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5 Lessons I Learned From My Mother, the Aesthetician

Mother knows best
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I've had a one track mind about my career, for, well, ever. I knew I was destined to be a writer from elementary school days, and I stayed focused on my quest toward bylines ever since. Over many years (jobs, leaps of faith, classes, lessons), I've been lucky to build a sustainable career in journalism, and I sincerely can't imagine doing anything else.

My mother on the other hand? She's sort of the opposite. Easily bored but ever-curious, she is best described as a Jill of All Trades — dabbling here, taking a class there. Over the years, she's been an accountant, a real estate agent, a writer, an astrologist and an aesthetician. Getting her certification meant she learned the ins and the outs of taking great care of your pores, and of course, being the thoughtful human she is, couldn't wait to give me advice on how to ensure I stay looking young and vibrant for as long as possible.

Though — admittedly — I don't always follow all of her tips and tricks, I do try my best to give my skin the TLC it deserves. If you want to steal some of her wisdom, here are a few tips and tricks to implement into your routine.

Image via Imaxtree

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Always think up

Positive and happy-go-lucky by nature, my mom doesn't just suggest optimism over anything else, but she feels the same way on how to apply moisturizer. Or serums. Or makeup. When we're in a rush, it's normal to apply your go-to lotion of foundation in whichever way you can, but blending upwards (instead of down) will keep your skin tight and fresh. This is especially true when touching the delicate section of skin around our eyes. Here, we should never pull, but rather, gently massage, ensuring more wrinkles don't rear their head. The goal, of course, is youth — and massaging upwards helps defy gravity (and delay the inevitable).

Image via Imaxtree

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Never skip sunscreen

My roots are Irish and Scottish, which means like my mom, we don't really tan; we just freckle... and suffer sun damage if we aren't careful. She's had some scary bouts with pre-cancerous spots on her chest, so she is very diligent about applying at least an SPF 30 several times a day. No matter the season — or no matter where a travel writing assignment takes me — my mom always nags me to lather up. My daily moisturizer has a built in SPF, and whenever I'm about to be face-to-face with those powerful sun rays, I agree that yep, mother knows best.

Image via JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty

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Wash your face twice a day

Because I'm originally from North Carolina, there are certain Southern mentalities that I've never let go of, even though I've lived in New York and traveled all around the world for months at a time. One of those is the idea of "putting your face on" before doing anything. Even if I'm working from home or just running out to grab a coffee or go grocery shopping, I put on a touch of makeup and lotion, just to feel pretty and refreshed. Because I'm used to applying a little somethin'-somethin' to my cheeks and eyes, I've developed a solid habit of washing my face — not only in the evening, but in the morning, too. My mom says this practice is one that will ensure clean, healthy pores, and always suggests taking extra time to ensure every last bit of makeup is off before you tuck yourself in. Even if I have too many glasses of wine, I still stumble to the sink and get the job done.

Image via Sydney Shaffer/DigitalVision/Getty

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Don't be afraid of cosmetic procedures

Though my mom is in her late 50s, she doesn't look it — and she gives much of the credit to laser treatments and tiny investments in cosmetic procedures. She swears by infrared red light technology to minimize the appearance of acne scars and wrinkles, especially when used over lengthy periods of time. She also has said yes to Botox, but only in small doses — and has even encouraged me to do the same. When used sparingly and early, she says the effects can work over a lifetime, making it less necessary to load up later in life. As she puts it, if there's something on your face that you're uncomfortable with or causes you confidence issues, why not do what you can to fix it?

Image via Karina Mansfield/Moment/Getty

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