5 things you should be doing NOW for antiaging

We are all different ages and our skin is uniquely ours, based on how we take care of it as well as our environment and heredity.  If you are like me, you want to turn back the hands of time and keep people guessing what your real age is.  No matter what condition your skin is in now, by following the following five things you WILL improve your skin’s appearance and ward off the signs of aging.  Read on to see what they are…

# 1     Drink a lot of water  – This may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your skin hydrated inside and out is a sure way to keep yourself looking younger and glowing.  Remember, our skin is the largest organ of our body, so it is important to take care of it!  This also includes getting enough rest and eating a healthy diet as the healthier you are, the better your skin will look.  From a product perspective, be sure to use Hyaluronic Acid.  I mentioned the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in my Best Winter Products article but the same applies here. Hydrated skin looks plumper and younger and it is important to be hydrated both inside and out.  If you aren’t already, be sure this ingredient is incorporated into your skincare routine!

Get out and enjoy nature – but don’t forget the sunscreen.

#2     Use Sunscreen – This is another thing that so many of us neglect in our daily activities.  Trust me,  sunscreen is not just for summer!  It should be applied year-round before going outside.  We don’t think about it, but there are so many free radicals in our environment that all work to break down the elasticity of our skin.  Harmful UV rays fall into this category.  Sunscreen is your “force field” to make it difficult for these environmental toxins to gain access to our skin.

Tretinoin cream is another name for Retin-A. It comes in varying strengths. This is the lowest.

#3     Vitamin A is your friend – There is so much information on so many skincare products out there that it can be overwhelming to know what to use.  I’m sure you’ve heard of retinol, which is essentially Vitamin A.  Retinols need to be a part of your routine to anti-age!  If you are new to Retinols, I’d start with any over the counter retinol cream and slowly integrate it into your routine.  Most store-bought creams are mild but everyone’s skin reacts differently.  Basically what this will do is help with your cell turnover (which slows down as we age) leaving us with smoother, glowing skin.  If you are in your 30s or 40s you should get Retin-A (also commonly known as Tretinoin) which is a much stronger dosage (about 10X stronger than retinoids). Typically you need a prescription for this but there are some online places you can order it.   Another benefit is that this treatment also clears acne!  Use sparingly until your skin is used to it, and be sure to be extra diligent about sunscreen when you are using any of these vitamin A products as they increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun.  NOTE:  If you are pregnant or nursing you should NOT use these products!

#4-     Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! – You could be using all the best products for your skin, but if you are not exfoliating, or removing the dead layers of skin from its surface, none of your products will penetrate fully or be as effective.  So maximize all your skincare products by exfoliating at least 2/3 times per week.  You can use products that can manually exfoliate or some that have mild acids in it to melt off those layers.  I like Dermologica’s Gentle Cream Exfoliant.

#5-     Don’t forget your neck and hands– In our quest to keep our skin looking younger we all tend to focus the most attention on our faces; after all, that is the first thing we see on each other!  However, as you are applying products to your face don’t forget to also apply to the neck and even the decollete area.  Nothing is worse than having our necks betray our true age when we’ve worked so hard to keep our face looking young.  Be sure to give your hands some TLC also to keep yourself looking young in all the right places.  I made this mistake and wish I could get back those years, but now I apply my products on the neck and back of the hands to fully reach all the key areas that begin to show our age.

SUMMARY

So how many of the tips above are you already doing?  Following these steps are relatively inexpensive and can save you in the long run of possible cosmetic procedures to turn back the hands of time.  The sooner you start putting these tips into practice the better prepared you will be to hold off on those lines and wrinkles. Happy anti-aging!

 

Thinking about Invisalign? Read on to learn about getting braces over 40!

I’ve journaled my experience using Invisalign so read on to see if it’s for you!

Invisalign Diary

February 23, 2017

Today I am going to get Invisalign on my teeth.  I know there are no wires or brackets like my first experience with braces back in my teens, but the orthodontist did say to allow 40 minutes for the appointment so I am expecting something more involved than just popping them on.  How does it work?  First,  an impression is made of your mouth and you wait about 6-8 weeks for your trays to be made.  Then you can meet with your orthodontist to get started. 

Once I arrive at my appointment, I learn that adjusters will be glued on to a few of my teeth to help secure the tray.  They are the same color as my teeth so no big deal there.  The bulk of my appointment is having them attached and then smoothed over so that they are comfortable.  Then the trays were inserted and bam! I’m done.  The orthodontist lets me practice popping them off and on, which is not as easy as I expected, especially considering they need to be removed every time I eat or drink something other than cool water.  For a frequent snacker like myself, this could be a challenge, especially since it is recommended that the braces stay on 22 hours per day for optimal results.  Maybe I’ll drop a few pounds during this process!  However, the trays are comfortable on – I don’t feel like my mouth is huge and as I speak to the ortho, I am pleased to notice that I don’t appear to have any type of lisp as I speak (I have met some people with Invisalign who do speak with a lisp).  I left with four different trays – the first stays on for 3 weeks and the others are worn for 2 weeks apiece.  The total number of trays I’ll need to wear for the duration of this treatment is 31.  My next appointment is in May to check in and get some more trays.  Let’s see how it goes!

