The Simple Things...

Sometimes it is the simplest things that can make a huge difference in our appearance! A smile for example can take ten years off your face, and when people are happy, they look their best.  Look at brides and first time mothers – whether all glammed up in a gown, or sleep deprived in pajamas, they both look beautiful.  When I'm laughing with my granddaughter I know it doesn't matter how much make-up I have on, or what I am wearing.  This of course doesn't change the graying hair or wrinkles, but the right attitude in our approach to getting older can be huge.

As I am about to celebrate my 58th birthday, I recognize more than ever how much I have changed!  I certainly didn't appreciate my 20's like I should have.  When I look in the mirror, that is not my 20 year old self staring back.

So our first official segment will focus on the face.  There are so many changes it goes through - dry skin, wrinkles, thinning eyebrows, thinning lips (try fullips!) and so many more!

This particular section is in regards to forehead wrinkles.  These may not be an issue for everyone, but I personally felt they really aged me.  I considered going the bangs route, but I have never been able to wear them.  And even then, if your hair begins to thin the wrinkles still show through.  So many years ago, when a much younger friend began going in for Botox injections, I was curious how they worked.  She explained that paralyzing the muscles helped to prevent any forehead movement allowing the wrinkles to relax.  Well, not being too crazy about needles or side effects, or for that matter keeping up with appointments, I decided to just train myself to prevent the movement that causes the wrinkles in the first place. This may seem kind of crazy, but stay with me here.

On many occasions, people have asked me if I've had Botox injections.  I have not, and it is because of this awareness--which keep in mind also happens to be free and easy to do at home.  It does take some practice and a little patience, but it is worth a try and has worked for me.

I'm naturally a very animated speaker, both with my face and hands, and I know this had caused the forehead lines, but I have realized that I can still get my point across without doing it.  So the first step is to figure out when you make them, both across the top of your forehead, and at the brow line.

The easiest one to recognize, and stop, is furrowing the brow.  It is usually made when we’re squinting, concerned, or angry.  The wrinkles in this area also make us look like an angrier person in general.  Additionally, if you’re a side sleeper, sometimes these lines get deeper at night if your pillow pushes your face into that position and then stays that way all night.  This is a problem for me because I prefer sleeping on my face and side, neither of which is good if you’re concerned about face wrinkles.  So I’m also trying to get myself to sleep on my back as it's really the best position to ease the wrinkles on our face.  Also, if you use moisturizer on your face at night, your pillow does a pretty good job at wiping it off.  So if you can sleep on your back with no health issues, your face will likely look much better in the morning.

Now for the horizontal lines, there are a couple of things you can do.  The first is to become aware of when you express yourself by raising your eyebrows.

First, try chatting on your cell phone in front of a mirror while watching yourself talk.  It’s pretty easy to see which expressions, or even phrases, make you raise your eyebrows.  I know it sounds silly, but you might be surprised.  Once you identify it, you can still use your words and your voice to express that same emotion, without raising your eyebrows.  After a short while you will notice those forehead lines softening.

Another great way to be able to “feel’ when you are making those raised eyebrow expressions is to use a facial mask when you are home and it’s convenient.  I like to use the clay kind, but choose one of course that is beneficial to your skin.  Once it dries, pay attention to the forehead and eyebrow expressions that cause it to feel as if it may crack. In the same way we often try to keep our faces from cracking while having a mask on, use this to train yourself.

Once you are aware of making the facial expressions that cause the wrinkles, it will become easier to stop doing it and in a short period of time, the lines will soften and hopefully go away completely, depending how deep they are.  And if you use a moisturizer, continue to use it, maybe a little more than usual, to really help soften them.

Lastly, as a side note, I don’t personally feel it’s a good idea to completely stop using any of our muscles.  The beauty of erasing forehead wrinkles, without doing anything permanent, is you can, and should, raise your eyebrows from time to time to keep those muscles strong.

And the most important thing about not permanently losing the ability is every so often you might just get a piece of news so wonderful that it really calls for full facial expressions, raised eyebrows and all.  Like what you might wonder?  Well in my case, it’s when my 2 year old granddaughter shares that she has used the big girl potty…now that is worth being able to raise my eyebrows. ;)