A Little Self Love

This month of love, open yourself to a whole lotta lovin' by giving yourself a little pampering! Now we don't want to be shallow and obsess over whether we can be as ageless as Madonna at 50. We already know there's so much more to life than that. But we do want to brave those golden years looking golden ourselves, don't we?

Here's your cheat sheet to battling premature aging--yup, it's not too late!

1. Use sunscreen.
At 50, signs of sun damage will start to show. So start early and apply your sunscreen daily to avoid age spots later in life. The new recommendation for sunscreen is 30 SPF.

2. Do not pick at your face.
It is always tempting to pick that blemish or blackhead, however doing so can leave scarring.

3. Do not go to bed with makeup on.
I am guilty of this and I always wake up with a blemish. Leaving your makeup on can clog pores and cause skin irritation.

4. Eat right.
This means less processed foods and more food with the right fatty acids, such as the Omega-3 fatty acids. Processed and fast foods contain so much sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. These ingredients do nothing for your health or your skin.

5. Give up sweetened beverages.
High-calorie drinks such as soda just add pounds and do nothing to promote great skin. Consider herbal teas and water to stay well hydrated.

6. Do not take long, hot showers.
Although this is tempting during the long, cold days of winter, hot showers strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving your skin dry, flaky and sometimes itchy. Consider a warm and shorter shower. Not only will you be eco-friendly, your skin and your water bill will also thank you for it. After your shower, pat your skin dry and apply moisturizer. Also consider a moisturizing cream or gel that will moisturize as you clean.

7. Simplify your skin care routine.
It is so tempting to buy the newest and greatest skin care product, however, it would be best to understand what your skin care needs are. Visit a dermatologist for a consultation or do enough research and come to understand your skin type and needs.

8. Do not smoke.
Smoking does absolutely nothing for your health or your skin.

The original article, as well as loads more beauty tips, can be found at Yahoo's Shine website here.

I will add another tip to this list, though. And I personally think that in the long run, this tip will outlast the others:

9. Be at peace with yourself! Sure, we don't look like supermodels and we don't have the bucks for cosmetic repairs (I don't plan on having any at all, though). But being at peace with who you are as a woman gives you a glow that outshines any star on that red carpet! And lasts you the longest, too!

I have a friend whose 79-year-old mom has so much joy oozing out of her that she sometimes looks and feels like someone in her 20s! She is at peace with herself and with the path that she has chosen in life. That happiness spreads to everyone who meets her. She's quite possibly the most beautiful person on earth!

Photo from sxc.hu.