Once upon a time, not so long ago, about the age of 35 women turned matronly. Little black dresses, high heels and cocktail parties were retired in favor of house dresses, hush puppies and knitting circles. Youthful, trendy hairstyles would be found capitulating to the helmet known as the shampoo set. Then something magic happened; a little movement called women's liberation! Not only did this crusade bring great things for women, like the Equal Rights Amendment, but it gave us the confidence to stand up to the hormonal changes brought on by middle age. Little black dresses everywhere came flying out of retirement as women realized that we can still look amazing beyond our childbearing years!
No matter your stage of the game; kitten, cougar or panther, you have options available when it comes to anti-aging. Sometimes it may seem like there are too many options. How does the average person sort this all out? Is there a good gauge for knowing what is really important in your own personal anti-aging regimen? What does any of this have to do with a little black dress?
The "Little Black Dress" theory supposes that the 'little black dress' is the dress that you invest in, you spend a little more money on it and a little less money on accessorizing. Applied to the art of anti-aging this theory focuses on investing more into products that address our main skin concerns and spending less on the things that are not as essential. In action it looks like this:
Kittens (20's - 30's) Invest in exfoliation!
At this age it's less about anti-aging and more about age prevention. Alpha hydroxy acids are key to avoiding future skin damage because they work both topically and at a cellular level: resulting in both immediate and long term benefits. Lighter skin can help to avoid hyper - pigmentation by incorporating an exfoliate that contains lactic acid to aid in keeping skin cells melasma free. Darker skin will enjoy the benefits of glycolic acid, which leaves skin glowing and assists in cell hydration and turnover. These types of exfoliates should only be used once per week and you will see optimal results about a month after use.
Accessorize with sunscreen! It's like sunglasses for your skin: an SPF 30 is minimum and mandatory! A foaming or micellar water based daily cleanser is also a great add.
Cougars (mid/late 30's - 40's +) Invest in moisturize/lubrication!
This is the age where we begin to see fine lines that are usually the culprit of dehydration or dryness on the skin. More oily skin can lack moisture and should look for added hydration in a hyaloronic acid based serum or moisturizer. This will also assist in normalizing oil production. Dehydrated skin will benefit from a creamy moisturizer or light skin oils such as squalene: the oil naturally produced by the body to assist the skin in holding moisture. Maximize the benefits of hyaloronic acid by investing in an inexpensive, cold air humidifier to run while you sleep!
Accessorize with oil cleansing and retinal! An oil cleansing regimen will greatly increase hydration in the skin and works well for every skin type. Oil "grabs" oil and will effectively clean dirt and make up (including eye make up) from the skin but does not remove moisture. Retinal is vitamin A. It comes in a cream and works on both minimizing fine lines and stimulating new collagen production.
Panthers (peri-menopause/menopausal) Invest in serums!
Around our mid forties we can start to experience some hormonal changes in our bodies and we may see some minor or major changes on the skin. Some of these changes can include; uneven skin tone, milia (those little white bumps that don't "pop") or a dull complexion, just to name a few. There are several different serums out there and many can now replace moisturizers and exfoliates in addition to their other wonderful benefits! The key ingredients to look for in anti-aging serums are vitamins A, C and E; peptides; and high concentrates of effective botanical ingredients such as white tea and mushroom extracts.
Accessorize with oil cleansing and facial toning exercises - they really do work if you do them!
In addition to a simple anti-aging skin care regimen, a healthy diet that includes lots of water and green veggies, and plenty of beauty rest will guarantee to help your skin live happily ever after!