I Admit It – I Am Vain!
by Linda Stradley
I think every women is vain to some degree. Face it, the face is the first mark of aging, as aging is an irreversible process.
I care what I look like and how my skin looks. Like millions of other women, when I was in my 20s and 30s, I did not really appreciate how beautiful my skin was then. When I was in my 20s, forty seemed ancient to me, and 65 was unthinkable! I looked at my mother, and other older women, and thought that I would never have wrinkles. Being vain doesn’t mean having a big ego. I t just means that I care what I look like to myself and others.
I am not vain because I’m beautiful – but because I’m not beautiful! I am pretty average looking. However, I feel that since I am average-looking and in my “senior years”, I need to do whatever I can to keep those looks from slipping away into old age. I know, I know – I have to accept being a senior citizen! I must graciously accept it! I am working on this, but I’m not going to go down easy! While some signs of aging are inevitable, there’s a lot you can do to look your best at any age.
I was a very lucky teenager, as I had very few pimples and had very clear skin. My hair was thick and wavy, and I hardly had to curl it to look great.
Every since I was in my 20s, I have been conscience that I needed to take care of my skin. I have very fair skin, and I have always been very careful what I used on my face. I was always getting compliments on my skin!
Into my 40s, other people were always saying I looked younger than I was. Of course I loved hearing this!
Then came menopause in my 50s! My doctor had me on hormones for several years, and I did not really notice much change. But, since taken off of hormones. Changes have occurred! I looked into my mirror one day, and guess what – my neck turned into an old ladies’ neck! I can’t believe it – I am starting to look like my mother! Check out Menopause and Weight Gain.
Skin Care – I definitely realize that every time you frown, smile, squint, or use any other common facial expression, your muscles contract under your skin. When you do it over and over again, the result can be wrinkles. This cannot be avoided, but I do believe it is true that skin care products are essential to having good skin. Taking care of skin is important considering the destruction one goes through during the long aging process. Since I make my own anti-aging face cream, everyone is always asking me for advice on taking care of their skin.
First – I want to say! You cannot STOP Aging! You can only SLOW IT DOWN and minimize any existing lines that you already have on your face. So don’t believe any advertisements saying you can eliminate your “wrinkles” with their cream. One of the biggest mistakes middle age women make, is to use a heavy foundation or powder on their face. These products only make your face look dry and emphasize any lines that you now have. Throw those product away NOW!
Tanning – When I was a teenager, I actually tried to get sun tans with my fair skin. All I did was burn and peel! I finally realized, in my 20s, that this was impossible and bad for me. I started using sunscreen when outdoors. Sun plays a major role to deteriorate your skin. You need to protect your skin from the sun in order to prevent the aging of your skin. The sun is largely responsible for wrinkles, dry skin, blotchy pigmentation, thinning of skin, skin texture, skin dullness, and some other sun related diseases that can make your skin look older. When I’m gardening, I wear a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a hat – even on very hot days. I also put sunscreen on my face. I look pretty funny when gardening, but I am protecting myself.
I have never smoked! It seemed like every one I knew in my 20s and 30s, did smoke. I was the odd non-smoker. So, I was exposed to a lot of secondhand smoke. Some researchers believe that exposure to cigarette smoke (whether you smoke or not) is as damaging to skin as exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Today, many scientist have suggested that nicotine present in the cigarette has the same influence on elastin in the skin as sunlight. So, my friends and family exposed me to the effects of secondhand smoke.
About my hands – A lot of us take care of our faces, but forget about our aging hands. Next to your face, your hands are probably the most visible parts of your body. The earliest signs of aging will show on your hands. The skin on the back of your hands is extremely delicate. This skin is very, very thin, as there is almost no fat under it at all, which is why the veins are so visible. I have always worn rubber gloves when washing dishes and doing messy housework. I now have added the routine of exfoliating and moisturizing them every day. Read my article on Younger Looking Hands – Keeping Hands Beautiful As We Age.
What surprises me is that I let myself get overweight! According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), 30 pound overweight is obese! I am trying my best to fix this, which is very hard! My husband and I bought an elliptical and a treadmill that we exercise on 30 minutes a day. I am cutting back on my food intake and watching calories. This losing weight is so slow. My body doesn’t want to let the pounds go! Check out my Dieting Hints & Tips and Linda’s Diet Statement.
SO – AM I VAIN OR NOT?