Thursday, March 19, 2009

I may be turning a year older...but I don't have to look like it!

This is just a random entry about age preventative measures I've consciously added into my life to ensure I continue to age gracefully, even though I'm still young. I think the title of this entry says it all,'s all about looking and feeling good! Most of my suggestions are pretty basic, but I don't think of all us always strive towards them on a daily basis.

#1. Take vitamins frequently.
I was never an avid vitamin popper, but I started this year (2009). I take a vitamin C tablet and a multivitamin tablet for teens (though I'm not in my teens anymore, sniff sniff) every morning at breakfast, and I'm good to go. I noticed such a HUGE improvement in my energy levels, mental acuity, and immune system strength (while everyone else around me was getting sick, I was perfectly fine!). You don't have to take vitamins every day, but I'd say every other day is a good way to go.

#2. Early to bed, early to rise.
This one is so hard for me, because I am not a morning person by any means. Some people wake up instantly after their alarm clock goes off, no matter how many hours they've slept, but I will definitely sleep like a rock. I go to bed when everyone else is waking up and I am awake when the world is sleeping...such a terrible habit. If you're like me, it's so painful to reverse your sleeping habits, but you have to do it for you own health. A tip is to go to bed super early, even if it means going to bed at 7 or 8pm, and waking up around 5 am. I love waking up early, because it gives my brain time to "warm up" before starting the day.

#3. Exercise!
Okay, I hate exercising too...haha! But it's crucial to elevating your mood, energy, and even positively affects your appearance, such as your skin. Since I hate lifting weights and prefer cardio, my preference is to run about half an hour to an hour in the morning after eating a light breakfast. This jump starts your metabolism for the rest of the day, which is really important if you work in an office and find yourself sitting down all the time. The initial working out is painful, but once you get yourself into an exercise routine, you'll find that it is quite addictive and you'll feel sad when you miss a day!

#4. Increasing natural liquid & fluid intake.
While it may not be necessary to drink a fixed amount of 8 glasses of water everyday, you should definitely be making sure you're hydrating yourself properly throughout the day. Cut out soda, beverages with artificial sweetners (yes, that includes most bottled juice or flavored water), as much coffee as possible. This is one area I think I've been fairly consistent in--I drink tons of water, tea, and soy milk throughout the day, and it has helped to control my hunger pangs and energy level.

#5. Sunscreen!
I think this is pretty self-explanatory...UVA and UVB rays are the #1 cause of premature aging. When applying sunscreen, you should be using half a tablespoon for your face to ensure it is protected completely. We are also advised to reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours, but as most of us are unable to do this in a work environment, I think the best method is using a mineral powder with sunscreen to touch up your makeup. Or you could always wash your face and reapply your makeup all over again.
On a sidenote, I was watching a "behind the scenes" footage of Barbie Hsu/Xu on the set of "Corner with Love," a Taiwanese drama before. In all the scenes where she filmed outside, she had an assistant constantly follow her around with an umbrella until the cameras started rolling...and as soon as the director cut the scene the umbrella would come back up over her head. Insane, huh?! But certainly clued me into how she maintains her milky white skin--I want someone who will follow me around with an umbrella!

#6. Exfoliate daily, use retinol.
This has been the biggest skincare epiphany for me in 2008/2009. No matter how sensitive your skin is, everyone can benefit from daily exfoliation. This ensures that the dead skin cells and oil are constantly getting sloughed off and won't clog your pores or cause pimples. I love to use old coffee grounds, white sugar with cleansing oil myself; if your skin is more delicate, I suggest using a lukewarm washcloth. Also, if you read my previous post, you can understand why retinol is so important for age prevention. I'm going to be diligent about skincare and I better not see any wrinkles until I'm at least 45! Haha!

#7. Movement habits--sleep upright, don't rub eyes, watch the facial expressions.
Not doing all the things stated above can definitely affect how quickly your skin ages. Sleeping on your back ensures that gravity is evenly pushing down on your face; if you sleep on one side, gravity will eventually tug it more quickly to one side. Rubbing your eyes or face can tug at your delicate skin and tear it, especially where collagen is thinnest. Lastly, as for facial expressions--be conscious of how you move your face. For example, my mom is a chronic "frowner" and now she has these terrible furrows between her eyebrows that don't disappear even when her face is relaxed. :-( So relax your facial muscles as frequently as possible.

#8. Don't layer too many products onto the skin.
With all the frenzy towards staying youthful as long as possible, people can get overeager and excited about the skincare products out there, and end up layering too much on the skin. It is important that we use as little as possible so our skin can still breathe, and not become too reliant on the products. During my morning routine, I try to limit my products to a serum, light moisturizer, and sunscreen before applying makeup. At night, I only use a serum followed by a moisturizer and eyecream. Less is more!

#9. There's nothing wrong with caring about your appearance.
To some people, beauty is superficial. But let's be honest--society itself is superficial. And if looking like a better version of yourself will keep you happy, why not? Investing time, care, and money in your appearance also shows respect for the other people in your life. But it's important to keep the self-preoccupation in check...i.e., if you look like Michael Jackson, you probably should reevaluate your priorities.

#10. Your health and happiness comes first before anything else.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory...if you're not happy, those symptoms will begin to manifest physically at some point or another, if not already. This is similar to some advice I recently told my mom, someone who has always stressed out about her family instead of herself and isn't the healthiest person--make sure that you're happy and content, because if you're not, you will be unable to help others who rely on you in life, no matter how hard you try.


fuzkittie said...

AGreed on all of those!!! I need to exercise more.... sighhh I'm so lazy, hahaha

fuzkittie said...

Oh no my CdP cream liner is a sample, hahaha. So it doesn't close up properly.. I'm thinking of getting the real one, haha! Crazy I know