What’s in a Number?

Glynis BarberGuest Articles 2 Comments

It’s amazing how society (for that read “the press”) influences how we feel about getting older. I speak as one who has had their age bandied all over the media in the last week. If people didn’t know my age before they certainly do now. So how do I feel about that? Well, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand I feel great about my age and the fact that I’m healthy, more confident and using all my experience to my advantage. I’m proud of the fact that I have every intention of staying fit and active in the game of life to my fullest capacity. I feel at my most creative and fulfilled. I’ve never been busier. On the other hand, I feel slightly embarrassed by the vast number I’ve reached. It’s so off putting in a woman, if the media is to be believed. By rights I should be shutting up and disappearing because no-one wants to look at a woman of my age. Well sod that I say. 

Awhile ago I had one of the best facials of my life with Marie Reynolds. I have no idea how old she is but she looks wonderful, fresh and healthy. Here she muses on the ups and downs of ageing and gives some sage advice. Trust me, she is well worth listening to.

Marie Reynolds - Progressive Skin & Noetic Therapist and guest Therapist at Fortnum & Mason

As a holistic and skin care therapist, one of the major skin concerns my clients have is, of course, ageing. I am asked numerous times what I think of Botox and Fillers, I am expected to frown (pardon the pun) upon such treatments but I don’t at all. My philosophy is if an individual feels it will improve their self confidence and self esteem then why not, after all this is really what it is about, how we feel. Personally speaking, I am finding great results with active ingredients on the skin and I actually like the fact I have a few lines, I am comfortable with the fact I have experienced many laughs as well as many heartaches. I don’t want a blank canvas with no character. My ‘Skinsperations’ are the likes of Dame Helen Miran and Meryl Streep who are confident women, proud, full of sass, grace and still ooze sex appeal.

Ageing is a state of mind and the personal attitude one has with it. Your outlook on ageing will determine your character. For instance if you continually say ‘ I am far to old for that’ or ‘ I can’t be doing that at my age’ then as sure as eggs are eggs you are right.

Who determines what we should do and how we should act when we reach a certain age? Society does. And the pressure to think, as soon as we reach our forties that we should head for the nearest clinic to inject our faces with botox and fillers, is continual. Why is it that a face that is full of the experiences one has lived is less attractive?

The relationship we have with ageing IS most definitely a state of mind, it is our own personal relationship with it. Yes, we have major differences in our skin due to experiences, diet and chemical changes but mentally this should be looked upon as growth into an individual who is LIVING. I am sick of people, especially women who think that when they are post forty it is all down hill, Rubbish!

We age, as well as experience, the moment we are conceived. We are then born into a hostile world of harsh pollutants, stress and nutritional obstacles.

In our twenties our skin produces abundant amounts of proteins called collagen and elastin. These are responsible for our skin to be resilient and firm. As we age the proteins in our skin are attacked from free radicals caused by continuous exposure to stress, lifestyle, diet and environment through the years. This has a direct impact on the collagen and elastin to perform as they should, wrinkles and sagging occurs.

There are two theories of ageing:

Biological ageing:

The DNA we’ve been given has a certain percentage of how well we age, that is inherited, but what we experience also has a profound effect on our ageing process.

Environmental ageing:

Our lifestyle plays a major role in this theory. What we eat and our experiences through life. Poor nutrition, UV exposure, alcohol, drugs, smoking as well as mental, emotional and physical stress all play their role.

We know the physical aspect of ageing occurs and we have a certain degree of control with nutrition, lifestyle and topical treatments and products.

We are what we are by what we eat….experience….& inherit!

Having now reached a point in my life where I feel I have more wisdom, experience and ‘lived’ within this body for a number of years I have a different perspective on ‘ageing’… I, among many other therapists, jump on the ‘anti-ageing’ hashtag because it is what gets the attention of the consumer, but why should we should we be ‘ANTI’?

As far as the skin goes we all know the main enemies of premature ageing, smoking, sun damage, diet, lifestyle etc as well as the menopause which causes various changes to the texture and elasticity, oil production drops which contribute to creases and wrinkles.

The skin starts to lose 2.1% of collagen every year throughout the menopause resulting in a 30% decrease bringing a loss of elasticity, tone and suppleness. Hormonal shifts can also result in menopausal related acne, which can be distressing, but the most important factor is your state of mind!

Think as you feel! Not as you feel your age determines or society says you should feel.

Look after your skin and that goes for ALL ages! Take time to have regular facials not only to maintain good skin health but also for “you” time. Use products rich in antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and peptides.

Exercise but incorporate Pilates to strengthen the core muscles.

Look at reducing sugar intake in your diet and increasing supplements and nutrition to aid the menopause and increase omega 3’s.

Don’t take life too seriously, laugh lots, give yourself a break, stress and over thinking can also weigh you down.

Remember it is not the years in our life that matters but the life in our years, ageing itself is not lost youth but a new stage opportunity of strength.

Marie Reynolds







Follow @marie_reynolds

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Comments 2

  1. The statement above, I think is relevant to all ages, races and genders. In fact our conditioning dictates our lives. Unfortunately consensual reality plays a big role and influences our own reality which in turn has an effect on our lives, our health, our expectations our responses and our perception of ourselves and each other. It takes strength and conscious awareness to be aware of our internal dialogue and what it’s doing to us, to our communities and to our world. I do believe it all begins with ‘me’ and if I can ‘be the change I want to see in the world’ and that spirals outwards we can make the world a better place and create new more empowering expectations.
    Linda G.

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