyme Q10, Collagen, or Lutein for better results. Mostly it shows in the suppleness and moisture in your skin, and a more active, healthy, flushed look as opposed to dry and gray. Check out the aisles at Healthy Options, for sure you’ll find a lot of problem fixers there.
- Watch your weight. Yes I am all for embracing beauty, regardless of size. But don’t use that as an excuse to be lazy about keeping trim and just letting go of it all. When you shed off weight, not only can you fit better into fun and fashionable clothes, you also move better and have less aches and pains. Ok so you may never go back to your high school size (especially in the chest thighs and hips parts), but you can still create a rocking bod thru activities like yoga, dance, running and so on. The next time you want to gobble up that slice of cake, think of how good it would feel to slip into a pair of skimpy shorts and know you look amazing. Just like Kate Moss said—‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’.
- Relax. You hardly ever see kids worked up into knots over something, do you? They’re either enjoying something with wild abandon, or momentarily upset. So relax—everything is bound to work out as it should. You cannot possibly control everything, so why beat yourself up over all sorts of things? All you really need to do is try your best at whatever it is you are doing, and let go. If things don’t go your way, perhaps there was a valuable lesson to learn from the process or something better hiding in the wings. Have faith in divine providence and enjoy life.
- Stay current. Sometimes the reason people age prematurely is caused by their unwillingness to learn new things. Embrace change, it’s good for us! After all, if nothing changed, there would be no butterflies. So be open to new possibilities, try out new hobbies, wear new trends, listen to new music, read things from up and coming authors, and don’t shun gadgets by saying you’re ‘not techie’—the future is here and the faster you adapt to it, the better you can enjoy feeling young.
- Keep a sense of adventure. I saw this picture on Facebook with a caption that read—‘the moment you stop doing things for fun is the moment you start getting old’. Never let go of your sense of adventure, of that desire to explore and discover. There’s still so much to learn, so much to do, so much to see! So many people feel more ‘responsible’ and ‘grown up’ by saying ‘no’ to a lot of things…spur of the moment road trips, culinary adventures, learning to sail, chopping your hair short, winking back at a cutie. Remember you’re never too old for anything (except maybe a hot pink micromini when you’re in your 40s and up). Don’t just live a little—live a lot!
- Nourish your inner child. So you feel like having a slumber party (with matching pillowfight) with friends. Or you suddenly feel the urge to go to the zoo, make your own MTV, eat Milo straight from the bag, have ice cream in lieu of dinner, wear your pajamas and watch cartoons the whole day, cry on your mommy’s shoulder, or dance on a table. By all means, indulge and give yourself a break! Acting like a child does not mean you are immature or irresponsible, it just means you know how to let your hair down and be goofy once in a while. Nobody thinks a spinsterish uptight biddy is any fun!
- Cream it. If all else fails, use products! Don’t be lazy to maintain your skin. Wash your face with a mild cleanser like Cetaphil or Celeteque, then apply toner, then a regenerating serum like Anew (from Avon), then an SPF moisturizer. At night, switch the SPF with a night cream. Depending on your skin’s condition you can also use products with Vitamin C, licorice, aloe vera, or Retinol like Skin Doctors, Murad or Kiehl’s. Then go for regular facials, diamond peels, Iontophoresis, or twice a year RFs and Fraxel at your favourite skin center.
So girls, here’s to turning back the clock! And hopefully this time next year, I’ll be eighteen again.
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