This time last year I was in the first trimester of my 3rd pregnancy. And as tradition has it, my mother and I embarked into tourist town to my favorite spa. Typically, as any creature of habit does, I get one of the same two treatments. Either a 90 minute hot stone massage or a traditional 90-minute Swedish - and always with aromatherapy (lavender me please). If you don't frequently partake in massage therapy (I normally get at least two per year), you may not know that most corporate spas will not perform massages during the first trimester. Such is the case at Blue Harmony. So. I opted for a facial. Only my second ever.
And unlike a massage where your therapist kindly offers you a choice between coconut or cucumber mint infused hydration and a warm smile at the end, a facial is a little different. There is a full-on sales pitch at the end. Now, before I get all my estheticians up in arms, I get it. I spent my fair share of time in sales. And while I think spa staff could give the sales pitch at checkout vs. in the facial room - before my hydration mask has dried, what I am about to discuss has nothing to do with sales. It's my skin, friends. My early 30's aging skin.
Throughout my life, people have told me I have great skin, and the truth is it's a trait of confidence for me. However, I am 32. And, well, just as nature would have it, I am, gasp, aging. I had already begun noticing the similarities of my laugh lines to my father's (I know exactly, what all my lines will look like at 50, BTW) earlier in the year - yet I was unaware until my facial that I am developing, not one but, two age spots! Every single product she suggested was some high maintenance, anti-aging, miracle in a bottle type of product. Oh, and expensive. Did I mention how pricey these products are?!
I didn't have the heart to tell her that my beauty routine over the recent years has dwindled down to a once over of coconut or grapeseed oil, a splash of warm water, with another light application of said oil. I walked out of that spa empty-handed. Albeit feeling slightly self-conscience about my skin. When in truth, even though I am little older, my skin has never looked better. And those age spots? If I didn't even know they existed until she pointed them out - I guarantee you no one else I come into contact with notices them either.
Today I am going to share with you five things you can do today to get the best skin of your life.
1. Ditch the Magnifying Mirror
Don't have a magnifying mirror? Ok. I know your jam. Let me rephrase this. Back away from your perch on the bathroom counter. Yes, the place you sit inches away from the mirror to inspect, pluck, and pop. Now, promise yourself to never sit in that spot ever again. No good will come from it. If no one else looks at your skin from this angel, why are you concerned with what you can see from this angle? Save that for the esthetician who performs your facials - which I do think hold value.
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Just plain 'ol H2O will do the trick, but if you’re not up to plain water just yet try some of the suggestions in this older post. Your skin (which is your body’s largest organ, BTW) is 64% water. Water plumps up the skin which will decrease the appearance of pores and wrinkles. Dehydrated skin looks older and more wrinkled – think of a raisin. The goal is to offer your body a slow and steady amount of water throughout the day. Taking in too much water at once will just lead to your body peeing it out, as it can only absorb so much at one time.
3. So NO to Added Processed Sugars
I debated with this one. There are so many things we can add or cut from our diet to nourish our skin from the inside out. However, as I mulled over which one would have the biggest impact on your skin today, it was easy. Hands down ditch as much added sugar as possible. Sugar causes inflammation, rapid aging by breaking down the collagen and elastin, and can exacerbate acne and rosacea. Too much sugar can also cause insulin resistance which can manifest as dark patches on the neck or in the creases of the skin.
4. Ditch 2-3 of your products
One of my positions, while I was merchandising, was in Cosmetics. I have never been a huge product junkie, and was BLOWN away by how many stinkin products there are. Ladies, you don't need them!! And in many cases, they do more harm than good long term. Your challenge today is to go and get 2-3 things in your makeup bag or bathroom cabinet and put them. In. The. Trash. They are toxic, expensive, and damaging your skin. The less I put on my skin, the healthier my skin has become. True Story.
Also, be picky about what you put on your skin. Our skin is ravenous and absorbs everything we put on it into our bodies. And guess what?! When something is absorbed topically, it goes directly into the bloodstream. Whereas when we eat something it will be detoxified a little by our liver first, but that is not the case when applying a product on the skin.
5. Become a Hat Lady
One of those daily products messing with your skin and body is your run of the mill facial SPF. Guys, unless you're going to be outside for hours, skip it. Instead, accessorize - which is so much more fun anyway, amirite? Pick up some big dark glasses and most importantly a hat. First and foremost it hides mom hair, in an instant -winning. But more importantly, it will give your face the cover it needs, without having to put harsh chemicals on your skin every. Single. Day. I also find I scrunch and crinkle my face less when wearing a hat and glasses - which helps decrease the development of new wrinkles.
Last but not least, you will be instantly chicer in 30 seconds flat. T-shirt and jeans and messy hair? Plop a fedora on your mop, and you are instant cool mom rock star on the outside just like you know you are on the inside.