A Guy’s Guide to Anti- Aging Skin Care.

Anti-Aging menIt should be no big surprise that  men’s skin  ages differently than a woman’s.  Their stronger muscles ( yes even in the face) develops deeper wrinkles.  Men have more sun damage on the face and neck  and develop more non-melanoma skin cancers.  Men’s skin tends to be thicker oiler and then there is that beard to take into account.

Tretinoin ( eg Retin-A cream) along with a sunscreen is the foundation  of an anti-aging skin care for women and it works equally well for men.  According to  New York City dermatologist Dr Gary Goldenberg, Retin A can be used on the  cheecks, chin, nose and forehead to deal  with sun damage and stimulate collagen. Both Botox and fillers  are also in his anti-aging skin care tool kit, although the guidelines differ.  Dr Goldenberg points out that because of the nature of the muscles a  man’s face  may require up to 3X the amount of Botox to get adequate  relaxation to erase fine lines.  However it is important to leave some lines and wrinkles in a man’s face.   If you overdo improvements, a  man”s face will look unatural and feminine.

The deep furrows in a  man’s face seem to spring up overnight after age 40 also respond well to fillers.  Runners tend to get a drawn appearance with deep lines due to both extensive sun damage and fat loss.  But like Botox it is important to have a light hand to leave “character lines” that project a manly charm.  ( Don’t you wish that lines are wrinkles viewed in the same way for women?)  Fillers can also be used to rebuild a strong  jaw lin to inhance that masculine profile.

Anti-Aging Laser for Men

The milder lasers like IPL, Clear and Brilliant and Forever Beautiful ( my fav) don’t seem to offer the same benefits for men.  Dr Goldenberg recommends the Fraxel Duel  laser and feels that just two sessions can erase up to 10 years.  After a Fraxel treatent, the skin will be red and a bit swollen for 2-3 days and flake for 1-2 weeks.   Man can gently shave two days after  a Fraxel session using a conditioning shaving cream.  This means avoiding products with glycolic acid, menthol and alcohol.  When the skin feels comfortable ( about two weeks) unwanted lies and wrinkles can be touched up with Botox and fillers.  To  maintain these benefits, a sunscreen should be used each and every  day.

In today’s difficult job market, men can turn to anti-aging tools to keep them professionally competitive.  A few expression and character lines add gravitas but under eye bags, jowls, and frown lines  can  undermine an executives ability to lead.  Appropriate ( and subtle) enhancements can make  a tough economic environment a little easier to navigate.


Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoI am so thrilled that Pam of Over 50, Feeling 40 is  hosting Fashion Flash for the first time.   I  have been a fan of this wonderful site long before Pam joined Fashion Flash.  She is a former radio show host, journalist and  reaches journalism in Texas.   Pam  has both a great fashion sense and a wonderful positive attitude toward life  after 50- its positively contagious!

Pam  offers a high/low fashion mix combining  Goodwill treasures  with beautiful finds  from major brands and retailers.  And best of all  her fashion choices  show  how good 50+ can really look both at work and at play.  No  4 inch stilettos, no $2000 bags, just  affordable well cut pants, jackets and tops that flatter our changing bodies.I’ve found that Pam helps me ‘shop’ in my own closet, creating   wonderful new outfits  from what I already  have on hand.   If you are already  a fan of Over 50 , Feeling 40, you know what I am talking about.  If  this site is new to you, it will be a new treat.

Fashion Flash Book Review:  Secrets of the Spas by Catherine Bardey

Fashion Flash Book Review- Secrets of the SpaThere  is no shortage of  books about spas and spa treatments, but this one is a keeper.  It offers more than 70  cleansers, masks, moisturizers and  herbal baths that use less than five  affordable ingredients.  They are  super easy to  make   and deliver  genuinely helpful benefits.   For example  a sea salt and and a apricot kernal oil body  scrub is a fabulous all natural exfoliator that is as good for you as it is  for the planet.  I love exfoliating grains for skin and body care, but recent studies have shown that these  granules  remain forever in the environment.  Sea  salt does its job and then dissolves easily in water.  No contaminating  residue!

