Photo of Trica Cusden

Happy Easter Everyone! I hope you are enjoying your weekend and that the weather is being kind enough to give you a small surge of hope that the winter is finally over. I love this time of year as our northern hemisphere turns towards the light. A lot of that enjoyment has to do with the clocks going forward as they did last night, so that from now on we’ll be able to enjoy the lengthening days and the promise of warmer weather and some much needed sun on our skin.


And talking of skin, I wonder how yours is looking at the end of the winter months? Like mine perhaps, in need of a bit of Tender Loving Care?


I get lots of compliments on my skin. Which is fortunate when people who have just met me find out that I am a 76 year old who runs a business called ‘Look Fabulous Forever’! I guess that some of it is down to my genetic inheritance, but I have always looked after my skin very carefully, even when it was blighted by acne rosacea. Now the painful lumpy spots and redness have gone, I am even more determined to keep it looking smooth and (relatively) free from lines and wrinkles, so here are the ten ways that are working well for me:


My Ten Top Tips For Amazing Skin


Diet and Nutrition: This was the key to ridding myself of acne rosacea. “You are what you eat” was shown on my face every morning when I woke up and looked in the mirror. I could always skillfully cover the worst effects of my acne with good makeup, but it was always there lurking under my skin. And I eventually accepted that the culprits were sugar and bread to which I was addicted. I now eat a mainly plant based diet with lots of oily fish. It was challenging to cut out cake, biscuits and desserts, but now I live with the benefits of having done so. My clear and happy looking skin is the perfect incentive to continue with this radically different way of eating.


Sleep: Lack of sleep will show on your face instantly. I was very interested in a recent podcast in which my favourite guru Dr Michael Mosley talked to Professor Russell Foster, Director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford, and one of the world’s leading researchers on what makes our body clocks tick. There is still so much that is unknown about sleep, but what we do know is that natural circadian rhythms mean that some people are larks, some owls, and some are neither. I am an owl which means that I sleep best between about 1a.m. and 9 a.m. Now I no longer keep ‘office hours’, I can respect that pattern by going to bed at midnight and waking naturally eight hours later, I feel so much better. So, lark, owl or neither, find your best time for rest and don’t fight it.


Mangoes: I have eaten half a mango every day since it was recommended on Mosley’s podcast ‘Just One Thing’. Why? Because they are proven to reduce wrinkles and boost the production of collagen. Colourful fruit and vegetables containing carotenoids like red, orange or yellow peppers, broccoli, cantaloupe melon. carrots, kale, watermelon, oranges, spinach, tomatoes and mangoes are the chemical cousins of retinol (see below). A recent study of postmenopausal women showed that eating just half a mango every day improved the appearance of both existing and emerging wrinkles after just 3 months. 


Masks. Every now and again I look in the mirror and know that my skin needs something extra. If I was the sort of woman to go to a beauty salon for treatments (I’m not), I’d book an appointment, but you can get exactly the same effect much more cheaply and just as effectively at home if you have a couple of products to hand. The first is a really good clarifying and moisturising mask, like the one we have in our range. Steam can help to make it work even better, so apply the product and then take a shower or relax in a nice warm bath. When you wash the mask off, I can guarantee that your skin will feel smoother and happier.


Exfoliation. And the second step in the category of ‘needs extra help’ is to use an exfoliant. I said recently on a webinar that, when doing a makeup makeover on someone’s face, I could always tell when the person was dehydrated and also needed to use an exfoliant. How? Because the skin feels slightly rough and a bit like blotting paper when it should feel like the best, smoothest Basildon Bond (remember that?). The solution is to drink more water and use an exfoliant to rid your skin of any accumulation of dead skin cells.


SPF 50. More than anything else, the sun wrinkles skin. If you drive a lot, the skin on your face nearest the side window when driving will show more damage than the other side. That is quite apart from the danger of the three main forms of skin cancer of which melanoma is the most dangerous. I’ve just had another Basal Cell Carcinoma removed from my scalp and I have a family history (mother and brother) of melanoma, so I get it. Which is why I am so proud of our latest skincare addition of an SPF 50 protective serum. Apply to clean skin, then top with your usual moisturisers and relax for the rest of the day - skin fully protected. 


Hyaluronic Acid. Best thing ever to hold moisture on the face. This substance occurs naturally in our bodies to keep our joints from seizing up from lack of moisture. Used as an ingredient in concentrated form in the best skin care (like LFF), hyaluronic acid will ensure that our older, thirstier skins are moisturised for twenty-four hours. Key products are our Hydration Hold Serum used with our day and night creams.


Vitamins. We all know that vitamins are A Good Thing. Without Vitamin C people get scurvy and their teeth fall out. Without Vitamin D, children get rickets and bow legs due to malformed bones. As we get older, vitamins can really help our skin counter the ways that female bodies are affected by the menopause. This is also about diet, but applying vitamin-enriched creams makes a huge difference to how good your skin looks.  Essential ingredients in good skin care are the B vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.


Retinol A. This, like hyaluronic acid, is another of those skin ‘holy grail’ products. The trouble is that a dosage of Retinol A that actually reduces the appearance of wrinkles can make your skin super sensitive to sun damage (we’re talking prescription strength here). So, chemists have been working hard to find a safe way to incorporate Retinol A into your daily moisturiser without the downsides, and I am happy to tell you that our moisturiser contains both a very effective and very safe version of this magic ingredient. 


Regime - Daily/Weekly/Monthly. Regime, ritual, call it what you will, but the habit of caring for your skin with daily, weekly and monthly routines will repay you a thousandfold as you age. I have never once fallen into bed without cleansing my face (maybe it helps that I have almost never imbibed any alcohol!). I have applied some form of moisturiser to my face every day since I was about fifteen, probably because I have also applied makeup every day for the past sixty years. I know that some of you will be quietly horrified by this (What Vanity! What a Waste of Time! What a Goody Two Shoes!) but I refuse to apologise because these rituals help me to feel happier and more confident as I get on with my busy life. 


I doubt that there is a woman in the world who would say no to younger looking skin. Many think that the way to achieve that is by invasive forms of cosmetic procedure. In my view (and I am happy for you to disagree) the end result isn’t a younger looking face but a kind of homogeneity in which all the women who have had ‘work’ done look eerily similar in the same rather weird way. 


And it’s really not necessary! Just love your mirror, love your older face with all its signs of a life well lived and, like anything that you love and treasure, really look after it in all the ways I have suggested.


Happy Easter Everyone.


Tricia x

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