Trying to grow older gracefully in our world of knives and needles is a very difficult task indeed. I refuse to succumb to the barbaric nature of a nip here and a tuck there. Plastic surgery has a strong history, but nowadays the once-taboo subject is so accessible that with the motto ‘prevention is better than cure’ in mind, people as young as twenty are indulging in anti-aging solutions, not to mention the plethora of other treatments and procedures available on speed dial. So, if you too, refuse to digest Botox for breakfast or fillers for lunch, but still want to fight back at the aging process, gracefully of course, then read on… Oh and I apologise in advance for the shameless but scarily apt references to animals, and hopefully the only creature you will be compared with this year will be a spring chicken.
Bull in a China Shop: Sophistication doesn’t make you look older – just more refined! So walk with elegance, and avoid swearing. You can’t get grace from an injection!
Rat Teeth: To prevent gum disease, brush twice daily, floss daily too and use antibacterial mouthwash. Remember that coffee, wine, curried-food and cigarettes are all guilty of staining teeth – not to mention causing smelly breath.
Mutton dressed as Lamb: It’s not what you wear but the way that you wear it. Dress according to shape and personality rather than showing off lots of flesh. If you overdo it, you will have the adverse effect – and that goes with the make-up too! Wear shades that suit your skin tone, and that enhance your best features… Take a leaf out of Emily-Rose’s debut book ‘How to look pretty not plastered’ proving that less is more.
Cow Udders: Breast tissue loses elasticity with age or dramatic weight loss. Do pectoral exercises to build the muscle beneath the tissue, giving your breasts a firmer appearance. Be confident, maintain good posture and buy a well-fitting, supportive bra. If you need extra padding then there are lots of gel and plunge bras available at all good lingerie stores. You really don’t need a to be sliced open and stuffed like a turkey in order to create a nice, youthful silhouette.
Rhino Skin: As we age our skin loses collagen, thus elasticity, and as a result it sags and wrinkles. Drink lots of water and moisturise regularly. After a warm shower, blast your whole body with freezing water – closing pores, locking in moisture and firming skin. This technique is also used to combat dreaded orange-peel skin.
Crows Feet: Lines around the eyes and mouth are likely to be worse if you are a smoker. Smoking forms lots of toxins in the skin, making it thinner and duller. Lines are created by the constant pulling on cigarettes. These lines are also referred to as laughter or expression lines – they add character to a face, unlike Botox. Drink lots of water to flush toxins out, and use natural eye cream before you go to sleep so that it gets working throughout the night. Avoid squinting by wearing sunglasses on a bright day – or wear your prescription glasses when needed. Stop smoking, but keep laughing!
Cats Whiskers: As the years add up, hair seems to randomly sprout from your face – don’t use a razor – it will only grow back thicker and darker! Waxing can thin the skin, making it more prone to line development. I’m personally a fan of threading – I get this done on my eyebrows once a month, you can also get your top lip, chin and the rest of your face threaded if required.
Panda Eyes: If you are not getting your eight-hour recommended sleep, then you will have tired, dark or ‘old-looking’ eyes. Put sliced cucumbers on your eyes to reduce puffiness, it cools your eyes and reduces the appearance of tiredness and black circles. I personally know three people that have had their ‘bags’ surgically removed from under their eyes – the recovery was shocking – and they still look tired after a night out – pretty pointless!
Pig Guts: You get out what you put in – so try and limit refined sugars and junk food. Don’t diet or deprive yourself of a sinful pleasure – just try to be moderate. A balanced, healthy diet, including lots of water, fruit and veg will do wonders for your skin. Be moderate with your alcohol in-take too – hangovers instantly age the appearance of skin. Ensure you read Karen Watkins’ column per issue, she has great knowledge and advice on nutrition.
Zebra Face: More lines – and uneven skin tone! I use Bio Oil instead of a moisturiser – it evens out skin tone and reduces scars and blemishes, it is also said to have an anti-aging effect. I suffer from a deep frown mark – and after trying different creams and even sleeping with tit-tape on my head – I came across the perfect solution for a roadmap face. Frownies are adhesive patches that you place on the troubled area, the results are amazing – the patches re-educate the skin not to create the line… I chose them for the judges to try for this issue’s Professional Pix… read Issue 2 for their verdicts.
Turkey Neck: Stop neglecting your neck – moisturise it, put a face pack on it, and do neck stretches. You can detract people’s eye-line away from the troubled area by wearing a necktie, low-cut top or necklace with large pendant.
Sloth: Be more active by walking instead of driving, or running up the stairs. For all you mums out there – pelvic floor exercises will prevent incontinence as the years clock up. Exercise not only increases your fitness levels, and burns fat – but it also gives you a natural all-over glow and feel-good factor. Try yoga, Pilates or a Zumba class.
Raccoon Stripe: Cover your grey hair with low lights – lighter shades running through your natural colour lift your skin tone, giving you a fresher appearance. Avoid block colour and dramatic changes. Have your hair regularly restyled to inject freshness into your overall look – long hair can drag your face down and make your features look gaunt – so go on, try the chop.
Leopard Print: I’m not talking lingerie – but ‘liver spots’! Also referred to as ‘age spots'; these small brownish skin pigmentations are due to over exposure of sunlight, and are a sign of high levels of toxins in the skin. The skin is the largest organ on the body and we need to look after it! To avoid these spots, wear a high factor sun-cream – try a spray for ease of application. Also avoid the peak time of sunlight – usually late morning to mid afternoon. If you notice major difference in your skin pigmentation, especially in areas other than your shoulders, face and backs of hands, then you should seek medical advice. Read Louise Spikings’ feature on getting sun exposure in a safe way in Issue 2.
Surgery for health reasons is advisable, and should always be discussed with a medical professional, however when it comes to cosmetic surgery – you just don’t need it, and neither do I!
Illustration: Ara Eden Lee