A  seaweed and aloe vera  mask clarifies  all skin types and the  thyme and fennel  skin cleanser is so   gentle and effective that  alone, its  worth  buying the book.

Other favs include  green tea and cucumber mask,  oatmeal and almond scrub and honey and almond oil mask for super dry skin.  In addition to these recipes,  the book offers  a guide to  the benefits  and precautions of both essential  and carrier oils and a list of  necessary tools– eg bowls, wisk and a spice grinder.   This short  book also   offers a glossary of spa terms  such as  vichy shower, tincture  and peloids.  At the end of the book is a resource guide  for key ingredients.   The author is a former  stylist for Elle and J. Cree and her  passion for beauty comes  through in every  well- designed page.

Rubies- The Gem that Shares Its Beauty

ruby heartRubies, the deep red birthstone of July is the rarest  and  most valuable of  all gemstones.  Since prehistoric times rubies have been mined in Thailand and Burma.  Ancient Indian beliefs held that if a  man offered rubies to the gods, he would become  king or emperor in his next  life ( the actual  upgrade in next life depended on the quality of the rubies he offered to the gods)

The clear, rich, red tones of the ruby are very flattering for all colorings, except ruddy skin tones and red hair.  Rubies warm up pale and yellow skin tones and enhance most shades of blonde, gray, black and brown hair.  They are usually set in gold and work beautifully  with polished daytime and after five clothing.

The fashion impact of rubies have been limited by their scarcity  and price. Carat for carat  a ruby can cost  three times more than a diamond.  The most desireable rubies are deeply hued  like the color of blood– hence the term “blood ruby”.  Genuine rubies can range from  the priceless deep red  to  dainy  pale pink.  Gem experts  may argue over the difference between a pink sapphire and a pink ruby but  both are true gemstones.    Synthetic rubies developed around the turn of the century can offer the color and sparkle, if not the romance of the genuine stone.To maximize their beauty and minimize their cost, rubies can be added to a simple pearl necklace for double the impact.  If you are  in the market for a ruby, keep in mind that  most rubies today have been chemically enhanced to deepen color and glow.  Be sure to ask about enhancement   before you pull out a credit card. To maximize their beauty and minimize their cost,  rubies can be added to a simple pearl necklace for double the impact.

The Romance of Rubies

Rubies  have been used  for centuries in crowns and swords, but they are also a favorite love gift. The Duke of Windsor gave  his wife Wallis a ruby and diamond necklace for her 40th birthday that contained  more than 120 priceless Burma rubies.  The birthday  necklace matched two bracelets, a pair of ruby and diamond errings and   hair ornaments that  the price had given her since they had met.  The jewels were so elaborate and so extraordinary that  columnists described the Duchess as ” dripping in rubies”.

Rubies For the Rest of Us

Real, enhanced or frankly fake, rubies  add a glowing polish.  A pair of  diamond and ruby earrings  brightens a black chiffon  dress   while  a diamond and ruby bracelet  paired with a black velvet dress is a practically  perfect holiday choice.   If you are  meeting a client or  making a pitch, a ruby and gold ring takes  a navy blue pants  suit to a whole new level.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week  is the first time that  Mary Lou and Carrie  of Second Lives Club is hosting Fashion Flash.  I love the premise of this site– that   our second fifty  years  could  be even better than the first  fifty.  Second Lives Club often profiles amazing women who have made  dramatic and successful  changes in  their lives.  Its  so empowering to read about  women who changed directions  after 50  to find new fulfillment. In addition Second Lives Club  has great features on fashions, books and travel. Subscribe to this site for intelligent  and entertaining information you won’t find on any where else.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I usually review non-fiction lifestyle books that  deal with fashion, beauty health and food, but The Signature of All Things is so extraordinary, so original that I had to share  it.  This novel deals with   the life and times of a unique heroine that spans   18th century  England, the  American revolution , the civil war and  the dawn of modern science with Darwin’s theory of evolution.   The central  character Alma, a brilliant self taught botonist  is  one of the most interesting women characters in literature.

