It happens to the best of us. You wake up one morning, look in the mirror and instead of that fresh faced, dewy-skinned collegiate staring back at you it’s the canyon creased, droopy-eyed Crypt-Keeper. Crow’s feet, liver spots, sagging bits and pieces; what are you going to do short of going under the knife?
Here are five ways you can look younger with a minimal investment of time and money.
Age Spots: Brownish patches and spots due to sun damage and sometimes pregnancy literally mark the years on your face. Make-up foundation will temporarily cover spots up and even out your complexion but a significant roll-back on Father Time can be had through the latest crop of lightening creams and laser treatment. In the past five years cosmetic companies have had significant breakthroughs in formulas that brighten skin and fade age spots. A noticeable difference can be seen after as little as three weeks of daily application. Olay Definity and Clinique Skin Tone Corrector are two products with high satisfaction ratings from past users.
Laser therapy: usually consists of a one time treatment. The laser pulse is akin to being smacked across the face with a giant rubber band. It’s quick and relatively painless (take ibuprofen before the treatment). The scabs heal within a week and dark patches and moles fade away within four to six weeks. Go to a licensed medical clinic and see a dermatologist. Moles especially should be checked for signs of melanoma. Be wary of bargain prices for laser treatments, the clinics may be using uncertified technicians and may damage your skin even further.
As always, prevention is easier than cure so wear sun block on your face daily, in every season, even if it’s just a short jaunt to the convenience store. Use a high 30+ UVA-UVB protection formula. La Roche-Posay, Lancome and Vichy are brands with Mexoryl; shown to provide a higher degree of protection against harmful UVA and UBA damage.
Eyebrows: Age seems to boost the virility of hair growth. Unfortunately, it seems limited to our eyebrows, nose and ears. Eyebrow styling is often an overlooked component in a woman’s maintenance routine. Plucking those stray hairs is not enough. Trim eyebrow hair with an eyebrow scissor or razor, fill in with a light eyebrow pencil or powder and you’ll be surprised at how it opens up your eyes and face.
Teeth: What’s the difference between a down-on-his-luck hobo cooking a can of beans over an open fire and a preppy college grad hopping into his convertible? Their teeth. We imagine the hobo has a mouthful of snaggle-toothed yellowing teeth while the preppie bowls us over with his blindingly white movie-star smile. Whether it’s teeth whitening strips, toothpaste or dental treatments, whitening your teeth will make you look more vibrant and younger.
Hair: While short hair styles can sometimes be described as “pixie-ish”, long hair evokes youthful carefree days and long, summer nights. Yes, long hair does require more work (hence short wash and wear styles favored by busy mothers) but a long, luxurious silky mane is sure to turn heads. Just remember to color out the grey! And if long hair is just not an option; buy a good quality wig and wear it on special occasions to complete that Red Carpet look.
Vitamin C: It’s one of the safest and most effective nutrients, experts say. The benefits may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
Vitamin C taken in high doses may also help alleviate dark circles under eyes. A safe upper limit of 2,000 milligrams a day can be achieved by eating Vitamin C rich foods (papaya, mango, orange, strawberry, rose hip extract, peppers) and adding a vitamin supplement (non-acidic, buffered tablets such as Ester-C Vitamin C are more stomach friendly). Daily doses of more than 2,000 milligrams may cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Check with your doctor or nutritionist for a full range of vitamin and antioxidant-rich foods to incorporate into your diet for better health.