How to Look Younger and Enjoy the Age You Are
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
Remember the evil queen who said this in the fairytale Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs? Dare I suggest that we have all, slowly over time, become this very character?
In a culture that emphasises beauty and youthfulness, women are becoming increasingly fearful of aging and increasingly discontented with their appearance. Sometimes the case is just that we feel older than we look, and thankfully, there are some small things that we can do to maintain a level of youthfulness over time.
A study was conducted where people of varying ages were asked to study photographs of people pulling different facial expressions. They were asked to estimate the age of the person in the picture. Those with neutral facial expressions produced the most accurate results in terms of estimating their age. But interestingly enough, those with fearful expressions were thought to be older than they actually were, and those who were smiling and appeared to be happy were thought to be younger than they really were!
Ever hear your mom tell you as a kid “if you cross your eyes your face will get stuck like that”? It turns out she was somewhat right. Frowning and keeping an angry face will create grooves in your skin that will eventually become permanent. So try to keep a calm face wherever you can. (This makes me want to chuckle, as I am one with a very expressive face!)
If you are conscious, consider investing in a teeth whitening kit to enhance your smile and start sharing grin, as much as you can!
Eat more green and red vegetables. Vitamin K, which can be found in kale and other greens, helps blood to coagulate and therefore reduces the impact of bruising. Meanwhile lycopene in tomatoes provides huge protection against UV rays.
Eat more oily fish like salmon. Oily fish is rich in DMAE – try to say this word, I dare you – dimethylaminoethanol. This is responsible for boosting muscle tone, and it’s one of the main ingredients in skin creams aimed at mature women. Eating oily fish just twice a week will give you the same benefits as using one of these expensive face creams.
Grapes contain sorbitol which gives grapes, pears, plums and berries their sweetness. Sorbitol is a humectant – a substance that attracts water when applied to the skin, helping it absorb and maintain moisture.
Cleanse & Moisturize
Cleansing and moisturizing are important when it comes to maintaining youthful skin. Making this a habit both protects your skin and keeps it healthy. Avoid using regular soap as it has a drying affect on the skin. The goal is to maintain moisture and keep skin look supple and fresh. Avoid skin toners with an alcohol base and invest in a good day and night moisturiser.
It is also important to make sure that you don’t switch skin care products too often. It takes 21 days for a skin cell to be made and work its way to the top of the epidermis. A new cream takes at least 4 weeks to work, so don’t give up too quickly when trying a new product.
Drugstore brands can be trusted. Anti-aging creams at drugstores have the same active ingredients as those found in Olay, Neutrogena and Aveeno and cost a fraction of the price. Using a good firming serum or eyelid lift, gives temporary but good results. It reduces lines and puffiness and is as good as a facelift!
Frame Your face
Interestingly enough, maintaining your eyebrows can make a huge difference to your appearance and perceived ‘age’. Keeping your brows well groomed draws attention to your eyes and changes the way your entire face looks. It’s not expensive and it only takes 15 minutes. I can’t promise that it won’t be a little sore though.
Care for Your Hair
As we age, our hair thins. Using volumizing styling products can make a big difference. Also, try lighter colors in your hair, as this will create the illusion of volume.
Exercise holds a multitude of positive results in terms of youthfulness. It builds maintains muscle tone, helps you to sleep better, helps you with coordination, flexibility and strengthens bones, lungs and muscles. So keep active as the years go by.
However, be careful not to overdo it at the gym. Thinner and athletic people over 40 tend to look facially older than they really are, compared with out of shape people. This is because they have very little fat under their skin. It is healthy to exercise but it won’t make you look younger if you become extreme about it!
With all of this said and done, it is also important for us to learn how to be content with the age that we are. Stress will only add to the problems after all. Let’s face it, there is nothing we can do to stop the process of aging. It happens to everyone!
Beauty is Beyond Physical
Beauty is more than how we look. It’s deeper than our skin. We have heard this before, but in honesty, some of the most beautiful older women are those that are happy, and smile a lot, they’re open and engaging.
Define Your Age
Just because you turned 50 doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to act a certain way and become old overnight. You can define what each age means to you and decide the type of individual you imagine yourself being at age 40, 50, 60 and beyond. Change the way you experience age and enjoy the different spaces you find yourself in over the years.
Enjoy marriage, friendships, relationships, children, and becoming a grandmother. These are the things that, in the end, make up your identity.
Become Your Own Beholder
Your self-image is dynamic. It is something internal that you can work to build yourself. The way you see yourself should hold all the weight when it comes to defining what beauty truly is. Stop allowing others to decide for you what is acceptable in beauty standards.
Laugh lines and wrinkles should not cause fear or symbolize loss of value and beauty. They should remind you of the joy you shared with loved ones, the worry you felt over loved ones and the wisdom you shared with them as you grew together.