In the 19th century the  exploration  and  cataloging  of the world’s  plants and animals captured attention much the way we  focus on tech today.   Arguments  about the details and links in the plant world  held   the imagaination much the way we view a new app or  changes in Facebook.  The ability to  draw  flowers and leaves  was  accorded the same  awe and admiration that we  today regard the ability to code.

Using the national passion for natural science as a background, Gilbert writes a novel that is both  original yet accessible.  She makes  me care about all the characters, even when they are  cruel, ignorant or weak.  Just when  I think  I see the direction of the story , Gilbert  changes direction– and it takes  the narrative to another level.  Her  simple direct  tone  allows her to  address complex ideas and subjects with singular clarity.   If you  read one book this sunny summer,  make it The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Its worth every  minute of your time.

How Do I Deal with Dark Spots After Acne?

Question and answer logoActive acne is distressing at any age and acne scars can remain for years.  I’ve received numerous questions on different types of scars  and now superstar dermatologist  Dr Gary Goldenberg of Mount Sinai Medical Center has provided great solutions.  Today I am starting with the most common acne scars– those red or brown spots.

Question:  I’m 27 and finally got my acne under control, but now I have dark red spots on my cheeks and chin.  How can I get rid of them? And does the redness mean that acne scars will come back?

Answer:  Those dark red spots are called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or PIH.  They are the sign of a persistant inflammation that is  located deep in the dermis.  The body has to reabsorb  this damaged tissue– a process that takes 6-12 months.  Because they are formed  in the lower layers of the skin, exfoliating  scrubs and superficial peels will not really help.  Retin A  can speed up the process somewhat but for quicker, permanent results, Dr Goldenberg uses  the Fraxel duel laser.  He can set the depth of the laser to reach the dark spots without damaging the other tissue.

Dr Goldenberg starts by numbing the skin with lidocaine gel.  One hour  after  lidocaine application, the skin is so numb the proceedure is virtually  painless. Right after the   one hour Fraxel treatment, the skin will look and feel like a sunburn– red with  some swelling. This usually last 2-3 days and an ice pack can relieve the buring sensation.  Dr Goldenberg also  recommends  putting your moisturizer in the refrigerator so that  when its applied, it literally cools and  hydrates the skin. After the redness subsides, peeling  will start and last for about 2 weeks.  After the abnormal  skin has peeled off, you will start seeing fresh , spot-free skin.

Acne Scars in  Women of Color

In darker skin tones, PIH can look dark brown and black rather than pink or red.  Over the counter skin lighteners with Koic Acid ( eg Clinique Even Better) can slowly lighten them.  These very dark areas can also be zapped with the Fraxel duel laser.  However the heat of the laser may trigger more inflammation and pigmentation.  To prevent problems, Dr Goldenberg pre-treats skin of color with hydroquinone to  slow down pigment  forming cells before firing up the Fraxel laser. Acne  can seem like the gift that keeps on giving.  In addition to PIH, acne  can leave saucer shaped depressions, enlarged pores and even   lumpy raised areas.  That’s the bad news.  The good news?  There are tools and treatments for all of them.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Jackie of Aging Backwards is hosting  Fashion Flash.   She has a consistant curiosity for all things dealing with health and beauty.  From the best way to use  fake eyelashes to the best natural  way to avoid heart disease Jackie  drills down  into each topic and shares  her findings. She is just one of those people that always get  it right.

