Maybe it’s good genes, maybe it’s the fact that I work at a university and am surrounded by college kids, or maybe it’s the fact that I have a perpetual baby face; case in point: most people are surprised when I tell them my age (almost 32). I frequently get asked, “what year are you?” to which I get very excited and reply, “I’m an adult! I work here! I’ve been out of college 10 years!” All of these comments have made me wonder if perhaps I’ve done something right over the past 10+ years to receive comments like this. If ever there were a fountain of youth, or a key to reverse aging, or I don’t know, some secret to looking youthful, maybe this is it:
Wear sunscreen every day. I wear sunscreen every day. Yes, every day. In the winter, when my entire body is covered with clothing, I will wear it on my face. Once the weather warms up and I’m outside and exposing my arms, legs, and neck, I wear it every day. I’ve been using a moisturizer with SPF 15 for as long as I can remember for my face. In the summer when I’m outdoors more, I use a higher SPF. One place I’m always sure to cover is my chest, especially when I’m wearing v-neck shirts or tank tops. Don’t forget your ears, tops of feet, hands, well, basically everywhere. Also, you need a lot of sunscreen to get the job done. Fill up a shot glass and that’s what it takes. Seriously. Here I am teaching my look-a-like to do the same! You can never start too young!
Limit Sun Exposure. I love being outdoors but I wear hats a lot and try to avoid being out during peak UV exposure. Hats can be a great way to accessorize too! Hint: If your shadow is shorter than you, the rays are strongest and you’re more likely to get a sunburn and we all know what sunburns are: skin damage. When I was little my mom rarely let me go to the pool during the day. I was always annoyed by this but she always said it was best to go in the early evening, when the sun wasn’t glaring down on me. After all these years, mom was right. Isn’t mom always right? Thanks, mom!
Wear sunglasses. If you want to reduce the likelihood of getting crows feet, I think one place to start is to wear a good pair of polarized sunglasses. Wearing polarized shades keeps my eyes healthy and I squint much less. While squinting isn’t the only contributor to crow’s feet, it certainly causes them to pop up earlier in life.
Drink Water. I drink a lot of water. I’m pretty boring when it comes to beverages. I’ve never been one to drink pop or juice or alcohol so I drink a lot of water. Dehydration makes skin look older and wrinkles show up faster so stay hydrated. If you’ve been going by the old “8×8” rule (eight, eight-ounce glasses per day) you’ve been fooled! It’s actually better to divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces. Most people aren’t getting enough! Flavor your water with natural fruit to make it more interesting!
Just Say No. I’ve never smoked. I’ve never been a big drinker. I don’t need to go into detail regarding why smoking is bad or ages you. Alcohol dehydrates so drink in moderation if you do, and then rehydrate really well.
Wear A Fun Backpack. I’m only kind of kidding on this one. I’ve been wearing this backpack around campus and town when I walk or bike to work. It’s amazing how many compliments I get on it. I guess the bright colors really bring out the best in people! Just last week I was walking home and I saw and heard a car of high school students slowing down near me. My first thought was that they were going to say something rude or insulting but no, they shouted, “hey, that’s a cool backpack!” Little did they know they were complimenting a 30-something.
On a side note, you should never feel embarrassed about your age! I know so many people around my age who feel old and say silly things about being a 30-something. Each birthday you have is a gift – you’ve made it another year. Aging is a wonderful thing; appreciate it; be thankful for it. And remember, the older you are, the wiser you become!