Growing up I always heard the phrase, "prevention is better than cure". My father is a medical doctor, and he probably said this at least once a day. My brain was naturally programmed to prevent things before they actually happened. Coupled with the fact that I was raised around extremely glamorous women who spent a fortune on skincare and looking after themselves, it was only logical that I combine the two perspectives.
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to skincare. From the very beginning my approach to skincare has been preventative. Take care of yourself now, look good later. There's no sense in waiting until your skin has problems, before you start taking care of it.
First and foremost, I've always used sunscreen. I really started using sunscreen in the late 1990's - early 2000's. I can't remember the actual date, but it's been part of my skincare regimen for over two decades. I remember seeing an article in Elle Magazine about the damage UV rays can cause to skin. I was absolutely horrified to see what people's skin actually looked like using UV photography. I was amazed by all the hidden sun damage that the UV photos revealed.
When I was in my late teens - early twenties, I had a pretty basic skincare routine that consisted of about six products that I used on a consistent basis: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, mask, scrub and eye cream. From time to time I would additional products to combat acne or hyper pigmentation if needed.
Once I got to my late twenties, I implemented a really good moisturizer that I used both night and day. As I reached my thirties, I started investing in night creams for more hydration. By the time I reached my late thirties, I added serum for an extra boost of hydration. Keeping the skin well hydrated is essential if you want it to remain supple and avoid fine lines prematurely.
By the time I reached forty one, I had officially graduated to the world of retinoids. As we age, cellular turnover decreases. Retinoids help to give the skin a boost by increasing cellular turnover. I use a retinoid based serum at least three nights a week.
Now at the ripe age of forty six, people always me, "what are you using?" I've had a pretty consistent skincare regimen throughout the years. I've always had a natural approach to skincare, avoided doing too much, but carefully observing how my skin changed over time.
The human body changes every decade or so, as well as your skin. The skin you have in your teens is not the same as the skin you have in your twenties, nor the same as the skin in your thirties or forties. This is why it's important to adjust our skincare regimen every so often to keep abreast of these changes, because the products that worked for us in our twenties will not work for us when we reach our forties.
Genetics play a huge part in aging gracefully. It's also important to keep in mind that all DNA was not created equal. There are people out there who have "super genes", and age incredibly slowly. That said, you cannot rely on DNA alone. There are three other factors to keep in mind: diet, lifestyle, and melanin.
Diet is important for your overall health, not just anti-aging. As the saying goes, "you are what you eat". Avoiding consuming certain foods that age you can help to keep you looking younger for longer. Your lifestyle choices play a big part as well. Choosing a healthy lifestyle over destructive habits will help you retain that youthful glow that people often lose over the years. And lastly, melanin plays a huge role in the aging process. People with darker skin tones tend to age slower. Having more melanin can help delay the signs of aging. Melanin can provide some protection against wrinkles and skin cancer. But that doesn't mean people with heavily pigmented skin do not age quickly or get skin cancer either.
It's always a good idea to keep these four factors in mind when creating a skincare regimen. By sticking to a consistent skincare routine right from the start that is suited to your skin type, a healthy lifestyle, and clean diet, you'll be able to have youthful looking skin for longer.
I am a firm believer in preserving what you have. It's worth it to invest in your skin, because prevention is better than cure.