Ever since I can remember, my mother has been a skin care aficionado. As a little girl, I would watch her apply moisturizer as if she was using some magic elixir made of gold and fairy dust. At a very young age, I started to use my mother’s moisturizer on my face before I went to bed and in the morning. Now 21 years later, minus a few stints in the tanning salon and awful sunburns I’d like to forget, I have followed her advice to a “T”.
Here are 5 skin care tips my mother taught me…
Stay out of the sun. In high school, I would bake in tanning beds and lay out in the sun like all the girls did in the late 90s. I loved the glow of my skin and how much better it made me feel and look. The warm sun beating down on me as school was coming to an end and all I had to think about was how dark I could get. Each summer like clockwork, my mother would say, “You’re going to get wrinkles!” I would roll my eyes at her and reply, “Oh mom, who cares!” Until one day my tanning oil did me wrong and my white Irish skin burned to a crisp. From that day forward I traded the oil for sunblock and never looked back. (Seriously, be careful in the sun. I am susceptible to skin cancer because my father had it on his chest. Avoiding the sun does save your skin from aging but saving your life from Melanoma is a much better reason.)
Put sunscreen on the back of your hands. Huh? What!? Who would think to do this? My mother! “Take care of your hands now!," is what my mother always says. When I turned 30, I started putting lotion and sunblock on the tops of my hands because of how much they were exposed to the sun. My family is prone to moles and beauty marks and over the years I’ve had many removed and tested for cancer. Each year new ones pop up and most recently have developed on my left hand…the hand that is always in the sun from driving. Nowadays, sunblock is a normal habit of most people but a lot of times it's only used when going to the beach or spending the day outdoors. In general, wearing sunblock on a daily basis, even in the winter, is so much better for your skin in the long run. (Tip from mom: Keep a sunblock stick in your car and rub it over your hands and face before you get going.)
Drink water. Ok, to be honest my mom isn’t the biggest water drinker. But, I added it to the list because I love water and drink it all the time. It’s also the most obvious and if you aren’t drinking water now, DO IT. I definitely think my water drinking habit has saved me from a lot of the damage I did to myself in my teens and twenties. Drink water! It’s the best thing for you.
Limit booze- Do you ever wake up after a night of drinking and look puffy and red in the face? Yea…it’s not cute. I think I was puffy and red from 17 to yesterday. Since I haven’t been drinking much or at all, I’ve noticed a huge change in my complexion and even the feel of my skin. I’m not an expert, but my skin feels softer and much more clear with less booze in my system. Replace that extra cocktail with a glass of water! Water, water, water! It works!
Use moisturizer morning and night. Skin care rituals are a great habit to get into and will pay off in the long run. From a young age I used my mother’s Clinique facial moisturizer, but now we switched to Argon oil or Coconut oil. (Ever wonder why my face always looks shiny????? There ya go!) I’ve found that Argon oil isn’t as greasy on my face as Coconut Oil, but love them both the same. After washing my face, I apply oil to my chest, neck, face, and hands. Always apply up! Never down! And don't forget your chest!
Aging is a beautiful thing. The lines on our face are a road map to the experiences we’ve been through and the stories we can tell. The little lines near our eyes and around our mouths are the years of laughter and happy moments that we will never forget. Age gracefully but don’t let father time rush it too much.