Black Does Crack, Just Not That Fast

In between an apartment move and a cold, my trusty cable & internet connection chose to go on a 18 hour break last night, prompting me to dive into some serious housecleaning and self reflection. And by self-reflection, I  literally mean that I stared at my face for an hour last night. Basic vanity aside, I found myself searching for those “tell-tale” signs of aging that beauty commercials and magazines are constantly warning me about, like: “You’re 32? Watch out for crows feet, smile lines, under-eye bags, etc! – Buy this cream, serum, super extra fancy moisturizer!!” If I actually was able to get online (other than my phone/iPad), I probably would’ve done some serious damage on Sephora.com. But the problem was, I didn’t see any of those things, which made me think—are we really aging as fast as we think we are?

The old saying “black don’t crack” came to mind, but that isn’t gonna last forever ladies. Sure, we may be able to keep that baby face a little longer than the melanin-deficient, but that doesn’t mean that those little lines aren’t gonna catch up to us. With that, here are a few tips that I gathered that you can induct into your beauty routine now, in addition to any anti-aging products, that will help keep that youthful sexy later:

1. Wash Your Face
I am really writing this for myself because if it’s late and I’m tired, the last thing I want to do is trudge to the bathroom and wash my face. But it must be done, with the same regularity everyday. And do.not.use.soap if you can help it. Think of it like this, would you use the same products on your feet as you do your face? No. The skin on your face is completely different, show it a little respect!

2. Moisturizer!
It still surprises me that some women don’t use it. Really? Look at it like this, you need to be able to put the moisture back in that you take out when you wash your face, right? Figuring out which type of moisturizer (oil-free, oil, spf, etc) is up to you, but use it! I’m partial to Kiehls products, but if money and time is an issue, I go for anything by Burt’s Bees or Yes To Carrots.

3. Eat Right For Aging
Consumong antioxidants will help your body fight and get rid of ree radicals which lead to aging. Products like Green Tea, Vitamins A,C and E, and Zinc help too. And don’t forget, water is your skin’s best friend. Drink even more if you consume lots of alcohol weekly or smoke.

4. Don’t Be Picky
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this but your hands are filthy. So think about that they next time you go to pop a zit or pick at your skin. Would you pour mud into an open cut? Exactly.

5. Get In The Kitchen
Your kitchen has a full range of natural remedies and ingredients that prevent aging. Seriously! My favorite is to mix a banana and plan yogurt and paste it on my skin after crazy night out, or a day in the sun. Foods like avocados, milk, coconut oil, strawberries, cucumbers and more are full of the good stuff for your skin too. Do your research and find the best mix for you.

6. Salute, but Don’t Submit To The Sun
Yes it’s true—we don’t burn in the sun easily, but that doesn’t mean it can’t irritate our skin. I am the first person to admit that I love a good tan and will happily lay out to get one, but give yourself a break with some sunscreen and periods of indoor fun if you can. You don’t have to go to the beach covered like a bee-keeper, but don’t forget that skin cancer doesn’t know color and protect yourself.

7. Leave It To The Experts
For persistent acne or skin problems, don’t pick up a magazine—go to a doctor. Problems such as acne can be a reaction to something else going on internally, not just on the surface of your skin. Also, treat yourself to a facial, etc from time to time. But do your research and make sure your esthetician is qualified and the spa has a good reputation. Also remember that many spas push their workers to sell products, so don’t feel like you just have to but that fancy new peel.

8. Face The Facts
You will get older. Your looks will change. Whether they change for the worse is fully up to you, but once you accept the process of aging, everything will come naturally. This will also help you not to believe the “hype” when it comes to products. Also, acceptance for your skin tone, since our varying shades have varying needs. Love your skin first, and it will definitely show.

Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington