When it comes to aging skin, we always like to think and speak of Healthy Pro-Aging, not anti-aging. We just don't believe in using the term anti-aging because it has become a systemic issue of negativity associated with aging in our society. We like to say "Age Gracefully", with style, confidence and great health!
This is what it means to live a Pro-Aging life!
Especially as women, it can be very hard to reject the negativity around aging and the stigmas that are associated with it. Sadly, many skincare and wellness brands, along with health professionals (aka "weight loss" and fitness trainers) use negative tones that make us feel bad about our body, our skin, and about aging, when trying to sell their products and services.
Just because I am over the age of 35, doesn't mean I need to anti-age. Since when did aging become a bad thing?
In fact, even for women in their twenties, focusing on healthy aging is very important. Aging skin is a health issue that we all need to take seriously, as our skin is our largest organ after all.
Skin health is often something that is overlooked until it is too late. Good skin health and healthy aging is something that should start in your teens ideally, but at the very least in your thirties as you start to see the first signs of aging. Having said that, if you are in your fifties and just starting to care for your skin, congrats! There is lots you can do starting now!
Given that it is now officially Spring, it is important to come out of our dark homes and into the sunlight. With that, should come a whole new skincare beauty ritual.
There are three important natural beauty rituals for Spring that you should be focusing on at this time of year. They all involve natural, plant-based skincare. Everything your skin needs and wants can be found naturally using clean and safe, toxin-free, natural ingredients that come from mother earth.
It's time to lighten up from the heavy creams that you were using all winter and start to switch out your natural skincare products for ingredients that are lighter and more protective for sun exposure.
Here's the Three Spring Natural Beauty Rituals you need:
Ritual 1: Exfoliation
You've been wearing lots of warm clothing (all of you in cold weather climates such as I am in Canada), perhaps not shaving your legs or even baring your legs to anyone since last fall.
If you are one of those women that just lets the dry skin accumulate all winter like a layer of snake skin, I am talking to you!
It's now time to deal with that business.
Why exfoliating is important (all year-round, but especially for Spring):
- You need to remove that layer of dead skin cells to allow healthier, glowing skin to surface.
- Exfoliating helps to even out your skin complexion, removes dry rough patches especially on knees, elbows and ankles.
- Helps with lymphatic drainage thus keeping your immune system strong.
- Helps to prep your skin for an even summer tan! Makes it easier to apply sunscreen without it looking chalky or streaked.
How often to exfoliate?
We recommend you exfoliate 1-2 times a week on both your face and all over your body. Doing it any more frequently is both unnecessary and can also be damaging to your skin, especially on your face where the skin is more delicate.
What to use to exfoliate?
There are two types of exfoliation: chemical and physical. Let me explain both types and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Chemical exfoliation is best for face and uses active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHA's) to "chemically" (Note: Don't be scared by this word. In this sense it just means using the natural ingredients that occur and have a chemical reaction on your skin thus allowing it to exfoliate).
An example is papaya extract and green tea powder which are a wonderful source of AHA's and is an excellent choice for gentle, natural exfoliation using only natural ingredients. Check out our Pure Kisses Detox Clay Face Mask acts as a chemical exfoliant.
The benefits of chemical exfoliation is that when you're using gentle naturally occurring ingredients such as botanical extracts and alpha hydroxy acids, you aren't applying any manual pressure or rubbing of the skin, thereby the risk of damage is far less.
Physical exfoliation on the other hand is a manual technique whereby you use an exfoliating dry brush or a body or face scrub to manually rub away the dead skin cells. For example, a sugar Body + Face scrub is a luxurious, at-home spa treat for your skin that leaves your skin feeling incredible, nourished and soft.
A dry brush is another example of physical exfoliation whose benefits extend beyond just removing the dead skin cells because it also helps with lymphatic drainage thereby helping improved your immune system function. Dry brushing should be done gently and can be done every day before you get in the shower, all over your body, but never on your face. Here's how to dry brush if you're curious to try.
The bottom line is that exfoliation is important for all-year-round care of your skin, but especially in the Spring when your skin may be extra dry from the winter cold.
Exfoliation will give you the glowing skin you are craving!
Ritual 2: Fall in Love with Face and Body Oils
You've never tried face or body oil before? You are seriously missing out on an incredible way to nourish your skin using plant-based oils and other ingredients that provide botanical powers to magically repair, protect and nourish your skin in ways you've never experienced.
