No. I didn’t say ‘young,’ because we cannot stay young forever. However, remaining youthful is not age-related and can be achieved at any time. Let’s put genetics to the side, since there ain’t a thing you can do to change it, but you can fight it. You don’t always have to let what is bound to happen take place.
Again, my top tens are never researched based unless noted, but experience and common sense based. I guess you can say it’ll be my primary research. Anyway, I hope you find this list helpful, because this is coming from a girl who had next to no discipline but woke up with the realization in her thirties that this decade does not play. These things have helped me so I think at least one thing will help you.
Let’s get started.
10: MAKE ROUTINE YOUR FRIEND
Man, really, this shouldn’t even be on the list! Who’s not using sunscreen religiously in 2019? I’m still paying the price and playing the reversal game from not using it in my twenties. Don’t go crying about your skin asking where your beauty went next decade if you’re not using sunscreen today. I don’t wanna hear it. Doctors were wrong about eggs being the deadliest food in the 90s, but they aren’t wrong about sunscreen. And black people, I don’t wanna hear about our skin not needing it because of our melanin. That’s about as foolish as the black myth that we shouldn’t wash our hair frequently. Stop. Just don’t. As beautiful as melanin is, it alone cannot fight the harmful UV rays of the sun. Don’t forget that skin cancer is another issue. A lot of people in my family age gracefully but are highly susceptible to skin discoloration because clearly, they don’t or didn’t use sunscreen. A lot of women may think that makeup with SPF is enough. No. It’s not enough, nor can you add makeup SPF plus your sunscreen SPF to equal a total of ideal protection. Just doesn’t work that way. Is it great that your makeup has it? Perhaps. But remember, you can’t wear a dab and think the buck stops there. You’d look like a clown bout time you slather on a decent amount. Just buy the sunscreen and be done with it. And if you feel good this far about not using it, take your gambling tail to the casino and do it there, not on your skin. I promise you a decade or less later, you’ll see that the house won.
8: DON’T BE SUCH A DUD
I’m not even joking with you here, and I’m a jokester. Why aren’t you letting loose more? And please don’t assume people with resting bitch faces are not jovial or fun. This is not about facial expressions. I’m talking about genuinely not enjoying life at least for 20 minutes a day, and I’m selling you short here. We can’t get an hour of solid fun in a day when this is your life? Ladies, listen. We take aging and beauty seriously. Men can get wrinkles and we just eat it up. Let us get one and we go bat crazy. I don’t forget how much we women tend to put the world on our shoulders, and sometimes men will let you do it! It doesn’t matter if it’s a coworker, spouse, family member, or significant other. Men know we’re strong and can handle a lot. Children see the cape on your shoulders as well. It’s up to you to snatch at least an hour of fun your way a day! It may be time to start telling people ‘no’ so that you can finally tell yourself ‘yes.’ If you’re not laughing or having a good time, you’ll get old inside and we’ll see it. If an hour of Netflix is all you can get with your children on your shoulder and your man in your space—take it! Is that fun? Then you’ve won. But if you close your eyes at night day after day and you can’t say that something made you laugh or that you’ve had fun, I will be praying for you. No one else is gonna ensure this step for you but you. Seriously, why aren’t you laughing more? (Psst. Stand-up comedy is available everywhere! Why do you think God invented comedians?)
7: TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH
Okay. Forget dental insurance. If you have dental insurance and steady income, your butt better be in your dentist chair every six months. For real. Many people get comfortable until their teeth hurt or turn yellow. If I could’ve done something aside from a lack of sunscreen in my twenties, it would’ve been more trips to the dentists, because of why? 👆🏽 That’s right. Refer to number 10. Routine. Let the dentist tell you that your teeth are okay. Don’t assume they are because of an absence of pain. Ever have your dentist come in with the clipboard and tell you that you have a cavity when you’ve felt nothing? That’s good! Well, not having the cavity but just that it was caught in time. Pain is bad. Okay, why are teeth even on the list? Take a guess. If you didn’t, let’s not hope you’re guilty. Number one, teeth are like the white in our eyes. The less white they are, the older they make us. White teeth are associated with youthfulness, yellow are not. Makes sense. Listen. I’m not giving up on my coffee and tea, but for sure, when my teeth get yellow, it’s the coffee. I brush more than once a day, but I fail every single time to rinse my mouth out with water or to water-bristle clean after my caffeine fix. Hence, the off-white teeth. Sometimes my boyfriend looks at me and tells me my teeth are yellow. Fool, I know this! Well. What’s a girl to do? Panic not! Make a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste and place them over your teeth for about ten minutes a day until you see results. One time I did this and his sister saw me and asked how I kept my teeth so white. I used to get teeth compliments a lot back in high school because I didn’t drink caffeine. But, hey, I love my coffee and she ain’t going nowhere, so we gon work this out. I’ve never done professional whiting. I even bought the kit and showed it to my dentist and ended up letting it expire. So trifling I am. Guess it’s because I know I can fix it any moment.
