Is the goal today to look like we haven’t aged at all? Do we all really want to stay forever young? I understand the desire to age gracefully and to create healthy habits in order to have a long and fulfilling life, but at what point do we take those simple desires and distort them into something else? Is there a line that can be crossed? Yes, I believe so, but I realize that line is different for each individual.
I turned 41 in December in of last year and I have fully come to the realization that I am going to have to start putting forth a little extra effort when it comes to staying fit and looking fresh. Long gone are the days of skipping lunch and going for a quick jog to bring my weight in check. I have to make more changes more often to drop that extra few pounds. Also, long gone are the days of a quick splash of water on my face, light moisturizer and lip gloss before I head out the door. My beauty routine was once very low maintenance and it has definitely upgraded over the years.
I have watched people in entertainment get face-lifts, lip injections, butt implants, Botox, fillers, lipo-suction, permanent make-up and lets not forget the many different skin care products and diet and exercise programs promoted. It would be easy to spend every last penny of your paycheck on just looking good. It is also scary to look at some celebrities who have completely ruined themselves with the massive efforts to fight age. So how do you really make the choices of what is worth investing in for long term benefits without ending up looking like a completing different person or a freak of nature?
I am a researcher and like to study, I will devour articles from multiple websites, magazines and other resources to find out information on different beauty products and procedures that interest me. I have come to find a routine that works and I feel comfortable with. First of all, sleep, exercise and water are your best friends no matter what age you are. Getting a good nights sleep, drinking a large glass of water upon waking and 30 minutes of cardio is how I start my day. Then I jump into a warm shower, loofah & shave and after, I always moisturize. My skin care routine involves eye cream, moisturizer, and vitamin C oil for the day and eye cream, moisturizer and Retin A cream at night. I use a very light cleanser that removes my makeup and a toner to help prepare the skin before I apply the anti-aging products. I also brush my teeth twice a day and floss every night. Yes, I believe dental care can effect the aging process.
I drink lots of water and try to fill my plate with mostly fruits and veggies three times a day. I have recently cut out between meal snacks because I tend to over eat when snacking. I do eat meat but mostly fish, I love eggs and I try to moderate my dairy and grains. I definitely see the benefits of a vegetarian diet when it comes to health and anti-aging but I love life and want to enjoy and not feel deprived in any area so I just practice balance and moderation. I do drink alcohol, but I am perfectly capable of having a couple of beers with pizza or a burger and be done. A glass of wine with piece of fish and a salad is one of my favorite dinners! Moderation is key!
When it comes to cosmetic procedures I am very new to this area. I like the idea of looking fresh, but still natural and recognizable. My doctor has explained that a great skin care routine is important along with diet and exercise and plenty of water, but at the end of the day you are still going to have laugh lines and wrinkles if you are enjoying life and spending any amount of time outdoors in the sun. I love to be out in nature and as a natural redhead I have my share of little freckles and some degree of sun damage and wrinkles. The Retin A process is great for peeling away the top layer of dead skin and after about of month of using this product you can see a more glowing and less lined and wrinkled face looking back at you in the mirror. However, there are some deep forehead lines that were still hanging around and the only real fix is Botox.
I have not yet had my first Botox injection, but I plan to get it done in about a month. I am focusing on just the forehead lines. The doctor has explained that Botox just freshens your look, but when people start getting fillers they can start changing their look. The decision to schedule Botox was not an easy one for me, I have contemplated it for some time and I admit, not only do I have fears of a reaction but I don’t want to seem superficial or shallow. I know looks are not everything, but the end of the day, this is the only face and body I will ever have so I am going to invest in it.
Honestly, I like the way I look and do not want to completely transform my face. Taking pride in how you look should start with your own happiness and self-esteem, but it can also be good for your relationship with your significant other. When you take good care of your body with a healthy diet and exercise, along with taking extra steps to be beautiful for yourself, it is naturally going to cause your significant other to notice and appreciate the effort, maybe even inspire them to also be at the top of their game.
Men should invest in good skin care as well…a good moisturizer and eye cream really is not something to be embarrassed about. I get a crazy response from some of my guy friends or guys I have dated when I suggest something they think is girly. If you tan before a vacation, use skin care products, teeth whitener, getting a manicure and pedicure, use hair products…all of that is really no different than going to the gym on a regular basis. A man who puts a little extra effort into himself is just sexy, trust me, farmers and cowboys need face moisturizer just like the rest of us!
I often write about good character, self-improvement and learning to grow and be a better person. I think a well rounded individual understands the key to a fulfilling life is to be happy with the inside and the outside…the whole self. It is not a bad thing to invest in your outside as long as you are making efforts to invest in your heart, soul and the betterment of relationships and the world around you as well. We all deserve to look and feel beautiful!
With love, health and beauty for all…