Black Don't Crack....Sometimes!
3/21/2013 11:55:00 AM
I was looking at my 89 year-old grandmother and she just now is showing signs of aging, but still looks very good for her age. Skin is still soft. No discoloration. And my mama? Many can’t believe she is in her 70’s. But you know what they say?
“Black don’t crack.”
You may have heard the phrase but many black women believe it. While there’s so many negative reports on black women and their esteem, I am glad one survey shows we think we age like fine wine ! Several examples prove it: 46 year-old Halle Berry, Stacey Dash, Lisa Raye McCoy, Nia Long – all these women are 40+ and more fab than some of their 20 something counterparts! For some it may be good genes. Of course, our skin has ultraviolet ray-shielding melanin and natural oils. That helps delay women of color’s signs of aging. Think Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad and even the late Eartha Kitt! Bad to the bone, huh?
Allure's first-ever anti-aging survey in the April 2013 issue found that 86 percent of the African-American participants thought that they aged the best, compared to 81 percent of Asians, 53 percent of Hispanics/Latinos and 46 percent of Whites/Caucasians. Other findings:
64 percent of black women say they aren't worried about the physical signs of aging
81 percent of black women think they look younger than other woman their age
65 percent of black women have no intention of considering anti-aging treatments or procedures in the future
Sistas also believe that a woman stops looking sexy around the age of 64 - 10 years past the date given by the rest of the survey participants. While it's fun to believe “black don't crack”, it can depending on many things. Have you ever ran into an old high school buddy and you can't believe how they look? Or maybe a twenty something who looks every bit of a bad 40? What gives?
Lifestyle factors for starters. Make sure you use sunscreen – that includes women of color. When we don’t we are still at risk for skin cancer, which often is detected in later stages when you have more pigment in your skin. Smoking/secondhand smoke, too much alcohol, lack of rest, trying to “party hearty” but neglecting skincare or nutrition, cleaning chemicals, chronic stress and air pollution can all cause skin problems. Web MD points better lifestyle choices can help you – regardless of race and age – achieve healthier skin.
1. Exercise. Exercising can reduce stress and help you sleep better, leading to healthier skin.
Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is your skin's chance to repair damage done during the day,. Seven to eight hours a night allows your face to relax and smooth wrinkles, avoid dirt and grime in the air, and rejuvenate.
Eat healthy, look healthy. Foods can affect skin because you'll see it when there is a deficiency. If there is a deficiency in vitamin C, it can cause scurvy. A deficiency in zinc can lead to a scaly, red rash. An iron deficiency can lead to hair loss. So eat well-balanced meals.
Think before you drink. Dermatologists recommend drinking water to moisturize your skin from within. When you drink water, the cells absorb that water and look plumper, smoothing out wrinkles. The opposite is true of beverages that dehydrate the body and skin, especially alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Coffee, alcohol, and soda can also deplete the body of nutrients that keep skin from looking tired and dull, cause facial flushing, and worsen skin conditions such as rosacea.
Keep in mind during this National Nutrition Month, what you put in your mouth can affect your skin. According to Mayo Clinic dermatologist Lawrence E. Gibson, eating a lot of saturated fat, found in foods like red meat and full-fat dairy, can promote skin aging. It's also good to limit intake of salted meats and other salty foods, as too much salt can cause puffy skin from water retention. For a list of 8 foods for fab skin, click here!