A few weeks ago my friend Katherine turned 44 and was inspired to write a note to those of us with our forties still ahead of us. She lets us in on a few things she thought our mid-forties selves might want to know as far as beauty and aging were concerned. And also where gnarly goat hairs emerging from your chin are concerned, which clearly I’m not over being scarred about yet, KATHERINE. But then a few days ago I was looking at my neck in the mirror, and omg were those vertical wrinkles? How could I have vertical wrinkles on my neck at 32!? My skin looks excellent everywhere else (if I do say so myself) so WTF was going on with my neck!?
And that’s when I was inspired to write my own letter on behalf of your future selves, Millennials, so that you know what’s coming once you hop the hurdle of dirty thirty. Because we can all use a little advice on preserving what our mamas gave us, amiright?
Come Closer… 1 of 7
I have some wisdom to bestow...
Moisturize Your Fanny Off 2 of 7
Moisturize everything. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Your face is obvious but are you moisturizing your legs? Your butt? Your upper arms? Your elbows? YOUR NECK AND DECOLLATE? Do not forget about the decollate. The beauty of (relative) youth is that we supposedly bounce back until about 35. Thank Moses I found those vertical neck wrinkles in time — already some hardcore collagen-enhanced moisturizer has started to set things right. I hope. Otherwise, a moment of silence for my neck.
Image courtesy of Shawn Campbell on Flickr
Work It 3 of 7
Don't waste your hotness hating your body. I spent so much of my 20s wishing for different body parts and now I just look back longingly at my own effortlessly thin and taut photos wondering how I could have spent that time worrying that I looked fat. It's a damn waste, I tell you, and I forbid you to do it. You're totally hot. Relish in it.
Image courtesy of Stf.O on Flickr.
Save the Eyelids! 4 of 7
Eyebrow waxing is bad for skin elasticity and can run amok on your natural collagen. Do your future lids a favor and switch to threading or tweezing now.
(That's my eyebrow.)
Work Out 5 of 7
You'll be surprised how fast you start to feel your joints age if you don't exercise at least semi-regularly, I learned from a decade of sitting on my thrift-store couch. The first time you throw your back out your inner child will laugh at you relentlessly. Stave it off with the occasional visit to spin class.
Image courtesy of khatawat on Flickr.
Only You Can Prevent Loss of Bladder Control 6 of 7
Okay, I'm about to gross you out and blow your mind, but if we're sharing things that women need to know as they get older, I'm going to tell you some stuff about protecting your vagina from total destruction during childbirth. Trust me, you do not want to be wearing Depends to your 20th high school reunion. Before attempting vaginal childbirth, do your kegels, learn about perineal massage, and do yourself a favor and don't give birth at a learning hospital where residents get to guess if it's time to push or not.
(I guess this is my version of Katherine's goat hair horror show. You're welcome.)
Image courtesy of koadmunkee on Flickr.
Your Skin Is in Its Prime. Enjoy It. 7 of 7
I'll leave you with one more — according to the great Mama O's Mag (that's Oprah, clearly) you really just need to cleanse your face once a day at night, moisturize regularly, and consider this addition to your nighttime regime:
"Use a hydrating fluid or an oil-free moisturizer. Many dermatologists recommend starting on the vitamin A-derivative prescription retinoids (like Retin-A, Tazorac, and Avage)—the gold standard for reducing fine lines, stimulating collagen, and treating acne—or products containing the less potent, over-the-counter retinol. Before bed, apply a pea-size amount all over your face and right up under your eyes, says Hirsch; then you don't need an eye cream."
Image courtesy of texas_mustang on Flickr.