Sunday, February 11, 2018

Forever Young.... Or Not.


RHYS BOWEN: So I’m currently in Scottsdale, home of more spas than any place in the universe. Every woman in Scottsdale wants to look young forever and doesn’t care what she has to do to achieve that effect.


I too would like to look young forever but the big difference is that I’m a coward. I do not enjoy getting hurt. I’d never have been enticed into Fifty Shades of Grey! So I am quietly searching for some kind of treatment that lifts, tightens and beautifies my face without any pain.

Does this exist, do you ask? I’ve done a bit of research.

First there is the FACELIFT where a surgeon literally peels back your skin (and yes, this is a true use of the word literally) and pulls it up and staples it to the top of your head. Uh, no thank you. And what if it went wrong and my eyebrows were somewhere around my hair line? And my lips were up my nostrils?

Okay so less invasive. Heat treatment, maybe? Thermage or similar. Your skin is exposed to heat and tightens and makes new collagen. That sounds all right. I like being warm. Then I read the reviews. One woman had to take enormous amounts of Valium, pain killers and rated the pain 5 on a scale of one to five. Maybe also not for me.

So I’m checking out the micro-needling. In this a roller full of tiny sharp spikes like a miniature medieval torture instrument is run over your face and neck. The first review I read the woman cried and yelled. Need I say more.


My dermatologist suggested blue light therapy to improve skin condition. You sit under a blue light for twenty minutes. That sounds easy enough. The only downside is that you have to drive home hidden under a heavy cloth and remain in a darkened room for days.If one stray sunbeam catches you you will continue to burn and pee. That sounds so inviting!

Then there are the injections, fillers, Botox. They will take away my frown lines, are relatively painless BUT they last a few months. And then they have to be repeated, and repeated and who knows how good it is for your system to have several gallons of Botox floating around.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to stay the way I am, unless someone can tell me about a brilliant procedure they’ve just had that was painless and made them look like Cindy Crawford, only better. If the procedure made you look like Melania Trump, please don’t bother!


39 comments:

  1. Goodness . . . I have absolutely no desire to be sliced, heated, needled, blue-lighted, injected, or to partake of any other such torturous treatment just to look a bit younger.
    I don’t know of any miracle treatment that will achieve younger-looking skin without any of the afore-mentioned procedures, so I believe I shall happily stay just the way I am . . .

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  2. I'm with you. So many of the procedures are scarier than looking older. And the results often do look worse than aging gracefully.

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  3. You are lovely just the way you are, Rhys. And I'm with you on the pain avoidance. I look in the mirror and see my mother's sagging neck, but hey, I'm not twenty any more, and don't want to be. Let's hear it for aging gracefully, as Mark puts it.

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    1. Edith, you always look beautiful every time I see you at mystery conferences.

      Diana

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  4. I agree with Edith and Mark. You are lovely, Rhys, and older women in general, if they take care of themselves and allow themselves to age naturally, have an innate beauty that grows out of the time they've spent in the world and the wisdom they've gained. That, a good smile, and a hearty laugh, will go far to make you radiant, no matter your age. Also, those Scottsdale women might try staying out of the sun and moisturizing a lot.

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    1. when I visited Arizona, I noticed some women had very dry skin. It did not matter how old they were.

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  5. Joan, Mark, Edith, Gigi, and I so agree. When I was about 50, I looked up from brushing my teeth and saw Grammy in the mirror. That was 20 some years ago Grammy has morphed into her daughter, my mother, and now that reflection is almost always me. My 41/2 year old granddaughter is fascinated by my wrinkles, my saggy skin, how they look, how they feel. The other night she asked, “Will I look like you?” My answer (aloud) “I hope you live to be as old as I am” and (silently) “and that you have a little girl who you love and who loves you back”. It is quite lovely to be the age you are.

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    1. I bet you, your Mom and Granny were all beautiful! I remember complaining about my "fat" legs and I inherited them from my Grandmother. And she was a leg model! My legs were never fat in the first place.

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  6. I fall in the camp of aging naturally, and you look lovely, Rhys, just the way you are. I think if other women want to endure the pain, then go for it. But I also think that, even if done skillfully, these women tend to look like caricatures of younger women--like Dolly Parton, for example. I love Dolly's music, her smarts, her laugh--her willingness to make fun of herself--but her 'youth' does not look natural. My goal is to try to stay fit, stay as healthy as I can, and not worry about the rest!

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  7. I'm all for aging naturally. I'm too much of a wimp (and allergic to too much stuff) to do anything else. For those bothered by ageing try this: tell everyone you are older than you really are. People will tell you how wonderful you look for your age! LOL

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    1. good idea to say you are older than you are. LOL

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  8. You're too funny Rhys and I agree with the others--you look marvelous and we consider you a role model. I love all the comments here--I look in the mirror and see my father's droopy eyes and square face and on and on. Luckily I adored him LOL! I have a friend who went to have a facelift and unfortunately the result is unnaturally tight and almost scary. So age on Reds! Keep eating well and get what exercise you can and do what you love with people you love. xox

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    1. agreed about eating well and exercising.

