When I think about the topic of "anti-aging," my mind often goes back to an exchange I had with my mom in high school. I was running out the door for soccer practice on a sky-blue day and admittedly ignoring my mom's request to put on sunscreen. On my way out, she handed me the bottle and said, "You'll thank me when you're older," but instead of putting it on, I threw it in my gym bag with my cleats and neglected to apply it the rest of the day. That evening, I came home with a bright-red sunburn that made me miserable for the next few days. I knew sunburns equate to skin damage, but I never really thought I'd have to face wrinkles or repercussions one day.
While I can't undo the sun damage of my past, fortunately, there's so much more information and so many more products around now, like OleHenriksen's Three Little Wonders, that address anti-aging than there was when I was a teenager. In recent years, I've used this information to take a more holistic approach to fighting the most common causes of aging: inadequate sleep, a lax skincare regimen, bad foods, and lack of exercise. Here's how I make sure to incorporate small, age-fighting changes into my daily routine—so that I can age as gracefully as my (sunscreen-wearing) mom has:
1. I eat super-foods: Warding off aging starts from the inside, out. It's almost impossible to look youthful if you don't take care of yourself from within, so I've made a concerted effort to incorporate more superfoods into my diet. Every morning, G makes a smoothie for the three of us that includes not only fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants (strawberries, blueberries, kale), but also superfood powders like maca, acai, and spirulina. Not only is my skin visibly brighter now but I've also noticed a noted difference in how I feel.
2. I drink lots of water: Long-time readers know, I've struggled for most of my life with drinking enough water, but buying a good water bottle (which I included in my Best Buys of 2016 post) completely changed my relationship with water. I now keep it with me at all times, which serves as a visual reminder to stay hydrated, which in turn keeps my skin looking plumper and tighter.
3. I buy as much as possible at the farmers' market: While Geoffrey and I don't have perfect diets by any means (I live for candy), buying as much food as possible at our weekly neighborhood farmers market ensures that the foods we're cooking at home are fresher and therefore more nutrient-dense. Plus bringing home a basketful of fresh fruits and vegetables each Sunday makes me all the more excited to cook with them and incorporate them into our meals.
P.S., We're doing a separate post tomorrow specifically on our current approach to food, so look out for that.
1. I lay my clothes out the night before: Since my thrice-weekly hip-hop class starts at 7 AM, I usually wake up before Geoffrey and try to be as quiet as possible when I'm leaving. So that I don't have to even think about what I'm wearing or turn on our closet light, I set out everything I need in the bathroom the night before. That way, all I have to do is slip out of bed, throw on my workout clothes, and head out the door with minimal effort (which can feel like maximum effort at 6 in the morning).
2. I have a friend meet me: For weekend classes, I have girlfriends meet me there which not only holds me responsible for going, but also makes me excited to go. Lesson learned: If you love a workout, you'll find far fewer excuses for skipping it than if you dread it.
3. I book classes ahead of time: Maintaining a consistent schedule that I can rely on—twice during the week and on Sundays—trains my body to look forward to and expect workouts so that I don't even have to think about whether I'm going to a class or not. If it's Sunday morning, I know I'm going to dance—end of story.
1. I make sure to wash my face immediately after dinner: Since I never had any severe issues with acne, I used to think that meant I didn't have to wash my face before bed, but what I didn't know was all of that built-up grime I was sleeping in was making my pores and cells work overtime. Now, I wash my face immediately after dinner (when I delay doing it, I'm much more susceptible to skipping it) so my pores can breathe without makeup, and my skin is happier because of it.
2. I use OleHenriksen's Three Little Wonders: I use a variety of products to target different skincare concerns, whether that's dryness or dullness, but when it comes specifically to anti-aging skincare, I've come to rely on OleHenriksen's Three Little Wonders (our entire team is a fan of their products). They recently re-released their same formula in beautiful, updated packaging and the three-step process, which includes a serum, gel, and moisturizer, is so powerful that it can be used in place of other, more general skincare products. What I love most about it is that it includes steps that target aging in both your daytime and nighttime routine. I apply the Truth Serum in the morning for brighter, firmer skin since it's packed with vitamin C and collagen, then use the Night Transformation Gel at night, which targets and smooths fine lines while I sleep. The moisturizer can be used at any time of day to refine skin tone with the help of antioxidants, but I usually wear it under my makeup since it's so light-weight. The combination of the three has left my skin looking noticeably more youthful and radiant.
3. I sleep with a silk pillowcase: I've mentioned it before, but I always sleep with a silk pillowcase. They're nonabrasive and hypoallergenic so they're more gentle on your skin, which translates to fewer wrinkles and rough patches.
1. I've cut down on drinking during the week: Contrary to what I believed most of my life, alcohol is a stimulant, so while a glass of wine may help me wind down and fall asleep more easily, it's also likely to wake me up in the middle of the night or interfere with the quality of my sleep. As a result, Geoffrey and I have stopped drinking during the middle of the week, which makes an end-of-the-week cocktail feel that much more special.
2. I stop watching TV an hour before bed: I'll admit that this is difficult, but Geoffrey and I now pre-record our favorite shows that go on later in the evening, so that we can watch them the next night at a reasonable time and spend the hour before bed talking or reading. (I only make an exception on Mondays when The Bachelor is on because it's so much more fun to watch it live.)
3. I try to go to sleep every night at the same time: Thanks to our human alarm clock (Sloan), we have no problem waking up every morning at the same time (6:30 AM, on the dot), but now Geoffrey and I also try to go to bed at the same time (10 PM), which keeps our sleeping schedules more consistent.
What do you do in your life to target anti-aging? I'd love to hear below.