Not long ago, I was asked where I’d just graduated from and if I’d started working. Considering I have not seen the inside of a University for erm… umpteen years, I was terribly amused. I mean, I felt it was a bit of an exaggeration, but when I told them my actual age (40) they didn’t believe me. Perhaps they meant I was a mature student at Uni eh?
But naturally, I felt good about being thought I looked younger than I really am, wouldn’t you LOL! 😀 But what prompted the disbelief, I was later told, was in the lack of some tell-tale signs of aging in my physical make up. I thought it would be fun to share that bit of trivia with you! But it’ll interest me to know if you have, or are regularly perceived to be younger than what you actually are? 😉
Physical signs of age #1 – Lined, dry, gnarly hands
Want to know if someone is faking their age? Look at their hands. It’s a sure-fire give away of their true age. But the sad thing is that it goes both ways. If you don’t care for your hands, they may actually look older than you are!
So, take care of your hands. Wear gloves whenever you do household chores (it makes a HUGE difference, I promise you!), and apply hand cream to moisturise your hands and keep the skin supple. After all, if you moisturise your face, why not your hands right?
The thing for me, is that I don’t use hand cream a lot. I’m not one of those who slather on hand cream throughout the day, with a tube in their handbag at all times. I only apply it once, at night, before bed. That’s all I can handle. So I guess I’m just lucky to have fairly smooth hands (if I don’t say so myself! Ahem! 😛 )
Physical signs of age #2 – Lined, sagging skin around the jawline, neck and décolletage
Your neck. How many of you care for the skin on your neck and décolletage? Do you use a dedicated cream for your neck or do you just forget about it and hope for the best? You might be interested to know that our neck, jawline and décolletage area can tattle on your real age.
These days, you can even get creams and serums and potions just for the neck! But you know what? Let me tell you a secret that will save you loads of money. Don’t waste your time and money on these “neck creams”.
Instead, just extend your skincare routine down to your neck! Whatever you apply on your face, just extend it downwards to your neck and décolletage. Toners, serums, moisturisers… everything! Yes, even sunscreen!
I have been doing this for a while, without really thinking about it, and I must say that it pays dividends. I tend to be quite liberal in the use of my facial skincare, which is why I started doing this. I’d find that after apply my product to my face, I still have some excess on my hands, so instead of wasting it, I’d apply it to my neck. Soon, it became my routine. Do you do the same?
Physical signs of age #3 – Pigmentation spots
This would really be a dead give away of my age, because I have pigmentation spots. But I try to keep it under control using products and always being diligent about using sunscreen. Using a whitening product would help too. There is a fine line between when freckles stop being cute and start making your skin look dull. Unfortunately, unless you undergo laser treatment (which, despite many many requests, I won’t, sorry if you’re hoping I’ll tell you about my experiences some day) there’s no way you can get rid of your pigmentation. So, prevention via a good sunscreen used daily without exception, rain or shine, summer or winter, is your best bet. If all fails, hello, makeup! 😀
Physical signs of age #4 – Lined, dry lips
This one’s very visible too and might be something you notice. When you’re younger, with your skin plumped up with springy collagen, everything looks better. Lips look more plump, pink and smooth. Then it goes downhill from there LOL!
So, treat your lips. Drink lots of water, don’t lick your lips, and don’t wear too much lip balm. I know, that last tip sounds counter productive, but seriously, I’d suggest you look into using a lip treatment product instead of slathering on lipbalm umpteen times a day. I’m in that camp that believes that too much lipbalm is not good, and can actually make you dependant on using it. I am also one of those who do not use lip balm at all (unless I’m where the weather calls for it) but otherwise, here in the humid tropics, you don’t really need a lip balm.
I use the Lucas Papaw Ointment as my nightly lip treatment. I apply some on, and go to sleep. It’s the only “treatment” I do, and it seems to help my lips stay supple and pretty much flake and line-free. Also, always use a proper makeup remover to remove your lipstick at the end of the day. You might be surprised when you run a piece of cotton pad over your lips, just how pink it turns out to be. The build up of product can dull the skin of your lips.
Speaking of lipstick, I find that using a lighter, glossy textured lipstick in a brighter shade of rose, red or pink actually makes you look younger than if you were to go for something opaque and matte and deep coloured like plum or brown or deep red. Don’t believe me? Try it and see for yourself! 😀
Physical signs of age #5 – Lines around the eyes
This one’s a sure-fire sign of age. But at the same time, I believe sometimes we can’t help ourselves because it could just be our genetic make up. For some of us, the mere act of smiling causes the skin around the eyes to crinkle and the eyes to disappear. For others, it doesn’t happen.
In the former category, you will notice lines forming much earlier in life (I don’t consider this a bad thing – smile lines are always a good thing!) While eye creams help soften these lines, nothing really eradicates it, except maybe botox. But using an eye cream diligently is good practice, to keep the skin around the eyes hydrated, similar to the rest of your face.
