The skin is the mirror to your inner health. As women in our forties we start to worry a lot about our appearance and our aging progress. For many this is the first time you start to see wrinkles, grey hairs, bodily changes due to hormones and gravity, and due to our lives becoming often more sedentary. While I am all about supporting pro-aging with grace and confidence, I am also all about taking preventative measures to slow down the aging process and to be in top health. It is all part of the same overall goal. It is one and the same!
The skin is your largest organ yet we don’t always treat it with the care it needs nor do we stop to think about the ways to get great skin that are within your control, especially if you have been abusing or neglecting your skin for 40 years! I’m talking about lifestyle factors, not genetics. While genetics do play a role in skin health and appearance, it is often more about your overall health and possibly underlying medical issues that may be causing your skin to look unwell such as dehydration, stagnant lymph, hormonal imbalances, and more.
Epigenetics. Epi...what now???
I am fascinated by the role of genetics and the effects of it on our skin. The whole nature vs nurture debate as it relates to skin. There is research that shows a set of identical twins who have aged incredibly differently with one looking at least a decade or more older. Clearly their lifestyles and own individual health profiles have contributed to the health of their skin. The conclusion of these studies is that lifestyle is the main factor on how you age, not genetics. This is called epigenetics and it contributes to your overall health, in addition to your skin health.
When it comes to what we women do to try to keep in tip top health, we focus on the other major organs while neglecting to do the protective and proactive things that help your skin and also helps these other organs function at their optimal. Your skin is the mirror to your health. Your face and other exposed areas such as neck, chest, arms and hands all tend to be neglected and show signs of sun damage and aging, dehydration and other aging impacts because we don't tend to look after our skin the way we should be.
Our Other Organs Take the Spotlight
We focus on our heart health and do cardiovascular exercises in order to keep our heart muscle beating strong to keep supplying healthy blood to our arteries and veins. Critical.
We focus on our lung health in order to be able to breathe well and to supply oxygen to the parts of our body and brain that requires it. Also critical.
We focus on our liver and many of us women venture to do that annual detox “dry January” to dry out from too drinking over the holidays. We do this detox typically to lose some padding we acquired from too many indulgences and to assist our liver in cleansing the body and detoxifying things such as heavy metals, phthalates, and other toxins we absorb into our bodies through toxic personal care products or the environment. Yep, critical. You get the point right?
All the while doing these things is important and necessary to keep our organs functioning and they will also help support healthy skin. But these things alone are not enough to have great skin that maintains its healthy appearance throughout your forties and beyond.
Your Pro-Aging Skin Rituals Start Now
There are some very impactful things you can start doing today to make more of an impact on the way your skin ages. Let’s face it. We are all aging. I don’t believe in calling any topical products or skincare rituals “anti aging” but rather I promote healthy pro-aging. We need to embrace our age and changing bodies and celebrate them!
If only we listened to Cher back in the 80's singing “If I could turn back time” and considered the impact of our lifestyle choices on our skin back in our twenties! All those days you’ve been outside in the sun without sunscreen (or inside under harsh fluorescent lights!), nights of drinking too much alcohol while dehydrating your body, or the nights we crammed for exams and pulled an all-nighter. If only we could turn back time and make different choices that help support healthy skin (granted maybe not as fun ones though!). While we can’t turn back time we can make better choices going forward to care for this largest organ of ours!
Here are my top tips for turning on your healthy skin habits in your forties and beyond:
Hydration for the Nation. Start your day with a big glass of water every day. Fill a 2L pitcher of fresh water and drink from that at room temperature all day. Make it a goal to drink 2-3L of water each day. For some additional benefits try adding 1tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar, a fresh squeeze of lemon or some ginger to your first glass of water.
- Morning De-Stress Rituals. Make a ritual of your morning that includes a way of de-stressing. I like to start with a workout (strength training or cardio), followed by yoga stretches, and ending with a mindful meditation to set my intention for the day. What we works for you to set a positive tone for your day.
- Sunscreen. Wear mineral sunscreen every single day. Choose one that has no oxybenzone or other harmful environmental ingredients.
- Clean Skincare. Read your personal care labels thoroughly. Understand what is in them and look for clean skincare and ingredients that are free from toxins, phthalates, and other things like alcohols, aluminum in your antiperspirant (instead switch to a natural deodorant), synthetic “fragrance” (a catch all term that can include thousands of toxins). Choose plant-based ingredients that are simple to understand and of the top, natural quality.
- Get outdoors. As much as possible spend time outdoors connecting with nature. Just be sure to wear your sunscreen and a hat to avoid UV damage that causes premature aging and skin cancer.
- Nutrition is paramount. Treat your food as your medicine. Because it is. Choosing Whole Foods such as healthy fruits and vegetables, healthy fats from nuts, fatty fish, and avocados, lean proteins and think of the colours of the rainbow when you make your plate. Steer clear of packaged foods, anything deep fried, and artificial sweeteners as much as possible. What you put inside your body will show up on your outside. You can’t put cheap gasoline in a high performance vehicle and expect to win the Indy. Right?! Right. You need not be radical and adopt a vegan diet in order to make your nutritional choices more healthy. Try to make small changes by adding more plant-based meals into your weekly meal planning and ditching the boxed/packaged food and meals.
- Sleep Hygiene. Are you logging 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Every solid athlete will tell you that rest is a key training component in order to keep your body running at optimal performance. You may not be an athlete but even to perform every day activities that require mental and physical function, requires an adequate amount of downtime and sleep.
- Try Face Yoga. A great thing you can do to give your skin a natural facelift and tone over forty is to strengthen the facial muscles with exercises while also relaxing the muscles with facial yoga. Give face yoga a try to relax tight facial muscles and to tone others that have lost their lift due to lack of use (think double chin, droopy eye lids, saggy jewels). These all happen as we age but we can do a simple face yoga practice to keep these muscles responding to stimuli.
About the Author:
Jodie Pappas is a Certified Organic Skincare Formulator, a Certified Yoga Teacher RYT200, and a current student of Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance. She has a clean skincare brand called Clean Kiss, and is on a mission to help women in their 40s to find their fabulous. To feel beautiful in their skin and to redefine what beauty means as a society. #findyour40
About Clean Kiss:
At Clean Kiss we are passionate about creating Clean at First Sight skincare that you helps you to find your 40 with optimal nourishment, one-shot comprehension of ingredient labels, and ultimately giving you higher power, higher concentration of the plant-based goodness packed into our sustainable bottles.
From health-conscious, active mamas to women entrepreneurs, our customers love the experience of using our clean products that have up to three times fewer ingredients than our competitors and optimal nourishment for your skin.
Clean Kiss was founded by Family Natural Health Expert, Jodie Pappas, out of her own personal quest to find natural products for herself and her family that ACTUALLY worked. After first creating her signature natural deodorant, she went on to produce a full line of vegan, all plant-based skincare, body and curly hair products.
Our mission is to help women #findyour40 by igniting your senses and helping you live a simpler and cleaner yet more passionate life.
Visit us at cleankisslifestyle.com.