I received a lot of response from my recent post Celebrating the Feminine Form vs The Culture of Thin. After which, I decided to do a little research on another dangerous and esteem killing trend among women, 'The culture of eternal youth vs Aging gracefully. The culture of eternal youth posits that as men get older, they become more attractive, sexier even; whereas women getting older become wrinkly and less sexually and physically attractive. To this, I say, bullocks. This attitude has led countless women to undergo face altering--I look like I am in a perpetual wind tunnel--plastic surgeries and the worse of all, injecting poison by the cute name Botox into their faces to keep their skin from sagging and wrinkling. No one knows the long term side effects of Botox. I personally think it is ridiculous that anyone would inject botulism-- a disease that killed hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle Ages into their skin. Not to mention, these procedures do not allow for women to express themselves on their faces. It is another way of silencing us. Another way of saying grin and bear it, well, in this case don't grin--you can't because your face is frozen--just bear it.
What I would like to do is advocate that women no longer give in to this misogynistic ideology, but to embrace aging as a part of life. We can no more turn back the hands of time then we can crawl back up our mother's birth canal to remain young. Youth does not come from less wrinkles, it comes from living, carefree, smiling, laughing, traveling and taking damn good care of yourself emotionally, physically and mentally. But since this is a beauty blog, I have decided to do a bit of research on how women can 'naturally' suspend the aging process along with diet, exercise and living a stress-free life--of course this is not possible but we must alleviate unnecessary stress from our lives.
In my research I came across this article on what women in each decade must do to keep their skin healthy and pliable as well as help us age gracefully and beautifully. I have created a few homemade facial masks following the findings in this article based on age groupings.
Women in their 20s
Women in their 20s are red hot. They are always on the go, partying and drinking non stop. Never sleeping, tanning and in some cases smoking their skin to demise without thought of how their activities are affecting their bodies let alone their skin. How you treat your skin in your twenties will determine how your skin age in your 30s, 40s, and 50s. So take heed and do as I say. In your quest for the next best party, make sure to treat your skin against free radicals (smoking, too much sun, pollution and dirt) by doing a facial treatment once a week. Your regimen needs to include sea botanicals, apple fruit extracts and amino acids. Below I have created a homemade mask for skin in its 20s.
Red Apple Sweet Potato Face Mask
1 cored apple cut into quarters
1 peeled sweet potato
2 tablespoons of honey
½ teaspoon of sage
Boiled the sweet potato until it is semi-soft (10 minutes).Chop up the apple and sweet potato quarters in a food processor. Add the honey and sage. Blend till you get a creamy mixture (it will have some chunks in it) and then refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Lightly pat the mixture onto the face until the honey feels tacky. Leave it on the skin for 30 minutes and then rinse the face mask off with cool water.
Women in their 30s
Women in their 30s are still going strong. In most cases their careers are taking off, they are starting families and coming into their own. This decade has its unique set of stressors that can cause irreparable damage to our skin. But if you take at least one hour a week out of your busy schedule for yourself, you skin will thank you for it. In this decade, to keep your skin cells from dulling, your skincare regimen needs to include pear extract, and seaweed.
Pear Seaweed Face Mask
1 ripe pear
1/4 cup of moist seaweed
½ teaspoon of honey
1 tablespoon of Greek Yogurt
Start by peeling and coring the pear. Cut the pear into small pieces and place them in a small dish. Using a fork, mash the pear fruit into a smooth paste. Next, add the honey, seaweed and Greek yogurt. Stir. Spread the mixture evenly over the skin on the face and neck. Let it sit on the skin for 15 minutes and then rinse the pear facial mask off with warm water. Follow up with a splash of cool water and pat dry with a clean towel.
Women in their 40s
Women in their forties these days are not slowing down like the generations before, in some cases we are starting new careers, some are just starting families, some are still partying and since we have more money at these age traveling is a part of our lives. During this decade we find that our wrinkles are deepening on our faces, our skin is thinning, drying and age spots are cropping up. But don't fear, don't run out for that Botox injection instead use a heavier moisturizing cream--such as Nivea's Day and Night Cream-- and make sure you add amino acid (foods with protein, spinach, sweet potatoes etc) complex to your skin regimen to stimulate, repair and protect the skin's DNA.
Moisturizing Sweet Potato Skin Mask
1/2 peeled, boiled sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ginger powder
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ginger powder
1 Tbsp milk, greek yogurt, half & half, rice milk, coconut milk, or almond milk (unsweetened)
1 tablespoon of oatmeal powder
2 tablespoons of Sorghum Bran
½ mashed ripe banana
2 ounces of Greek yogurt
Ground Sorghum bran into a powder--if you cannot find it in powder form. Next, add the banana, sorghum bran, oatmeal powder, honey and yogurt mixture together and spread evenly on the face. Leave the facial mask on for about 20 minutes and then rinse off the paste with warm clean water.