I’m a few weeks away from my birthday and of course, have to reflect on how my external frame is keeping up with my eternal soul. I know I’m not the only one who does this. Let’s face it, I think all of us, male or female, young or old, have some measure of vanity within ourselves or we wouldn’t be human. And given that my friends have commented on how well I have aged over the years and have asked a hundred times what my secret is, I thought I’d share what I know. For starters, Jesus IS my best kept secret. Through prayer, he has healed and preserved my body from teenage and collegiate alcohol abuse (before Christ), sleepless nights, anxiety, relational trauma, and natural wears and tears to the body. Second to that, I have been blessed with Asian genes, which helps to stave off some of the natural effects of aging. My father’s Euro genes, however, are unfortunately winning the battle with my temple graying hairline. Lastly and practically, I try to eat well, exercise regularly, drink gallons of water, and follow what I like to call my “Esther” skin care regimen.
In the biblical account of Esther, we discover that she was given special food and “prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh (antiseptic), followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments” before she could even see the king (2:9, 12). Since my pre-teens, I have religiously lathered on lotion or oil after every shower, which has helped my skin to maintain its moisture and elasticity over the years. This is especially important since the epidermis, outer skin layer, regenerates from the lower levels where new skin cells are birthed every two to three weeks. After about age 35, this process decreases incrementally over time. So avoiding the sun and tanning beds, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, resisting fatty foods and sugar, and quitting cigarettes really assist the skin to renew and sustain itself long-term. In addition to that, drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, and adding vitamin supplements to one’s diet is a must. But the most important practical element to that natural glow is to cleanse and pamper with some kind of skin care line.
I recommend three: Vaalia Lélek, an all-natural, hand-made, essential oils-based skin care by a friend of mine, Arbonne’s RE9 Advanced, a botanical, all-natural, non-toxic skin care, and my beloved, Shiseido Benefiance. While I give all three a big thumbs up, the key is to find a skin care that works best with one’s skin type and that works well with the body’s natural ability to rejuvenate itself. Also, stay away from all collagen products unless it specifies “plant” origin. Besides these three, for the body itself, I recommend Curél Ultra Healing Lotion for dry skin, which evaporates upon contact.