Fashion FLash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review: Everything Eyes by Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown needs no introduction.  She  is  a beauty rock star with a modern approach to  make-up  that   works  for every woman.  But wait there’s more. With her  own line of natural toned  make-up and a collection of  best selling books, Bobbi Brown is still  a down to  earth person who  understands what women want  and is determined to  give it to them. Among her numerous books, she has written  not  one, but two books  that address beauty issues of women over 40. Impressive!

In Everything Eyes she offers a primer on the tools and techniques for easy, beautiful  eye make-up.  The book starts with a terriffic explanation of the different eye make-up brushes, recommending a basic five and  the additional four  which  are  nice to have.  She explains the the benefits and drawbacks of gel, pencil and pen eyeliner– and when to use each one.  Her explanation  of the difference between a corrector and a concealer and how to use both  seemingly erased  my dark circles in less than 10 seconds.

My favorite part of the book  was  her simple daytime  eye make-up that just simply works.  I finally  saw how to quickly and effectively use  three tones of eye shadow without looking made-up. However  her smokey eye still did not get me where I wanted to go.  Brown clearly was using  her own products but she did not give names and colors.  While I usually cringe when an expert  promotes their own products in a book,  in this case it would have been very helpfull

About  30% of the book is devoted to  when  eye make-up meets eyeglasses.  Brown famously wears thick framed black glasses and  she knows first hand the challenges of combining  glasses and  eye make-up.   She clearly demonstrates   how to apply make-up that is flattering  when wearing glasses– use gel  liner that should be visible  when the eye is open.  She is apparently introducing her own line of eyeglasses and offers  the usual advice on matching facial  features to the size, shape and color of the frames.  Again there are  many  photos and drawings of eyeglasses   and it would actually been helpful  to get  more buying information.  Everything Eyes is a genuinely useful book and  I squeezed it into my already crowded beauty book shelf.





Sunglasses 101

SunglassesSunglasses, a seemingly timeless emblem of fame and leisure were actually developed in the 1930′s to reduce altitude  glare for pilots.   They were quicky  adopted by Hollywood film stars turning   military technology into a fashion statement.

Sizes and shapes have varied from era to era.  In the 1950′s sunglasses were frequently harlequin shaped and trimmed with rhinestones.  In the 1960′s the over sized glsses of  Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn were copied by women  of all ages.  In the 80′s  the fashion  fell in love with  small wire framed glasses  in round or octagonal shapes.  In recent years  it was the brand  such as Oakleys or Chanel , rather than shape that took  style center stage.

Certain styles have  become nonverbal signals.  The heavy black framed Ray Bans worn by Tom Cruise in Risky Business have become a symbol of randy self-confidence;  brown tortoiseshell  has become  synonymous with  preppie style;  small wire rims are read as trendy downtown attitude.

Sunglasses are more than a fashion accessory, so much more.  A well choosen pair of sunnies can be a major player in your  sunprotection tool box.  Not only do sunglasses dierectly shield the  delicate skin around the eye, they  prevent  squinting  which  is a well known  factor in acceperated  aging around the eye.  In sunny states like Texas and Arizona,  girls in their early teens  can develop crow’s feet  that  tend to  develop decades later  in Northern states  Doctors believe that this  is a sign of mechanical aging due to automatic squinting in strong  sun.

Sunglass Tip Sheet

Here are  10  facts you should know before  buying a new par of sunglasses:

1. Sage green lenses are calming and casual.  Good for everyday wear.

2. For strong sunlight, the lenses should be dark enough to completely hide your eyes

3.  Mirrored sunglasses are  more fashion than function

4. Polarized lenses decrease glare, especially  light relflected off the water.

5. Gradient lenses that darken as the light becomes stronger work well aginst snow or highway glare.

6. Heather grey lenses show true colors in brilliant sunshine.

7. Yellow lenses  provide clear vision on hazy days– and are great  for safe driving.

8.  Shatterproof lenses are essential if you wear tem to play  sports.

9. UV protection reduces risk of eye disease

10. Metal frames  get hot in the sun.

For more information go to All About Vision and read their consumer guide to sunglasses.



Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoI’m hosting Fashion  Flash this July 4th  weekend  and our bloggers  are in the holiday  mood:

* Our Diva Debbi is a Polyvore addict with more than 12,000 followers and over 4.5 million views of her fashion sets.  This week she celebrates the Fourth of July with a cheeky  beach outfit with a fabulous pair of Toms.

* Josephine of Chic  At Any Age  believes that a classic perfume adds a final touch  to being chic. And now you can can get fantastic quintessentially  British  perfumes at a bargin price.  Available  in both the US and UK.  Hurry, offer ends July 13.

* Positive Living advocate Barbara Hannah Gufferman of the Best of Everything After  Fifty  knows why women live longer than men… and she reveals the secret right here!

* Jodell of Black Cat Plus shows that plus size  women can wear a tank top and look appropriate  and on trend for July 4th.

* Cindy of Prime Beauty is getting feet in shape for summer sandels with her top ten pedicure products.

* Marylou of Second Lives Club explores  July 4th fireworks and other ways to celebrate the holiday and life… visions of enLIGHTenMent.

*  Mirabai from Moving Free with Mirabai offers water safe tips to stay hydrated  and healthy during  July 4th.

* Melanie of Society Wellness  stepped in a  mound of fire ants and she shares the natural remedies that helped heal and soothe the bites quickly.  Thse are great tips that wil work   for most bug bites.

* Jackie of Aging Backwards  knows that chronic stress causes aging– and offers  relaxing tips to stay young and calm.

* Pam of Over 50, Feeling 40 reflects back on her first week working with a weight trainer.  After one year she has come a long way since beginning weight training at age 60… and its never  to late for any of us to begin.

* And at No-Nonsense Beauty Blog I explored  different types of straw hats  to  add style  to my sun protection  routinue.

Fashion FLash Book eviewFashion Flash Book Review:  Flash Fashion Cards

I  was about to  buy the new Bobbi Brown Book on eye make-up when I came across  a set of FLash Fashion  cards. I  had to check them out.    Too cute.  They are   a set of  cards that covers 400 years of  fashion history.  Each card   defines and illustrates a fashion term including  raglan sleeve,  fishtail  train, Macitosh  and caftan.   Its  fun to flip  through them and   a great source for fashion history buffs.  As an  extra incentive, 10% of sales are  committed to museum  fashion preservation and exhibition.


The Straw Hat– Style Meets Sun Protection

The disarming straw hat has  endured for centuries as a wearable symbol of the perfect day– long, hot and sun soaked.  These hats provide a cool shade that is absurdly flattering, framing your eyes as it seems to erase tiny lines. But wait there’s  more– a beautiful  straw hat also offers  affordable low tech sun protection.

There are  a dizzying buffet of straw  hat styles and sizes.  The key to wearing it faithfully is to  find the shape that  makes you feel cool and pretty:

Panama Straw HatThe Panama Straw Hat

The first thing youshould know about the Panama hat is that it is not  made in Panama.  Crafted in Peru and Ecuador, it was introduced to the United States by sailors returning from Latin  Panama. It became socially acceptable when  worn by President Teddy Roosevelt to inspect the building of the Panama Canal.

Panama hats are made of finely woven straw and are soft, lightweight and durable.  It is a fairly large hat designed to offer maximum comfort in tropical weather.  The high crown circulates the air while the wide brim shades the  face and neck.  Because of its size, the Panama  Hat   probably looks best  if you are over five feet five inches.  Petite fetures and formsmay  be happier with  the upcoming  smaller scale straw hats

Boater Straw hatThe Boater Hat

Paired with a striped shirt  and white flannel pants, the boater was the official 19th century summer unform of the boating enthusiasts.  Created from plaited and coiled straw  to provide shad, it was too appealing to stay just on a boat.  The ribbon-trimmed boater became  THE hat for giggling scool girls, serious clergymen and nervous suiters. How the hat was worn became an important issue.  In the 1920′s Maurice CHevalier wore   the straw boater  tipped to a rakish angle as   a trademark of his cheeky charm. Respectable young women wore the boater flat on the head or  set slightly  back ( think Gigi).

