I never used to be this vain about my skin, most especially my face.

I have a mother who in the sixth decade of her life still has skin any woman worth her salt would die for. Her secrets - virgin coconut oil and moisturizer. Plus, mom has used the same kind of cleansing cream for as far back as I can recall - Albolene. Everytime I have the chance to go to the U.S., Albolene cream is a staple pasalubong. Maybe I should start using the stuff myself. For now, I use the Face Shop’s Brown Sugar cleansing cream and it has worked wonders on my 40something skin.

I came upon this article on the web tonight that outlines 16 rules for younger skin. Here are five of my favorites. Here goes –

1. Sunscreen or Sunblock, (at least SPF30, every day) not only prevents aging, it gives your skin time away from defending itself, so it can actually repair and undo existing damage. Because we live in such a hot climate, my personal preference is to go at least with an SPF45 or better yet, if I know I will be driving or going outdoors, it’s SPF70 no less. Always keep a tube in your bag. Locally, I like VMV’s Armada and for the foreign brands, I like Aveeno Active Naturals Continuous Protection sunblock SPF70. This one came highly recommended by my dermatologist.

2. If you want any antiager to work better, get your skin very wet. For instance, if you want your face scrub to exfoliate more than usual, do it at the very end of a shower. This has really been my regimen and my way of “detoxing” myself at the end of the day. I like to linger in the bathroom and do all my facial rituals. The Nivea DNAge line has an excellent line of products that will not break the bank.

3. Always pat eye cream in with your ring finger–it’s the weakest, so the most gentle.

4. Retin-A, Tazorac, Renova: These prescription-only retinoic acid formulas de-age skin like no over-the-counter cream. It takes about six weeks to see results, but the difference in most people is truly spectacular. I only recently started using Tretinoin which was prescribed to me by my doctor and I have been so happy with the results! At mid-life our skin (just like an adolescent’s) undergoes many changes and it will not kill you to go and see a derma so that you can be properly guided towards the proper and right products for your kind of skin. When using Tretinoin though, you need to be extra wary about sun exposure.

5. Your skin does most of its repair-and-refresh work at night. Lack of sleep shows up on your face as dullness initially, graduating to wrinkling, sagging, and even breakouts as you continue to lose sleep. Now, this is an area that is a work-in-progress for me. I have to remind myself to be asleep by 10PM so that i canget at least 7-8 hours of sleep. This can sometimes be difficult to do when you have deadlines to beat, a household to run and children plus husband who need your attention. Nevertheless, I try my best to squeeze in 15-20 minute power naps whenever I get the chance to do so in the day.

To read the rest of the 11 rules to younger skin, click here

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