Oils for skin, both face and body, are a serious game-changer.
But what if I have oily skin?
Great, you are a fantastic candidate for using oils! In fact, using face or body oils will not make your skin oilier. The skin has a lipid barrier and using the right kind of clean, natural plant-based oils will actually help your skin to be healthier, more glowing, more nourished.
And here's a bonus: your oil production will slow down and you won't be as oily when you use oil-based products because your sebum production will be more balanced than if you try to strip away the oils each day with alcohol-based cleansers and tonics.
Look for clean ingredients in aging serums and face oils, such as those that contain rosehip seed oil because it's a dry oil that won't leave you feeling greasy. Check this one out.
Look for body oils that are easily massaged into skin and will deeply nourish your epidermis (top layer of skin). We love body oils that contain coconut, sweet almond, jojoba, rosehip, sunflower, apricot kernel and vitamin E. All those essential fatty acids, antioxidant power, vitamins, minerals and nutrients are jam-packed into these incredibly powerful natural ingredient oils.
Our recommended body oil ritual: Fresh out of the shower or bath, gently massage body oil into your skin starting at your toes and working up to your neck. Do this while your skin is still slightly damp for the most impact and for seriously glowing skin.
Ritual 3: Wear Sunscreen Every Day
I will always recommend that you wear sunscreen daily, even when inside your home, even in winter, even on cloudy days.
Why do I need sunscreen everyday?
Well, first of all did you know that you get UV ray exposure through a window? That's why so many people are more tanned and freckled on their left drivers side of their body.
Secondly, how often does it happen that you "just pop out to the store" suddenly when you weren't expected to do so. For those occasions, you should be protecting your skin regardless of how long you are exposed.
Third, you still get UV ray exposure through clouds, rain, and snow. People often believe the risk is diminished but how many times have you got a sunburn when skiing even on a cloudy day?
How to choose a sunscreen?
All sunscreens are not created equal. Choose a clean, safe, natural mineral-based broad spectrum sunscreen that is at least a 30SPF for face and body. I prefer ones that are unscented personally but if you do choose one with a scent, be sure it is a phthalate-free fragrance or a high quality essential oil that is used.
The easiest way to apply your sunscreen is each morning after showering or bathing, first apply your body lotion, butter or oil then apply your sunscreen to your face and exposed body parts (be fully naked for simplicity and to protect clothing)!
BONUS: Detox + Hydrate Plenty!
Finally, I would be incredibly remiss and negligent not to mention (one more time with feeling) that hydration is absolutely critical for glowing, healthy aging skin over the age of 35. But this is also absolutely true for teens too, especially if they are battling hormonal acne issues.
Start each day with a warm lemon water detox to eliminate the sluggish toxins that accumulated overnight in your cells. Do this before your morning coffee!
Here's a little trick: Use your favourite coffee mug for your warm lemon water so that you make sure you finish it before moving on to coffee :)
Your healthy, pro-aging skin and your detoxified body will thank you.
How much water should I drink for healthy, aging skin?
Aim for at least two litres or 64 ounces a day. If you are sweating a lot through exercise or outdoor heat, make it even more (as in three litres). And sorry but any caffeine you consume from coffee, tea or soda pop works against your hydration efforts so you will need even more. Try to limit your caffeinated drinks to two a day for optimal skin health.
Proper hydration is an important part of your skincare routine. When it comes to healthy aging skin it comes down to what you use topically ON your body and also what you put IN your body.
If you incorporate these 3 Spring Natural Beauty Skincare Rituals into your skincare routine right away you will reap the benefits almost immediately and see positive changes to your aging skin health. Remember, the goal is not to "anti-age" but rather to age gracefully by using natural skincare with clean, plant-based ingredients to get glowing skin in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond! It's never too late to start.
About the Author: Jodie Pappas
Jodie Pappas is the Founder and Skincare Formulator of the Canadian-made, plant-based skincare brand Clean Kiss. Jodie creates clean, natural skincare products for women over 40 to feel confident and glowing in their skin, without the use of any harmful toxins.
Jodie is a Certified Organic Skincare Formulator, a Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner (CNAP) and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200). She believes that beautiful pro-aging skin is available for every woman and uses a holistic lifestyle approach to educate and inspire.