Batting my half century out of the park in August with a fabulous party/vow renewal and celebrations which seem to have happily gone on and on and on….my attention has definitely been diverted from ‘How do I look?’ to ‘How do I feel?’ It seems I’m not the only one. Scouring the blogosphere which is exploding with exciting and vital over 50 bloggers and reading features in magazines/newspapers and watching the gorgeous Angela Rippon in How to Stay Young, it’s clear to see that there’s a much needed revolution of us ‘oldies’ in society – in real life and in the media and on our screens. The Grey Army (or Rainbow Warriors I like to think because we are NOT fading into the background) are a force to be reckoned with and according to recent research from Superdrug, 7 in 10 women say they feel more confident now than they did in their twenties, proving that confidence comes with age and attitudes to ageing are-a-changing.
That Indian Summer kept dipping its head in and out of the first days of autumn, didn’t it? Last week I did the dog walk in waterproof boots because it was muddy at the park, changed into flip flops for a meeting (gold, special ones ;-)) because the sun was out and because I’d just painted my toenails a lovely red/orange and then left the meeting a few hours later, squelching through puddles with a scarf wrapped around my head to shield off the wind and rain! Wow, do excuse me for that terribly British weather update but here’s what I’m getting at…
I’ve been lucky to work with some wonderful magazines and clients over the years and one that I have huge respect for is Bodyvie Medi-Clinic in Richmond, Surrey. Its professionalism, high-tech non-surgical treatments and friendly, experienced aesthetic and medical team makes it a favourite among local mums and celebrities alike and it was while working with them, I got to find that one of their regular clients is television presenter Anthea Turner. Watching her on Loose Women recently got me thinking – even with her busy working life and being a regular at glittery, celebrity events, she seemed so down to earth and fun. Perhaps, I thought, she would be one of my fabulous Women Like Us. Serendipity stepped in when Bodyvie asked me to contact Anthea to write about her beauty tips for their blog and I was thrilled when she said she’d be happy to be featured on Glowology too. Thanks Anthea! So less faffing from me and more goss from her…let’s go!
Over the past couple of years, I’ve often asked myself whether it’s time to have a little Botox. But even though my crow’s feet are multiplying faster than Danny Zuko’s chills in Greece and the crinkles on my forehead can no longer be convincingly veiled by light reflecting makeup, I’ve yet to succumb to a syringe of the smoothing stuff.
Just before Christmas when my skin was at its most wintery (read: pale, dry and lacklustre) it got to the point where I spent my spare time looking at before and after pictures of Botox treatments . Those unlined foreheads and youthful, perky eyes had me at breaking point when comparing them against my folds and deepening wrinkles, so it was perfect timing when I got a call from Miss Sherina Balaratnam asking me to trial Radara – a much hailed breakthrough in targeted skincare. Exciting!
S-Thetics in Beaconsfield is one of the first UK clinics trialling Radara, so Sherina was as excited as me. The fact that I’d never had Botox but was at that ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ stage, apparently made me a perfect candidate to trial this new, at home treatment, as I could decide whether Radara delivered good enough results to keep me away from the needle for even longer. Here’s how I got on…
THE RADARA BOX
The stylish looking box that contains the Radara skincare system was a treat in itself – ‘totally Instagrammable’ – so my girls told me! After my initial consultation with Sherina to check on the current depth of my crow’s feet and to be shown how to use the system correctly, I left S-Thetics clutching my ‘special box’ and took lots of pictures of it while smiling inanely and hoping the contents of said box would work magic on my crinkles.
THE RADARA SKINCARE SYSTEM
The skincare system consists of flexible patches coated with tiny microscopic plastic ‘needles’ less than half a millimetre long and a pump bottle of high-grade pure hyaluronic acid (HA). If you haven’t heard of HA, let me tell you, it is a big buzz in the skincare industry and you’re most likely to find it in products aimed at the over 40 age group. HA is a naturally occurring sugar found in the body, which, like anything that’s holding us firm and tight, sadly reduces as we age. Depletion of HA is one of the main reasons we lose that youthful glow, natural elasticity, hydration and support. So, Radara figures that by replenishing HA levels using this targeted method, skin health can be restored and wrinkles softened.
HOW TO USE IT
The Radara trial lasts for four weeks and patches are designed to be used around the eye area once a day – I used it in the evening before bed after cleansing and moisturising. Patches are placed on the skin and gently pressed so that the ‘needles’ create hundreds of tiny micro-channels. Although this sounds a bit painful, it isn’t at all – it’s just feels slightly prickly. Then, after smoothing on a pump of hyaluronic acid, the patches are placed back on the skin for five minutes to allow the serum to penetrate.
As a self-confessed sloven, I wondered whether this extra skincare step would become a hassle and wind up going by the way side, but actually, I came to look forward to my five minutes of Radara time! It was time for me to be still and quiet (it’s best not to move the face while the patches are doing their thing) and I found it an enjoyable part of my day, marking the start of a wind down routine.
Even though my trial took part over the festive season, I’m pleased to report that any excess of alcoholic bubbles and partying didn’t cause my nightly routine to slip and my patches went on every night for five minutes, without fail… Though I do admit to waking up and finding used patches stuck to my foot on a couple of occasions!