 

Changing a tray every few weeks is part of the process when wearing Invisalign.

March 16, 2017

Today I start to wear my second tray of Invisalign!  How have the last few weeks been?  For one, as I’ve worn the initial tray, it has become much easier to pop in and out of my mouth when I eat, so that has been encouraging.  Other than that, they are really very low maintenance and, honestly, people that I interact with on a daily basis have no idea that I’m wearing anything at all, which is awesome!  When you are over 40, you especially don’t want to draw attention to yourself in that way.  For my 12 year old niece who is sporting the traditional type of braces, it’s fine, but not for me!  My teeth are usually a little sore as soon as I wear a new tray but it is not anything intense. 

Many of my friends, including my husband, don’t really “get” why I’m wearing them at all and think my teeth are fine now, but this is something I decided to do just to move some teeth that have shifted a bit over the years.  It is a financial investment, but luckily our dental insurance will cover a portion of it.  Overall, so far so good.  I won’t lie; I have cheated on the “no eating or drinking hot beverages with them on” rule.  I’ve drunk iced coffee using a straw, and have also enjoyed drinking seltzer with them in and have had no ill effects.  I am pretty diligent to make sure I’m keeping them clean and brushing my teeth often though.  And I don’t think I will attempt to drink hot beverages with them in, as I’ve read it could melt the material that the trays are made with and I don’t want to risk that!

 

One tray down, 30 more to go on my way to perfectly straight teeth!

I’ll keep you posted on this journey as there are many, many more trays to wear over the coming months, but, if you are thinking about it, I can tell you that so far it has been a positive, no fuss experience for me.  Have you used Invisalign?  Please leave a comment and share your experience!  Thinking about it?  Ask me any questions you have!

 

5 Best e.l.f. Products Under $10

It is so exciting to find great beauty products that work well, but it’s even MORE exciting when those products are $10 or LESS!  I’ve pulled together my 5 favorite affordable make up products by the brand e.l.f. (eyes lips face) to share with you, because who doesn’t want to save some bucks on make up?

Leave your house with a flawless face for $3!

Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 20 Sunscreen, $3

This product has well outperformed my expectations.  I use it on days when I’m running to the gym.  I can get my sun protection in, and the tint evens out my complexion.  It wears well and speeds up my morning routine.  This product would also be great for people that don’t like foundation but want to camouflage a few imperfections before heading out the door in the morning.  There are several shade selections and it is only $3.

Generous size of four great colors for your cheeks.

Powder Blush Palette $6

I am still blown away by this product.  For $6 you get four different shades of blush in generous sized pans.  I find the colors nicely pigmented and they last on my face throughout the day.  It’s great for travel and a nice way to experiment with a few different shades without breaking the bank.

Ten beautiful warm matte shades for $10.

Mad for Matte 2 Shadow Palette $10

At $10 this is the most expensive in my roundup of products, but still a fantastic value in my opinion.  There are 10 shadows in a great compact palette that are all beautiful warm tones.  If you enjoy those colors, you will not be disappointed!  There is great color pay off and I find the colors blend nicely on the lid.  This is another great travel piece as well.

Give your face a large drink of water with this sheet mask.

Hydrating Water Sheet Mask $6

We are approaching springtime, but the March wind and unpredictable weather is here, and so is my dehydrated skin.  This sheet mask is easy to use and gives my face a healthy dose of hydration and a much needed pick-me-up each time I use one.  It’s easy to use and the mess free clean up make this a no-brainer for me.  For more tips on keeping your skin hydrated, you might want to check out my previous post 7 Must-Have Products to Survive Winter Skin.

Use this nifty tool to apply jar based masks or even foundation.

Pore Refining Brush $5

While I love the sheet masks from e.l.f., as the skincare junkie I am I do have some other masks in my collection that are in a jar.  This brush is so unique and perfect for spreading those products on my skin easily.  With any products in a jar it is much more hygienic to avoid putting our fingers into the jar to avoid any contamination.  It’s rubbery texture makes it easy to wash off and it’s double ended with a small traditional brush on the other end for those smaller, hard to reach areas!

I hope these product reviews help you if you are thinking about trying the e.l.f. brand and don’t know where to begin, or if you have some products currently and are wondering which others might be good to try.  Comment below and let me know your great product finds under $10.  Happy shopping!