In this age of Botox, vampire facials and tummy tucks, women have taken the concept of forever young to a whole new level. Women like Mo Abudu, Halle Berry, Sade Adu, to mention but a few in their 50’s and 60’s are giving women in their 20’s a run for their money and believe me most of them never paid a visit to DR 90210 if you know what I mean.
To join this league of ladies who have succeeded in aging so graciously, you need to work for it and earn it; don’t be deceived it is all about good genes. Overall, there are some things you definitely need to know and do, as early as when you are in your 20’s in order to age gracefully. It’s okay if you are way older than that, there’s no better time to start than now
First you need to identify likely problem areas and pamper them before they start to show. Ever heard the saying “Black don’t crack”? Well, it will definitely crack if you don’t take care of yourself.
Eye bags – Your face is the first thing anyone will notice about you when trying to determine your age, and the most prominent tell on your face is the presence of eye bags. These mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes is natural effect of aging. The tissues around your eyes, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken, normal fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear puffy. Sometimes they are simply caused by retention of water, due to high concentration of salt in the area. Although there are common quick fixes like placing a cool cucumber or a tea bag on your eyes, you should take the following long term and preventive measures earlier.
* Change your sleeping position- If you are not pregnant or have any medical condition that requires you to sleep on your side, switch and start sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated. This is important because this posture allows fluids to drain from your face. Use an extra pillow so that your head is at least a couple inches above your body.*
Catch up on your beauty sleep- You see why it’s called “beauty sleep”? An average person needs at least 8 hours of sleep. It is rather obvious that when you do not sleep well you get bags under your eyes, and the more often you get bags, the higher the likelihood of them getting permanent.
Skin on your hands and Feet
As you age, your natural supply of collagen (the protein in human body that holds the body together) reduces. Collagen apart from its several usefulness, helps plump up your skin, and as its supply reduces, it leaves your skin patched and it dries up and cracks. As the skin on your hands and feet are quite thin, the dryness gets very noticeable on them first. Most people pay too much attention to their face and not enough on their hands and feet and after you get fooled into thinking they are young, the hands and feet gives them away. There is only one way to avoid this, HYDRATE AND MOISTURIZE. Drink as much water as you can (my daily goal is 3Liters, don’t worry, you are no balloon, so you won’t burst) and keep your hands and feet as moisturized as possible. Keep a small bottle of Bio oil, shea butter or even your regular moisturizer in your bag and do touch ups during the day, don’t depend on only the morning and night ritual.
SKIN ON YOUR NECK THE FAMOUS TURKEY NECK /WATTLE
This reminds me of a character (someone please remind me of his name) in an old series I watched in my twenties Ally McBeal, who loved dating older women so he could touch their necks and feel their wattle- disgusting right!
Anyways, aint nobody got time for a Wattle, so to prevent the early onset of this you need to include your neck in your daily facial regiment and when moisturizing your neck, use upwards stokes. The use of sunscreen cannot be overemphasized, we black women always assume sunscreen is for whites and this is far from the truth. The sun screen breaks down collagen and elastin in your skin so you need to pay extra attention to your neck.
You should also do some targeted exercise such as the neck tilt and avoid any rapid weight loss program (losing more than 1kg per week) as this leaves you with flabby skin.
In addition to all of these, two major things that cannot be overemphasized are proper hydration, healthy diet and a fit and healthy lifestyle. If you can take care of your skin, most of your problem areas will be fine. So remember to take at least 2.5 liters of water in a day and stay active- walk, jog, join a gym, dance classes or simply always take the stairs.
You can look like any of the women in the picture above as you get older. The Choice is yours.