Jennifer Lopez is the archetypal specimen of a woman who does not look her age. She will be 52 in July and, while many will point to her colossal wealth as being a contributory factor, there are plenty of other women, who do not have stacks of cash in the bank, who’ve achieved a similar feat. A simple illustration of why having mature skin is no barrier to slowing down or reversing the signs of ageing.
I love it when people tell me I don’t look 55. Compliments like that serve to massage the ego in a way that is not dissimilar to being told you look old enough to get into a nightclub when you are just 16. How things change as we age! One day we can’t wait to look older than we actually are and, fast-forward a few decades, the compete opposite is the case. Of course, looking young and feeling young are two completely different things but, if you can achieve the first you are more likely to experience the latter. The two are often intrinsically linked.
So, I want to throw down the gauntlet and challenge you to look 5 years younger in a week – without surgery. Think it’s impossible? Keep reading…
The Basics Of How To Look Younger
Before I launch into a ‘to-do’ list for the skin care routine, I want to point out that there are a few basics that are key to successfully rolling back the clock. They include keeping your body well-hydrated. That means drinking more water or weak squash, as well as making sure you reduce your stress levels and sleep for at least seven hours at night.
Here are some simple tips to help you achieve these essential goals:
- If you are not keen on water or drink far too much coffee, try to drink a good-size glass of weak squash or flavoured water in the morning, followed by one at lunchtime and one an hour before going to bed. It will help to flush out toxins, clear the complexion, give you more energy, and reduce obvious skin issues caused by dehydration. These can include dark circles and dull-looking skin.
- Reducing anxiety and stress is important for a good sleep routine. Exercise is a great way to eliminate low mood and give you a fresh perspective. A simple walk, yoga or exercise routine can make a world of difference to your overall health, as well as aiding sleep.
- Trouble sleeping? Take a look at our feature on ways to combat insomnia here.
Now for the nitty-gritty of knocking half a decade off your face in seven days…
Skin Care Products You Will Need
Don’t worry, this is not a big shopping list. You will probably have most, if not all, of these products already. This programme requires:
- Gentle cleanser – think along the lines of a micellar cleansing water, a cream wash or a hot cloth alternative. Thoroughly removing make-up, oil and impurities is vital if you want the rest of the products to do their stuff.
- Facial peel or a gommage – used just once at the start of the week, these products dissolve or wash away dead skin cells. Think of them as giving you an excellent base from which to start the regime. If you have not got a peel, the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel is currently available for just £10. Click here to get a top-rated gommage for just £7.95.
- Good quality serum – an inexpensive Vitamin C serum with hyaluronic acid or Retinol is fine. If you want to splash out and go for something more high-end, you may want to consider a product like Elemis Pro-Collagen Super Serum Elixir.
- Night cream – essential to lock in hydration and seal the benefits of the serum. Something like Olay Regenerist or L’Oreal Paris Revitalift is fine.
- Day cream – if you don’t have a day cream and can’t afford to buy one, have a look in your cupboards. A good sunscreen with a high SPF will suffice for this challenge. Want to buy a day cream but not spend too much? Garnier Ultralift Anti-Ageing Day Cream is currently just £4.99!
Optional, for use at the end of the week:
- My Perfect Eyes or Beverly Hills Instant Eye Tuck
- A liquid highlighter, such as Barry M Liquid Chrome.
Note: Take a picture of your face before you start the programme. I will ask you to take an ‘after’ image too, so you can compare the results. I’m hoping at least one or two of you will share them with me.
The 5 Years Younger In A Week Programme
Start the challenge on any day of the week; the one that is the most convenient for you, because the first day requires approximately 20 minutes’ extra time. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated with water!
This programme is suitable for women aged 40+.
Follow these steps, preferably before going to bed:
- Cleanse your face thoroughly
- Use a skin peel or gommage – carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Apply the serum
- Use the night cream over the serum
- Try to get a minimum of seven hours’ sleep
- Use a day cream before applying any make-up
- Use serum
- Apply night cream
- Get a good night’s sleep
Days 3, 4, 5 and 6
Follow the steps for Day 2. Don’t be tempted to use a peel or gommage more than once during the week. They are not intended for daily use.
By now, your skin should look clearer and smoother. You should have a more even skin tone with less evidence of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines.
To complete the programme, follow the steps outlined immediately above. For a final boost, you may want to try an instant eyelift serum and give yourself a beautiful glow with a small dab of liquid highlighter.
When you are ready, take the ‘after’ image. The example below shows a woman in her 30s – younger than those this programme is aimed at. She has achieved a dramatic result, but mostly by using ‘instant’ skin care products and make-up.
For continued benefits, keep up the regime. Only use a peel or gommage once a month.
While it is impossible to achieve the same results as cosmetic surgery with over-the-counter products, it is possible to improve the condition of your skin and give it a more youthful appearance.
For many women, ageing of the skin is accelerated by lack of skin care and dehydration. Unlocking a younger-looking you could be as simple as protecting yourself from sun damage, adopting effective but gentle cleansing techniques, drinking more water and using a moisturiser.
Don’t forget that your hair, poor posture and a badly-fitting bra can also ‘age” you. Taking care of those niggly things will give you a final boost.
Let me know how you get on.