6: EAT NUTS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Nuts have so many benefits that will make you feel youthful, because they fight the things that can deprive you of feeling healthy. If you don’t feel healthy, you won’t feel young. Periot! Yes, periyot! Hey, I’m an author and can make up my own words. Anyway, I’ve read over time how a daily serving of nuts can help with many issues. They can cut the risk of diabetes and cancer and help with age-related weight gain. Just don’t eat too many in a day. I can take or leave nuts, especially if it’s not on a dessert or salad, but we gotta do better when we don’t feel like it once we hit adulthood. If you’re no longer in your twenties, then you know it’s a second job to take intentional measures to preserve your health and beauty. We just don’t recover as easily as we did in our twenties. What are you waiting for? Go buy a bulk of nuts! How you decide to incorporate them is up to you.
5: REDUCE OR ELIMINATE PROCESSED FOODS
Yeah. You knew it was coming, didn’t you? Where do I start? If you’re in America, you know how easy it is to get fast food. If you go to the grocery store, you know how many carts are loaded with processed foods. It’s our way of life, unfortunately. Even if you eat right, chances are, your friends don’t, along with family members. Hell, you just probably started eating right. Our society functions off the bottom line, meaning, we’re a profit-driven society. If it don’t make money, it don’t matter. If it makes tons of it at any costs, it stays. That being said, refined sugar is a drug. This is a bullet we all have to take. If we’re carrying extra weight, it’s more the environment in which we live than us. Sounds like a bag of bologna? No, not really. Look around. We are an immediate society and before in-home computer research became available, we all believed what the TV told us. Parents didn’t know better like they do now. I’m an 80s baby. It was okay to eat cereal and other boxed items. Hear me out. You may find it hard or easy to eliminate processed and fast food altogether. But at least, try to reduce it. Make sure you can look your doctor square in the eyes and tell her/him that your processed food intake doesn’t outweigh your non-processed food intake. We know too much processed food can wreak havoc on your weight. But your weight is between you and God. You can be skinny eating all the trash or overweight/obese eating healthy. Just know, that nothing means nothing if fast food and processed foods are your majority intake for fuel. This may be a sensitive topic for some, but I can say that I’ve lived on both sides of the fence per point made. What you eat shows up on your skin and affects your level of youthfulness. Don’t believe me? Do the opposite.
4: BAKING SODA
You need this in your life. Not just for food—in fact, I don’t use it for my food but more for not consumption reasons. You need it for cleaning carpets but you need it for your teeth and skin. Skin?! Is she nuts? Not like point number six, but I’m right. I scrub my face with it at least once a week. Too much can cause discoloration, because it’s a bleaching agent. If you have unwanted dark spots, and if you don’t have vitamin C, use this. Mix it with lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide. Voila! Skin will be bright! It helps with dullness. Youthfulness!
