Everyday, I witness people doing habitual things that actually hinder their ability to look more youthful…to be a bit clearer…habits that age you. I too fell into some of these habits and after making changes to my own routine several years ago I can now see a declining momentum of my own aging process.
Habits that revolve around fashion, eating, lifestyle, mentality and makeup can either make or break your anti aging efforts. Let’s discuss some of the most common habits and simple changes you can make today that will pay off in the long run as you embark on your anti aging journey.
1. Sleeping Habits that Age You – roll over you stomach and side sleepers!
Whether you sleep on your stomach or you are a habitual side sleeper you are not doing your face any favours. In your younger years when you slept on your side or stomach you would wake up in the morning with temporary red marks or facial lines from your pillow. If you don’t switch up your sleeping position in your later years, these lines will keep coming back morning after morning and eventually stick with you like your best friend. (not the kind of friend I need)
Although it will take a bit of training, make a conscious effort to sleep on your back as much as possible. If you must sleep on your side, get better at propping your face before you fall asleep so that your cheeks are not all squished up against your pillow. Another option is to invest in a really good quality silk or satin pillow case to help resist the dragging of your skin across your pillow case. (Your skin AND hair will thank you). If you are a stomach sleeper, try to get out of this habit altogether as this is the least beneficial sleeping position for several reasons which I won’t get into now.
2. Fashion that Ages You – dress the part
As we age, what looked great on us in our twenties may not necessarily be doing us any favours once we hit the 40s and beyond. Now don’t get me wrong here…I am not telling anyone to wear ankle length skirts or turtlenecks for the rest of your life. (although I live in turtlenecks during the winter) If you can rock the shorter skirts and low cut shirts looks then go for it and who the heck would I be (or anyone else for that matter) to tell you otherwise. Just because we are getting older doesn’t mean we can’t still be sexy vixens. I guess my point here is that when we get older, classic, crisp looks are timeless. A few simple tips:
- Well fitted pants/capris
- Well fitted blazer
- Dark wash jeans
- Solid coloured pieces (neutrals, bolds)
- Pencil skirts (just below the knee)
- Button shirts
- Modest pump or classy flat
- Overly loose, slouchy, baggy clothes
- Acid wash jeans
- Ripped jeans
- Over the top prints (flowery, neon, leopard)
- Platform shoes
3. Eating Habits that Age You – reduce the white stuff
I don’t think I need to emphasize the importance of eating fresh, “real” food and avoiding packaged food wherever possible. Chances are, packaged food will contain chemicals, loads of sugar and/or sodium and a plethora of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce. By now you would have read several articles on how bad white food is (food that is refined and processed) so try to limit these in your daily diet whenever possible. I can’t tell you to remove them completely otherwise I would be the biggest hypocrite. (our family enjoys potatoes and pasta from time to time)
Always choose colourful food rich in antioxidants and good fats such as:
and if you are a snacker like I am, try your best to skip the chips and choose smarter snacks such as:
- dark chocolate (70% cocoa and above)
4. Mental Habits that Age You – don’t worry….be happy
I am no psychologist but I do know what keeps me in a good mental state and what can send me spiraling into a miserable mood. What I am about to say here is easier said than done.
Telomeres are caps located at the end of each strand of our DNA and as they get damaged or shorten, it causes our cells to age. A hormone called cortisol can damage these telomeres if your stress levels are high or are long term. Try to avoid stress at all costs and remember the old adage – don’t sweat the small stuff. As tempting as it is to flip your finger to the driver who just cut you off, take a breath and say to yourself it’s not worth losing your inner peace and goodness over. Also, try not to worry about something that has not or may not ever happen.
Learn something new, challenge your cranium whether it be a new crossword, taking a class, learning a new instrument..whatever. An idle mind is the devil’s playground so keep it occupied with something exciting and challenging.
Every night when I go to bed I ponder on my day. Did I learn something new, was I productive, did I perform a good deed of some kind? Unless we are wired to be instantly happy the moment we wake (like my mother) it is easy to fall into a slump. I have no credentials to be clinical here, but I do know that when I maintain a positive and optimistic mindset it keeps me feeling energized, focused and spirited. Try to stay on the bright side and avoid the dark side. (wasn’t Darth Vader grumpy?)
If you generally live “in the now” and focus on the task at hand, you get more enjoyment out of what you are doing. Yes, washing the dishes after enjoying a great meal can actually bring you joy if you choose to be of that mindset. Enjoy yourself, your friends, your family and stop living in the meantime.
5. Makeup Habits that Age You – dewy is good!
So I am a beauty blogger and I can blog about this topic all day however let’s keep this post to the fundamentals for the purpose of this article. As it is with clothing, your make up technique needs to evolve as you do with age. If there is one beauty tip you can take away from this section it is this…maintain a dewy complexion to help shave years off your face. Here are few high level fundamental tips regardless of whether your make up routine is simple or extensive. For hairstyle tips, check out my post Hairstyles for Women over 50.
- Keep your complexion dewy – apply hydrating primer, eye cream and moisturizer before makeup
- Use a creamy concealer where needed in order to address discoloration
- Use cream blush instead of powder blush
- Use Vaseline to highlight your skin instead of powder highlighter
- Use matte shadow instead of shimmery or metallic
- Always curl lashes
- Fill in sparse brows
- Apply mascara to top lashes only
- Choose a neutral lipstick or gloss
- Always line your lips with a natural, complimentary shade
- Always blend well!
- Powder foundations
- Setting powder
- Foundation that is too pale for your skin tone
- Black liquid liner
- Overdo your cat’s eye (or resist it altogether)
- Darker shades of blush, lip liner or lipstick
- Skip curling your lashes
We all know that drinking plenty of water, getting good and plenty of sleep, eating well, exercise and living well are key to our sustainment. I hope these additional tidbits contribute to your existing arsenal of strategies and I wish you luck in your anti aging journey. Here’s to aging gracefully!