So, your body is aging. Now what?

How to prepare your skin for natural aging

Before I relocated to Los Angeles, I was at the gym from Monday - Thursday. It was a Krav Maga gym where I learned the fighting system of the Israeli military. Each day, I spent at least two hours pushing my body to the limit and fighting. World Peace. Once I moved to LA, I had a hard time continuing my routine. In hindsight, I wish someone told me how complicated adjusting to life in a new city is post 30! 

Two years later, and I still have not committed to a Krav Maga gym here in LA. I tried out a new one a few months ago and liked it. Then the Governor issued yet another stay-at-home order due to COVID-19. Although I stopped working out, I did not decrease the amount of food that I ate every day. So I gained weight. I am 5’11 and very slender, so according to everyone with an opinion, I could stand to gain a pound or 10. Watching my body fluctuate as I gained weight has been a new experience for me. I am not complaining, but it is new for me. Sometimes I am happy with my weight gain because I always wanted to add a few pounds. Other times, I worry if I will have a hard time losing weight since I am over 30. I ask myself often if the weight gain is a result of a slowed metabolism

When an adult gains weight after 30, people credit it to a slowed metabolism or less active lifestyle.

Although the science is inconclusive, many people agree that a slowed metabolism leads to weight gain. Apart from gaining weight, there are many other awkward changes that can happen to your body. Some of the side effects of natural aging include: 

  • Thinning hair or hair loss, especially around your edges and at the crown of your head
  • Increased dark spots, moles, and freckles 
  • Fine lines and wrinkles in the corners of your eyes, mouth, and on your forehead
  • Loose muscles about your body

Although I want to believe that my metabolism slowed down once I moved to LA, I know why I gained weight. I ate and drank whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Never mind that I walked over 15,000 steps every day. No amount of activity could combat the effects of salty, fatty, sugary - high glycemic - foods! Not only did my body live to tell the tale of poor eating habits, but so did my skin. Do you remember that cystic acne nightmare I experienced three years ago? It continued well into my first year living in LA. The initial breakout happened after a bacterial infection from an inflamed wisdom tooth. Yet, the LA breakouts were a matter of a poor diet. 

How to tell that an unhealthy diet caused your bad skin?

As mentioned, a diet high in salty, fatty, and sugary foods is a sure way to bad skin. If you have a perfect, normal skin type, you may avoid the side effects of a poor diet. The rest of us mere mortals cannot! High glycemic foods are easy to access and quick to eat. They are also very addictive. That is why so many people struggle with curbing their appetites for unhealthy foods. I would compose a list of foods that you should avoid as you age, but I do not think you have the time to read. Here are a few that Healthline mentions as high glycemic foods:

  • White bread, white rice, and white pasta
  • Bagels 
  • Baked goods and pastries 
  • Sugary beverages such as soda, sports drinks, and fruit juice 
  • Chips and pretzels 
  • Potatoes and fries 
  • Breakfast cereals 

As you read that list, you realized that it covered most things that the average American eats! When you eat these foods, they cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Once that happens, your body produces more insulin to level out your blood sugar. Increased insulin levels increase sebum production. Sebum is the natural oil that your body produces to lubricate your joints and moisturize your skin. An overproduction of sebaceous glands can cause your skin to become oilier than it needs to be. Oily skin is a breeding ground for acne and other skin issues that can take a while to heal. The cycle is unending! 

What to do about a slowing metabolism?

The good news is that there are ways to combat the side effects of a slowed metabolism. And the bad news is that you cannot stop the slowing of your metabolism. It is a natural part of the aging process that you should try to make peace with if you can. Since you know that you may become more tired, stressed, and less motivated as you age, you should plan. As I always say, it was not raining when Noah built the ark! While I do not expect you to have the time or energy to work out at a Krav Maga gym every day post 30. There are other ways that you can stay active. Some of them include: 

  • Skip the elevator and escalator to take the stairs every chance you get 
  • While on the stairs, run or take long strides, instead of walking 
  • Walk everywhere that you can and at least 1.5 miles a day 
  • Carry heavy groceries and other objects instead of delivering them straight to your door
  • Maintain a good posture as you walk every day 

I should not have to mention this, but I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer. Any advice that I give stems from my personal experiences of aging thus far. So take it with a grain of salt or go to town! It is all up to your discretion, love. As you do these things, you should feel less winded and more eager about doing strenuous activities. 

How to slow down the aging process through your skincare routine?

In case you missed it, we are all about anti-aging skincare here at Masktini! By 27, you consider how you will prepare your skin for the signs of aging and its inevitable onslaught. That means that you can invest in anti-aging skincare products that include ingredients like retinol, peptides, and niacinamide. A chemical peel or 4-6 every year also won’t hurt if you can afford them. The kind of chemical peel you get is a matter of access, preference, and skin issue. So I won’t make any hard recommendations on that. Here are: 

4 skincare tips for preventative anti-aging

1. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night

I stress the importance of sleep often in our articles, so this may seem repetitive if you are an avid reader. Sleep time is when your body gets to replenish itself. During sleep, your skin sheds dead skin cells, heals superficial imperfections, and absorbs any skincare products that you applied as part of your nighttime skincare routine. The more time you spend sleeping, the more effective your skincare products will be. So sleep wisely! 

2. Go easy on the alcohol

When I was younger, I could drink alcohol every night with no issue. Or so I thought. Then I realized a few things. First, I do not want to develop a drinking problem that my loved ones have to point out when I am older. Second, binge drinking and excessive alcohol consumption lead to premature aging. I have seen it with women at home that have what we call “rum blossom”. That is a condition where the skin is terminally inflamed and rosy. Rum blossom makes a woman in her 30s appear to be in her 50s. That is not very attractive to me. So I reserve drinking for weekends, if any at all, and the rare social occasion. 

3. Stay consistent with your skincare routine

I know how hard it can be to do anything consistently once you are past 30. Everything seems like a chore! If premature aging and the visible signs of aging concern you, put in the work. Otherwise, it will be more expensive to course correct. The skincare products that you use as part of your skincare routine are a matter of preference, of course. I love Masktini’s entire line. It includes gentle skincare products that are ideal for working women in their late 20s, onward. 

The moral of the story is that you are what you think, eat, drink, and do all the time. If you want to look and feel your best, then do things that will put you in that place. Nothing good comes without a bit or a lot of sacrifices! It takes about 66 days for a new habit to form. That is more than enough time to help you adjust to an anti-aging skincare routine that works. Most importantly, embrace aging. It is an inevitable part of life that occurs no matter your ethnicity, socioeconomic status, skin type, or race. Yes, prevent aging if you can, but also find the beauty in getting older. Old age is a sign of wisdom, and a good, long life lived after all. Until next time.