The rather narrow brim  and flat crown complements small features while a bow or flowers attached to the side or back soften the lines with color.

Picture Straw hatThe Picture Hat

This is a hat that loves women– all shapes, all sizes, all ages.   The straw picture hat has a brim that is  larger than the boater, but smaller than the Panama hat.  Named a picture  hat because it frames the face,  this hat is  wearable symbol of romance. A favorite  of costume designers, it  is worn back from the face to avoid unflattering  shadows that can be magnified  by the camera.  In real life, pull the picture hat down lower to highlight your eyes and eliminate  fine lines.  And as an added bonus the loose crown of a straw picture hat does not leave you with “hat hair”.

Whatever style you choos, a  straw hat is a chemical free sun screen that works all day to keep you  young and beautiful.  Don’t leave  home without it!




Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Josephine of Chic At Any Age is hosting Fashion Flash.   This is the first time she  is hosting  and I am so thrilled  she has joined us.  Josephine has pitch perfect fashion advice for women over 40.  She has that seemingly effortless European style  for every situation.  When I have an upcoming occasion, I click thru  the archives at Chic At Any Agefor  ideas and direction.  I think  what sets  Josephine apart from other  style experts is the range of her choices.  She has  options for  both cold and hot weather, casual and dressy, affordable  and upcale.  In other words  beautiful, real clothes for beautiful, real women.

Fashion FLash Book Review:  Afro-VeganFashion Flash Book Review:  Afro-Vegan by Bryant  Terry

Food  reflects our personal culture– who we are and where  we come from. When health issues like  diabetes, obesity and heart disease  require new food choices it is very difficult to eliminate  all that is familiar and comforting– a key reason why most diets fail.

Bryant Terry, author of Afro-Vegan is deeply concerned about the rising tide of  diet linked health issues  in the  Afro- American  community.  His book  seeks to provide a healthier plant  based menu that still reflects  the African, Caribean and Southern  culture. Rather than looking for low fat, low salt versions of traditional recipes, he drills deeper to develop a truely original  approach to cooking and eating.   Terry  pulls out the flavors and textures  of beloved foods like grits,  greens and sweet potatoes  to create  dishes that are delicious, healthy and  culturally satisfying.

The recipes in Afro Vegan burst with flavor.   They  combine tingly cayenne and Jalapeno peppers, fragrant spices like cardamom, cinnamon and ginger and diverse grains like  farro, tiff and millet.  They are  new and unique  yet with tastes and textures that are  familar and comforting.   His   blackened okra kabob with red rice  is a mouth watering summer grill.  A corn broth made from   fresh cobs is a gorgeous base  for vegan and vegetarian soups.   My current favorite recipe   is a puddle of savory grits  topped with  slow-cooked greens.   Traditional braised  greens are a  personal favorite but I know they  are basically  a salt  and pork fat delivery system.  Terry offers a  meal of  grits made with vegetable broth and  cashew cream topped with greens spiked with garlic,  ginger and cayenne .  I have made it three times in two weeks. Yes, its that good.

The recipes are not technically complicated nor do they require expensive equipment and ingredients.  However if you don’t have a fully  stocked  pantry and spice rack  you will need to do a bit of shopping  to gather the parts and pieces for the recipes.    Once you  have stocked up for a few dishes you will be ready for the rest.

Summer is the perfect time to expand your  plant based recipe repertoire.  The farmers markets   are overflowing  with local fruits and vegetables.  Fill up a basket of greens, tomatoes  and peppers and dive into Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry.