About seven years ago, I was told that if I wanted to have a “youthful” look all of my life, I would have to start early.
Now, I have good skin as it is (thank you genetics!), but I also have a fondness for sunshine, fresh air and packed schedules.
This means that no matter the season—my skin is forced to go through a lot. (It’s attached to my body—it doesn’t exactly have a choice!)
Right before I turned 21, I moved out to Los Angeles. There, I was exposed to a different kind of atmosphere—much drier, and sometimes more dense, than that of the east coast mountains I was used to.
I was sitting in a hair salon, getting my sun-damaged, split-ended hair worked on, when I heard the same mantra: To obtain youthful beauty, I had to start now.
We’ve all heard this—whether we have paid attention, subconsciously or consciously. The ads scream it—infomercials tell us their three a.m. stories, the supermodels stand behind their statements, tips and tricks, and the magazines show us the latest and greatest products.
We are virtually fed this idea of beauty, all the time.
But it’s more than just a mantra. It’s more than just worrying about how we’ll stay young forever. It’s about listening to our bodies, listening to our skin and taking care of ourselves.
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Out of everything that the media feeds us—what society feeds us about idealistic standards of beauty, fashion and complexion—this may be the most beneficial thing.
We, naturally, are supposed to retain water—this shows the most in our skin.
When we’ve been eating healthy and drinking lots of water, our skin responds—particularly in our faces. Dark circles disappear, some of the wrinkles fill out, some of the dark spots might fade and our face becomes fuller—in a good way, complete with a natural glow.
But most of the time, we’d never know it. We don’t know that it’s how our skin is supposed to look, because we tend to run ourselves ragged.
I am just as guilty of this as anyone else.
I run a business, via technology. I go to school, I travel across the country, and I spend hours in front of bright screens—editing or typing. I force myself to spend hours studying. I stay up too late and wake up too early.
At 21, this was taking a toll on my skin—not only could I see it, I could feel it.
So, I did what any other twenty-something might do—I went out and bought a skin care face-mask.
I also looked for other products—ones that would help rejuvenate my skin and help prevent those pesky little wrinkles that come from staying out in the sun too long.
After several hours of research, reading reviews, listening to friends’ recommendations and several days of hunting down the right products—serum, day cream, night cream and a twice-a-week face mask—I worked on making this whole skin-care thing a part of my daily routine.
I didn’t even get to the end of the week before I could see the difference.
Between taking 10 minutes out of my day—five minutes in the morning, and five minutes in the evening—and increasing my water intake, my skin looked at least three years younger by the end of a month.
Now, at almost 24, my skin looks and feels so much better than it did three years ago.
I sometimes get people asking me if I’m still in my teens! Occasionally even my driver’s license gets questioned, because my skin doesn’t reveal me as almost 24. (I’m okay with this.)
I’m also okay with “aging gracefully.”
I don’t need a miracle cure-all that allows me to remain forever young. But I do want to be able to take care of myself.
Of course, I care about what’s on the inside—but I also care about what’s on the outside, because it’s my body. It comes with me wherever I go, and it should be treated well—just as I like to be treated.
We don’t need to spend $700 a month to renew our skin. We don’t even need to spend $30. Just a simple skin serum alone does wonders. Just drinking water does wonders.
Take a moment and listen to your body—stop the hustle and the bustle.
Men, this goes for you too—put down your pen, step away from your keyboard, put down the file full of paperwork and close your eyes. Listen.
Listen to your body—listen to your skin. Take 10 minutes out of your day to look and feel better.
Your skin will thank you.