The results on my eyes over the first two weeks were unremarkable – my skin felt slightly more hydrated but that was all. Just when I started wondering that perhaps I wasn’t ‘doing it right’ I noticed a change! There was a definite softening of wrinkles in the third and fourth week alongside a brightening of the area. When my face was static, the crow’s feet were almost non-existent.
On my final visit to check on wrinkle depth, Sherina was impressed to note that there was a definite plumping up of lines around the eyes from my initial skin analysis and I was pleased with glowing compliments from friends and family about how refreshed I was looking. I felt that I looked ‘well’ and my crow’s feet were minimal and definitely improved.
Discussing my results with Sherina, we both felt that the Radara system would be ideal for somebody who is opposed to Botox or, like me, isn’t sure they’re ready to go that route yet, but is after a way to reduce lines in a natural, subtle way.
Although the wrinkle reducing effects of Radara may not be as dramatic as they would be with Botox, my wrinkles still improved considerably more than with any eye-cream that I’ve used over the same amount of time. The effects of Radara are said to last for up to three months and, a month on, I’m still less crinkly than before the trial.
I’ve decided to hold off from Botox for now and just hope that Radara decide to bring out patches that can be used for other areas such as the forehead, chest and lip area. Watch this space!
A month supply of Radara Targeted Skincare costs £199 and there is lots of information here on their website.
For more information on S-Thetics in Beaconsfield, visit their website here.
When you’re given the chance to meet the highly regarded skincare specialist from Israel, Mimi Luzon, who has worked her magic on the faces of international celebrities including Victoria Secret’s model, Alessandra Ambrosia at the world’s glamorous fashion shows and awards, what do you do? Apart from wonder whether, after treating such beauty Goddesses, she might wither at the sight of my 47 year old very mortal face, I thought “Let me at her!” If anyone knows the secrets to fabulous, youthful looking skin, she does. Here’s what we chatted about:
The ageing process starts younger than you think!
Did you know that the human growth hormone which is produced in our pituitary gland and is responsible for keeping us youthful, healthy and vital in both body and mind, begins to decline around the age of 14? Yep, 14! One of Mimi’s latest products, HGF Youth Serum has been developed with this knowledge and is enriched with a peptide that emulates the action of this hormone to boost the skin’s immune system, provide deep hydration, encourage cell rejuvenation and protection which will help lead to a fresh, radiant complexion. It’s not available in the UK yet, but Mimi gave me a little sample to take home with me. I’m thinking of employing a bouncer to watch over my cosmetics bag to stop my girls getting their hands on it…now they’re not quite as young as they think they are 🙂
So, Mimi explained that we need to teach our girls (and boys) to start looking after their skin from a really young age. Clean away impurities, protect it from the sun as much as possible and keep it moisturised.
The worst skin spoiling culprits are…
Hot water, air conditioning/central heating and touching our faces! Mimi says she can’t believe how many women go to her with a break out and congested skin complaining that they don’t know why their skin is misbehaving. She watches as they talk – putting their bacteria riddled mobile phones against their cheeks and constantly touching their skin with dirty fingers. She stresses to them: “Leave it alone!” Keep skin as clean as you can and wash hands and wipe phones regularly to prevent bacteria getting onto the face.
Extremes in temperature such as very hot water or too warm central heating can really sap the skin of its goodness and play havoc with the skin’s natural PH mantle, so no matter how horrendous our winter is, avoid too hot baths and hogging the radiator!
Everyone deserves perfect skin:
This is Mimi’s motto. I asked her about the role stress plays on the condition of our skin and she says that women today often take on too much, reaching levels of extreme fatigue and this is where she often sees them turning up with ‘premature aging’ asking for her help. Mimi believes we should seek help for our skin problems and try to prevent them in the first place by looking after ourselves from the inside out.
Try to eat healthily and exercise but don’t forget that you should also spend time on looking after your skin as much as you can. Professional skin treatments and high quality products are an investment. “After all” Mimi said “You wouldn’t take your car to get fixed but tell the mechanic not to worry about replacing the broken light” So, she says we should look at ourselves as a whole and don’t think of skin as an ‘add on’.
As Mimi was in London introducing the latest Alma Impact Expert™ laser to press and skincare clinics, she allowed me to experience its effectiveness by trying it on me. Using a variety of products chosen specifically for my maturing, dehydrated skin type, the gentle acoustic waves emitted from the handheld laser help advance active ingredients into the skin’s layers for enhanced results. It felt warming but quite comfortable even though the sounds were a little strange – a bit like squeaky radio signals (sort of how I’d imagine aliens sounding!).
Without a doubt my skin looked fresher and more youthful immediately after – Mimi said this is one of her celebrity favourites, so it’s got to be good!
At the moment this treatment is available The Mayfair Practice but you can find out about other stockist from ABC lasers on 0845 170 7788.
Mimi’s No1 Quote: “The confidence a lovely complexion gives us is priceless.” I agree!
It was a pleasure to meet Mimi and talk to her about her obvious passion and expertise in skin. It was also lovely to find out that she has a teenage girl and boy who also keep her busy – just like me!
For more information on Mimi Luzon and her wonderful work and research on skin, click here.