Of course I tweeted a bit about the birthday, and the twitterverse responded very kindly to my trolling for complements. A few asked my secret to younger looking skin, and so here is the information as promised. It does not involve the use of any super fruit from a South American country nor any patented therapies from any Hollywood dermatologists (or placenta, I’m an OB and I know you were wondering).
For the record, I am opposed to the crap women do to their faces in the name of youth. Collagen doesn’t make you look younger, just puffy. I don’t care who’s injecting it (except perhaps the Michelangelo who tends to Madonna). Botox gives you a smooth forehead, with weird flattening at the nasal bridge and crazy arched eyebrows. That doesn’t look younger, just Botoxed. And chemical peels? They make most people look shiny. Like a snake who just shed its skin, not younger. And trust me, I see a lot of puffy, shinny women with eerily flat foreheads and crazy arched eyebrows in my neck of the woods in California.
So my secrets to younger looking skin are (normally available for three easy payments of $19.95, but free today for you):
- I never wash my face. Well maybe never is too harsh a word, but rarely. Maybe once a week. Gross you say? I got that little nugget from my dermatologist when I was but a wee lass of 16 (OK, I was never really a wee lass, I was probably 5 feet 11 inches). But like all 16 year old girls, I had some acne. Probably not very much, but when you are 16, one zit makes you feel like the elephant girl. Anyway, this old-school dermatologist said the more you wash, the more you strip away oils and dry your skin, and then your skin just makes more oil. That sounded reasonable. And now I know that soap basically just pushes bacteria around on the skin and leaves a nice scent. It’s been studied kids. Soap really just provides an illusion of clean. I mean my face isn’t going to spread methicillin-resistant staph aureus or influenza, so I don’t need to nuke it. When I shower after my work out, I just let the water run over my face and I almost always sleep in my make-up. I know that seems horrific to a lot of people, but think about it: if my make-up was really bad for my skin I shouldn’t have put it on in the first place never mind wear it all day. I do actually take my make-up off if I’m working out or planning on re-applying it and the shower just didn’t do the trick. Sometimes I use Neutrogena make-up remover pads or that’s when I break down and use some pure glycerin soap for my face and olive oil to take off the mascara.
- I exercise. Exercise increases blood flow and that keeps all your tissues healthy. I am also convinced the extra blood flow to my scalp makes my hair grow faster.
- I wear sunscreen. I know, you have heard this before, but you actually have to do it. I apply sunscreen every morning. I use a moisturizer that has an SPF of 15. Before a work-out or at the beach I use an SPF 30. I hear wearing a hat is good, but I can never remember that.
- I wear sunglasses. And you thought my aviators were just for looks?! Not only do studies tell us that we feel sexier when we wear sunglasses (I would have loved to write the grant application for that one!), but sunglasses give you extra protection around your eyes from the sun.
- My moisturizer has alpha-hydroxy acid. This is my one chemical cave in. It really does make my skin feel tighter and I swear since I started using it, I started to receive more compliments. I just use Neutrogena Healthy Skin face lotion. This also has my sunscreen. My products have to multitask (I’m lazy like that).
- I have never smoked and I won’t be around smokers. That stuff is evil and ages you inside and out.
- I smile a lot and have a positive attitude. Yeah, it’s corny, but when you smile you use fewer muscles than when you frown, and using your muscles repetitively creates wrinkles.
- I eat well. No chemicals, the right amount of fruit and veggies and protein (although I ate like crap for the 12 years I was in school, so I am undecided how much this helps, though it is probably good for me in other ways, so I persist).
- I use good foundation and don’t wear powder. Powder settles into the wrinkles and highlights those babies, making you look older. I love my Chanel foundation. Take a look at the before and after pics (taken with iPhone, no special lighting). Just kind of smooths things out.