A Letter To My Younger Self- #Youthlist
March 27th, 2014
~BeautyWise, Skin Foolish
We live and learn as we get older and share our real life experiences with our family, friends, and in my case with you, my readers. Recently, StriVectin launched a new product, SD Advances Intensive Concentration For Wrinkles & Stretch Marks, and a new promotion, #Youthlist, a bucket list of things you wish you'd have done from your past or ways to promote doing things in your future. This promotion got me thinking about 'beauty' and ways to share my experiences from my past. Well, since I have two boys, they stop listening to me past my experience with sunscreen and pimples. All other beauty news comes to a halt, and their ears shutdown. If I had a daughter it probably would be a completely different story, and trust me I am very satisfied and content with my two healthy sons; therefore, I thought I would share this #Youthlist I wrote to my younger self--- things that I would do now, if I could reflect back in time at my younger self. My theory is when your skin looks good, you feel great. It's like having a good hair day, but the difference is you can pull back your hair, but you can't hide your skin. Your skin is on display always, you can't cover it up with a baseball cap; however sometimes we wish we could. So with this in mind, caring for your skin needs to start when you are young, the basics are essential, nothing fancy, no expensive products, just good conditioning to get you ready for your later years.
Dear Younger Self,
Everyday before I go out, winter, spring, summer and fall, I slather on lots of sunscreen on my face right down passed my neck. I know I use to cringe at this, wouldn't even touch the stuff when I was sixteen, didn't believe in it, and in fact, I thought I looked so much better sporting the St. Tropez tan, that darn commercial was such a bad influence! In fact, I thought many things; I thought it camouflaged my acne pretty well (and dried it out). WRONG: It might have helped it look good for one night, but it only aggravated it and made it worse. I thought it made my skin look healthy. WRONG: It was damaging my skin and revving up the aging process. So this I would share with you is #1 on my list, I wish I had applied sunscreen all the time, everyday and opted for a healthy glow, not a deep dark tan. At sixteen I was more focused on looking good 'right now', not even five years from now. The 'Me' today realizes that looking beautiful in your forties requires lots of work from your teens and twenties. Yes, they say good genes play an important role, but if you use your products wisely, you can be doubly blessed and benefit from both.
Number two on my #Youthlist would be over cleansing. I think you would agree, I was always good at washing my face, probably too good. I thought the more I washed my skin with soap and water, the ‘cleaner my pores’ would be, less breakouts would occur, and my skin would radiate. WRONG: It’s okay to tell you this now, at sixteen we are never wrong, but what you were actually doing was- again- over drying your skin, robbing it of its moisture. Sorry to break the news, but the radiant look was never going to happen; the only glow you would get would be after you hit your home run and you ran around the bases. Washing your face should have been gentle, remember your Nonna would say, “I only use Ivory at night and look how beautiful my skin looks.” Today, my skin glows and I welcome the oil that creates this radiant look, I actually yearn for it. The more glow means the skin is well-moisturized and healthier. Which leads me to #3- MOISTURIZE. Remember you used to literally get scaly, dry skin on your face at sixteen, and wouldn’t put an ounce of moisturizer on for fear of creating more oil, which would in your mind cause pimples. Well me dear, your older self now realizes that all in moderation this is exactly what your skin needed. I actually shared this tip with my son, when he had a minor skin eruption. Hhhhhmmm, he never did breakout more from it, and his skin benefited from the moisture.
As I moved into my early twenties, I concentrated more on my makeup mix than my skin care selection. Dear Self, this was so, so, so wrong. I used makeup to (hide behind) cover-up all my flaws. Today, I realize it is the opposite. It should be all about the skin care products you choose, keeping your skin vibrant, young, healthy and glowing. Makeup shouldn’t be the necessity, but an add-on or extension of your beauty. Your skin should act as a canvas, a flawless start to the final complete beautiful picture.
Me below, sportin' the must-have tan, and today, a more confident me
I stopped counting my #Youthlist 'should haves and will share that my twenty self should have been softly exfoliating three times a week, not rubbing my skin off with a harsh washcloth. I should have been using a small bevy of beauty serums and moisturizers specifically targeting the eyes and face. Instead of tossing my Retin-A in the trash after my acne was under control, I should have continued to use it sparingly every other day to keep the coming wrinkles at bay. Today, my Renova is a skin-saver, and I learned just how important this product is in keeping my skin youthful. I wish I had continued using it twenty years ago.
You wouldn’t believe how my eating has changed--- remember you wouldn’t touch a thing that was green. Well now I am drinking 16 ounces of pure greens on a daily basis, staying fit, and I’ve given up meat- yep, couldn’t believe it either. I used to consider myself – as my son refers to himself- a carnivore-eater only. I don’t touch the stuff now, and prefer meals that can be freshly picked from a garden. My skin has never looked better thanks to a mix of eggs, legumes nuts, kale, green tea, and so much more.
Lastly, remember how uptight you would be before a test, walking into the cafeteria or in your later years a business meeting. Confidence is key. And you were beautiful, yes you were. Everyone is beautiful and has something worthy to share, why didn’t you think you did too? Today, I am still nervous walking into a cocktail party or pitching a new idea to a client, but today I know no one is more worthy than I am or as unique as me. We all have something special to share, so be strong, be brave and get out there. I am smiling a lot more today than I did in my youth, and not caring about the wrinkles it shows. What I do recall is frowning a lot more in my younger days and those have left the unwanted eleven sign in between my eyes- ugh! If I were to only have known.
So I walked this road. Made my mistakes and now I would like to share that there will always be a sunscreen to wear, a pimple that happens, beauty product to use, and a smile to be had -- you just need to make the right choices. And you will. In the meantime, looking back at the younger me, I wish I would have enjoyed the wrinkle-free eyes, the full volume face, my youthful skin, the carefree moments, you will miss those later...
Your Older Self
You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul's own doing.