Looking Fabulous Forever: Skincare Advice from A Glowing Older Lady

We know it when we’re scouted, but we don’t let it really sink in til our mid-20s: our job doesn’t allow us to get older. We’re meant to stay in the employable bracket of 16-21 forever, with fresh skin that can withstand the travel, sleep deprivation and layering of harsh make up products all day every day.

Only problem is – Father Time is a stubborn old mule – and we just can’t stay teenagers forever.

We’re in a funny point in modelling, actually. Fifteen years ago, getting older meant that a lucky few models would segue into well-paid catalogues, wearing frumpy cardies for German clients. Those catalogues don’t really exist any more, and we’re mostly seeing low-paid ecom, where younger (cheaper) models can be booked.

However, models can prolong their career by having blogs and a strong online social media presence – it’s a bit like lots of the rules have been cast out of the window. Especially that now, clients are waking up to the fact that it’s older women who have the money, and who don’t necessarily want to be sold clothes by 16-year-old waifs. As my boyfriend, Theo, said: “Older women aren’t ‘old’ anymore. They wear jeans and stuff.” Ladies who were teens in the 60s and 70s don’t want to start donning greige orthopaedic shoes and getting blue rinses by their 60s, they want to look fresh and modern and there are loads of new brands popping up to cater for them! And check out the Supers, who are still going strong well into their 40s and 50s.

imagePic by Yutsai/Cindy’s Instagram

Look after yourself now, and you could be working throughout your whole life!

We have to look after our skin, our bodies and our appearance to keep working in this industry. I’m a font of beauty knowledge, and I am fighting my best fight against slowly turning into a prune. But I thought it’d be great to get some advice from a fellow blogger, Tricia, who has a make up range called Look Fabulous Forever. Now while the products aren’t aimed at the average age of my readership, what we all want to know is how to have ridiculously good skin and glow like Tricia has at 68-bloody-years-old!

Tricia Cusden Portrait High Res © Ronnie TempleCredit/Ronnie Temple

So I asked her some questions to find out…

R: Hi Tricia! Many of my readers will want to know…What can we start doing now in order to have great skin when we’re older?

T: It is really important to start a good skincare routine when you’re young. There are certain things you can do now, such as cleansing properly, staying out of the sun, and using effective products, to ensure your skin stays looking fabulous and healthy when you’re older.

While it’s important to hone your skincare regime no matter what your age, you should also be mindful of how your skin changes as you become older; for example, skin can become rougher, more fragile, dryer, more transparent, and the natural elasticity starts to break down. As you move through the decades you will need to assess the products you are using and gradually introduce those that address the changes in your skin such as toners, exfoliators, moisturisers, and serums which nourish the skin and tackle any areas of concern. For example, as your skin becomes more mature you may need to introduce a richer night cream and eye cream to hydrate the skin.

R: I’m definitely glad I started a decent skincare routine by the time I was 17. I remember my friend taking the mickey about how I always removed my make up no matter how drunk I was. I’m so glad I did!

T: Yes, it’s one of the golden rules that will help give you the best chance of having great skin when you’re older. A proper skincare routine is important for keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy. By your 20s you should definitely have one implemented, if you were doing it at 17 that’s great.

Not only does this establish great, life-long habits, it also ensures your skin stays in the best possible condition.

R: There are so many products out there now. In my teens it was all harsh, chemical, anti-spot washes, now there are a lot of exfoliators and acids in products. Are they too harsh for skin?

T: There is no need to over-do it by overloading your skin with harsh products at the age of 20, however, there are three things I always recommend whatever your age.

Firstly, cleansing your face thoroughly morning and evening is essential. This stimulates the skin’s natural regeneration process and allows the skin to breathe. A simple cleansing wipe at the end of the day does not provide a deep enough cleanse and generally means that make-up, dirt and bacteria simply get rubbed around your face, clogging your pores.

