Ageing with attitude: A plastic surgeon's DIY guide to holding back march of time

Margaret Jennings hears from a plastic surgeon who is keen to offer alternatives to going under the knife when it comes to taking care of your skin.
Ageing with attitude: A plastic surgeon's DIY guide to holding back march of time

HOW comfortable are you with your ageing appearance? Do you criticise yourself every time you look in the mirror, or accept those lines, wrinkles and sagging features as part of your proud history of living for many decades?

“I meet so many people who are concerned about their appearance (and tiny perceived flaws) that they allow it to run or ruin their lives,” says Dr Anthony Youn.

“Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t let others make you feel unattractive. Don’t let anyone convince you to get anything done that you don’t want to have done. No one truly needs cosmetic surgery.”

Wise words – but from a plastic surgeon? Yes. And even more confusing it would seem, because he is the US-based author of a book called The Age Fix: How To Really Look 10 Years Younger.

However the beauty – so to speak – of his book, and his general approach to ageing is that he leaves all doors open to how we tackle that inevitable physical trajectory, giving an expert opinion on the products, cosmetic procedures and natural therapies that he has seen have made a difference to his patients’ skin.

“From nose to toes, I’ve got secrets that will rejuvenate you,” he says. And who wouldn’t want to have those shared – without needing to dig too deep into your pocket?

But the surprise is, this well-known plastic surgeon, TV show commentator and lecturer, aside from explaining the chemical, surgical and technical options available to deal with our ageing woes, also gives lots of DIY “insider tips” that are natural and cost practically nothing.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 16 years as a plastic surgeon, it’s that being healthy is the key to us retaining our youth. In the end that’s what the Age-Fix is all about.

“Following the Age-Fix healthy diet guidelines, exercising regularly, taking care of your skin, smelling the proverbial flowers every so often and having a positive outlook are truly the best ways to stay young forever, “ he advises.

Meanwhile although he offers lots of tips, strategies and procedures to suit everyone’s perspective, here are just a few of the pro-ageing natural secrets he shares in the book .

SLEEP:

Get those 40 winks – at least seven hours a night. Your body undergoes major repairs while you sleep, including to your skin. Try and sleep on your back when you can, to “minimise the time your face spends sagging from gravity and creased by your pillow”.

TIGHTENING LOOSE SKIN:

It’s a fact of life, as we age our skin sags and gets looser. Try this DIY skin tightener: Mix three tablespoons of coffee grounds and two tablespoons of olive oil together to make a paste, Scrub paste into your face for one to two minutes and let sit for five. Gently wash off with warm water.

This will tighten your skin and leave it silky smooth for several hours after.

LIP PLUMPING:

Everyone’s lips lose volume over time and plumping them up can “erase some years”, says Youn. Instead of fillers, his DIY “quick-fix” rejuvenation trick involves applying a heavy coat of Vaseline to your lips and leaving for ten minutes.

Then with a very soft toothbrush brush your lips gently to exfoliate the skin.

Stop before they get irritated or uncomfortable. Follow up with a good quality beeswax balm (such as Burts Bees) or lip gloss/lip plumper (he suggests Bliss Fabulips Instant Lip Plumper).

CROWS FEET:

Surprise! Mayonnaise isn’t just a sandwich enhancer any more.

One of its main ingredients is eggs and the albumin in egg whites is a potent (if temporary) skin tightener.

The oil adds moisture at the same time. Just apply a small amount to your crow’s feet with a cotton ball.

Leave in place for 30 minutes, wash off with warm water and apply your favourite moisturiser.

He says your crow’s feet will be smoother and the skin softer and more youthful-looking.

EXFOLIATION:

You know those kitchen sink and counter scrubbers with the darker rough side on top of a soft sponge?

They take on a whole new role when you’re having a shower.

Use the rough side to exfoliate your body, being particularly aggressive on your feet. The spongy side is then used for more delicate areas like your face.

Crusty feet are ageing at any stage of life.

If you’re giving yourself a DIY pedicure, then don’t throw out that avocado peel, which is just the right shape to fit over your heel.

Rub the inside of the scooped peel on your heel for several minutes and allow the leftover pulp that sticks to your heel to dry for up to 15 minutes.

Wash off with warm water and then apply a good moisturiser or virgin olive oil – to keep the kitchen cupboard theme going. To maximise the benefits, do this just before going to bed.

The Age Fix, by Dr Anthony Youn MD, €11.06, published by Orion publishing.

Happy Retirement: The Psychology of Reinvention, €13.80, Dorling Kindersley

Those who are familiar with the high-quality Dorling Kindersley publications which specialise in illustrated reference books might be attracted to this one above the many on the market on the theme of retirement.

As you would expect, it offers a unique visual style of infographics and illustrations which aim to provide readers with a “retirement roadmap” which we are assured is also grounded in psychological research.

The consultant is Kenneth S Schultz, professor of psychology at California State University. The infographics and self-analysis questions might help to apply insights you’ve gained to your own situation — whatever your age, regarding that big life transition, from planning to transitioning and the long term.

SILVER SURFER

Can chair yoga relieve osteoarthritis pain?

Head here

Feeling guilty for nodding off to sleep in the afternoon? New research suggests that an hour-long nap after lunch may give older people’s mental abilities a boost.

The Chinese study participants who were all aged over 65 were given several mental status tests after taking an hour-long nap, or a nap for less or more time than that, or no nap at all.

Those who nodded off for just the 60 minutes performed the best in the tests, which involved answering simple questions, completing basic math problems, memorising and recalling words and copying drawings of simple geometric objects.

The other participants had declines in their mental abilities that were up to six times greater than those who slept for the hour.

The study was published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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