The Thing About Aging

roses-3194057_1280Aging was okay when I was young

When I was 25, I swore I would grow old gracefully. I was young and naive and had great skin. So I couldn’t possibly envision an older version of myself. I also didn’t understand that there was so much more to aging than just wrinkles.

Aging in my 40s

Now that I’m 43, I see aging as so much more than the spots and lines on my face, the greying and thinner hair, the sudden, incomprehensible aches, the changing hormones and more pronounced, bizarre monthly cycles. Those are physical markers of aging. I do what I can to keep looking my best and keep physically healthy. However, I’ve gathered that aging has a little more to do with feeling my best.

Every day, there is a decision to be made. Either embrace life with the zeal I had in my early years or succumb to the cynicism and negativity which the world readily doles out. Therein lies aging. The moment I complain about the weight of my responsibilities and the pressures of adulthood, my life instantly feels worse. I feel worse. I feel weary and, well, old.

It’s not easy to talk myself into having a good day when I know it’s full of things which need to be done, have to be done, are waiting… And, just as I’m about to fall into the pit of aging, I’m saved by the reminder of a story I once read. A simple and very sad story, about a woman who lost her best friend and had to watch her friend’s daughters grow up without her. Every day at school, she met a father who claimed to be “living the life” each time he was picking up his children. And those words stuck with her, because her friend could no longer “live the life”.

To be “living the life” usually implies grand wealth and easy living. But, to most of us, that isn’t the kind of life we have. What is accessible is the life we have designed for ourselves. Which includes hard work in a career of our choosing (sometimes), endless responsibilities in the home, with our children, our parents, and trying to maintain a healthy relationship with our spouse in the hopes we will live out our years together.

I have begun to use this little phrase to break me out of my funk. I feel grateful to be “living the life” because it means I’m alive. It means I’m here to be with everyone I love. As soon as I recall this, I feel lighter and all the things don’t seem so burdening. I also feel energized and, well, young.

The thing about aging is that “it beats the alternative”

(one of my dear friends quotes this from one of her late relatives)

The thing about aging is that you’re either aging or you’re not. Procedures might erase the physical markers of aging, but the energetic feeling and endless possibilities you believed in your youth cannot be injected into you or carved out of you. I for one, choose to “live the life”, embrace the chaos and love every minute of it (or not, but at least somewhere in the struggle, remember I’m lucky to be living it).

I will also purchase the best anti-aging cream I can afford because great skin is nice.

How do you keep yourself youthful?

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A Review of Coccoon Apothecary’s Skin Care Products

(I’m fighting the guilt of missing yesterday’s NaBloPoMo post…four year old with a fever, home renos, 7.5 months pregnant, nuff said)

Love discovering natural skin care products?  Love knowing that what you’re putting on your skin is not full of chemicals you can’t pronounce or that are linked to some really bad health issues?  Love, love, love all things girly and trying new products all the time?

I found a pretty neat line for you.  Coccoon Apothecary.

I realize that I probably came to this party late, and many have already discovered Coccoon Apothecary.  But, here are my thoughts on the products I’ve been using since midsummer.

I’ve been using Magic Bean Lotion on my tummy and other areas that stretch during pregnancy to avoid stretch marks.  And, not even one!  I can’t fully attribute this to the lotion.  My genetics are pretty good here – my mom doesn’t have stretch marks, and I didn’t get any with my first child when I didn’t use Magic Bean Lotion.  However, it smells yummy (chocolate), moisturizes very well and keeps my skin supple. Touchy Feely Lotion is just as effective and I love the subtle smell of lavender.  My only complaint: didn’t last long at all for full body use.  At that price point ($21 CAD) I expected it to last longer.

As for their line of facial skin care products, I used the Rose Petal line because it concentrates more on anti-aging properties.

Petal Purity Facial Cleanser feels a little too creamy for my taste and I don’t think it’s meant for make-up removal.

I love the Petal Purity Exfoliator because I don’t feel like I’m scrubbing my skin with sandpaper and it leaves my face smooth, clean and refreshed.

Rose Dew toner is nice and my skin does feel, well toned, but again – I don’t feel like it completely removes make up residue.

Rosehip Oil Serum is simply lovely.  It took me some time to get accustomed to the strong smell of rose, but the effects of a tiny drop of oil gently massaged into my face had me convinced.  At first I was afraid it would make my normal skin oily (especially along the t-zone).  I quickly learned that the oil absorbed well.  My skin was left soft and the next morning it didn’t feel like it was washing off when I cleansed.  A great product.

Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream is gentle and creamy – again you don’t need a lot.  It settles nicely into the skin without feeling oily and leaves skin supple.  It’s a great facial cream.

Eyewaken eye cream goes a long way – just a tiny bit covers the entire eye area.  It moisturizes nicely and my eyes look good…I haven’t notice dramatically new “lines”.

I just tried the Ancient Mud Mask and I loved the results, but I found the mask too much like sandpaper.  It felt rough on my skin when I was applying it.  My face looked great once I rinsed it off, but I had a few red patches.  I don’t have sensitive skin – I can confidently use any product without a test patch and this product left it a bit too patchy for my liking.  Having said that, my face was super soft!

I think I should highlight that I’m pregnant – and pregnancy hormones tend to do all sorts of things to your skin.  With my first pregnancy I broke out all the time.  With this pregnancy, my skin has never felt better.  I may review these products again once baby is over 3 months old, I’m sleep deprived and therefore my skin will be different.  If they make my skin look great then, then these are truly great products!

What I like most about these products is that I use them with complete confidence that nothing yucky is getting through my skin to my cells or baby’s.  Do you have a natural skin care product that you love and would recommend trying?

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