3: ABOVE THE NECK MATTERS
You only feel as good as you look. True or false? Look. You can be in the house wearing your shield-me-from-the-world gear. You may not have showered. You may feel funky. Regardless, I will say this: Good skin and hair will make it less problematic. If the pizza man comes and you answer the door with healthy hair and vibrant skin with on-point brows, you’re a winner. A cheat to feeling better than we do is to maintain good brows, hair, and skin, which can also make you feel better when alone. Even if you have to do a messy bun, fight against letting your hair becoming unhealthy. Aside from needing a trim, I have a natural wash-n-go wet styling that can be achieved in ten minutes or less, usually five. Shiny, healthy hair offers a sense of youthfulness. You’ll need a good or at least new pair of flat irons to make your hair look its best when straightened. Achieving shine or a curl can be tricky because of the cuticles not being able to capture the light as easy as straight(ened) hair. Gel is an option, aside from a great leave-in conditioner. And there are times when clean hair shines on its own. Okay, so shiny hair, check. Hair also should smell good and be cleaned. Smelly hair or dirty hair is a no-no. This is not debatable. Even if your hair doesn’t smell like coconuts, it cannot smell. 🙅🏽♀️ Brows. Do what you need to do, but if you’re not blessed with natural, gorgeous brows, then you’re like me. I have to be highly cognizant of my brows. They always need to be filled in. Bummer, I know, but lemme tell you. I don’t walk around in my house without brows. Not zappening! I did use a Z. Brow tip: Obeying the brow rules really helps. I see extra long brows and it kills a look—fast. In my twenties, my mom used to laugh at my “hooks.” I didn’t get it, till a coworker pointed out that I needed to not drag my face down by drawing them too far down. She had on-point makeup and brows daily so I was there for the advice. Offended? Puh-lease! Be offended when women don’t speak up when they know better. Also, I did compliment her brows first and complained of wanting hers. Anyway, I was in my late twenties when this happened. Needless to say, my mom don’t laugh at me now. Lastly, you’ll need a good mask. Your face is the place! It’s the focal part of you. Forget facial features and A-symmetrical beauty. If your skin isn’t cared for, nothing matters. Regardless of how you may judge your beautiful self, remember, skin is always in. Luckily, it’s not a matter of revealing physical skin. I mean, a healthy, clear complexion! If you are currently struggling with achieving nice skin, worry not! Breakouts happen to everyone. Hell, I’m in fight mode right now. Ughhhh. Only you know what’s best for you. Just abide by the sixty-second rule when washing your face for optimum results. For me, only using edible products work best on my face. No, I don’t have sensitive skin. Lastly, no woman should be armed without her Aztec clay. See, don’t you feel fabulous already? Say it with me: If you take care of yourself, age ain’t nuthin’ but a number. Aaliyah tried to tell y’all!
2: GOODBYE, SUGAR
R.I.P. high-fructose corn syrup and sugar. I’m better off without it. I just regret not saying bye to sugar long time ago. I’ve lived off this junk since childhood and this crap ain’t good for no one. It’s just not. I got the damage to prove it. You know how many cavities I’ve had to pay for messing with this shit? Cuz that’s all it is. I don’t care how pretty it is. It didn’t matter how many times I brushed my teeth. My hips aren’t happy. My skin was beginning to cuss me out. It’s banned from my house. No one has raw sugar and definitely not refined up in here. We don’t even cook with it. When I baked occasionally in 2018, I didn’t use it. Nahp. 🙅🏽♀️ This stuff is trash! When I eat foods with it, it’s sparingly. I normally go for stuff with it’s own sugar. It’d be hard to escape it altogether, because it’s almost everywhere, like sauces and drinks. Luckily for me, I tend to drink only water. Still, this is America, and sugar is basically everywhere. Yup, I gave up my processed and sugary snacks by about 95 percent. Honestly, my body just can’t take it anymore. Even if my body never reflected that, knowing that I don’t eat like I used to is good enough for me. That’s the way it has to be. Even legit, solid foods turn to sugar if it’s a refined carb. Look at how much you’ll take in even unintentionally! It ages you. I didn’t see it, but I felt it. My skin was dull but still fairly clear. Only you can put your own foot down, but once you do, you won’t wanna pick it up anymore.
1: EAT RIGHT AND EXERCISE
You just can’t skip this step. You may all the rest, but not this one. It’s a process, but it’s mandatory. This whole list is not about looking like a supermodel, but feeling like one. No one wants to feel their age, and that’s okay. But you don’t want to hang your head in shame when you tell people your age. This post ain’t about wanting to be someone you’ll never be. It’s all about being fabulous in your skin and being the best you you’ve got. Unfortunately, it won’t happen any other way. We have to take care of ourselves. It’s a daily struggle. You only get one life, so live your passion, and take care of the body and soul that houses the person living their dream. Otherwise, everything begins to feel like a nightmare. Whenever I go to the gym, I make sure to bring my mom. She’s 69, and I’m 39. We women have to look out for one another. I can’t get healthy and leave my mom on the sidelines. That’s not an option. I refuse to let her age without a fight. If she can lift weights, then so can I. She gave birth to me, but I want to help give her life. So, I know I said doing number 10 at the least—routine. However, if nothing else, eat more balanced and/or restrict some things from your diet, and don’t forget to move that body.
Please drop some helpful tips to add on to this. I can learn from your tips as well!