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  9. Rhys, as everyone else said, you are beautiful, inside and out. Being happy, and laughing, do as much to keep anyone beautiful as any invasive and unnatural surgery. And when you giggle in your irrepressive way, you reveal the girl you have always been.

    Beyond that, I drink lots of water and moisturize, but my mother's family is blessed with good skin, maybe from either the Hungarian (think of the Gabor sisters) or the French sides. I'm lucky to have inherited the tendency to have nice skin, at least where it is seen the most.

    Elisabeth brings up a good point about resembling one's relatives. I have three daughters, and aside from trying to give them an example of aging as gracefully as possible, I think they deserve to see what "old" means to our family. They all resemble me in some way, and I'd like them to have as much expectation of what aging looks like as I did from my own mother and grandmothers. So many who get the lifts, tucks, and blowups all look exactly the same. Not necessarily human, either. I feel bad for the actresses who fell for the promise of eternal youth, and who are no longer working because of it, while women like Dame Judy Dench, Helen Mirren, and Meryl Streep are still acting, and playing women their own age.

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  10. i'm with you, Rhys, hold the knife, hold the needles. But really, you are a model for how to gl-older... glamorously get older. For myself, I'd like an ENERGY lift.

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  11. All my friends have said such nice things about me... I can only think that vision blurs slightly as we age. I see the wrinkles and sags! I do wear moisturizer and sunscreen these days but for years in my youth I was in a pool in the California sunshine with my Celtic skin. At least my daughters now know, and my red haired Irish granddaughters were long sleeved shirts to swim!

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    1. Rhys, why was I surprised by your post? It never occurred to me that you would think about this. I noticed that athletic women look beautiful without any plastic surgery (unless they were injured in an accident and needed reconstructive surgery). You always look beautiful. If you still lived in England, I wonder if this would be an issue? A friend from Norway, who looks like the Crown Princess Marit Mette, was living in the USA and she mentioned to me that she needed to lose weight. I told her that perhaps she has been living in the USA too long. When I visited Norway, people looked like her and they looked healthy. When she mentioned her weight, she was about to move back to Norway.

      I remember that you are athletic.

      Always wear sunscreen because I have fair skin and I burn easily.

      Happy Valentine's Day!

      Diana

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  12. After having a little something removed from my eyelid last fall, I have a droopy one. At least it is droopier than the opposite lid. And it is interfering with my vision enough that I ten to close that eye when reading.

    SOOOO, I have plans for a lid lift this year. I have watched them before and know exactly what is involved, which I won't share with you, because you really don't need to know.

    As far as the rest of the sags and bags, I'm good with those. I earned every wrinkle.

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    1. Before you have the lid lift, please check out the person doing the surgery. I did my homework before I had my cochlear implant surgery.

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  13. Oh I see my mother in the mirror every day! Sometimes it’s so surprising—and sometimes reassuring. I certainly am thrilled with my surgically corrected vision though—and that only is available with age. Whew: I can finally see!
    Elisabeth—that is so lovely!

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  14. I actually witnessed a facelift when I worked for the Discovery Channel. Fainted three times. Actually saw the doctor's hand INSIDE the woman's face. Never never never.

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  15. My derm doc suggested the blue light therapy for me because it kills precancerous cancer cells, but the burned, scabby and peeling skin was a turn off. I wish I could get a good nights sleep every night that would make me feel so much younger.

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  16. Rhys, you look fabulous and you are our role model. I would hate it if you did anything to change your lovely face.

    I, however, am probably going to need that eyelid tuck (as did my mom, although she never managed to do it) or my eyes are going to disappear. Lately, I've been saying, "Why are my eyes closed in every picture?" Well, looking more closely, they're not. My eyelids are just drooping. If it starts to interfere with my reading (and writing) I may really have to consider it. Ouch.

    What I wonder is when we stopped thinking older faces were beautiful? I've always loved portraits and photos of older people. Lately, I've been watching Jamie Oliver's Superfoods series, where he goes to the places where people live the longest and learns about their diet and lifestyle. The first thing I think when I see these people in their nineties or hundreds is how beautiful they are! Age distills you, I think, so that if you laugh and love and are creative and passionate, it is reflected in your face.

    In the meantime, I moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

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    1. Agreed about Rhys. Debs, you always look beautiful. Yes, moisturizing helps. And sunscreen.

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  17. Rhys, you look fine!

    A few years ago nearly all the women at work said they wished they could have cosmetic surgery. I was startled. They were surprised when I said I would never do anything like that. "Not even if insurance covered all of it?" I was asked. The answer is still no! I agree that I have earned the lines, etc.

