When you think of Nature vs Nurture, you usually think of parenting skills or acquired tastes, but skin health and skincare are very much on the list, as well.
When I look at my own mom, who at 84 has never had surgery nor fillers, I am amazed at how great she looks. When I compliment her, she always says “good genes”, not wanting to accept the fact that her good skincare was also part of the equation. Good genes are indeed a big part of the picture, but good nurturing can make problematic skin good and good skin great.
I remember mom used to put sunscreen on before it was popular. She loves the sunshine and the heat, but never liked the way it “tingled” her skin as she called it. When I was a kid, she used zinc for her nose, lips, and directly under her eyes and then got the type of SPF lotion that paler-skinned people bought, even though she was olive-toned always and didn’t burn easily. I guess she never burned because of the sunscreen, too! (Big moment of understanding here LOL).
She always looked fresh, not leathery. I noticed this because many of my friends had mothers who loved to sunbathe and the sun was already taking its toll on their skin. I was proud of how she massaged her face every night with her special creams. She still does.
A study conducted by Olay with Harvard University Multi-Decade and Ethnicities Study (MDE Study) found that 10% of women looked more than 10 years younger than their actual age. This does have some women thanking genetics for their being a little more “ageless” than others. The study also said that contrary to what we think, everyone has genes that help take care of the skin, but those who age “exceptionally” have genes that work better, and longer.
Women who fell into this category possess a unique gene expression footprint. It allows their skin to act like the skin of someone much younger. This inspired another later study based on external factors vs genetics. According to this study, the external factors had a bigger impact on exceptionally youthful skin than the genetic variations. This focused explicitly on sunscreen usage and a positive attitude, which the study found had a positive correlation with younger-looking skin.
Sunbathing and dry skin had a negative association with skin aging. See! My mother had it right all along. You have to protect the skin that loves and protects you! A favorite for my face during summer is from Celtic Complexion. They make a tinted SPF 31 moisturizer I adore and wear all year round, as well. Garden Goddess makes a great body spray.
So, besides applying sunscreen year-round, most especially on your face, let’s start with some of the things you can do.
Drink lots of water
Hydration starts from the inside out and if you are dehydrated it will make your skin look sallow and brittle. It will make the bags under your eyes be more pronounced. Drink up and preferably with lemon which not only adds a little flavor, but necessary vitamin c, a building component of collagen which is the nutrient skin needs most to maintain elasticity.
Moisturize immediately after showering or bathing
Putting a moisturizer on while dampened is key for soft, supple skin. Think about what moisturizers are supposed to do in the first place…hydrate you! So when you apply lotion on skin that is dewy and just slightly damp, it locks it in. Perfect nurture for your body.
Exfoliate on a regular basis
Nothing helps keep skin revitalized more than regular, gentle exfoliation. The reason is super simple. We shed our skin roughly once a month. As we age, the process slows down some. It figures, right? So if you shed you faster than Mother Nature sheds you, say 1-2x a week, you will be bringing up all the new, healthy skin cells and watching the old dead ones swirl down the drain with the dirt. It really is that simple. ScrubzBody Scrubz uses natural oils and butter to moisturize after rinsing, so it is not only a cleansing and a polishing but a moisturizing experience, as well.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most nurturing things you can do for your skin, your mind, and your body. Sleep helps everything rejuvenate, revitalize and repair. It also helps tame inflammation. I do my best to get a minimum of 6.5 and up to 8 if possible. It is amazing how much better I feel on the days I have proper sleep.
Sunscreen, Water, Moisturize, Exfoliate and Sleep are the keys to nurturing your skin. Mother Nature will take care of the rest.
Remember, if you are lucky to be born with great skin, excellent! But taking care of it, and nurturing it, will make you feel great about yourself and will help your great skin genetics shine even more.