A few days ago I was off at the day job showing a house when I causally mentioned my husband in conversation. The other real estate agent and their client looked at me and exclaimed there is no way I’m old enough to be married, and when I told them I am going to be 30 later this year they looked genuinely surprised.
And I was over the moon happy, guys.
Somehow, I’ve always looked younger than I am – my youngest sister, who is 6 years younger than I am, is frequently mistaken as older than me. And while it used to be annoying it certainly isn’t anymore. When I turned 29 I became committed to taking better care of my skin and, at least for now, it’s paying off.
Growing up, I had terrible skin. One of the memories that sticks in my brain is being on the bus to middle school when a boy in the seat in front of me turned around and started counting. I asked him what he was counting and he said the spots on my face. OUCH! (To be fair, that was the first and only time I was ever made fun of to my face.) I think it was so terrible due to a combination of genetics, being so athletic (so my face was either oily from sweat or super dried out from chlorine which, of course, causes more oil production), and being completely unable to restrain myself from “picking” (turns out that’s an OCD symptom!).
As I’ve gotten older my skin has started cooperating a bit more and, for the most part, it looks pretty okay unless I’m super stressed out or I’m PMSing. I don’t get full-on breakouts anymore, just a spot or two here and there.
So, what have I been doing to ensure that my skin stays looking as young as possible, for as long as possible?
I am religious about washing my makeup off.
Honestly, I don’t understand how some people can go to sleep with makeup on – the thought of it has always grossed me out. I mean… waking up with an imprint of your own face on your pillow is kind of gross, no? But besides that, I was taught at a very young age (due to the bad skin thing) that making sure my face is clean before bed is super important, since sleeping with makeup on will clog your pores, and your skin is rejuvenating itself overnight.
When I’m washing my makeup off at night (or when I’m washing my face any time other than in the morning) I use Neutrogena Deep Clean. For first thing in the morning, however, I use this Garnier charcoal scrub (if you’re going to exfoliate, it’s best to do it in the morning, apparently). It’s super gentle and doesn’t irritate my skin while also leaving it feeling super refreshed. If my skin is feeling a bit dry or sensitive, though, than I will swap both of those out for some good ol’ fashioned Cetaphil.
Now, I admit it – if my skin is feeling overly dry or a bit wonky sometimes I’ll skip the morning wash. All of my Portuguese aunties will tell you that you shouldn’t wash your face in the morning, you should just splash it with a bit of cold water so that your skin’s natural oils can do their job – and that’s what I’ll let them do.
I moisturize, morning and night.
The other thing that has always been impressed upon me is that moisturizing is important. When I was younger and my skin was truly awful I was using moisturizers that had things like salicylic acid in them (which I think might have done more harm than good since that meant I was constantly drying out my skin – especially after swim practice!). When I was in college my mom gave me a bottle of this moisturizer that she’d purchased. She had meant to purchase the one for normal skin and got the one for oily skin by accident and honestly, it changed my life. I noticed an almost immediate difference in my skin since I was no longer constantly slathering it with various acne-fighting acids. So that’s the moisturizer I use after I wash my face in the morning, or any time I put moisturizer on during the day.
At night, however, I’ve stepped up my game. I use Olay 7 Effects Night Cream, which not only moisturizes but tightens as well. Thankfully my skin doesn’t need any tightening at this time, but this lotion is loaded with vitamins and minerals that will hopefully prevent wrinkles and saggy skin down the line. This, like all night creams, is thicker than what one would usually wear during the day and is also a bit tacky (so that it sticks to your skin at night and doesn’t get wiped off by your pillow), so don’t be alarmed if it feels a little wonky at first. It took me a few days to get used to the feeling of it on my skin.
I also use Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl on my eyes, which is supposed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the delicate skin around your eyes. To be honest I didn’t really have any lines or wrinkles before I started using it, so this is more of a preventative measure than anything else.
And that’s about it! I’ve also been trying to drink more water recently, but I don’t think it’s been long enough to really be able to report on any differences there.