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help please - 40 yo and I can't bear to look in the mirror!

(26 Posts)
AKAmyself Sun 08-Jan-17 17:10:16

Help please, I've been going through my old FB profile pics from the last 10 years and realised how badly I'm ageing.

It's chiefly to do with my skin - I've got the works: lined forehead, enlarged pores in my t-zone, a smattering of acne around my mouth/nose, tired haggard complexion. I am guessing the glow of youth has literally left me so how to re-create it by artificial means? I spend a lot of beauty products but can't find a foundation/concealer/powder combo that gives me enough coverage for all of the above problems and still looks natural and light.

Can you give me your tips pleas for your best:

cleansers and facemasks that actually make a difference in how clean/lively your skin looks
foundations that work well for this age bracket
other makeup/beauty tricks?

thank you!

lizzieoak Sun 08-Jan-17 17:14:36

I'm crap at makeup but people do say I've got good skin (I'm in my 50's).

Are you also doing stuff to support your skin? For example not smoking or drinking? Drinking lots of water, using sunblock or avoiding the sun? I'm vegetarian and so hot yoga (I think the exercise and heat are great for my skin). I walk a lot too.

I'm aging, but I can live with it as (so long as I don't look in a too-bright light) my skin looks healthy.

I've also looked at "facial yoga" & think it likely works but am too forgetful to keep it up.

MargotLovedTom Sun 08-Jan-17 17:22:31

You say you have a tired, haggard complexion: look at how much sleep you're getting. I'm 44 - I had about 4 hours sleep on NYE; I looked like I'd been dug up. Then I had 12 hours the next night to catch up and I honestly looked about 20 years younger the following morning. Skin was plumper and brighter and much, much better.

Obviously I'm not going to go to bed at 7pm every night, but I can see I start looking rough if I have a few nights in a row of 6 hours sleep (1am - 7 am).

burnishedsilver Sun 08-Jan-17 17:33:09

I used to feel the same but I've managed to turn it around.
This is a really good starting point. Familiarise yourself with the terms 'retinol' and 'glycolic acid'.

I'm now using a prescription strength retiniod but started off with LRP Redermic R. Overall the single product I've been most impressed with is Liquid Gold from M&S.

Redorwhitejusthaveboth Sun 08-Jan-17 17:35:47

I love liquid gold too plus nip and tuck daily glycolic peel pads. I use boots botanics serum every night and top it with botanics facial oil. My skin is dry/sensitive but this combo make it glow without getting clogged up.

Redorwhitejusthaveboth Sun 08-Jan-17 17:37:55

I use clarins bb as base with nspa primer underneath and cover blemishes with boing from benefit. I top that with clinique translucent powder. It's a very light coverage so you may get want to swop out the bb for a foundation, but I find they look too false for me

AKAmyself Sun 08-Jan-17 17:38:15

thank you thank you thank you! I know I need to exercise more. It's a real issue for me to find the time. However, at the end of 2 weeks very active holidays I still look a sight.

And cleansing - I need to get in a much better cleansing routine.

Will get right to it, starting tonight!

AKAmyself Sun 08-Jan-17 17:39:34

what are the best glycolic peels out there? I would like to invest in that but am befuddled by the options.

TSSDNCOP Sun 08-Jan-17 18:03:23

I have made a conscious effort since NY to cut down on booze and sugar, drink lots more water and go to bed by 10:30. Don't get me wrong I had fish and chips last night and have just poured a nice gin and tonic, but this is vs. Lots of white wine, sitting up til midnight watching box sets, drinking only tea and latte.

My II lines are gone and so are the bags under my eyes.

I also did 4 classes this week, and whilst I looked at risk of imminent cardiac arrest i do feel generally more bright eyed and bushy tailed. I've also been taking some bracing walks during the Christmas holidays.

Next week I am booked for a facial to slough off my Christmas skin, followed by eyebrows and nails.

TSSDNCOP Sun 08-Jan-17 18:04:14

Liz Earle is a good cleanser - you can do it in the shower so it's less ag.

lizzieoak Sun 08-Jan-17 18:08:20

Sleep is crucial. I've always been really pro-sleep, not good at staying up late - I think it's paid off.

Mind you, I don't have the energy I'd like to have, all is not rosy, but my skin looks healthy. No bags, only forehead wrinkles so far, no jowls yet.

I also don't like getting over-heated and sun damage does add up.

prettywhiteguitar Sun 08-Jan-17 18:13:24

I recommend exfoliating with nip and fab pads but to really hydrate and plump the skin and brighten I use l'occtaine immortalle. I've tried everything and that worked for me.

