August 1, 2013

I'm not bad for 57...

Yesterday, Blog, I saw on Yahoo News that people were praising 80s beauty Bo Derek for looking amazing at the age of 56. Well, I'm still 56 for the next 17 days, so I was curious to see how Bo looked. Particularly since about six months ago I started a personal campaign to improve my skin. So, here's the photo of Bo that accompanied the report:

Don't get me wrong, Bo Derek is a much more beautiful woman than I ever was or will be. And I think she still looks great. That said, I looked at this photo and thought, "Whoa! I guess my beauty routine is working!"

Blog, the point of this post is not to crow, but to share what I've been doing since I guess I've proven it's successful. I know there are plenty of women in the same spot I was in six months ago, asking themselves, "Can't I look younger without surgery and/or horrifically expensive salon appointments and products?" I am totally turned off by ideas like chemical peels and botox injections, and Blog, if you had a face you would be too.

So, by contrast, here's a shot taken today of me, with no makeup whatsoever, and no Photoshopping.

I dare you to click on it and see the bigger version. Scrutinize, compare. Not bad, eh, Blog? Especially considering I never go anywhere without makeup and here I am, boldly sharing my naked face.

If Bo's face is that of a typical 56 year old--well golly.

Okay, now let's talk about my skin care regimen, which I guarantee will NOT give you the same facial features as I have, so if you're as pretty as Bo, just imagine how you'll look!


1. I wash my face in the shower, so this is when I use my Spa Sonic, which I purchased for $50 at Walgreens. This is a cheaper and just-as-good alternative to the $120-200 Clairsonic. I read that this sort of "skin brush" system is really worth the investment and I believe it. I'll explain a little later why. For soap I just use my regular bath gel.

2. Using a cotton ball, I apply a toner that aids in cleaning pores and helping dead skin cells to slough off. My choice based on web research was Clinique's Clarifying Lotion. The large bottles are $22.50 but they last quite a long time. The stuff really refreshes skin without a drying effect.

3. I finish with moisturizer over my whole face and neck, and a "serum" (more concentrated moisturizer) around my eyes and mouth where the skin doesn't produce much natural oil. I've tried a number of products for this and to be honest, I just look for generics and on-sale options. Those Walgreens and Target equivalents of the pricey stuff seem to work just as well, and they save you a lot of bucks, Blog.

4. About skin color correction: I went through a whole bottle of the highly-recommended Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and didn't really notice much difference. I guess I just have to rely on makeup for that!

Speaking of, here's my made-up face...still without any Photoshopping...  Now look at Bo, who is, after all, wearing makeup. Now look back at me. Yeah.


1. I wash my face nightly with Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream. If you splurge on only one facial care product in this post, this would be it. Forget about your St. Ive's Apricot Scrub--for one thing, I read that it really tears up your skin. I've tried it, and a lot of other scrubs, and nothing compares to 7-Day Scrub Cream. It feels great, washes off super easily, and really does the job with exfoliation. So part with the $19.50. It hurts, I know, but it's worth it.

2. I use makeup remover to make sure I'm not leaving anything behind. This is a new thing for me, and I've been using Clinique's Take the Day Off Makeup Remover. I like that it doesn't leave my face feeling oily. I have nothing to compare it to really, so if you have a better option than the $18 this costs (again, it lasts a long time), go for it.

3. Then it's a repeat of the toner and moisturizers. I do use a "night cream" at night, which translates to "moisturizer that leaves your face shinier than you want your daytime moisturizer to do." My pillow doesn't mind if my face is shiny, Blog.


I am a maniac about sunscreen: SPF 30 goes on my face if I'm planning on being outside for more than a few minutes.  But thanks to the wonders of chemistry, I do sport a pretty nice looking fake tan. On my daughter's recommendation, I purchased Neutrogena Build a Tan from Target for a mere $8, and I'm sure it will get me through at least one summer.

I used it every three days till I built up a good tan, and now refresh by using once a week.  All over, so no tan lines! It is almost scentless, doesn't stain your hands or clothes, and feels fine on my skin, especially if followed by body lotion. Genius!

Bo Derek, as you may recall, sported a very dark tan back when she starred in "10." And I fear maybe in the intervening years she skimped on the sunscreen a bit. Take my word for it, folks--sun protection is #1 for delaying the effects of aging on your skin!


You may have heard of this contraption, which is sold and marketed by another celebrity of yore, Suzanne Somers. The Facemaster uses microcurrent--low electrical charges from batteries--to stimulate the skin. This is actually a tried-and-true technique employed for year by salons and professional beauty technicians. As I understand it, the microcurrent (a) causes muscle-twitching that exercises and firms muscles, and (b) stimulates the production of collagen, which is what gives younger faces tone and smoothness.

All I know is, gosh darn it the thing really works. I use it faithfully 15 minutes every other day, and I have absolutely seen results. It reduces small wrinkles like crow's feet and mouth lines. It also builds up the tone of the face which actually works like a face lift. With more collagen in your face, your wrinkles and folds just fill out.

Plus, it's really refreshing to use, especially in the morning when your face could use a wake-up. I sit at my computer desk, put a slide show on my screensaver, turn on Sirius XM Spa, and enjoy.

The Facemaster retails for a daunting $200. But here's a tip: I found a slightly used one on eBay for only $50! A lot of people find they just can't keep to the regimen of regular use and so decide to sell their units. Frankly, with what I've experienced, I'd pay $200 for one...but $50 was way better, Blog.


Occasionally I will treat myself to other beauty treatments that a person can do at home:

1. Facial steam--Fill a sink or large bowl with very hot water. Add your favorite essential oil if you like. Place your head over the water (not in!) and cover head and bowl/sink with a large towel. This opens pores and is great for preceding a facial.

2. Deep cleaning facials--There are lots of reasonably priced facial products around, and again you can snag bargains if you watch sales or shop at places like T.J. Maxx. You can also find lots of recipes for make your own facials online. I like mud facials in particular...feels like you're deep cleaning your pores.

3. Aspirin facial--This is my personal fave home facial, Blog. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, the main ingredient in acne treatments and chemical peels, but much milder. Just crunch about seven uncoated aspirins to powder and mix with a lotion like Oil of Olay. Spread on your face, leave ~10 minutes, and wash off thoroughly. This treatment, combined with the exfoliation in your normal routine (toner, face scrub, face brush) over time works just like expensive, drastic chemical peels. It all works together to keep fresh skin cells exposed rather than buried under the old-looking, dead ones.

That's it! So my equipment outlay was $100 and the ongoing expenses are perfectly manageable. I probably added about an hour and a quarter to my weekly time spent on grooming, which is sure worth it as far as I'm concerned. The routine is actually pretty enjoyable...

Especially because it works, Blog!  Even on non-movie stars like me.

Anyone else have tips for skin care, please do share in the comments!