For Women Only, Taking It All Off
When I was 18 doing a gap year abroad, many of the parents, then in their 40’s, of those of us participating in the program, came to visit. The natives were uniformly struck by how much younger the fathers looked than the mothers. Funny, that I vividly remember that. Turn the page forward and as they say, history repeats itself. When I was raising my children, moved through my early 30’s and into my 40’s, it was clear I was the mother. Yet, when we would all gallivant around together, (then) husband included, I was constantly asked if he was one of the brothers?
Does this mean that men age better than women? Actually, researchers have found that men have a higher density of collagen and as a result have a thicker skin, don’t we know that, literally and figuratively? Collagen is what gives our skin elasticity and smooth, plump appearance. Both men and women lose collagen every year after age 30, but in the first 5 years after menopause, women lose a greater percentage than men.
All young women have their role models, and those are the women we emulate in our fashion development. How charming is that familiar stereotype of the little girl that thinks her mother is the most beautiful and glamorous woman in the world, she sneaks a swipe of her makeup at every opportunity and fantasizes of growing up just the same. I was lucky to have three role models, a mom and two aunts who loved dress up and fashion. The 60’s and the 70’s were their time to shine and emulate Jackie Kennedy, personalize pillbox hats and interpret above the knee lengths in their own style.
They taught me good skin is as much a part of fashion as designer frocks. Makeup embellishes our look, but how it is removed and how we treat our skin daily preserves the canvas for the total picture. Being European may have made skincare come naturally and they were fastidious about it. My mom favored Estee Lauder and took her makeup off with baby oil, one aunt loved Lancome and the other claimed her perfect skin was due to makeup removal with Ponds. Never to bed with makeup on!
They religiously removed their makeup at night and were disciplined about a nightly moisturizing routine. In the tradition of my role models, I have my own nightly ritual that I will share here and in a video as well.
Note: I try to use minimal products unless I absolutely love something. Then I can use 2 or even 3 products that serve the same purpose. I can’t help it, I am very loyal. I comfort myself by thinking, if one has some deficits the other will compensate.
Wash face with Murad AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser. I have very dry flaky skin and I like this one because it is an all in one. Washes and exfoliates. I particularly concentrate on scrubbing the t-zone and the corners at the outside of the nostrils. I use a paper towel to dry off and I rub, really rub, to further the exfoliating process. Other suggestions: Cetaphil or fresh soy face cleanser. But, If you use these then you need some gentle exfoliator in addition. I recommend La Prairie Cell 3-Minute Peel 2 or 3 times per week, this is expensive but use just a bit in the problem areas, t-zone, sides of nose and mouth, it goes a long way. Note: For those of you who wear mascara and eye shadow, you will need an eye makeup remover, but never rub around the eye area too much.
Put on a few drops of Skinceuticals ce fuerilic. This is great for diminishing dark spots. Make sure to include neck and décolletage.
Step 4 and the Finale:
Thick and rich formula moisturizer, for both eyes and face. At night the skin rests, and it is essential that during this down time it soaks in all the moisture. My favorites are Laura Mercier flawless skin infusion nourishing crème and Shisheido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 Eyes. They smell great and do not stay sticky after a minute or two.
Apply liberally and extra can always be used for upper arms and elbows, never waste.
At night, in the harsh light of the bathroom, it is challenging to look attractive and feel sexy after this workout. Three tips:
- Spray on perfume in all the right places.
- Use a colored lip balm. We all look better with a bit of brightness.
- Even though we just worked hard to alleviate years of damage from sun, pollution and smiling, smile. Going to sleep with positive thoughts and feeling grateful for our blessings brings on a better rest. Sleep is the best therapy to lovely skin.