michele@mbenza.com

Thursday, October 9, 2008

SLOW DOWN THE AGING PROCESS? YOU BET!


SLOW DOWN THE AGING PROCESS? YOU BET!
LOOKING BETTER ALL THE TIME

D I S C I P L I N E is the secret! Be disciplined about your life style, eating habits, exercise program and skin care regimen, and you will feel vital and wonderful. AND you’ll receive many compliments about how great you look!

Here are my anti-aging rules:

1. Good posture makes you look 10 pounds thinner and 10 years younger. Consult a posture specialist to help you improve your posture.

2. Regular exercise is an absolute necessity. It builds endurance, flexibility and muscle. Develop the discipline to keep to a daily physical regimen of at least 40 minutes. When your routine becomes boring, change it. Walk. Swim. Bicycle. Practice yoga or Pilates. Do weight training. Challenge yourself but listen to your body. Take off one day a week. My favorite taskmaster of the moment is the Bar Method, www.barmethod.com. If there is one near you, try it! It’s amazing how the body can change after only a few weeks of this regimen. Be warned though, it’s boot camp!

3. A balanced and nutritious diet will help you maintain a trim figure, which takes years off your appearance. The secret to success is portion control. Keep a mental (or written) log of everything you eat AND the quantity. At the end of the day, review the list and note where you went off the rails. Eat slowly. Use a smaller plate and put less on your fork.

4. Skincare promotes a glowing skin. I asked two pros in the cosmetic industry for their opinions:
• Caroline Chu, CEO and Founder of Caroline Chu Cosmetics, (www.carolinechu.com), says that quality, non-abrasive exfoliants and hydrating products help rejuvenate the skin and are effective anti-aging treatments, as are products that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and other antioxidants such as green tea and Vitamin C.
My recommendations: Caroline Chu’s AHA Renewing Mask, Antioxidant Green Tea Serum and the Eye and Night Creams.
• Shelley Constantine, CEO of BellaPelle, (www.bellapelle.com), is a firm believer in chemical peels. But as she noted, it is important you receive a chemical peel appropriate for your skin. She added that because skin care technology has made a quantum leap, even people with sensitive rosaceous skin can receive peels. A great one to start with is BellaPelle’s Benefit Peel. It contains L-Retinol AGP--the safest form of topical vitamin A--as well as purified Vitamin C and enzymes. It provides a super dose of anti-oxidants that makes the skin glow.
As I have said many times before in this column, a daily skin care regimen that includes cleansing and toning is de rigueur as is having a regular facial. If you are in the San Francisco area, I highly recommend BellaPelle Skin Studio. I have tried their treatments and love them.

5. Update your makeup at least once a year. Go for a natural look that enhances your skin tone and your style. Don’t get caught up in fashion fads nor get stuck in a time warp. As Kathy Thorpe of Shades of hue (www.shadesofhue.com) says, the worst mistake a woman can make is not to take time to reinvent her look. As we get older, our eyes might need a new eye-lining technique or we may need to use a different textured eye shadow. “Talc based powders are no longer necessary and lips outlined with a darkish brown is the biggest no-no,” she added. Just as you should update your makeup, you should do the same for your hairstyle and color. Personally, I prefer a large salon in a big metropolitan city where hair stylists and colorists usually are trained up or attend continuing education courses. I know it is comforting to go to the same hairstylist all the time, but I strongly urge you to take the plunge and try someone new who will look at you with fresh eyes.

6. Groom your eyebrows. Unkempt eyebrows are aging! Consult a pro in eyebrow shaping. A few carefully selected hairs plucked from under the eyebrows will open the eyes.

7. Think LIFT! Gravity is our enemy, so lift everything you can. Think about lifting your bust by shortening your bra straps; it will elongate your waist.

8. Smile. Speaking of lifting, nothing lifts your facial features more than a big smile. A beautiful smile=healthy teeth. Have you visited an orthodontist lately to check on your teeth alignment? With age our teeth shift and with a little bit of help from your orthodontist your teeth can be realigned in a few months. If you have not done so, whiten your teeth.

9. Watch the way you sleep. Wrinkles are very often born of tension in the face. Before falling asleep, make sure your facial muscles are completely relaxed: the forehead, the eyelids, and the jaw. When sleeping on your side, don’t curl-up; this creates nasty wrinkles in the chest area, you know the big “V”?

10. Your Hands Count. Adieu fake long nails. Go natural. Short, clean nails coated with a light colored nail polish are preferable for hands that are bony and veined and have age spots. Have a manicure every week. Protect your hands with an SPF sunscreen during the day especially when you drive.
11. Stop smoking as it not only creates wrinkles around the mouth but also gives the skin a yellowish/brownish appearance that ages smokers.

12. Limit sun exposure. Apply sunscreen and lounge under a parasol. Just think about those sunspots that are hard to cover up not to mention, damaging UV rays.

13. Dress appropriately for your age. Jeans, yes but NOT your daughter’s. Check www.martinandosa.com. Great fit. Choose well-cut jeans, not clingy. Buy a couple of trendy pieces but don’t be a fashion victim! Your best bet is to accessorize: buy a trendy pair of sunglasses that suit the shape of your face, a great clutch bag, a stylish pair of shoes, and striking but not over the top jewelry. Watch your hemline. Too long=too old. Best hem line falls around mid-knee level.

My final thought: Welcome the years as they come. We are getting wiser after all! So step into your day with a FABULOUS smile that will lift your mood and appearance!


Michele

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