BY: STACEY GAVIN, FARMACY BEAUTY
They say 40 is the new 30, and we think it’s by design; with a slew of new health and beauty boosters available that are backed by science and nature, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t look and feel your best as you get older. If you’re savvy about it — which you are, since you’re reading this! — you can take a few simple steps in your 30s to ensure that you feel like you’re in your prime at age 40 and beyond. Here’s what you can do to look and feel great in your 40s.
Commit to a Good Skin Care Routine
When we age, our bodies are subject to a wide range of cosmetic concerns that seem to pop up out of nowhere. Constant exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause the breakdown of elastin — the elastic protein in your face’s connective tissue — which leads to sagging and stretching. As the skin thins with age, it becomes more susceptible to permanent damage from your facial expressions, causing wrinkles and folds to develop.
To slow the skin-aging process, be as religious about your 30s skin care regimen as your morning coffee. Choose an anti-aging regimen that works with your specific skin type for the best results.
According to dermatologist Dr. Angela Lamb, your 30s are the time to invest in preventative skin care products. Lamb says to begin using anti-aging products around the age of 25 in order to deter the formation of deep lines and wrinkles in the face.
Invest in quality, naturally-derived anti-aging skin care kits that encourage deep hydration and contain skin-protecting ingredients, like Echinacea purpurea, hyaluronic acid and cichoric acid. These ingredients promote the production of collagen and elastin, which leave your skin feeling smooth and firm while fighting wrinkles and sagging.
Wear Sunscreen Like It’s Your Job
No surprise here: sunlight is the primary cause of skin aging, and we’re not just talking about sunburn and overexposure. Regular exposure to UV rays over a period of several decades will cause the skin to wrinkle, dry out and develop age spots.
Make sure to get into the habit of wearing a good-quality SPF 30+ sunscreen every single day, not just when you’re going to the pool or beach. There’s simply no better step you can take to care for your skin in the present and future than slathering on the sunscreen religiously.
Of course, sun protection goes far beyond cosmetics. There are many health-related benefits to protecting skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, wearing sunscreen daily can prevent sun poisoning, sun damage and even harm to the eyes.
It may seem obvious, but your 30s are a good time to kick your bad sun habits to the curb — ditch the tanning beds if you’re still hooked, and make sure to invest in UPF 50+ clothing if you plan to spend the day out in the sun. And just say “no” to tanning oil!
Live a Reasonable, Healthy Lifestyle
As hard as it may be, getting yourself settled into healthy habits in your 30s can mean big benefits well into your 40s. Start by developing a reasonable, healthy diet that works with your lifestyle. Simple steps — cutting out fast food, ditching the soda and swapping sugars for proteins and healthy fats — can help lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones and many other unpleasant or life-threatening conditions.
In addition to cutting out the bad stuff, you also want to boost your intake of antioxidants and vitamins for long-term health.
Those in their 30s will also want to get themselves into a solid physical routine before the big 4-0. By this time, you should know what kind of heart rate pumpers you enjoy, but don’t be afraid to try new workouts to find one that sticks.
The key to easing your way into a healthy lifestyle in your 30s is to make small steps: don’t jump into an intense diet plan or workout program, and steer clear of programs that shun entire food groups. You’re much more likely to have success in your health endeavors if you gradually introduce new habits.
There can also be some enormous value to upping your preventative oral health care game in your 30s. As you age, your teeth can begin to wear down and show signs of gum disease and other conditions that can lead to long-term issues and emergency treatments.
According to the American Dental Association, adults in their 30s should brush for two minutes twice a day and floss once a day in order to keep teeth clean, strong and healthy well into their 40s. A good oral hygiene regimen will also help ensure that you don’t need dentures later in life.
Going Beyond Physical Health
Besides your skin, body and teeth, you’ll also want to take some steps to ensure that your heart and mind are in good working condition as you cross the threshold into your 40s. Practicing gratitude — thanking those around you and honoring yourself through a daily or weekly gratitude practice — is one of the most overlooked mental health boosters out there. In fact, studies show that gratitude can help make you happier, healthier and overall more self-confident! Getting into a routine of thanks can help ensure that your 40s are the time of your life.
The beginning of your middle-age years is also a good time to pare down on friendships (quality over quantity, they say) in order to reduce stress and toxicity in your social life later on. Some say that if you’re friends for 10 years, you’ll be friends for life.
Set the stage for a healthy decade by honoring your oldest, closest friends throughout your 30s and slimming your social circle only to those friends who bring you happiness and security. Take great care to set aside time for your girlfriends and family members to ensure that you go into your 40s with a strong social network that has your back every step of the way.
Stacey is a natural skin care advocate working for Farmacy Beauty. She is a wellness blogger with a passion for living a simple and healthy lifestyle. Stacey loves to read books, run 5Ks, and bake gluten-free cookies.
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