Sunday, August 14, 2016

Thoughts on Health and Aging

I’m turning 40 this year. Four-freakin-ty. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not freaked out about my age. It’s more like, how did time fly by so fast? 

Too fast, yes, but I am also grateful for turning forty. There’s plenty to celebrate and thank God for.

Life has been good to me. I have a wonderful husband and smart, funny and charming kids. 

My entire family, also my parents, siblings and in laws enjoy good health. I do work that I am good at, which I am fortunate to also enjoy and love. We have the time and resources to create fun memories, and hey, I still have pretty good skin considering my age. In fact, I can even say I am happier with myself now than I was when I was in my 20s. 

I guess you can say I’ve literally settled into my skin. Nothing about me changed drastically, it’s more like an acceptance of flaws coupled with lifestyle changes and the help of beauty treatments by my derma, Dr. Yanee Vasquez, heehee. 

While not necessarily true for all (haha) I believe that with age comes wisdom. I can say I know now what is important in life.

Health before vanity. Experiences before possessions. And maybe somehow, the secret to a youthful look. Well, in my case at least. 

I’m sharing you some of my #SkinHealth tips, which in a way has become an obsession and a personal advocacy. I hope that you pick up a thing or two from my mistakes, good habits and realizations. 

Besides, I know most of us women really do care about these things. These are valid and not at all shallow pursuits. Seeking, acknowledging and accepting our unique beauty does wonders for our entire well-being, trust me! 

1. Beauty starts with good, healthy skin.

Because my perception of beauty is natural beauty, and after years spent agonizing over zits and bumps on my face, I’ve realized that all a girl really needs is good skin. Let’s not talk about weight or age. Because if you have nice skin whatever your weight, or your age, consider yourself lucky. So skin lang, period. 

During a particularly emotional time for me in my 20s, as I was looking at my face in the mirror and staring at my bumpy, awful skin, I told myself, “When these zits and bumps all over my face disappear, I know enough that my skin, even with a pimple or two is enough”. You can say I’ve learned never to obsess over a single zit because I’ve had worse. 

Scientifically speaking too, the skin is the largest indicator of our health and when we are healthy, it shows in our skin. There is nothing like bare skin we can step out in. Saves us time from applying concealers and full-on makeup too. If you’ve got good skin, you’ve got it going, so you better take care of your skin in the best way possible. You don’t need much else. 

2. Hence, take a look at your skin, be honest about it. 

Have you figured out your skin type? Are you doing all you can to keep it well-moisturized? Do you have blemishes? Are your pores fine and even? Does your skin look glowing? 

If your answer is no, it’s best to sit down, look in the mirror (even if you don’t want to) and give yourself an honest assessment of the state of your skin. Literally face yourself, just like what I did in the mirror, almost two decades ago.

I was so sad for my skin, but I also wanted to do something about it. 

3. Do something about skin issues, seek a professional’s help if necessary. 

This skin breakdown happened while I was about to graduate from college. I was tired of just avoiding going out, staying away from mirrors, and not having photos of myself taken. 

I remember telling my Mom I wanted to see a dermatologist. She told me it was a waste of money and that I should just change my diet and drink lots of water. Well, after taking her advice for a couple of months and with nothing happening, I just went with my gut. 

Thankfully, I started work soon enough and I spent a chunk of my first job paychecks for my own derma treatment. That was money well-spent. In no time, I had seen the difference in how my skin improved and I was soon on my way back to blemish free skin. 

Seeing a dermatologist and using derma-recommended products turned out to be the only solution to my skin issues. Don’t ever hesitate. 

4. Always check the label.

I’ve tried all pimple cures out there. Some recommended by friends, some whipped up by some dubious lab, a few drugstore brands, and some prescribed by my derma. I’ve learned to really scrutinize bottles and labels because in my quest for the best pimple cure, I’ve unfortunately tried some products that did more harm than good. Aka, I still have pimple scars to prove it. 

Sometimes, when I look in the mirror and look at my 20 year old scars, I still remember that darn unmarked bottle that caused them. Hay. 

Better yet, make sure the product you use is FDA-approved. This ensures that active ingredients and the content level are regulated. We can rest easy knowing that the product has gone through clinical tests, a stringent screening process, and has the approval of skin experts and regulatory professionals before being sold in the market. 

To be extra safe, make sure the products you use come from a reputable source or manufacturer with a history of expertise addressing your skincare concern. Remember, your skin is the only skin you have, don't compromise #SkinHealth by using fake or untested products or brands just because they are trendy or cheaper. 

At the end of the day, go for authentic brands and products that are tried and tested, from sources you trust.

Taking good care of our skin isn’t about vanity. It’s really just making sure that our skin reflects the state of our health, and that when we use products meant for our skin, we are sure they are meant to do more good than harm our skin. 

One post can’t really cover everything I want to say, so expect more #SkinHealth tips and learnings I’ve picked up along the way. 

To have good skin at 40 is a blessing, and I’m sharing this blessing with you. Naks.

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