(courtesy of memes.com)
I realize that by including this picture I am WAY more than aging/dating myself. That is ok though. Let me explain – this man is Freddie Prinze, the father of Freddie Prinze, Jr. He was popular on a show called “Chico and the Man” in the 1970s. The character was very charming, and his signature/tag line was…you guessed it…Looking Good! I have many things I do to keep myself up to date and decent, appearance-wise. Some days I am good with it, other days not so much. I do try to do at least a little something extra every day, in addition to regular grooming. I don’t do these things in any particular order. I just try to do one of them each day of the week.
My hair can take a beating at times. I try not to wash it more than I have to. Even with avoiding frequent washings, I want it to look nice. I will comb or brush it out and then style it. My hair ends up with a lot of product build up. When it gets to having that “straw-like” feeling, it’s time for extra conditioner. I will either do a quick deep conditioning treatment if I have one on hand (I usually do) or I will do this – I wash my hair, and quickly dry it in a towel. I will take a bottle of instant/regular conditioner (you know, the kind you use in a shower) and while my hair is damp I will comb some of it through my hair. I will leave it in my hair for a while – sometimes five or ten minutes, sometimes an hour. I put no limits on the time. When I finally decide it’s time, I rinse it out – I have soft and shiny hair. It ends up being softer and shinier than if I had just ran it over my head while in the shower.
I try to take care of my face every day, because I can totally see aging in my skin. About once a week, I will do a more extensive face care routine. I will remove my eye makeup (if I’m wearing any) and then wash the rest of my makeup (again, if I have any of that on). Then I take a facial cleanser, and will soap my face up really good. I do all over my face, from my upper forehead to under my chin by my neck. Once I feel as though my face is very clean, I will rinse – I rinse really well. Doing this can be very messy, but that is ok. I will blot my face dry, and then it is time for a toner (if I feel like it). After the toner (if I use one), I will put on moisturizer. More often than not, I’m doing this at night so I’ll use regular moisturizer and then night cream/moisturizer over it. I take my time to rub it in gently, almost like a massage. Lately I have been including eye cream or some sort of an eye product at this point. Changes around my eyes have been very noticeable recently. I feel as though taking extra time with the little things can help my appearance. And it seems to make my makeup look better, too.
I used to get my nails done on a regular basis at a local Nail Salon. I had started doing them myself before the pandemic hit. They had started looking a little rough, so I thought I would treat myself to regular gel manicures again – and then we all got hit with the Corona and Covid-19 situation. Home manicures are just part of what I do now, but once a week I do regular maintenance on my fingertips and hands. I will wash my hands really good – and I mean good. Once I am satisfied they are clean, I take a bowl of warm water and soak my hands. Depending on how much pampering I want or need at the time, I may just do my nails. I soak them in water with a bit of lotion mixed in. When they are sufficiently softened, I will take them out. After patting them dry, I will then massage my hands to moisten them. I can use lotion in water, but I have a problem with lotion directly on skin. I will lightly massage my hands with Vaseline. That seems to be the most successful thing for me. I will also massage my cuticles, clipping any odd pieces of skin that don’t belong. I will make sure my nails are even, and if any part of my manicure needs attention, I’ll do a quick fix. Doing these things ensures my hands always look nice.
As much as I want my hands to look nice, I want my feet to look nicer. I don’t like anything about feet. One of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen was a diabetic foot care video in my very first diabetes education class many years ago. I watched first hand as that video described how bad your feet could get if you neglect your health with regard to diabetes. And ever since then, I have kept my feet in pristine condition. In addition to regular pedicures to keep my feet looking pretty, I also do weekly maintenance. Let me also say that after every shower I take, my feet get liberally rubbed in with any kind of nice smelling lotion I feel like using at the time. I have quite a few, yet after doing my feet and putting socks on over them, I rinse my hands – see above about my hands and anti-lotion issues. For weekly maintenance on my feet, I will fill up a basin of warm water, again like above with some lotion in the mix. I will soak them for a few minutes, then take them out. I will rub them with a towel or a face cloth. It almost acts like an exfoliating of some kind. This process gets repeated over and over until the water starts to not be warm anymore. And once I do a final soak, I will rub my feet dry. I’ll look for little pieces of skin to check, and will make sure my nails are even. They will get a final drying off, and then lotion will be applied and socks will go on. Even though at times I think the rest of my body more than needs help, I’m always confident that my feet look good.
I have mini-care tips for my teeth (in addition of course to regular care). Starting with those little flossing pickers, I do my entire mouth. I’ll rinse, then just brush my teeth as I normally do. Rinsing again, I will run some plain “Scope like” mouthwash around my mouth. Spitting that out, I’ll use the pickers again. I’ll brush my teeth again, but just with cold water (though I understand some people use warm water, that’s ok too). At this point, I will use one of those rinses – they usually have some kind of additive in them, either for plaque buildup, to promote moisture to tissues or to add extra fluoride. And again, once I’m done with this, I will use the pickers and will rinse again. My final application is usually a whitening rinse. I do not know if they truly whiten teeth, but I feel as though they can’t hurt. After repeating all of these steps, your mouth will feel really good and you can be confident your teeth got taken care of in a great way. There really is no rhyme or reason to these – you truly can go in whatever order you want.
I have itchy skin. I don’t know why. I guess you can say I kind of have dry skin. My back is particularly itchy. I carry a collapsible back scratcher wherever I go. I like to take care of my skin with my own set of self exfoliating tactics. Again, like above there really is no rhyme or reason to what I do and how I do it. Sometimes I will take a very quick rinse shower before I start. Sometimes I don’t. I will rub my body with a washcloth (one that seems more rough than others) or a soft bristle brush (both dry). You want to get rid of dead skin but you don’t want to hurt yourself. Work in small circular movements. Some start at the ankles, some start at the neck and shoulders. It is up to you. Don’t go too hard or too rough – these are areas that are usually not worked on much, and they are usually covered up by clothes. Once you’re satisfied with how your exfoliating has gone, you can use some scrubs specifically made for these types of treatments, or if you want – use any kind of lotion. Use plenty of product, and once you’re done doing that – take a nice, warm shower. You don’t want anything too extreme – nothing too cold or too hot. When you’re done, dry and towel off gently. Again it depends on you – if you want, you can use some lotion – or if your skin feels a bit sensitive – skip it. See how you feel. After a procedure like this, you will see a glow in your skin. It might not be tremendous, but trust me – you will notice the difference.
So there you have it – six tips or hacks or whatever you want to call them. I try to do one each day. The seventh day can be left for something that you saw during the week that may have just needed a little more, a little extra. More often than not, I’m doing something for my hair. I will either deep condition it, or will double check the roots and see if a dye job will be necessary soon. Sometimes I’ll do the roots then, sometimes I’ll just do my whole head again, and sometimes I’ll just wash my hair and use the root cover up spray in a can. Like I’ve said, no rhyme. No reason. I do whatever needs to be done, or I’ll do nothing. It all depends on how I’m feeling at the moment. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to avoid major fix-ups where you feel like you have no choice…