I won’t preach too much on this point, because I’m TERRIBLE at using an eye cream diligently. Horrible! So, I should put my money where my mouth is, and actually DO something about it! LOL 😀
Physical signs of age #6 – Dry, Lined skin
The most obvious signs of age would show on your facial skin. Skin looks lined and dry. What you need therefore is to take proper care of your skin.
I have switched my cleansers to cleansing balms and cream type cleansers, because they’re less drying and more gentle on dry skin. Also, I amp up the hydration (I always use both a face mist and a hydrating lotion/toner/serum) and on top of all that, I have introduced retinols, chemical exfoliants, facial oils and anti-aging serums and creams into my routine.
It all sounds a lot, I know. I’m always playing around with my skincare, tweaking and testing as I go, but it will make a difference to your skin in the long run and really, that’s what we’re here for right? The best way to care for our skin! Looking younger is a bonus, actually 😀
Physical signs of age #7 – Thin brows
The funny thing is, many aunties I know tattooed their brows back when they were younger, so they don’t have thin brows now that they’re older, they now sport blue brows 😛 I personally have never tried brow tattoos (whew!) or brow embroidery so I’m not going there.
But one of the thing that happens as you age is loss of hair. That includes your brows. So, learn to pencil in your brows, and extend the “tail” of your brows just a little longer than their natural length. Longer, thicker brows look more youthful than thin, short brows so it’s a simple tip to bear in mind!
Physical signs of age #8 – Loss of skin elasticity and collagen
This one’s tricky and very true unfortunately. If you look at a young child or baby, their skin is plump, elastic and if you pinch it, literally SPRINGS. Man, what wouldn’t I give to have that boing boing skin again! Well, sans the naivete of youth, naturally 😛
So, we fake it, with skincare products and sometimes, makeup 😛 But I’d like to mention another area that can affect the quality of your skin – lifestyle.
If you want your skin to remain supple and elastic for longer, take a look at your lifestyle. Do you drink excessively? Do you smoke? If your answer to both questions is yes, stop. I know, it’s easier said than done, but it ultimately comes down to your skin (and general) health right? I know of people who tell me that smoking (or social smoking as they call it) helps them keep the weight off. I tell them, it’s no use being thin if you’re going to dry out to a husk and die young 😛
As for drink, I partake of the occasional tipple myself but I try not to overdo it. When I drink, I also drink a lot of water to flush my system, and to rehydrate because alcohol is very dehydrating. It also kills brain cells, so if I start behaving a little strangely, erm… yes, I drink! LOL 😀
I would also say that regular exercise will not only keep your body in tip top shape, but will be good for your skin as well. All that blood circulation, you know. But I’m not your best example because I’m the laziest bugger you ever did meet 😛 I try, I try… but I’m not the best person to preach this.
So, I do the next best thing. I watch my food. No, not in the sense of being super careful about what I eat. I ensure I eat everything, but I eat in moderation. I don’t shy away from fried foods, or junk food or what is perceived to be unhealthy food. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole foods (unprocessed or less processed foods) where possible without going overboard and getting on any dietary bandwagon.
I don’t take a lot (or any) dairy foods because I’m mildly lactose intolerant, but I later learned that dairy isn’t good for the skin so if you’re breaking out a lot, but eat a lot of dairy, try stopping and see if that helps.
Ditto sugar. I’m not a sweet person. Yes, that’s a true statement, whether or not related to food LOL! 😀 But even when it comes to food, I’m not into desserts. I may take the occasional cake or cookie, but I don’t generally eat sweet foods because they don’t satisfy my tastebuds. I’m more into savoury food, so I’d happily whack off a main course of meat and potato stew, but you know how they say everyone has space for dessert? I don’t. I’m happy to walk away thereafter. But that’s a good thing, because sugar is also bad for your health and your skin. So if your skin is similarly breaking out and you enjoy your sugary sweet desserts, consider cutting back.
Eat everything in moderation – fats, oils, vegetables, fruits, meat, carbohydrates – but eat. Your body needs nutrients from food to heal itself and to manufacture collagen and renew skin cells… you can’t expect to be on a 500kcal a day diet pumped with weird hormones and still expect to look good, can you? Sure, you may look thinner, but your skin will be shit. So, don’t be so silly. Eat, drink and be merry – your skin will thank you for it! 😀
Sometimes, it’s just in your genes
Are you often mistaken for being younger than you are? Do you consciously take steps to address these physical signs of ageing?
To be honest, I don’t consciously go all out to look younger. I just do what I can to improve the quality of my skin and health, as much as I can. But I suppose my cultivated habits have translated themselves into better, younger looking skin, which I’m happy about. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean I actually have to LOOK older right? 😛 But on the flipside, I also believe that our genes and genetic make up plays a big role as well. So, do what you can but don’t go overboard. Sometimes, the buck stops at our genes 😛