    I mostly resemble relatives on my dad's side of the family, especially around the eyes and nose. As I age, I see my mom's face in the mirror with certain facial expressions. I think it's interesting how that has happened. Now I wonder if my arms will end up like my grandmother's (my mom's mother), very wrinkly with saggy flesh near the wrists. I thought it was wonderful! She would laugh as I stroked her arms and smoothed out her skin. She was a most wonderful grandmother and I would be happy to have her saggy skin!

    DebRo

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    1. that's so sweet about your Grandmother Deb! I've never heard anyone say they'd be happy to have saggy skin:)

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  18. I think that the way you are is lovely Rhys and that you should continue to age naturally.
    I went to an exhibition of pictures of women presenting them young and old and it was fabulous how their older version was luminous and beautiful.
    As for me, I'll stay simple and natural.

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  19. I miss Michael Jackson. Whenever I hear it I dance.

    "I'm looking at the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways. ... And no message, could have been any clearer: If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change."

    I am all for people doing whatever it takes to feel better about themselves. But pondering Michael's story, I think perhaps he could have done better without so much looking in the mirror.

    Not so long ago, I attended the wedding of the son of a good friend of mine. That evening when I returned home, I was looking on Facebook and someone had posted a wedding picture. Well, upon following the link, I found that the wedding photographer had posted all the raw images on line. I came to one which I didn't recognize. It was the side view of an older man, somewhat distinguished and both the paunch of affluence and a double chin. It took me at least 20 seconds to realize it was me.

    I've since lost 20 pounds and I now sport a beard which makes me look a bit older but hides the double chin.

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    1. David, I LOVE the story about the wedding photo. Similarly, a few years ago I started wondering where that picture of my mom was taken -- only to realize it was me. It took some adjustment. But a few years later my mom passed, and I was glad I had come to terms with looking so much like her.

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  21. I’ve squinted for so many years that the two vertical lines between my eyes resemble a place to park your bike. Before my 50th class reunion, vanity got the better of me and I had a Botox injection. Not painful at all, and voila, no more bike rack! Six squint-free months, lovely! Alas, I knew it was a one-time remedy and I’m back to relying on quality skin care products to maintain my less than youthful glow.
    Now I’m more concerned with how young I feel than how youthful I look (although I’m not quite ready to give up coloring my hair). Like Gail, I long for a good night’s sleep.

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  22. I think it's so important that women proudly proclaim their ages and make the best decision for themselves regarding intervention. I'm with you, Rhys; I don't like pain and can't imagine choosing elective surgery! But it's a personal decision. I do think an important step in appreciating the aging process is letting it happen in the first place! That said, I'm a huge believer in sunscreen!

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  23. Ah, yes, Scottsdale is much like Beverly Hills. I see the moms of some of the boys' friends and I can not figure out why they think looking made out of plastic is better than a few wrinkles. I can't even manage to get my hair cut regularly, so I have to embrace my gray and my wrinkles because I'd never be able to maintain any sort of treatment regimen. I remember watching a special about the former Bond girls on Spike TV - this was years ago. Two of them stuck in my mind -- Ursula Andress because "Holy Guacamole!" put down the Botox and back away. In her desperate bid to cling to her youth, she looked terrifying! The other was Honor Blackman, who embraced getting older and let her hair go white and the wrinkles come in but had a spectacular twinkle in her eye as she laughed about being a Bond girl. I watched them and thought about which woman I would rather be in my golden years and it was Honor Blackman hands down!

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  24. I have a close friend who is a plastic surgeon, and perhaps because of that, I have given this a lot of thought. Personally, I have no desire to get anything done. With the one little caveat that if my eyelids continue to droop at their current pace, there could come a day when I consider that. But I've listened to Anne, my friend, talk about her work, and I try not to judge others for making a different choice than me. (Anne's most memorable comment, in my mind, is this: After a good face lift, no one asks if you had a facelift. They ask if you're just back from a vacation, because you look so well rested.)

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  25. Rhys, you are a beautiful woman, and although your face and appearance are beautiful, it's so much more than that. You radiate a warmth towards others and a contentment with yourself that translates into a beauty of being, of just being who you are.

    I like to think that we are finally arriving at a point where older women are still considered a vibrant part of society, and that looking older doesn't mean being without purpose. So much is done by older women now that we are getting harder to ignore.

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  26. Every year lived is an achievement, why hide it? A story reference to face lines that showed past happiness prompted one of my students to say, "You have those lines, Ms. Garrett," and I thanked him . . .
    With you on the avoidance of pain as well. I had a bit of necessary plastic surgery after Mohs removal of a basal cell near my mouth. The pain while healing was enough to banish any thoughts of vanity surgery -- and the cost! Surely we have more pressing needs than hiding years. Show your own, genuine, beautiful self. <3

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  27. Dame Diana Rigg is still glorious and does not hide her sags and wrinkles. She looks like herself, not a strange creation of surgery and potion.

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