Learn to accept a few lines and wrinkles and be comfortable in your own skin.
Don’t glare at them when you look in the mirror and give them disproportionate attention! We all tend to focus on our defects, yet when we meet people all we notice are their smile, welcoming eyes and general demeanour. Accept that we are meant to look different through different life stages, and remember a wrinkle is there because you have smiled a lot, or because of the things you have experienced. Hydration, a balanced diet and no smoking are central to the battle against ageing, and remember that every face benefits from a little mascara, concealer, blusher and a dash of lipstick.
Bobby Brown, who is over 50 and briefly tried Botox, is quoted as saying she reckons makeup and good facial care can have the same or better effect on a woman’s face, giving it a lift and a youthful look. She likens Botox to weeding your garden, in that just when you think you have finished dealing with them another weed ( or wrinkle in this case) pops up and you have to rush to remove it.
Women rarely admit to their friends that they have regular filler or Botox treatment, regarding it as a sort of guilty secret. It may well hold off the signs of old age but psychologists have found that women who have had Botox, with the consequent lack of normal facial expressions, can put friends off as they can come across as indifferent or uncaring! Its also quite weird not being able to move your forehead!
So on that note this article steers well clear of cosmetic surgery and focuses on non medical techniques to help get rid of, or delay, lines and wrinkles.
Sun screen should really be worn every day – not just when you are in the sun. Today’s bronzed face is tomorrow’s lined one.
Dark spots, blemishes and mottled patches from sun exposure are common in older skin and Clinique’s latest “Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector” does actually seem to work on them, though it will take a month.
Massage face and neck daily, applying firm pressure and using strong circular movements to release tension in your face, relax the muscles and help those stress lines fade.
Lips naturally thin with age. Wrinkles and lines around the upper lip appear in middle age and sun damage makes them worse. The best thing is to always keep your lips hydrated. That way they will always look fuller and healthy.
To exfoliate your lips Body Shop's Lipscuff is perfect.
To reduce lines Space NK has Lineless Lines No More for Lips
For a more penetrating weekly treatment use Decleor Hydra Floral 'Flower Petals' Eye and Lip Mask
Skin care is fundamental so check out the Nourish your skin section. Some of the most effective products on the market are the new range of mechanical facial toners and cleansers.
Sonic toners and cleansers
There is now a new generation of sonic cleansers and toners on the market that can noticeably improve the healthy look of your skin, with a combination of pore cleansing and muscle toning that you would otherwise only get from a massage by a good facialist. Your skin will look polished and toned, and whilst it wont completely replace a regular facial, you may well find you need them less frequently or if you don’t bother with facials at all, then this is the perfect answer for the do it yourself option.
The Tua-tre’nd facial muscle stimulator has a great reputation for firming and tightening face, eye & neck tissue. You can feel the difference - eyelids look less saggy and eyes feel lifted. The initial outlay of £210 may seem expensive but not if you think how much just one facial costs.
The Clarisonic cleansing brush is an oscillating hand held brush designed to “bounce” dirt out of facial pores with a gentle sonic micro massage action to give a deep cleanse and gives smoother (and hence younger!) looking skin. It feels a bit like an electric tooth brush, as you massage your face in small circular movements. It's gentle tingling action enables face creams to then penetrate your skin much more effectively. Used daily it makes your face feel very soft and very clean. It does seem to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and gives your skin a smoother fresher look in just a few days. Great for clearing pores. Also available at Space NK, it isn’t cheap at £150 but is one of the most effective.
The newer Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System targets your eyes, and using a high speed tapping action does work in reducing puffiness and improving the texture of the dry and lined skin around the eyes. It comes with an anti aging eye serum.
The Neutrogena Wave is the bargain alternative available from Boots which uses textured pads that gently vibrate to declog the pores - £13.30. The pads clean and exfoliate in one go, removing dead cells to leave skin soft and glowing. judging by what is left on the pad it is a quick and effective cleanser.
