As a middle aged, working mom, my priorities have shifted when it comes to anti-aging and longevity. In my 20s and 30s, I thought about health in terms of my appearance. I exercised and ate a (mostly) healthy diet to fit into that two-piece. I slathered on anti-aging creams to avoid wrinkles, which I truly believed would pass me by until at least 55. At least. I worked from the outside-in when it came to my skin- and self-care routines. Since then, I’ve found that beauty really is an inside job. And living according to what feels good naturally tends to look good, too.
So, what are the four important tips to slow down the aging process once you pass 40? If you’re like me, you want easy, but powerful. Natural, but effective. High-quality, but affordable. Read on for the four ways I stay young— in mind, body, and spirit.
1. Customize Your Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine
When it comes to products, an effective anti-aging skin care routine should have four things. Every product you use should be tailored to your skin type. Depending on things like stress levels, hormone fluctuations, and environmental factors, your skin type tends to change with time, which means you might want to switch things up every so often— using a different eye cream formula as you get older is just one example. That said, everyone should use the following:
Cleanser: Make sure this isn’t overly drying. You don’t want to strip your skin of its natural oils; particularly as skin becomes more dehydrated as we age. It is also best to use organic skin care products whenever possible because all-natural products are safer and healthier for the skin.
Moisturizer with SPF: Ultraviolet rays break down collagen, cause sun damage in the form of freckles and hyperpigmentation, not to mention wrinkles! Use it daily. If you can find a moisturizer with SPF already in it, all the better.
Mild exfoliant/retinoid: Manual exfoliants will scratch and damage the surface of our skin. Using a night serum with either lactic acid or a natural retinoid alternative like Rosehip seed oil, will clear away dead surface cells to reveal brighter, smoother skin.
Eye cream: The richer the better. Retinol-based eye cream formulas have multiple benefits due to retinol’s ability to diminish crow’s feet and fine lines. Remember: pat, don’t rub!
2. Amp Up Your Supplements
Make sure that your multivitamin has sufficient levels of iron (which we need less of once we approach menopause), calcium (to fight bone density loss), vitamin D (to better absorb that calcium), omega 3’s (to promote brain health and mood stability), fiber (to stay heart-healthy), and collagen (for our skin, nails, hair and joints), among others. Taking a collagen supplement helps prevent sagging and fine lines caused by collagen and elastin loss. Adding a collagen supplement also helps keep our gut and bones healthy. Who knew? Collagen supplements will also help keep your digestive tract running smoothly and create a healthy gut microbiome, and a healthy gut means healthy skin. Antioxidants also reduce inflammation, so make sure your diet is providing you with enough antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, beans, artichokes, and spinach.
3. Drink Your Water
This one is obvious. We get older, and our skin gets drier. All the tubs of the heaviest moisturizers will help, but what’s really important is to hydrate from the inside out. Drink those eight, 8 oz glasses of water throughout the day and you’ll see how much clearer, smoother, and plump your skin will look. I also love the added health benefits of drinking lemon water, which not only builds the immune system, but also improves the complexion and keeps skin clear.
4. Move It
Exercise is not just for weight loss. As long as you’re exercising smart, you’re helping to lower inflammation and fight off disease. Women are more prone to osteoporosis and bone density loss, which means we need to do things to increase full-body strength. Finding a workout routine that includes weight bearing as well as stretching and flexibility exercises is vital to keeping our bodies strong and healthy. These days, there’s a workout for everyone, no matter where you are or what you enjoy doing. Keep the cardio but strive for less impact when possible.
Last but not least, you have to do what works for you. At this point, it’s a waste of precious time and energy to try and live by anyone’s standards. We all age; it’s just a question of how fast it takes us. Have fun, enjoy yourself, and don’t sweat what is your natural aging process. As Oprah once said, “The way I see it, every year can be a brand-new journey. Think about it: You get one chance to be 25, 38, 44, 61 and every age before and between. Why wouldn’t you want to experience all the wonder in each step on your path?” By incorporating these simple tips, you’ll hopefully have more time to spend exploring that path and all that you still have to discover on it!