Anti-Aging or Gracefully Evolving?

When I think of skincare, I get a little flutter in my belly. I love everything about it. The routine in the morning (slightly tweaked in the evening). The daily researching of new products and scientific advancements, and the counter full of my latest discoveries. It’s a sickness, really – one that my friends and family take full advantage of (in the form of product cast-offs and advice).

This inaugural skincare post is meant to shine a light on how my obsession came to be, and to also provide you with a sneak peek into what’s to come in future posts (hint: product reviews, routine tutorials, etc.) I hope, along the way, you find bits and pieces that help you on your own skincare journey.

Of course, we’re not all the same age or skin type. But one thing is certain, if you’re lucky enough to live beyond your youth, the passage of time will eventually make an uninvited appearance at your party. You will also be (prematurely) thrust into what the cosmetics and skincare industries lovingly refer to as the “anti-aging” demographic. Right around the time you hobble past your 28th birthday.

Hey cosmetics industry! Can we retire anti-aging??

I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of the anti-aging stamp. Mainly, because I consider anyone under the age of 40 to be shiny and new, and anyone under 30 to essentially be in the womb. Also, I’m not against aging. With it comes experience, wisdom and the well-earned right to look and feel however we like – without fear of judgment. Or more importantly, without giving a hoot about others’ judgment.

But we are complicated creatures. And as a woman, I evoke my right to live a life of contradictions. (I can see Stephen nodding his head right now.) So, although I wear my 40+ years with pride, I also want to look and feel my best as I dance (not hobble) my way into the decades to come.

The truth is, I’ve always had an interest in the beauty industry. From fashion, to makeup, and more recently, skincare – I’m drawn to the creativity of it all, like glitter to glue. The art of the designs. The gorgeous colors, shapes and trends. The evolving science. The new that works, the old that still proves worthy and others that fall short. It’s fascinating.

Now, let me emphasize, I am NOT a trained expert. I am not formally educated in the field, nor have I worked in the industry. I am simply someone with a genuine passion (obsession) for learning more, trying more and hopefully seeing some real results. BUT, I can promise you this…what you will get from me, is honesty. If something works, you’ll know it. If I’m lukewarm about it, you won’t have to guess. And if it’s not cutting the mustard, you’ll know that, too.

My Epidermis is Showing.

It’s important, as we move forward, that you know a little bit about the current state of my epidermis. As you might expect, the majority of my research and product purchases have been aimed at my own specific skincare concerns. These concerns (or goals) for my age are not uncommon, and I’m guessing many of you are searching for similar solutions. However, we are all different (which is a great thing), so I will make every effort to be as specific as possible when providing reviews, tips or recommendations.

I will — from time to time — also offer up information and/or expert sources for those with concerns different than mine. I enjoy researching this vast topic, so this is by no means a hardship. It’s my play time.  So, ask away! If I don’t use it, know it or understand it – I will find it out or point you in the right direction.

Ok, so let’s get back to my epidermis, what I hope to accomplish with my evolving skincare routine and why…

The Power of the Sun (Spot).

Is it just me, or are the years buzzing by like sports cars on the Autobahn? In the blink of an eye, I’m in my mid-40s. I don’t know how or when it happened. But here I am. Trying to gracefully embrace the good, the bad and the crepey.

Truth be told, there are some really great things that accompany the passage of time. Confidence is a biggie. With the ups and downs of life, comes experience and wisdom. Along the way, you find your voice and you begin to develop a true understanding of who you are and what you stand for. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, it isn’t. It’s life, and life can get ugly. But when you start to narrow in on what’s truly important, and pull away from what isn’t, what matters becomes much more clear.

“Thanks, (fake) Dr. Nikki, appreciate the pep talk, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about these deepening lines on my face.”

I hear ya, and I’m right there with you. Confidence and wisdom are positive benefits of aging, but wrinkles, sun spots and hooded eyelids ain’t. They’re bullshit, really. And just because we feel stronger mentally, doesn’t mean a crepey neck doesn’t piss us off. It does. And that’s okay. At YM&TT, we’re allowed to care about the state of our world and our family, AND the state of our face. Guilt doesn’t live here.

But sunspots do. If you, like me, were a teen in the 80s (or 90s), your favorite type of sunscreen was baby oil and your mother was the one who recommended it. Right before you both signed a 3-month, unlimited contract at the local tanning salon. It’s a miracle we don’t all look like Magda.

magda

Thankfully, warnings about the serious health risks associated with excessive (unprotected) sun exposure began to ring louder in the 90s and became hard to ignore after the turn of the century. We started to listen and sunscreen became a booming industry. If you were born around this time, thank your lucky stars. Your mother likely slathered you in SPF 50 from birth, on, and you will be dealing with much less of an uphill skincare battle in your later years. If I didn’t adore you so much, I’d hate you for this.

The Skin I’m In.

Ok – let’s get to business. Below are my skin deets and what I’m hoping to accomplish with my endless, evolving array of skincare.

  • I’m in my mid-40s, but really started seeing the early noticeable signs of aging in my mid-30s
  • I have freckles, and I like them. I also have sunspots that I don’t. This sun-goddess-induced discoloration and uneven tone is something I am working on diminishing. And sunscreen is now my best friend.
  • I have dry skin. This is something I’ve had since birth, so I can’t claim this as a new issue. I’ve actually come to appreciate what was the bane of my existence in childhood, as I became an obsessive user of Curel lotion at a very young age. I believe this might have countered at least some of the damage done along the way.
  • Dry, aging skin (any skin, really) needs moisture, moisture, moisture. This is a HUGE part of my skincare routine, and is accomplished through more than your standard moisturizer. We’ll talk a lot about this in the posts to come.
  • Fine lines: I first started to take notice of them in my mid-30s, and that’s when my skincare obsession was born. I’m not against the appearance of fine lines (I earned them), I’m just working to keep them in check. And I think my pretty regimented routine has helped to do that. There are also SO many new advancements in skincare that are not only slowing down the progression of wrinkles, but actually (temporarily or permanently) helping to reduce them. Ooh, honey child, we’ll be diving into that one, too. I promise you that!
  • Loss of elasticity: This means your skin gets a bit more loose (crepey), and a little less supple. This is a recent one for me, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s bothersome. As a result, I’ve started testing out some new products aimed at plumping and firming. I didn’t have high hopes, but some of them seem to make a difference. I look forward to passing on those results.

Okay, now that we’ve got the basics laid out, we can get to the fun stuff. In my next “Skincare” posts, I’ll be diving into my specific morning and nighttime routines. This will include types of products (and why they’re used) and even some specific brands I’m currently loving.

We’re so excited to have you here at YM&TT! If you want to be alerted when new posts are uploaded, just add your email address in the subscription area (in the sidebar on the home page). We’d love to have you as a part of the Treehugger family. Until next time, try to set aside a few minutes to pamper yourself. You deserve it.

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