Monday, March 05, 2007

Beauty Buzz

No one believes me when I tell them my real age. Honestly, why would I lie and say I’m older than I am? I guess it’s because I don’t have any wrinkles yet (and Patzy the wonder-stylist takes care of the grays.) But it’s really because of good skin care since my teen days.

When I was a little kid, my mother got me on a skin care regiment every day of washing, cleansing and moisturizing. It was this stuff called Vanda Beauty Counselor, but it worked. She told me that it was never too early to pay close attention to your skin, take care of it and prevent against aging and wrinkling.

Your skin is technically the biggest organ in (on) our bodies. It needs care and feeding and moisture and love. It’s tough, yet sensitive. Elastic and supple.

Of course, no amount of washing and cleansing can halt genetics, but you can certainly help fight time and Mother Nature by taking care of your skin at a young age. I had the typical teen bout with acne and hating my skin. There was no such thing as Pro-Activ back then with an 80’s-version of Lindsay Lohan or Jessica Simpson pushing the products at you.

At twenty-five, at the mall, I discovered the world of Clinique and their 3-step system. (And no, this isn’t a commercial for Clinique, although I am the poster child for them.) I took the skin test and these were the results:

We have determined that you are a Skin Type II, meaning your skin is not too oily, not too dry, with some sheen in the T-zone, and dryness around the eyes. On your very fair skin tone a little colour goes a long way. When choosing lip, cheek, and eye makeups, begin with paler tones or transparent formulas.

Well...sure...that makes a lot of sense. Thus, began my love affair with Clinique and the path to “freezing” my face at a younger place in time. I begin every morning with a gentle liquid facial soap in the shower, followed by a scrub. Then, I moisturize from my forehead to the base of my throat. I use Moisture Surge for Eyes to reduce puffiness. Then, at night, I wash off my makeup with a gentle soap and then use Turnaround Cream and thicker, more intense eye cream before I go to bed. This routine won’t necessarily work for everyone, but it shows the importance of establishing a routine.

I have a scene in the first book of my Sorority Series where one of my heroines is horrified that she has a huge zit on her forehead and another heroine takes are of her, stepping in with her skin care products and talking about the importance of washing, toning and moisturizing. What? I can “preach” a little bit in my books, can’t I?

Here are some secrets I’ve learned over the years and things you can do for your skin:

  1. I’m not one to think we should stay out of the sun. I think a nice, healthy tan or glow is good for our skin. However, ALWAYS use good, strong sunscreens when you’re in the sun and moisturize your skin when you come in.

  2. Try not to smoke. If you smoke a lot when you’re young, you run the risk of lines around your mouth that will not go away no matter how much you moisturize.

  3. When you wash or moisturize, stretch your face out by opening your mouth wide. This allows your products to get into the skin really well and by stretching, you’re exercising the muscles of your face.
  4. Be gentle with your eyes. The skin around our eyes is very sensitive and delicate. Treat it with care. Don’t rub a lot and use a gentle eye makeup remover or merely warm water.

  5. Water. Water. And more water. Our skin is thirsty and water is an excellent thing to give it on a daily basis. Doctors recommend eight (8) eight ounce glasses of water a day.
  6. 6. Find a product line your skin (and budget) loves and stick to it. I love Clinique, but there are many other awesome skin product lines out there like Lancome, Almay, Cover Girl, Origins, Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Prescriptives, etc. Or go to Sephora and explore many other brands. Treat yourself to a makeover and consultation to make sure you’re getting the products that are best for you.

7. Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise and try not to stress out. Frowning and squinting and other facial ticks due to stress, an unhealthy diet and lack of sleep will only lead to wrinkles.

8. Wash your face every morning and every night. Don’t just buy the products, but use them.

9. Use “clean” makeup. Don’t let makeup get old and caked and crusted. Use fresh sponges. Cosmetics only last about 6-10 months, so make sure you’re putting good things on your face. Know the ingredients and avoid too much alcohol on the skin or over-oily products.

10. Wear sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses, even on a not-too-bright day will decrease squinting and keep the lines around your eyes to a minimal. Sunglasses are cheap and expendable...your skin isn’t.

I hope these skin care tips have been helpful to you! Like I said, I’m no expert, but these are the things that have worked for me over the years. What has worked for you? Any beauty buzz secrets? Any “miracle” products? Share your regiment with us.

Marley = )
Sorority Rush Begins – Spring 2008!
Puffin Books


TinaFerraro said...

Marley, what an informative and interesting post! And good for you for a lifetime of good skin care, and thanks for sharing it with us.

I have one thing to add that might also bring good results. There are facial exercises you can do while watching TV or driving or whatever that help keep up muscle tone...and experts say it is never too early to start. Anyone who is interested could undoubtedly find lists of them on the Internet.


stephhale said...

I have to admit I'm not the best about caring for my skin. Most nights I go to bed with my makeup still on, I know, the horror!
I'm trying to get better though as I've recently discovered some sun spots that I hate.
I love Clinique's total turnaround creme, I couldn't live without it, especially during the winter when my face gets dry.

Anonymous said...

thoze r cool sunglasses

Anonymous said...


When I was a teenager, I had pretty bad skin, which played a huge role in wrecking my self-esteem. This was back in the day of tetracycline and greasy suntan lotion, so it was a vicious cycle of take pills, be extra sun-sensitive and use greasy suntan lotion, get more zits. I'm so glad we have better products nowadays.

Wendy, who was once told, "Wow, you're pretty hot in the dark." Seriously.

stephhale said...

OMG, Wendy! That's horrible. But just think of all that old teen angst you can channel into your novels!

Marley Gibson said...

Oh man, Wendy! I know what you're talking about. After my chemotherapy at age 15, my skin was horrible. It was partially due to the medication, but I just hated how I looked. Back then, the creams and stuff they had just dried your skin out totally!

And I believe she HAS channeled some of this into her book that's coming out this fall! = )

Anonymous said...

Mar and Steph,

Yes, I think I did channel some of that into my book. Only I'm still waiting to turn into a beautiful Siren, haha.

I told my husband about what that guy said and now he uses it from time to time, just to be funny. So while I was devastated at the time, now it's just a big joke.


GeminiWisdom said...

For a while, I was using Oil of Olay because my mother uses it. Still does. She's 62, but doesn't look a day over 40. Now, I use the Vitmain E line (toner, cleanser, moisturizer) from The Body Shop. And I drink LOTS of water. In fact, it's my favorite drink: H20 on the rocks. Not shaken. Not stirred.

I'm 35 (36 in June) and I still get, "So, you're what, like, 21?" Why, yes. Yes I am.

Heather Davis said...

Great post, Marley.

It is soooo important to take care of yourself and your skin! I use a natural Rachel Perry system (what can I say, my mom's a hippie) and I always, always wear the sunglasses. I have a pair of "Holly Go Lightly" ones I don daily. Better for your eyes and people think you're famous...


Me said...

Great post! I'm awful about skincare, too, Steph. But if I don't cleanse, tone, and moisturize at least once a day may skin just starts to feel gross. So, my personal cure (for the moment anyway) is ProActiv. It dries out my oily skin (and now that I'm in Vegas I need to extra-moisturize my dry areas), sloughs off dead cells, and keeps me motivated to do it twice a day--I've got a shipment coming in a month, so I have to use all this up.

My mom (who is 61 and looks about 45) has kept the identical routine since, like, high school. Pond's cold cream. She slathers it on then wipes it off (hence both cleansing and moisturizing). If my skin weren't so oily in parts, I'd do that too.