Updated: Apr 22, 2022
So you’re ready to take your skin care routine to the next level? That 40th or 50th birthday seems to have that influence on the decision to start looking at our skin, and really seeing it, with a more critical eye. But don’t be too hard on yourself, there’s things in our control we can do to help keep our skin looking it’s very best.
Let’s start at the top.
The first step to your best skin, is to minimize stress. That’s right, we’re starting with our headspace. Minimizing stress isn’t a new concept, but it may be new to you actually doing it.
According to an article published by the University of Utah, written by Abram Beshay, MD, when the mind or body become distressed (by a real or unreal threat), our brain secretes hormones that induce the release of cortisol, a stress hormone, from our adrenal glands. Our skin has receptors for this stress hormone, and their activation results in various changes to our skin:
Impaired wound healing
More oil and sebum production
Impaired resistance to infection
To make this first step easier, you might try mediation, writing what is causing you stress and closing the book or computer. (This is said to help you leave it where you left it). You might also take a giant step back and look at things from an outside view and ask yourself, what’s the root cause here and can it be changed?
Open mouth, insert…water
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s the single most impactful, and immediate, thing we can do for our skin - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! And for a moment, let’s digress, avoid plastic water bottles if at all possible as they can really cause long-lasting effects to our planet, and we want to leave it in great shape for our grandkids, right?! Okay, back to skin care… a good rule of thumb is to drink double your age in ounces each day. I won’t do the math for you, but if you’re 50, you would set your goal at 100 oz.
Perhaps find a water bottle that makes you feel happy when you reach for it, think color, texture, personally made with picture of family. Get creative and get drinking! H2O that is.
Let’s get to the food.
Well, unfortunately, we’re not talking ice-cream and donuts here. But you already know that refined sugar is one of the worst things you can eat for healthy skin - and so much more. But if you’re like me, that sweet tooth is a powerful detractor and wants to go to battle on a daily basis with my self-discipline. So I’ve settled for one, small sweet thing a day and I start my day with it so I feel satisfied and not like I’m on restriction for good behavior until nightfall. For me, it’s a little bit of creamer in my coffee. A few options could be:
Sweet Potatoes, they are an excellent source of beta carotene, a natural sunblock for the skin. Healthy skin cell growth is promoted as the beta carotene converts to vitamin A.
Citric Fruits are high in vitamin C, a powerful tool in your skin care arsenal. Not only a powerful antioxidant, it plays an important role in the production and maintenance of collagen.
Do you notice after eating certain foods, your body reacts in a less than pleasant way? Things like bloating, heartburn, indigestion, nausea for example. More and more scientifically back research is proving the theory that our gut is far more ‘intelligent’ than we give it credit for. Don’t be so quick to label your discomfort after eating as ‘that just didn’t agree with me’. Perhaps keep a log after you first feel discomfort and backtrack on what you ate/drank. It won’t take long to identify what your gut is saying your body doesn’t need so you can minimize or eliminate it altogether. Some common culprits have been gluten, dairy, nuts, processed sugar, certain types of refined oil and even eggs.
Good nutrition is key, and when you can add healthy herbs to your diet it’s like extra credit and your skin will showcase your effort. Here are a few to consider adding in your tea, smoothie or favorite pasta sauce for starters.
Ginger root has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties which helps combat bacteria, which can be a major cause of acne.
Burdock root acts as an antioxidant against harmful chemicals in the body, and reduces inflammation which can cause puffiness and redness.
Rose petals produce oils that assist the skin in retaining moisture and provides a high source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for skin health and helping counteract free radicals and really brightens up the skin.
Your 40’s and 50’s should be your best years, not your feared years. So a few simple ‘pivot’s from the days of late night parties or ice-cream binging doesn’t add more time to already full schedule, it just takes mindfulness and desire - you got this!
For more on aging beautifully, be sure to check out my YouTube channel. Where beauty and maturity embrace.