Problem is asking for recommendations on here is that it really is personal to you and your skin type, just find a chemical exfoliator that you get on and a hydrating serum, the immortalle skin tonic plumps well. It's trial and error I've found.

DameDoom Sun 08-Jan-17 19:30:34

If your cleansing routine is not up to scratch, anything else you put on your skin will be wasted. I love balms. Really work it in and massage your face deeply while doing it. Remove with a hot cloth. Your skin will be much better within a week and then start using retinols etc.

AKAmyself Sun 08-Jan-17 19:52:37

Thanks DameDoom, can you give me an example of what a balm is...?

Saggingninja Sun 08-Jan-17 20:16:08

AK a balm cleanser is a mild cleanser in a pot (usually or it can come in a tube) with a thick or waxy consistency. You massage it round your face, then gently wipe it off with a clean washcloth wrung out in hot water. Then splash with cool water. Some good ones to try are the Clinique balm cleanser, Lush's Ultrabland, Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Cleanser or the Eve Lom cleanser (expensive). Also Superdrug does a good Vitamin E cleansing balm. Buy seven cheapo facecloths and use a clean one every day.

I'm a big fan of face oils (just jojoba, coconut and almond) but I have dry skin. I add a few drops to my regular moisturiser in winter, as central heating is so drying.

missfliss Sun 08-Jan-17 20:42:44

It's time to start doing serious skin care...but different to just the basics. Doesn't need to be complex of expensive, but you now need products that have an impact on the skin.

As others have said its also lifestyle.

So:
Lifestyle -
Proper sleep, no smoking, limited booze, lots of water, proper sunscreen and reduce sugar. Excess sugar has a massive effect on collagen and elastin.
Other suggestion - a high strength omega supplement.

Skincare
Daily - gentle balm cleanser
Serum with hylauronic acid
Good quality day cream with broad spectrum spf

Evening
Retinol serum and rose hip oil

Twice weekly - glycolic acid or lactic acid peel.

The Ordinary range by Niod is very affordable and very good.

AKAmyself Mon 09-Jan-17 19:44:47

thanks all. I have done a bit of research and invested in some korean skincare cleansing products and hyaluronic acid serum. the rest i am going to try and run down the products i already have (realised i had a glycolic peel in the cupboard i never used!).

going to try and be diligent about cleansing evening and morning and using all the right products in the right order!

AFierceBadRabbit Tue 10-Jan-17 00:09:46

I'm going to offer something more psychological, I hope it's not too unwelcome!

Ok, I always think that 'youth' is something that emanates from within. Course, it's got the physical aspect (unlined skin, taught lines, etc), but sometime in my 30s I recall trying to suss out what really made younger women so obviously visibly younger in photo's than older women.

For me, I think it's the eyes. Not so much the elasticity of skin or absence of lines, but something coming from within the person - iykwim?
A younger woman (or man) really does hold herself differently. Her eyes and facial features a somewhat differently animated than a more mature woman's.
If you look at pics of younger and older women side by side, the younger one often seems more self conscious, open (or innocent/eager) in her facial expressions and these alter the way our face looks. An older woman can often seem more relaxed, content, knowing, etc, in comparison.
Why? I don't know, but I think it's about experience, self awareness, the collective sum of our experiences. We literally hold our entire bodies differently as we get older.

And I don't think this is a bad thing! We really do need to accept this and instead of trying to re-create the face of our youth, it would be great if we could start with the face we have now and work to make it just....gorgeous! So forget the word 'youth' and just concentrate on gorgeous/glowing/chic, or whatever floats your boat.

I don't think much of the water drinking, no smoking stuff holds a massive amount of weight anyway. It is good to those for your health though. But I reckon how we age in terms of skin tone, wrinkles, etc is largely down to genetics and only some lifestyle factors.

For me, it's stress and sleep.
I am 43 next month and over xmas whilst relaxed and sleeping well I looked utterly different: I kind of did double takes in the mirror as my skin, eyes and hair looked so lovely. Now I am working again, sleeping less and worrying about some stuff, my dark circles are back and my skin is dull. My face is noticeably more dragged down and tired looking.

So yeh, my suggestions are just sleep and stress reduction. I don't think much of products, apart from very subtle botox or something, and even then I think even when someone's face looks unlined and tighter, they still don't look 'young'. Even if they look great and more beautiful than any 20 yr old. See, youth isn't the definition of beauty, to me. Feeling young is!

