Ageing and Radiant Skin (& random thoughts of a recent 40 year old).
Do you ever think of ageing? (I do! I turned 40 this week- Wow, how did that happen? I’m still 29 in my head). When you reach the 40’s, there is a tendency to overthink this transitional period of life (cue mid-life crisis thoughts- its real people, just try ask anyone over 40!)
Society endeavours (not so subtly) to put constraints on us as women to look a certain way, feel a certain way, conform to the ‘apparent’ norm and image of beauty. Ageing, especially in women is not embraced kindly (how on earth can we have radiant skin and still be ageing?
I can safely say (now) that the older I get, the more beautiful I ‘feel’ as I embrace those frown lines and happy smile lines (& yes I still have slight insecurities about some parts of my body, but I try not to entertain such thoughts, I see no point).
The 100 year book by Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott (phenomenal book by the way!) stresses the point of the impact of how we live today and how we are all living and working in the age of longevity. Some of us may live to be 80-100 years old (imagine that!) This book offer a plethora of paradigm shifts we must approach to life and the work life balance in order to secure a healthier us for this social media age. Norm transitions of school, work , retire paradigms were challenged. There is a new way to preserve our 'age' and still look good and live life to the fullest potential (I highly recommend this book).
Ageing according to Gerontology research, is a process whereby single cells within an organism has stopped dividing. Losing the ability to divide is a natural process of ageing. This could be due to physiological, psychological and social changes. The main causes of ageing is still unknown and is subject to ongoing research. Some researchers say cell senescence (the condition or process of deterioration with age) can be due to accumulation of breaks in double strands in the DNA structure and/or due to toxins from our physical environment and lifestyle (Hello! Ermm alarm bells...toxins!)
OK, enough of complicated stuff, ageing (in my opinion) can also be attributed to the extended state of the mind. Premature ageing due to stress can disrupt hormones. Stress hormones in particular can age the skin (have you ever heard the term stress shows on your face?) Chronic stress disrupts hormones and becomes like a dripping tap, which eventually has an impact on every part of the body, exposing your body to the vulnerability and exacerbation of that vulnerability.
How we think about ourselves, what we eat, how we exercise, how we manage stress, and relationship dynamics can all be symptomatic of how we age. Yes, getting ‘older’ may slow down physical responses, but with getting older, you also do become wiser and more mature, having experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly of life (I’ll take that any day, beauty comes from within and your face radiates the contentment you feel inside).
I believe that to have radiant skin, we should all face ageing head-on (gracefully). Ageing is not bad, it is inevitable and the concept of anti-ageing is loosing its popularity and its grip on enlightened skin care enthusiast (like me!)...'cell renewal', 'skin rejuvenation', 'cell regeneration', 'radiant skin' are all terms the beauty and skin care industry should be championing as far as I am concerned...
Anyhow, here are a couple of pointers that make me age gracefully and keep my skin radiating...
1. First all – know this: ageing is inevitable. We cannot stop the process (Now that’s out of the way…)
2. Be confident in who you are: There is only one YOU. Be YOU. In every season of life, you will discover a new you (I definitely do not want to go back to that 21 year old insecure me!).
3. Do something new. Challenge yourself to embrace something new! I started my own skin care business at the cusps of turning 40. Hard, challenging and scary moment, but with a leap of faith I launched out (I’d rather try out my passions and go for it, than to wonder when I am 100 years old). I heard it once said (no twice actually) “you are limited by what you define as hard so do the hard stuff''.
4. Learn to enjoy the daily moments in life and see beauty all around (spring tulips are my current favourite).
5. ‘Manage your stress’: - Running a home with my husband (my rock by the way), working full time, building a business from scratch, juggling mother hood (two adventurous boys in primary school), getting involved in charities I am passionate about…there is a tendency to get stressed! Stress is one big factor of premature ageing! So manage and cultivate habits periodically to manage your stress. (Whatever rocks your boat- I like to go running and spending time with my family and close friends).
6. Cultivate great friendships: Girlfriends rock. Get great ones and have a laugh (a lot!)
7. Eat healthy: Remind yourself to eat healthy. Greens, reds, purples, all the food colours of the rainbow (I am biased towards chicken and rice though -that reminds me- I must pick up some tomatoes from the shops- not that my 5 year old likes them, no matter how much I try to convince him that they are moon squirtters from the Charlie and Lola book).
8. Invest, Invest, and Invest right in your life (time and money don’t grow on trees).
9. Invest in great skincare and look after your skin. (I am biased towards African Sheabutter of course, and our natural and organic indulgent regenerative face cream is to die for with the amazing rosehip and marula oil- you need to try it!).
10. Find your own ideas :-)