Getting older isn’t about wrinkles. It’s about having more knowledge than ever before. But you can always use that knowledge to help with wrinkles, too…
I’m turning 30 this year. For the most part, I’m excited. Over the past 10 years, I’ve navigated cities, professions, relationships, and even diets to figure out what felt “right” in my gut. (Unfortunately, the Beyonce cleanse didn’t sit right in my belly, figuratively and literally.) Thirty represents more internal and external alignment than ever before, all because of the wisdom I bravely (and sometimes painfully) collected during my 20s.
But as poetic of an approach to aging as this might sound, I find myself leaning closer to the mirror these days. There are fine lines stretched across my forehead and small sunspots scattered across my cheeks. I’m getting older, but I’m getting wiser, too. I’m equipped with the innate knowledge and resources to take better care of myself. To put this wisdom to good use, I decided to invest time and effort into adding a few new practices to my skincare routine.
Taking Sunscreen Seriously
The Mayo Clinic’s number one tip for healthy skin is to protect yourself from the sun by wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen each day. Not only does this maintain and improve the appearance of skin, but it most importantly protects you from skin cancer.
I’ve always been vigilant about applying sunscreen at the beach, but I rarely apply daily protection. I assume that because I’m not in a bathing suit, there’s no need for sunscreen. But the truth is, I know better, and it’s about time I started acting like it. I’ve read countless articles and listened to everyone from my mother to a dermatologist tout the importance of slathering on SPF, but I’ve never taken it seriously—until now.
I’ve started applying this $25 sunscreen each morning after washing and moisturizing my face, even if I’m not planning on leaving the house for the day. I’m trying to make this as regular of a habit as brushing my teeth.
Introducing a Natural Skincare Superstar
Vitamin A in skincare encourages skin cell turnover and regeneration. You may have heard of the popular skincare prescription, Retin-A, which uses retinol (the synthetic term for vitamin A) to reduce sun damage, improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and lessen hyperpigmentation.
I prefer a more holistic approach to skincare, so I researched natural forms of vitamin A to add to my routine. After a long conversation with Sandra, an extremely knowledgeable saleswoman at my local Whole Foods, I was introduced to rosehip seed oil. Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant that happen to be rich in vitamin A. (Side note: Who knew that roses had fruit?!)
After cleansing my face, I gently massage a few drops of 100 percent organic rosehip seed oil into my skin. This feels amazing and has become a pampering activity I look forward to each evening. At first, I was nervous about an oil breaking me out or leaving me greasy. But to my surprise, the oil calmed a massive period zit on my jawline. It also absorbs quickly, leaving me more dewy than slick. After consistently applying it for a few weeks, my sunspots are slightly lighter and my fine lines look more plump.
Keeping Stress Levels in Check
I recently quit my corporate gig to become a full-time freelance writer. While going out on my own has always been my dream, I never imagined how stressful it would be. Entrepreneurship is not always glamorous, especially when it comes to my skin. I’ve been breaking out and experiencing more dryness than usual. A small patch of eczema has appeared on my right cheek and always becomes more red and itchy after a particularly stressful period.
Research shows that stress affects skin (this is referred to as the “brain-skin connection”) and can cause the exact issues I’m experiencing. To better manage my emotional health, I go to yoga twice a week and take a 30-minute walk outside every day. I come back clear-headed and often visibly glowing (it may just be the sweat, but I always feel rejuvenated). No, these aren’t skincare products. But I consider them a part of my skincare routine because of their positive effect on my skin, even more so than some products.
To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of the term “anti-aging.” As the big 3-0 approaches, I’m trying my best to see these lines and spots as signs that I’m living, not aging. Even if it’s just a few drops of rosehip oil, in my 30s, I’m looking forward to taking even better care of myself so I can keep doing as much living as possible.