Skincare Reflections – What I would have told my younger self
Recently someone asked me: If I could go back in time and take care of my skin with all the wisdom I have now, what would I do differently? I thought about it, and here is a list of things I would tell my younger self (if I had a time machine).
Use Natural Products
As many of you know, I grew up on a hippie commune with a mother who only allowed all-natural products. As a teenager wishing to fit in and be ‘normal,’ I secretly used commercial skincare like Cover Girl. Feeling young and invincible, I didn’t care that there were so-called ‘toxic’ ingredients. Now I care passionately and am convinced of the negative impact many chemicals have over time on overall health – not to mention the appearance of skin. Back then I thought these things were benign, but now I’m a strong believer in clean skincare being the superior choice for radiant looking skin and better health. That’s ultimately why I created Essentiel with pure essential oils and other exceptional ingredients that are safe and effective to use on any part of the face and body. Turns out hindsight is 20/20 — and mother does know best.
Part of the fun of being young is we can get away with a lot more. I don’t necessarily regret the Ben & Jerry’s (another favorite item I’d sneak eat by the pint when away from home), or the many Thanksgiving dinners in New Orleans where I stuffed myself until I couldn’t move from the sofa…but I strongly believe now that minimizing sugar, refined and processed foods and eating a balanced diet is key to overall health. Our whole body is a delicate system that needs to be nourished. Proper nutrition and hydration is a great tool for anti-aging and helps protect our skin from the inside out.
Be Sun Smart
Another note to my younger self: There’s no need to spend hours baking in the sun attempting to achieve that SI Swimsuit look from the 80s – especially now that there are some fantastic natural tanning creams. Over exposure to UV rays from the sun causes free radicals to form within the skin, which damages elastin fibers and contributes to wrinkles and even skin cancer. That said, it’s healthy to spend 30 minutes or so in the sun daily to absorb much needed vitamin D. Just be sure to wear natural sunscreen and proper sun protection like a hat when absorbing this essential vitamin. Aspiring to look like Stephanie Seymour seemed more important at the time, but preserving our skin becomes more the priority as we get older.
Get More Sleep
There’s a reason they call it beauty sleep. Sleep is when our body repairs itself. When we’re asleep our skin’s blood flow increases, and the organs rebuild collagen and repair damage from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots. Back in college, I once slept through a fire alarm. When I was young, I could sleep through anything or anywhere! (I once dozed off at a noisy bar while others partied and have been known to crash out at a couple concerts). Still, there was an occasional all-nighter which is common for kids, yet now I know to be sure to prioritize listening to my body. Today when I feel tired or run down, I honor the need to let my body rest and recover. There’s nothing more important than our health and well-being.
My grandmother used to say I inherited her tendency to worry. She’d say so with an apologetic tone and assured me that 99% of the things she had worried about remained in her head rather than becoming reality. At the end of the day, life is too precious to be taken so seriously. We could all use more fun in our lives! Positivity and gratitude goes a long way. Adopting an optimistic attitude and believing that everything will ultimately turn out for the best is a lifelong practice – especially when you start waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’ as an adolescent. If you need more motivation to chill, studies show that worrying elevates the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause wrinkles and break down collagen and elastin. Learning to take it easy is one simple way to take care of both our bodies and minds. This is a quality I’m still cultivating many years later 😉
Good note to our younger and present selves – ENJOY!
Beautiful skin requires a holistic approach, and my main goal is to help empower us all to live happier, healthier lives. Here’s to growing older and wiser!