I remember going to bingo at the YMCA on Wednesday nights with my gran and shuddering at the sight of so many ‘old’ people. In my teens, it seemed everyone – other than little young me – was well over retirement age. In fact, I had more chance of winning a box of Black Magic in the half-time raffle than counting all the wrinkles in the room. Blue rinses and perms were clearly in vogue. If you were over sixty, of course!
Now that I am not too far off that depressing age myself, I have come to realise that many of the women who had to put up with my surly presence were probably a lot younger than I imagined. Back then – and we are talking about the early 1970s – perms were fashionable. So too were unflattering pale blue and beige overcoats, not to mention patterned headscarves; the dull ‘uniform’ that seemed to equate to ‘antique’, in my mind. Only dangly earrings stand out in the memory as a glimmer of fascination on my part, in particular a rather fetching pair of gold hearts worm by one of the more gregarious ‘pensioners’.
When I think about those wrinkles, and they were bad, I remind myself that skin care products have advanced considerably since then. People are much more switched on to the ageing effects of the sun. Plus, a higher percentage of the population smoked forty years ago. These days, smokers are very much in the minority.
We live in enlightened times. Thanks to science, premature ageing is almost a thing of the past. If you are not so sure, here’s a simple guide to looking after your skin and holding back the years (in appearance terms only, of course).
This was more my scene in the 1970s.
Stop Wrinkles In Their Tracks
If you want to improve your skin to look younger and give your confidence a boost, follow these 5 simple steps:
- Drink lots of water. Aim for two litres a day, a little more if you can. Try to replace tea or coffee with well-diluted squash or flavoured water – if what comes out of the tap doesn’t appeal. Staying hydrated is pivotal to any skin care regime. In fact, you would be surprised to learn just how many of us are dehydrated without even realising.
- Properly cleanse your face and neck. Consider using a gentle micellar water and twice a week incorporate a cleansing balm into the routine. Finish with a gentle toner. You can save money and the environment by investing in reusable bamboo pads.
- A good moisturiser with a high SPF is a must. For best results moisturise morning and night. An inexpensive skin care kit that includes both could act as a good incentive.
- Treat your skin to a weekly pampering. Try a clay mask or overnight treatment.
- Lastly, avoid or limit food and drinks that are bad for the skin. Reduce your sugar intake and say ‘no’ to caffeine. Consider switching to detoxifying alternatives.
No, I Don’t Own A Pale Blue Or Beige Coat!
I confess, I am not into short skirts, bodysuits or high heels. But I love colour. A splash of brightness can really lift your look – whatever your age. You will never see me in a pale blue or beige raincoat. Such was the lasting, hideous impression of all those bingo-goers many, many moons ago.