If anyone knows beauty, it's Dutch supermodel, cover girl and entrepreneur Frederique van der Wal. Even after retiring from life in front of the camera, van der Wal keeps it gorgeous, so we reached out to see if she'd spill her secrets for staying beautiful, inside and out.
My “secrets” for aging well really aren’t such big secrets. They mostly consist of common sense, and they mainly come from my Dutch heritage — many of the general habits we regularly practice in Holland are excellent ways to treat your skin and body right so that they naturally help minimize the effects of growing older.
Of course, some of the habits I practice now are things I picked up from my modeling days (models, makeup artists, and stylists are some of the best sources on how to deal with aging skin and hair).
Model or not, here are five easy things you can start doing right now to look your best, no matter how old you are:
1. Wash your face every single night.
First and foremost, I was taught to always clean my face at night before bed. This means that no matter how exhausted I am, how late it is, or how early I have to get up in the morning, I make sure to give my face a gentle cleansing before I climb under the covers.
Even though this seems like common sense, you'd be surprised at how easy it is to sometimes tell yourself it won't matter if you skip a night of cleansing. But trust me: if you forget, your skin won’t be able to breathe and renew itself while you're sleeping.
Leaving your face unwashed before bed is a recipe for clogged pores and new blemishes when your alarm goes off in the morning.
2. Hydrate, inside and out.
In my book, moisturizing is almost as important as cleansing. But don’t think of it simply as an external thing (i.e., applying lotion or oil). For your best skin, you've got to hydrate internally as well.
Our skin is an organ and just like all the other organs in our body, it needs water to stay healthy and thrive. I know that if I'm parched, I immediately see it in my skin; when my skin is thirsty, it's taut and far less supple than if I'm hydrating well.
I try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Here's a little trick I like to do to make sure I get enough: keep a water bottle with you at all times and take a big sip every time you check your email.
3. Change is good.
I firmly believe that shampoo and moisturizer should be switched up every so often. You don't want your skin or hair to develop a "tolerance" for products, so it's good to have a few things on rotation for the sake of variety.
Also, as we age, our skin and hair age too and need different ingredients than they did at an earlier stage of life. I've noticed that my skin has gotten more sensitive with age, so I like to use gentle oils these days. You'll have to play around with what works for you over the years, but your skin will thank you for the legwork.
4. SPF is your best friend.
This shouldn't be news to you, but sunscreen is one of the most important components of well-aged skin. Even when it's cold or cloudy, the sun is still powerful and can cause irreversible damage. It's just as important to apply SPF on those cold, gray mornings as it is before a day at the beach.
5. A beautiful mind equals a beautiful body.
The beauty regime that has benefited me the most is practicing the philosophy of enjoying life: having a drink, eating well, surrounding myself with people and things that make me happy.
Find something you really love and figure out a way to do it regularly. Bring fresh flowers into your home and office; get outside as often as you can; let your family and friends know how much you treasure them.
In the end, aging gracefully is about embracing the journey of life. Laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You may just find that you like what you see in the mirror each morning.
Photo courtesy of the author