R: I never use wipes unless I’m on a shoot because I’ve heard most of them are full of alcohol and ingredients that aren’t great for skin…

T: Wipes are usually milder than other cleansing products but they’re also not great because of all the tugging and rubbing we do when using them (particularly around the eye area). That can cause the skin to lose elasticity quicker.

R: So what do you recommend?

T: Use a gentle moisturising cleanser, both in the morning and evening and follow with a gentle toner and nourishing moisturiser. Once a week, use an exfoliator to buff away dead skin cells, and a facemask to give the skin a boost. Any moisturiser or serum will be more effective and soak into the skin better if applied to a clean face.

R: OK and the next golden rule?

T: Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your skin is to be mindful of the sun’s harmful UV rays and wear a good SPF every day. When your skin is in its prime, you might think sunbathing all day without wearing an SPF product will give you a tan and nothing else. However, prolonged sun exposure causes all kinds of skin damage include hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone. The sun’s harmful UVA rays also break down the skin’s elastin, which causes the skin to sag and stretch, as well as lose its plump appearance. Protecting your skin from the sun may not be a huge concern when you are younger, but this is when most of the irreparable damage is done. Stay out of the sun when you can and use an SPF daily, even when it looks like the sun is hiding behind the clouds!

R: I have to say, though I nearly always wear and SPF I have sunbathed in the past and I already regret it. It’s true about the even skin tone and the pigmentation and it’s only when it’s too late that you really learn that yup, it was all true! And what is the final golden rule?

T: Diet, stress and smoking can all have an impact on the skin, no matter what your age. Healthier foods improve skin condition, and a balanced diet of course has many other benefits too. Stress can also exacerbate existing skin conditions including psoriasis and rosacea, so it is important to take time out for yourself, get a good night sleep, and get regular exercise. Probably worst of all for your skin is smoking, as it dehydrates the skin, and causes it to lose its healthy glow; try to quit the habit to benefit both your skin and your lungs.

R: I’m so glad I never smoked! To any of my readers who do, I would say…Stop! It really does affect the skin. And your health! OK so thinking ahead, to when we’re on the classics board and maybe have kids or another job and really need to look after our skin. What should we be thinking about?

T: As well as being mindful of changes in your skincare routine as you grow older, you will also need to update your make-up bag to fit with your changing skin and colouring. At Look Fabulous Forever we have developed a range of makeup designed specifically for older faces. We believe in celebrating the beauty of older women without fretting about the inevitable ageing and a wrinkle or two! All of our make-up is specially formulated to work better on the more mature faces, eyes and lips.

R: I can obviously see the difference between my Gran’s skin and my skin, and my skin and that of the 16-year-old new faces. But in terms of the actual difference what are we talking?

The way I describe an older face is a bit like blotting paper – super absorbent and quite bumpy in texture. It can also be uneven in tone and often quite patchy with blemishes, broken veins and age spots (you may prefer ‘wisdom spots’!). Therefore, alongside a good skincare routine, it is important to consider your make-up and be aware of changes you might need to make. The solution to these niggles is to prime the skin (after moisturiser) to ensure makeup lasts and looks smoother, and then apply a foundation (base) and a concealer to unify the skin tone and add extra coverage to any specific imperfections. Having done this, you are ready to add a touch of luminescence with a highlighter, and a healthy glow to your skin with a pretty blusher.

Thanks Tricia! I know I have a few model mum’s out there who read this, so if you’re interested in how to apply make up, Tricia has lots of blogs with great techniques. And as for the rest of my model mates – there’s some seriously good advice here, the sort of advice that I know we can ignore (sunning, smoking, diet) but really shouldn’t. One look at Tricia’s complexion and I am running for the shade with an avocado salad!

Rebecca x

One Comment

  1. Lola Byatt wrote:

    I’m always quite smug when i read these sorts of advice pieces as I take care of my skin (acne made me do that) and I wear spf but the diet thing always kills me. i mainly live on bread and cheese!! xxx

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