As an esthetician, I offer professional skin treatments (like peels and facials), expert problem-solving advice and custom home care routines for my clients—specifically for each of their unique skin type, designed to give them clearer, smoother, even-toned, younger-looking skin. Additionally, I keep up with their ever-changing skin care needs so the results can continue throughout the years of their lives. When it comes to my clients’ skin concerns (especially after age 40), looking younger is the most common request I get. A combination of peels, Bio Brasion, Bio Visage and ultrasound are usually my go-to tools when I’m giving professional treatments. For at-home use, I recommend products with brightening vitamin C, smoothing retinol, protecting sunscreen and firming peptides. However, being in the appearance business, I can confidently say that so many people are overlooking some other important factors that contribute to looking older as well. While good products and practices are excellent for making the skin look younger and healthier, these five things will ensure you will look older, despite your quest for younger-looking skin.
1. Never changing your hairstyle, clothing style or makeup. Trends change, styles change and getting in a rut by wearing an outdated hairstyle and the same old makeup and clothes, day in and day out, will only make you look older. Think about who you think looks great for their age. More than likely, it’s someone who is fashionable and a unique sense of style.
2. Going gray. It’s a fact that gray hair is associated with getting older. After all, it most commonly shows up after age 40, so it’s only logical that letting your natural color show through will make you look older. Consult with a trusted hair colorist if you’re up for changing your look.
3. Being lazy about exfoliating your skin. You know how after a facial your skin looks smoother, fresher and brighter? Most often, this is due to using various exfoliating treatments to remove dull, dry, tired-looking skin cells. I always tell my clients to exfoliate regularly at home (particularly with an acid serum and acid peel) and moisturize well to achieve the post-facial smoothness that makes the skin look younger. It’s simple and easy to do and can make a dramatic improvement in the texture of your skin.
4. Smoking and not wearing sunscreen. I’m sure it’s no surprise, but these two things will definitely make you look older. Both smoking and not wearing daily sunscreen is commonplace for so many women in Europe. A French esthetician once told me, “You Americans are into wearing sunscreen. That’s not what we do in France.” She also didn’t put sunscreen on me post-facial when it was 11:00 in the morning and I had a whole day of sunlight exposure ahead of me. It’s just not their thing like it is for Americans. As for smoking, it destroys collagen in the skin and depletes oxygen, along with a whole host of things. (See this dramatic photo of what UV light can do to your skin.)
5. Not whitening your teeth. Teeth naturally darken, stain and yellow with age, so not whitening them will definitely contribute to you looking older.
In summary, to look older is simply to do nothing about your appearance as you age and just let Mother Nature do her thing. This is certainly your choice and I’m not here to tell you that you have to defy aging at all. I’m simply sharing some good food for thought. However, should you want to try to look younger, you must know that people look at the whole package and not just how many wrinkles you have around your eyes. My friend Bethany, an image consultant, said it best: “There is nothing more aging for a women than never changing her look.” Don’t be afraid of change because fear of change could be what is holding you back from being your best, most youthful-looking self.
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