Sorry for length..

AFierceBadRabbit Tue 10-Jan-17 00:34:05

Apologies again for steering off topic a bit.
I know you asked about product tips, but although I've used a few, I can't say they do anything to re-create a younger face.
They DO make my skin look good though, if I am sleeping ok too.

I use a decent vitamin c serum daily.
Use Ponds moisturiser at night.
Clinique's All About Eyes before applying concealer.
And occasionally the honey and oat face mask from body shop.

I know, it sounds boring and not very expensive, but i do think it's all a freaking con.

Swimminguphill Tue 10-Jan-17 08:57:40

AFierceBadRabbit I actually think your post was really lovely. Quite inspirational for a Tuesday morning. You are right. I see my friends ageing around me - and I'm sure they notice me ageing. We are all entering 'middle age' and when we first met with very young children were still 'young'. I actually think they look incredibly beautiful but in a different way now. You do have to train your eyes not just to notice the lines and wrinkles growing on others and yourself, and to recognise the incredible beauty that is growing with life experience and a life lived which we carry within all of us. Lovely, thank you.

OCSockOrphanage Tue 10-Jan-17 16:09:11

Aiming for the best version of yourself, whatever your age, should be a universal goal. Your outward appearance is the sum of your genes and your life so far.

You owe it to yourself and to your partner, DC, family and friends to look after the shell you live in. Treat it well, with good food, a benign environment and gentle care, fresh air and regular exercise and slightly more sleep than you think you need (so you have some credit in the bank).

Looking well is a bit like looking after an expensive car (how I justify personal maintenance to DH!) If you wax it, keep it in a warm dry garage and change the oils and fluids at every service interval, then you can thrash it (carefully) without too much danger. You can't do it constantly.

Not claiming to set an example, but it's worked okay for me, and I'm in my seventh decade now. Sometimes kind probably shortsighted people express surprise that I am so geriatric; with a cold, I've been addressed as GrannySock.

AKAmyself Tue 10-Jan-17 19:32:35

guys, thank you for these really lovely messages. I really appreciate them!

I completely agree, btw - i am mostly ok with ageing (was never a beauty, which, I think, helps), I am not bothered by my grey hair (in fact, i'm quite proud of the badger stripe to one side which, my dd assures me, is very rock and roll!). I just hate looking tired and unhealthy. I had a bit of a realisation over new year about how badly i've been treating my body - not in terms of alcohol or drugs, but more in terms of the amount of stress i've been heaping on, the lack of sleep, the long hours at work, the no exercising etc. I think this is starting to show - it was fine in my 20s, where i could party like a madwoman, study or work for 20 hours straight, then sleep it all off on a sunday; it was even in my 30s when i survived almost 4 years of no sleep due to insomniac babies and toddlers - i could bounce back after a nap or a facial and look healthy and happy. Now... not so much.

I do want to look healthy, and I do want to be healthy....

horizontilting Tue 10-Jan-17 22:46:39

OP, I had exactly the same skin problems in the same facial zones as you and started the oil cleansing method (many threads on here). Jojoba (and about 10 per cent of castor oil) does wonders for pores - the hot cloth works very well like a facial. It feels lovely, turns out to be very cheap as I need far less products and I started getting asked what I was using as my skin looked so good. I can see a difference and it's lovely to feel smooth skin where the rough open pores were.

AKAmyself Fri 13-Jan-17 16:04:04

Hi all,

just wanted to give a little status update. So this week I really decided to get into a good routine - as my cupboard is full of stuff, i didn't buy anything new, but i have been consistently:

cleansing (morning and night!)
toning (I always thought it made no difference - it does)
using hyaluronic acid serum
moisturising
using a bb cream instead of foundation

this, plus i've been consistently drinking LOTS of water.

My skin is already MUCH better!

OCSockOrphanage Fri 13-Jan-17 16:38:02

That is such good news! Keep up the great work, plus maybe a vitamin/omega oil boost if you have any doubts about your diet in winter. I am sure you're already consuming your five (or more) a day...

My product recommendation is Sensai Bronzing Gel. It is sheer with light reflecting particles that glimmer subtly in the light. The palest shade is good for European skin unless you are very very pale (in which case, ignore me). Harrods are the only UK stockist, but a tube lasts me a year so the £30 doesn't hurt tooo much as long as I ignore the shocking P&P chanrge. And it is easy to apply and blend (with fingers, in the dark, no mirror in a crisis!) that it's foolproof. It just evens everything out.

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