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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Youthful skin - is it in the genes or in the potions?

I am 29-years-old - depressing I know, just one year (well actually a little bit less) away from being the dreaded 3-0.

Now, I am not one of these big party, let's celebrate people and as it happens, will be a bridesmaid for a bestie just a week after my birthday, so I think I'll just take the foreign wedding as a chance to celebrate with my nearest and dearest and weather pending, may rope the family into a familial barbecue at home, but that will be it. No balloons, no party, no cake (OK maybe I'll have cake, but like a baked Alaska or meringue with fruit,  not a cakey cake).

Anyway, I have gone off topic. This post is about youthful skin, as I am 29 as I said, but I still get asked for ID when out for a night, at the cinema and on buses, I sometimes get offered a kids ticket (something I cheekily would avail of given half a chance) and when I have to cover school events, I often get mistaken for a wayward student.

This isn't something that most people would see as a complaint, but it does often lead to people assuming I am on work experience or am a child and this can lead to people thinking I am not capable etc.

Anywho, getting back to point - my skin is particularly clear and youthful, or so I'm often told and this is a blessing that my dear Mam has as well (she is in her late 60's - sorry Mam, your vague age is now in the public domain), but people often think she is up to twenty years younger and while this was a scourge when she was younger, she welcomes it with open arms now.

So, what is the secret, is it in my blood or is it in the presses with the lotions and potions that are painstakingly applied each morning and evening? The short answer is that I don't know, but Mam washes her face with water (not sure if she uses soap), showers each morning and has been using Oil of Olay since she was in her twenties and got married.

She never wears foundation, rarely wears make-up, I don't think she's ever been to a beautician for waxing, plucking, threading etc or any of the preening or grooming that many women get done regularly.

Mam whips out a tweezers very occasionally, does not own a razor as she doesn't need one and has less than 10 products I would think.

On the other side of the scale, I have cupboards full of potions, lotions, oils, creams and serums.

My skincare regime is relentless, I have been doing it with conviction and dedication since I was about 14 or 15 - I can still hear my late father telling me off for applying creams and toner from such a young age, pooh poohing the ritual, as he said that I didn't need them and it was a waste of time.

So every morning begins with a cleanser, wiped off with a cotton pad (I'm a fan of the Aldi cotton pads, as they are cheap, come in a double pack and don't shed and are soft - also great for babies bottoms I have been told), then toner, then a fantabulous bee venom cream from New Zealand that the beautiful and youthful Jane Seymore (Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and the main reason I will eventually get a doctorate so that I can be Dr Quinn - I will add the medicine woman part for effect) and then a moisturiser, or a sun cream first if it's sunny.

In terms of the cleansers and toners, I go for a rotation system and at the moment, I'm using the Boots own brand cucumber ones, but the last ones I used were from Aldi and I use a facial scrub and little scrubby brush face massager thingy once a week (the small grains in the scrub tear your skin so best to just use it once a week, as the cleanser and toner will remove any toxins or dirt).

I am fussier with my moisturisers and use one with 15-30 SPF from April until October, then a regular one and favour Lancome, Oil of Olay or Boots No7. I have tried others, but I like a thick cream and they are hard to come by.

About once a month or when I feel like a bit of self-pampering, I use a variety of masks, treatments and potions.

My favourites are the clay mask from No7 (I use this on my nose, T-zone and chin to prevent spots), when I get a spot, I use No7 Beautiful spot cream and it is a miracle worker, I also love the Soap and Glory mask that has little blue beads in it, a No7 hot cleanser which you wipe off with a hot muslin cloth (such a treat) and there are a few others in the cupboard.

When it comes to masks, I go for the more expensive trusted brands, as I have had reactions to the cheaper ones and you just can't trust the ingredients in my opinion, but do feel free to try out ones you like the look of or that appeal to your wallet, but do patch test them first.

So, I think this post has possibly raised more questions than it has answered and I don't actually know if my youthful looking skin is because my Mam has good skin or because I preen, primp and groom myself with far too many products, but you might find have found some interesting nugget or useful morsel of information in this (well, that's the hope anyway).