You Never Forget Your First (Sign Of Aging)

Despite what celebrities will have you believe, aging is normal.

There comes a time in every young woman’s life when she notices that her skin is acting…different. Nothing major, but enough to sound a tiny alarm inside her brain. Like the sheet marks that used to disappear in minutes, now hang out on your face for hours. Or maybe you used to pride yourself on never looking tired (or hungover). But lately, when you only get four hours of sleep, it shows. Sound familiar? Take a deep breath and calm down–something really good can come out of this.

Discovering your first sign of aging can be the kick in the pants you need in order to revamp your skincare habits for the better. In other countries like France or Japan, women are trained on proper skin care at a young age and they stick with a consistent routine throughout their lives. Here in the states, we tend to be more reactive–we’re all about fixing problems instead of preventing them in the first place.

For example, I recently met with Adriana Altuve, an Olay research and development expert who has spent a lot of time observing women’s beauty rituals around the world. She told me that there are seven (yes, seven!) steps in the typical Japanese woman’s daily skincare regimen. Think that’s extreme? Adriana told me she met a woman in Japan who splashes her face with water 40 times before she even washes it to make sure her skin gets enough hydration. Now I’m not saying you gotta do all that. I’m just suggesting that we could all stand to learn a lesson from ladies overseas: Put in some work each day and you’ll have less to panic about later on. Your first sign of aging is the perfect motivation.

My conversation with Adriana (and the new faint-but-definitely-there parenthesis lines around my mouth) inspired me to stop being so lazy. I’ve even added two products to my routine that are making a huge difference.  One of them is RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, which I apply under my night moisturizer. I realize the product is probably more appropriate for an older lady, but I figure it can’t hurt to use it now. And my skin definitely looks smoother since I started using it a few weeks ago.

The other product I’m into right now is Dermalogica Precleanse, an oil-based product that feels amazing on my skin. I used to just do a quick swipe with a makeup remover wipe at night and hop into bed. Now I use this before my face wash and my skin doesn’t have that tight, dry feeling I get sometimes when I use a foaming cleanser. After I wash, I apply my retinol cream and my night moisturizer on top and I’m done. I still have to force myself to do it–old bad habits die hard–but I can see the payoff when I wake up in the morning. And I’m sure when I’m 60, I’ll be glad I spent those extra few minutes on my skin.

What’s up with your face—have you noticed any signs that you’re not 19-years-old anymore? Or are you still getting carded? Let me know the deal in the comments section and include your product picks!