Earlier this Summer, I had the chance to share my Dad’s (aka Dr. Luigi L. Polla, Switzerland’s leading dermatologist) favorite tips about how to age gracefully with consumers and influencers across the country. For those of you whom I did not have the chance to preach in person, I would like to preach in writing… thank you for humoring me.
Here are my Dad’s top dos and don’ts to age more gracefully:
- No smoking. Ever. It increases the presence of free radicals in your skin, accelerates aging, gives your skin a leather look, and creates terrible upper lip wrinkles.
- No straws. Just don’t do it. These are bad for the environment and bad for your upper lip wrinkles.
- Sleep on your back. And yes, you can teach yourself to do it. Even if you sleep half the night on your back, your face and décolleté wrinkles will thank you. (My Dad can always tell how a woman sleeps by looking at her facial wrinkles… deeper on the side you sleep on).
- SPF daily. From January 1st to December 31st. When it rains, When it snows. Every. Single. Day. No excuses, no exceptions.
- Don’t go to a tanning salon. Ever.
- If you’re old enough to drink, you’re old enough for a good anti-aging eye cream. Prevention is key, and the skin around the eyes is so thin it needs more help and earlier help than the rest of our face.
- Your face ends on your décolleté. Treat your neck and bust as you do your face, with effective anti-aging products and SPF every day. Nothing is worse than your face saying “I am 37” and your décolleté saying “I am 44.”
- Wear less “skin” makeup (ie foundation, powder, concealer, etc.). Take care of your skin and let your natural beauty show through.
- Leave your pimples alone. Don’t ever pick at them, don’t do your own extractions. All that will accomplish is scarring.
- Drink water. Your skin is as much a reflection of what you put on it as what you put in your body.
- Exercise. It’s great for your body, but also great for your skin.
- Choose to be happy. It shows on your skin.
Thanks Dad for everything you have taught me. About life, about love, and about skin. What tips would you add to these? I can’t wait to hear!
I was invited by Progressions Salon and Spa last week to participate in a Wellness and Stress Management event. In thinking about the theme, I was reminded of the core of our brand’s DNA, and of the reason why my parents decided to create a product brand so many years ago: because looking good, means feeling good, means doing good. Indeed, looking good is a way to relieve stress, and increase wellness.
The question, of course, is what can we do to look good, to look better? Here are 15 rules, strategies, rather, that I learned from my parents – and that I follow religiously.
- Prevention is everything. Don’t wait to see wrinkles or have bad skin to use great products, get regular facials, and go to your dermatologist at least once per year. Think of your skin care the way you think of your dental care – you don’t wait to have rotting teeth to brush your teeth daily; you don’t wait to have cavities to go visit a dentist twice annually for your checkup. The same behavior applies to skin.
- No smoking. Ever.
- No sun. Ever. If you must sun, remember: no “unprotected sun.” And no tanning beds either.
- Never go to bed without washing your face. I recently learned from a very credible source (a German R&D specialist) that every day you sleep with your makeup on you age your skin 7 days…
- Exfoliate once per week. Every week. This not only helps your skin look its best, it also will help all of your skin care products work better. Using expensive serums and masks on skin that is never exfoliated is like taking a shower with your rain coat on. It’s a shower… but it’s not exactly have its full desired effect…
- Use a product with broad-spectrum SPF protection every morning. January 1 through December 31. Yes, that includes the winter months.
- Use an antioxidant product every day, ideally twice a day. This will help your skin age as gracefully as possible.
- If you’re old enough to drink, you’re old enough for a good eye cream. The skin around the eyes is the first to show signs of aging, so prevention is even more important.
- Sleep on your back. You can train yourself to do this. Even if it’s not all night, every night, it will truly make a difference. My dermatologist father can always tell on which side a woman (or man!) sleeps because the wrinkles are deeper on that side of the face.
- Use products on your neck and décolleté. Your face does not end at your jawline, but rather just above your chest.
- The hands are a woman’s second face. Treat them like you treat your face, with anti-aging products and sun protection.
- Use more skin care and less makeup as you grow older. Makeup ages you. Except mascara and lipstick.
- Make an extra effort to look good on the days you feel bad, sick, tired, sad, upset, or are in a bad mood. Nothing brightens those hard days as regular compliments throughout the day about your lovely outfit, great hair, or fabulous necklace. It works every time!
- Look at yourself in the mirror. Really look. That way you will never wake up thinking “how did this line just appear, it was not there yesterday….” Wrinkles take time to form. If you see them forming, you’ll be less shocked or upset when you realize they are fully formed.
- Every year you grow older, spend 1 more minute in your bathroom.