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Started looking old overnight - has this happened to anyone else?

(81 Posts)
GeriatricBabyMama Fri 30-Mar-12 12:45:57

I'm 35 and until I had my DS (18 months) I always used to get told I looked years younger than my real age. When I met DH, who's 5 years younger than me, he thought I was in my early 20s not early 30s and if anyone asked me how old I was, they were always shocked when I told them.

Anyway, I know it shouldn't matter but since having DS I've started ageing mega fast. I've now got wrinkly knees, which I didn't think happened to people until they were in their 60s! Saggy elbows too. However, it's what's happening to my face that's come as the biggest shock. All of a sudden, and it really does feel like it's happened overnight, I've started looking a good 7 or 8 years older than I am. My upper lip is sort of caving in and I'm getting very noticeable smokers lines (haven't smoked for many years). And no matter how much water I drink, how much sunscreen I put on, how much fruit and veg I eat or how rich the cream I put on my face is, my skin looks dull and dehydrated and old. sad

I've swapped foundation for tinted moisturiser and have binned all my shimmery eyeshadows in favour of more subtle, matte ones but my face still just looks old. I know ageing is an inevitable part of life and there's nothing wrong with it but I'm still finding this hard to deal with as it's happened so suddenly!

I'm finding it really hard to accept the 'new' me. Part of it is maybe that I've never been naturally pretty (small eyes, pale lips and horrible hyperpigmented uneven skintone) but until recently, makeup absolutely transformed my face. It was all smoke and mirrors but I managed to create the illusion of a beautiful pretty face. Now, the makeup no longer works its magic. It makes me look marginally less hideous but that's all.

Like I said, I know that ageing is normal and that I need to get over it but this stage (the realisation that my looks, such as they were, have vanished) has come as a shock and although I've been trying to accept it and even to embrace it, I'm really struggling sad

Has anyone else had this, where you seem to have physically aged very quickly all of a sudden? And how long did it take for you to accept that this really was what you now looked like?

By the way, I should say that when I say I look hideous I'm referring to my features, complexion etc not to 40+ women in general.

msshapelybottom Fri 30-Mar-12 13:11:20

I have similar issues to you - I always looked younger than my years (I'm 37) but over the past couple of years I've aged dramatically. I realised that most of the problem is down to my skin suddenly becoming really dry and dehydrated...it has always been dry but never this bad...hormones maybe?

Anyway, after lots of trial and error, I've discovered Simple rich moisuriser, which to my delight seems to be actually properly hydrating my skin! I also do an asprin facial every week and use the oil cleansing method to try and keep my skin looking a little brighter.

I am tempted to get some of the 30% glycolic acid on one of the other threads too, you never know eh?

I think changes in our complexion are so hard to accept because every image we see (even of women much older than we are!) are blemish free & have no wrinkles...I've felt like a freak some days when I look in the mirror.

Can you try and figure out what's your best feature and play on that? Not for other people, but to boost your own confidence. For me it's my eyes, so I try to always wear eyeliner and mascara, it helps me feel less like an old hag!

Not much help sorry, but you're not alone!

stubbornstains Fri 30-Mar-12 13:17:03

Oh yes. Would your sudden decline in looks be related to getting less sleep by any chance, OP?

Now this is one thing they don't warn you about with having babies in your mid-late thirties.....the looks-dropping-off-a-cliff thing (snivel).

What's an aspirin facial?

TheProvincialLady Fri 30-Mar-12 13:20:34

37 here and suffering the exact same thing. Rapid ageing, even though I have always looked much younger than my age until now. My plan of attack is:

1) More exfoliating, an aspirin face mask and swapping from a normal to a richer old persons moisturiser.
2) I have decided to have a facial every month - booked the first one this morning
3) I need a daily sunscreen. I was reading some old nonsense in the John Lewis magazine this morning and might buy an Elizabeth Arden product as a result
4) Saggy knees - I suddenly got these too at the end of last year, but they disappeared when I lost half a stone.
5) I spend more money on my clothes now and that helps my overall look
6) I need to learn how to look aafter my hair better as that would make a big difference.

There must be lots you can do too.

msshapelybottom Fri 30-Mar-12 13:28:42

stubborn, dissolve 3 or 4 dispirin in a few teaspoons of water then use a cotton ball to spread over your face...leave for a few minutes then wash off. Lovely soft, bright skin will be your reward!

albertswearengen Fri 30-Mar-12 13:29:06

It's having kids and the lack of sleep. I looked young when I had DS at 39. I see photos and I didn't look much over 30. I wish I'd believed people when they told me.

Within a year I looked like an aged hag. I have improved a little now we get more sleep but def. look 40 plus.

I have fat knees post pregnancy which is just weird.

I make sure I always wear mascara and concealer - it helps a bit.

GeriatricBabyMama Fri 30-Mar-12 13:29:41

Hi msshapelybottom sorry you're going through the same thing but glad it's not just me, if that makes sense! Yeah I do the oil cleansing method too, have done for several years. Ditto the aspirin mask smile And I use a glycolic acid lotion from md formulations although only in the winter months. All these things used to work like a dream pre-DS! Sadly, they don't make a lot of difference now... I'm definitely going to check out Simple's rich moisturiser though. Thanks for that smile

stubbornstains I'm sure it's got something to do with sleep deprivation. DS still wakes up a couple of times most nights the little sod

stubbornstains Fri 30-Mar-12 13:33:13

Ooh...cheap beauty trick! I'm trying it tonight. Oh, hang on, I've only got Calpol in the house- do you think that will have the same effect? grin

msshapelybottom Fri 30-Mar-12 13:35:27

Geriatric, oh bugger! Those are my only hope :D

With the moisturiser I discovered that most of the ones I tried for dry skin were thick and greasy and sat on top of my skin making it look worse, the Simple one is a light fluid but seems to be rich enough to stop the tight, dry feeling. It's only a few quid too.

