Ahhh, ageing. The A-word us women have so much time, energy, tears and money invested in that it has generated a trillion dollar industry! Stats have even shown that in a recession, the beauty industry is the one economic sector that doesn’t suffer – so clearly the women world takes it very seriously! A beautiful package of African Extracts Rooibos Advantage products arrived on my doorstep today, and since I gravitate towards natural ingredients, I simply love that it’s enriched with proudly SA rooibos antioxidant power! And it made me delve a little deeper into this ‘beauty’ issue us women have.
I have an obvious affinity with all things wellness, and whilst beauty and wellness products often overlap in purpose, I still often feel that there is a dark shadow of insecurity, self-loathing, pressure and image-anxiety that can fuel women in their efforts to age more ‘beautifully’. These, of course, are not the feelings that should be driving our efforts to be our best selves (and yes, I’ll admit, our best-looking selves, too) and they somewhat contradict the wellness efforts we are undertaking in an effort to be better! So, to help you look at your personal ageing process a little more kindly, I’ve gathered a few of my favourite proactive and feel-good focused tips for ageing gracefully – and lovingly.
Don’t take your body for granted:
I have had enough experience with desperately unhealthy clients to remember that we only get one body to travel through life in! I want to do all I can to be fit and active enough to enjoy my children and grandchildren in the future. The motto ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ is very appropriate as we age – health maintenance should be our top priority, and every other element of ourselves – beauty included – will follow.
Take preventative measures:
We need to be eating, exercising and building relationships consciously. If you’re worried about what the future you looks and feels like, you need to be prioritising it today. Ageing gracefully is often less about any shortcuts and extreme measures, and more about healthy, consistent habits practised daily over time. Everybody needs an SPF in our harsh climate – you don’t have to be pale as a ghost and smothered in SPF100, but you do need some kind of protection from the sun for most of the day. A regular skincare regime is another must. Removing makeup and dirt, feeding skin nutrients and keeping it moist are easy and effective preventative measures to take. Like many people, I cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day, exfoliate and use a mask once or twice a week, and get a good facial monthly (when possible!). This month I’m going to be giving African Extracts’ Rooibos Advantage range a try, and am sure I will have a wonderful verdict to report soon!
Nourish your body from the inside out:
What goes into our body – along with sun exposure – is possibly the biggest influencer of our natural beauty. Toxins like excess sugar, salt, alcohol and caffeine will wreak havoc on digestion, skin, hydration, organ function and our bodies’ natural pH levels. ‘You are what you eat’ is not an outdated statement. If you want to promote healthy skin, nails, hair and fewer wrinkles you need to be including the following in your diet: plenty of fresh and RAW fruit and veggies for their vitamin and mineral power. Predominantly cooked veggies just aren’t going to cut it – I find juicing some of my daily veggie quota is the best way to meet it. Adequate lean protein intake to meet your nutritional needs and provide your body with what it needs to repair and rebuild tissue. Healthy fats to nourish and promote healthier skin, nails and hair (and brain and joint health). Vitamin C – one of the most powerful ways to support collagen growth (the elastic-like cells that keep our skin firm and wrinkle-free). PLENTY of water – this is really one of the simplest beauty tips to implement: water improves almost every bodily function.
I think I’ve got the preventative side of it down, so why stress about the inevitable? Like anything, I expect there will be new pros and cons that develop as time passes, and it’s important to learn how to embrace change. My strategy: over-prepare, then go with the flow.