May 31, 2014 10:49:13 PM
The original "Gerber Baby," Ann Turner Cook, just turned 85 and is a great-grandmother. After a neighbor did a charcoal sketch of her and entered it in the Gerber photo contest, that baby face won, and since 1931 has been the most recognized symbol of the company. Well, we can't keep that youth into our adult years, but with a few basic precautions we can tighten our grip and hold onto a youthful appearance.
Aside from genetics, the major contributors to aging skin are sun damage, environmental pollutants, poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Whether in my salon or during my stint traveling to many of the Estee Lauder counters across the state, older women have shared their wisdom regarding their own beautiful skin. One lady in her senior years credits her ageless, wrinkle-free complexion to a lifetime of large-brimmed hats, long sleeves and clinging to the shade when outside.
Most dermatologists agree that sun in small increments is healthy, but too much when we are young is inviting sunspots, fine lines and dull skin to future birthday parties. Sunscreen is no longer an option. It is essential. I never leave home without my moisturizer with SPF of 30 on my face, neck and the tops of my hands.
It has become increasingly paramount for us to guard our delicate skin from the world we live in. Pollution caused by free radicals from smoking, poisons, fried foods and a list too long to publish here wreaks havoc on the skin at the cellular level. That's why it's crucial to include antioxidants in your daily diet through foods rich in Vitamins C and E. Cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, beans, artichokes, russet potatoes, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts should be in your pantry, while a skin serum that's also rich in antioxidants should be on your vanity.
Hydration is essential for a healthy glowing complexion, so drink up the H2O, ladies. The next thing is one I will tiptoe around since I had a personal trainer myself (note the past tense of the verb), but exercise is a key to a younger, healthier you that defies age. I'm going to do better. I promise.
Finally, one thing all those wise women with polite manners, old-school charm and enviable faces confess is a daily moisturizer followed up with a night cream. It's as much a part of their lives as Sunday School and playing bridge, and it shows. Whether from Saks or Target, luxurious or thrifty, apply moisturizer onto your skin every single day. You might not get your cheeks pinched like the Gerber Baby did all those years ago, but you should see her now!