I won't bore you with the grey hairs which have cropped up all of a sudden. I blame stress...cannot be bothered dyeing it though. Maybe I should!

msshapelybottom Fri 30-Mar-12 13:35:44

Stubborn :D

GeriatricBabyMama Fri 30-Mar-12 13:36:35

Within a year I looked like an aged hag genuine LOL at this. Yup, same here <weeps>

provinciallady wow I'm surprised your saggy knees disappeared when you lost weight as they always tell you that weight loss accentuates wrinkling. That's quite inspiring, I hadn't imagined it would be possible to get rid of them smile

PullyWoolOver Fri 30-Mar-12 13:40:48

OP you could be me! I've always looked young for my age but since DD arrived I have aged. Tis hideous, how I miss my youthful skin. Am now a saggy old wrinkly old catpuss blush

I have started the OCM, and am slapping on factor 30 face cream every day. Tempted by a peel of some kind and the aspirin thingy sounds fab - will give it a go.

If only I could get rid of my uneven skin tone, dark spots and eyebags <wishful thinking>.

To be honest, a good old sandblasting is probably my only hope grin.

GeriatricBabyMama Fri 30-Mar-12 13:43:15

Shapely, give it a go anyway with the glycolic, it's probably just my shite skin that it doesn't work on!

GeriatricBabyMama Fri 30-Mar-12 13:45:59

It's crap isn't it, PullyWoolOver ? A nasty, nasty shock. Let me know if the sandblasting works grin

colditz Fri 30-Mar-12 13:50:56

Everyone knows that having a baby slaps five years on your face if you're under 30, and ten years on your face if you're ocver 30!

Chandon Fri 30-Mar-12 13:57:28

Tinted moisturiser like Benefit You Rebel (does not suit all skin tones though) or Clarins Beuaty Flash Balm are good for giving your skin a bit of glow when it is dull. I think matte make up is very ageing.

TheRedQueen Fri 30-Mar-12 14:00:53

Oh yes, I share your pain. Had DD at age 36 and it's been a swift downhill since then. The worst thing was when someone asked me whether DH is older or whether I am. He's SEVEN years older!

Anyway, pretty much the only thing that works for me - well, on top of getting plenty of sleep, eating well, various lotions and potions, hair dye, underwear with scaffolding etc. - is exercise (especially cardiovascular, mainly running). It sort of gives me a glow from within (for a while at least) that makes me look about my age again. Heavens. What have I come to when I am grateful to LOOK MY AGE?!

GeriatricBabyMama Fri 30-Mar-12 14:06:21

Colditz, I'd heard all that before having DS but never really believed it was true blush

Chandon, I use Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser and it does look more natural than foundation although nothing really makes much difference. Agree with you about matte makeup apart from on the eyes, where it's the reverse IMO.

GeriatricBabyMama Fri 30-Mar-12 14:10:59

Oh RedQueen sad I so know what you mean about suddenly wanting to look your age, as opposed to older. My DH is 5 years younger and when we got together, I was the younger looking one (he's a builder, so has quite a 'weathered' look already). Now I'm starting to feel scared that I'll look ridiculous next to him now that I'm starting to age so rapidly...

kerstina Fri 30-Mar-12 21:46:35

I am struggling with this too for years I looked younger than my age 43 now but I suddenly feel like I have completely lost any glow and sparkle I had sad
I really feel its hormone related but I also recently started on a low dose of AD s and I think they have not helped either. That might sound weird but they were making me sleep really heavily and I looked knackered when I woke up.

guffaw Fri 30-Mar-12 22:27:46

My skin looked 'ok-ish' for ages, then I looked in the mirror one day and had crepey eye pads (under my brows), lines from nose to lips, crackle effect lines on chest--- and I cant afford a facelift.I just want to sob sad I also glimpsed my father in the mirror last week - I nearly died!! he was an oooolllddd man !

Longtalljosie Fri 30-Mar-12 22:31:52

My skin started looking crap this year. I started using protect and perfect intense serum and lost 3/4 years within a fortnight. I know I sound like an advert, but who cares...

sandyboots Fri 30-Mar-12 22:33:19

I know they're not cheap but have you thought about CACI facials or if not try the book facercise or similar? drink tons of water and use a cleanser rather than washing face with water, that'll help a lot with the dryness. Eat enough oil in your diet and use a silk pilllowcase
<disclaimer: I do all this and still look old> grin

JasperJohns Fri 30-Mar-12 22:37:24

My sister maintains that 35 is the age when it all starts to decline.

I think she's right.

pictish Fri 30-Mar-12 22:37:41

Yes...I am 36...will be 37 this year.
My hair is grey already...I dye it. It has been grey for about four years now.
Now I am getting the wrinkles to match, and the upper lip hairs, and eye bags and all that stuff when your face just slowly collapses.

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