The Bliss PoreFector uses sonic waves to jostle your skin and clean the pores, improving circulation as it goes. Then its low level vibration option can be used to massage products into your skin, much more effectively than you could using your fingers. Results are almost immediate and your skin feels so much cleaner. It costs £125.
The Nutrasonic at £125 removes old skin and unclogs pores. Wrinkles seem less pronounced, and skin does feel tighter and softer.
The Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Facialift at £24 from Space NK has eight massage heads that you roll across your face to mimic the tapping, pinching and knuckling of a facial massage, that you would get in her London salon. Her small range of excellent salon products are also available at Space NK. It aims to boost the supply of nutrients to your skin and improve skin radiance. It doesn't work as well as the more expensive gadgets but is a good economical option.
Frownies are facial pads that, if you can really be bothered, you stick on the corners of your eyes and mouth to smooth skin and soften lines and wrinkles, by making the muscles relax. Not the most attractive things to wear overnight so you might need to choose your moments, but they are reasonably priced at £17.50 for 144 from large department stores.
Fine lines and wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles can be reduced quite successfully by tightening and plumping the skin, a much less painful and less addictive alternative than enslaving yourself to regular Botox. The effectiveness of modern skincare has improved in leaps and bounds over the past few years, and huge amounts of research have been directed at products for the “mature skin”
They also do what Botox cannot – they improve the appearance of the skin as opposed to just stopping the lines. Not all of them are prohibitively expensive, though manufacturers obviously think the longer the name the better from a marketing point of view! So here are some of the most effective, in order of ascending price:
- Marks and Spencer Formula Age Repair Ceramide Collagen Serum stimulates collagen production and replenishes moisture. It completely sold out after a “Protect & Perfect” experience but is now back in stock.
- Marks and Spencer Advanced Formula Intense Serum Plus is one of the most realistically priced. It contains a mild muscle relaxant and gives you a sort of instant botox effect filling out wrinkles and freezing facial muscles. It also contains hyaluronic acid - the ultimate anti-ager - which fills in nooks and crannies.
- Boots No7 's Lift and Luminate Mask is a perfect facial pick-me-up.
- Nick Lowe’s The Secret is Out Super Lifting Serum has been developed through years of experience at his skin clinic ( where ironically he used to pioneer Botox) and works well at improving elasticity and reducing fine lines. Use under moisturiser.
- Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Overnight Facial Serum lifts and firms the skin overnight, making it look fresh and with a definite touch of radiance. Her Intense Hydrating Booster works extremely well to boost skin hydration.
- Estée Lauder Perfectionist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler is packed with hyaluronic acid to instantly deliver plumping moisture into your skin and reduce deep lines.
- Dr Lewins Line Smoothing Complex S8 contains a very effective line smoothing formula. Just tap a little onto your face and let your skin soak it up
- Institut Esthederm Lift System Lines Filler is also effective at delivering an instant effect and smoothing the skin, and you only need to use it sparingly
- Aromatherapy Associates' Anti Age Overnight Repair Mask does a great job of nourishing the skin and its rose and frankincense fragrance is gorgeous.
Skin needling is a technique that helps the skin repair and rejuvenate itself, and you really do notice the difference quite quickly. Micro needles penetrate the top layers of skin and then as the skin repairs it does look smoother and fresher looking. The tiny skin punctures also mean that the creams that you apply to your face really sink in, rather than just sitting on the surface. If you can find a beautician that uses Environ then you can ask them for the treatment first, and then buy a less invasive dermaroller to use regularly at home to help moisturisers penetrate more effectively.
And finally though it may sound odd, try and sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side will crumple your cheeks and face into vertical lines from nose to chin. Try pushing your cheek towards your nose to see what happens! And don’t chew gum – cosmetic surgeons are now finding that patients who regularly chewed gum have developed more wrinkles and fine lines around the mouth and lips due to loss of elasticity – so warn your daughters! Smoking causes, amongst other far more serious things, a lot of facial lines so to avoid a cat's bottom of a mouth please stop!
The Anti-aging Beauty Bible by Jo Fairley and Sarah Stacey includes advice and contains some an impressive product testing for the over 40’s.