Aging is natural, inevitable, beautiful even. An elderly person’s wrinkles are like a map that shows where they’ve been throughout their lives and the journeys they’ve taken. But in today’s society, getting older-or should I say looking older- is less than admirable, especially if you are a woman.
We should truly strive to look our age and be proud of it, after all it’s taken us a long time to get to where we are, and to become who we are. But let’s be completely honest ladies, if a stranger mistakes you for your friend’s mother while you two are out for lunch, it can be a total mood downer and self esteem buster. We want to look our age, but what we don’t want is to look older than we are.
If you don’t have some sort of anti-aging cream in your beauty cabinet, you are a rarity. One study conducted in 2017 showed that today’s generation is the most concerned about aging and that a whopping 30% of women under the age of 35 were already using some type of anti-aging skin care product. Perhaps that’s because there are so many anti-aging skin care products available on the market, and being marketed everywhere to women young and old.
Makeup is another product that promises a “youthful glow and appearance”. Makeup tutorials for anything under the sun are popping up on YouTube. Virtually everything being sold that is targeted at women is telling us that we need to look younger, and these products will help us with that. The thought behind these products is great but sometimes the execution actually makes things worse. Sometimes these very products add years to our faces and bodies and we don’t even know it.
There are things we do everyday that drag our appearance down and make us look aged and tired. Most of the time, we have no idea that we’re the ones responsible for our aged look. Let’s take a look at 10 things that are adding 10 years to your look:
1. Using Too Much Foundation.
The YouTube tutorials with heavy full coverage foundations promise a completely airbrushed immaculate makeup application each time. The women look amazing in front of the camera with the bright ring light that shines on them. The reality is, when someone steps out into natural light with heavy foundation on, it can look less than flawless.
Heavy foundation adds years to your face, no matter who you are or how perfect your skin is. Full coverage foundation shows imperfections in your skin that you didn’t even know were there. If you have normal peach fuzz like the average woman, a cakey foundation will emphasize it to where you’ll look like Bigfoot. And if you have large pores or bumps on your face, a heavy foundation will make them appear bigger and more obvious.
No matter what your skin type is, you don’t need to use a full coverage foundation. I know that sounds like it’s way easier said than done for those of us with imperfect skin. The trick to covering up imperfections while using a light coverage foundation is to use concealer either underneath or above the foundation. Then you have your base, and your problem areas are covered up. You must ensure your face is prepped properly before makeup application.
2. Wearing Hair Up All The Time.
Our hair can either age us or rewind the years. Long hair is usually linked with youthfulness, and shorter hair can make us appear a bit older, especially pixie cuts and the such. There is something “carefree” about having long undone hair.
Those of us who wear their hair up in a tight ponytail or bun may not know it, but we’re actually causing damage to our hair and aging ourselves in more than one way. Hair up makes us appear more serious and older as it is, but add in the fact that wearing hair up tightly contributes to hairline recession. When our hair is pulled up tightly in a bun or pony, the hairs around our faces are the ones pulled on the most so over time we lose those hairs, and begin to see a receding hairline.
3. Not Using Moisturizer.
We always hear that we need to moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize. But do you know why? Dry skin can promote the development of fine lines and wrinkles, and it looks dull and lifeless. Dehydrated skin doesn’t help with makeup application either. If you’re trying to put foundation on top of dry skin, you will appear even older because every crease and dry skin flake will show.
4. Skipping The Sunscreen.
It goes without saying that sunscreen can help prevent sun damage, and skin cancer from harmful ultraviolet rays. Aside from that major factor, it protects sensitive skin from sunburn, reduces sun damage causes like wrinkles, sagging leathery skin, and discolorations. The experts at the American Academy of Dermatologists recommend using an SPF of 30 or higher.
5. Neglecting Our Teeth.
When it comes to anti-aging, most people think of skin. But other factors play just as big of a role in our appearance when it comes to aging. Our teeth can really impact our overall appearance. Without proper care for our teeth, they can become stained and yellow, crack, and break. Discoloration of the teeth can really affect your smile.
Then there’s gum disease, which is the number 1 cause of tooth loss. It is caused by bacteria that gets under the gum line, so periodontal prophylaxis is required. It can be treated and monitored by routine checkups and cleanings, and regularly brushing and flossing. Periodontal disease causes bone loss which in turn causes individuals to lose their teeth. When enough teeth are missing, our face looks different. Cheeks begin to sag and collapse, aging us significantly.
6. Wearing Clothes That Don’t Fit.
If it’s been a while since you’ve gone through your closet, maybe now’s the time. Clothing that you’ve owned since you were a teen probably doesn’t fit anymore, and why should it? Your body has changed, especially if you’ve had children. Donate the clothing that is too tight on your body, as it can cause unflattering results when you wear it. Clothing that is too tight emphasizes love handles and back fat, making you look uncomfortable and aging you. On the flip side, wearing clothes that hang off your body because they are too big for you can look lazy and unflattering.
7. Being Stuck On One Old Trend.
Did you used to love bright blue eyeshadow in the 90’s? Do you still buy the same kind today? Perhaps it’s time to switch it out with something a bit more modern. It can still be the color blue, but something more in line with today’s trends. The same thing goes for pencil thin eyebrows. When you carry trends from years past, you risk looking older. There’s nothing quite as aging to a person as noticing that they’re stuck on a trend from 20 years ago. Unless you’re modernizing this trend up, you are aging yourself – in this case, by twenty years.
8. Smoking Cigarettes.
Perhaps there isn’t a surefire way to rewind the years, but there’s definitely a way to make yourself look older and that my friends is smoking cigarettes. It changes the skin, teeth, and hair to a way that ages you significantly. Smoking deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients, leaving the complexion a strange pale color or causing unevenness in skin tone, and removing natural color from your lips.
The chemicals in cigarette smoke trigger the destruction of collagen and elastin, which are the most desired components for youthfulness. Collagen gives your skin strength, and elastin allows your skin to stretch and bounce back. Without these necessary components, the skin begins to sag and age. The sagging doesn’t stop at the face though, it goes to your arms and breasts as well.
If you’ve never seen a before and after photo of a smoker, please take a look; there are tons of examples online. The first thing you’ll likely notice, is a lot more wrinkles. Smoking causes lines to form around your mouth and on your lips, and increases nasolabial folds, and marionette lines. Another thing you’ll likely notice is the under eye sagging and puffy under eye circles.
Now the “vain” consequences of smoking have been discussed, but smoking damages so much more than appearance and self confidence. Smoking is deadly. Smokers are more likely to develop heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Do your face and body a favor and put down the cigarettes- there are aids available.
9. Eating Inflammatory Foods.
Inflammation affects the production of collagen in the body and results in damaged and aged skin. Eating inflammatory foods contributes to premature aging. So which foods actually cause this “inflammaging”? Wheat and gluten, conventional dairy, and foods high in sugar are inflammatory foods, and should be consumed moderately, or removed from diet.
10. Not Getting Enough Sleep.
There’s a reason it’s called “beauty sleep”! Sleep is vital to our survival, and sleep deprivation can seriously age you prematurely. A study from UCLA discovered that a single night of insufficient sleep was linked to cells aging quicker. When we rest, our body uses this time to repair and restore itself, healing wounds quicker, and making more white blood cells to fight off infection. Without proper sleep, your immune system cannot properly fight infection.
Adequate sleep is crucial for a youthful appearance. Your body regenerates cells, collagen, and tissue during sleep. Aside from all the health benefits of sleep, it is the key to looking and feeling young.