I think it's safe to say that most of us like to look good. And as we age, we want to take care of our skin so that it looks good right along with us. It doesn't mean we have to use injections, fillers or nips and tucks. Good skin care can afford us a great face for a lifetime.
One of the best gifts we can give to our skin is protecting it from nature. Sun, wind, cold and heat can all cause skin to age prematurely, to sag and to become dried out with an unhealthy pallor.
Using sun protection all year round helps prevent skin cancer and premature aging. It also helps prevent lip damage. There are sunscreen lip balms that protect the skin from the weather and keep the lips hydrated.
A good diet, drinking lots of water, and avoiding excessive alcohol is also key. A fresh diet high in vitamins and fiber keeps a face wonderfully plump and hydrated. Excessively thin faces do not age as well as plumper faces so over-exercising and dieting is not a friend to your face as you get older.
Everything in moderation!
Avoid smoking altogether for obvious health reasons and remember that a smoker's face at 60 is never the same as a non-smoker's face at the same age.
And a great floppy hat will help protect the skin from the sun, too.
More daily care should be a cleanse, tone and moisturize session that keeps the skin clean (cleanse) to restore balance (tone) and to hydrate (moisturize).
Something to look for in these products is alpha hydroxy to improve the skin's general appearance and keeps wrinkles looking less obvious. Keep products alcohol-free. Alcohol dries the skin.
Olive, rose and green tea really work and the more natural ingredients, the better. A home face-pack of natural yogurt is good for the skin and is cheap. You can even eat the leftovers!
And if possible, use cruelty-free products. For a great list of these companies, click here: http://www.leapingbunny.org/partners.php/
A facial scrub done in the shower helps with exfoliation. Make it the last thing you do so that your pores are open and your face is soft from the water and steam of the shower.
And if you have fifteen minutes to yourself, some great natural methods for eye care include cold, thinly sliced cucumbers or cold, wet tea-bags (really!) placed on the eyes for 10-20 minutes, and can refresh in no time.
A facial (if affordable) is great for the skin every six to eight weeks. Many salons use only natural ingredients for cleaning, exfoliating and hydrating and online coupons abound.
I bought three hour-long natural facials and got three for free. This can last a full year. Ingredients included citrus fruit, rose, lavender and ginger.
This is a wonderful way to really cleanse the skin and focus on impurities, acne and moisture. One thing to note while taking care of your face, is to always include your neck/throat area and your chest. They age at about the same pace as your face.
Don't forget to keep makeup pads, brushes and utensils clean. If you've had your mascara for six months or more, throw it out. The bacteria levels are probably high.
Don't pump the mascara wand into the container (a habit many of us have). This leads to even more bacteria.
If in doubt, throw these things out. The same with blush and other makeup products.
Aging is a privilege. Too many of us know people who have died young. Aging is not a punishment, a curse or something that can be avoided (if we're lucky).
"Live hard, die young, leave a beautiful corpse" is a silly saying. Live well, die old and leave a beautiful legacy is a lot better.
Taking care of our faces -- the first portrait we show of our lives -- is important. We look as good as we feel. A laugh line is there because we laugh. We earned it.
We can grow old well, and look well, with just some simple steps.
These ideas are not exhaustive! There are many more. If you'd like to share some, please do!
Edited by Jody Smith