Timeless beauty

Have any of you out there been watching the new cable channel on health? It's been interesting to note the number of segments airing on skin care, in particular the number of surgical procedures for the aging face.

I began watching this one segment on what was called the mini-incision, a 3-4 day recovery facelift. The program began with this gentlemen in his middle-late forties discussing with a plastic surgeon what he didn't like about his face. He talked about the loose skin under his eyes, around and under his chin and the frown lines in his forehead. The next scene takes you to the operating room where all the very graphic details of plastic surgery were revealed.

I spent eight years working for a general surgeon at one point in my career and I thought I had seen it all, or at least enough that watching someone cut on someone's face would not bother me. Yet I found it to be so gruesome to the point I couldn't continue to watch!

I've certainly seen a lot more blood and guts in my day than that, so why did I find this so grotesque? The surgeon's technique was good; he was gentle with the tissues and I'm sure that both patient and doctor were satisfied with the outcome. It was such a visceral experience for me, listening to the surgeon talk about the procedure, the noise of the drill they used on his skull bone to anchor sutures, tunneling under the skin of his forehead to raise his eyebrows, and if that wasn't enough, they proceeded to his chin-- making more incisions to tighten it, then incisions into his eyelids above and below.

All this to look younger? It's well known among beauty experts abroad that facelifts can be very temporary. If the musculature of the face is poor, which is actually what causes the skin to sag, the results of a facelift are not very appealing. I had a client point out to me an article featuring Helen Gurly Brown the other day, now granted she is very slim and trim and has a very flexible body, but, she looked like a 77-year-old woman who had a facelift. There was really nothing pretty about it!

I can understand how an individual, man or woman may not be happy with their appearance and feel the need to make changes. But, before you resort to that kind of brutality, I would hope that you would give a fair trial to the many new products and procedures as well as old ''beauty secrets'' that have become so popular.

Consider some of these things first:

If you are 10, 20 or 30 pounds overweight, would you possibly like the way you looked if you dropped that weight? Maybe your jowls would disappear, and if you ate a balanced diet, one focused on liver cleansing, your new-found energy would shine through in your eyes as well as your complexion-- revealing a younger, fitter, newer-looking you.

Are you utilizing your colors? Nothing will make you look older than colors that are wrong for your skin tones and hair color. A classic example of this is the woman who needs warm red tones but instead uses ash tones to color her graying hair, making her skin appear older, sallow and more pale. The same with makeup. Are you using pink and rose colors when they should be more earthy orange and rusts?

Okay, you're doing all these things and you're still not happy. There are several products that will help address the finer lines and wrinkles in your skin. Peels with green papaya, or other mild fruit acids, and vitamin C lotions are all shown to reduce the signs of aging. Your dermatologist can do a series of chemical peels that can dramatically reduce wrinkles as well as age spots. Check them out.

Put your face on a program of exercises. There are several proven exercise programs out there that strengthen, lift and tone the muscles of your face as well as the skin. The difference is dramatic in as little as six weeks, and as long you continue to do the exercises the results are not temporary.

Lastly, good health through a balanced diet including antioxidant veggies, healthy oils such as flax and olive, plenty of water, and rest are your best bet to keep your face youthful. Of course no smoking and limited alcohol are also essential.

Till next time, Rebecca.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online August 31, 1999

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