Beauty at every age: Top tips at 62
TEST OF TIME
Michelle Villett asked asked five women to reveal their diet, skin-care and exercise habits—and then got the world’s top anti-aging docs to weigh in.
HELEN MARA, 62
“I don’t have a problem with getting older—my attitude is ‘Bring it on!’” says Mara. “When my mother was my age, she looked like a grandmother, but I don’t think I do.” No wonder she models part-time with the Ben Barry Agency in Toronto. Although she personally has no plans to go under the knife (or needle), Mara says, “I think if it makes you feel better, go for it.”
“I had osteopenia, but I’ve brought up my bone density [by eating more] calcium and exercising.” Breakfast is cereal, fruit, green or herbal tea, and cheese, while lunch is soup or salad with half a chicken or fish sandwich. Occasionally, Mara snacks on almonds or pretzels. For dinner, she has salad, chicken, pasta, steamed vegetables and a glass of wine. She also takes a multivitamin, omega-3 oil, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, Celebrex (a prescription arthritis medication) and Lipitor (a prescription cholesterol medication).
HER SKIN-CARE REGIMEN
Clinique Liquid Facial Soap, 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula, Clarifying Lotion and Even Better Skin Tone Corrector; Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub; Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum and M.A.C Fast Response Eye Cream. Her main concern is pigmentation on her neck. “I don’t have a lot of wrinkles. I do try and wear sunscreen, but I don’t always remember to.”
“I’ve got high energy. Things aren’t always perfect, but I’m pretty happy—you get to a point where you think, “It’s too late in life to be worrying about stuff.” I do charity work, and it puts [what I have] in perspective.” Going back to church has also added a spiritual dimension to her life. Mara gets seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
HER EXERCISE ROUTINE
“I walk outside for one to two hours a day. I also swim, garden, do gentle stretching, [and lift] free weights for my upper arms—and I just joined a yoga class. I try to go on one holiday a year that’s physical.” Past trips involved horseback riding, hiking, camping and canoeing. “I always have a little bit of back pain [from a sciatic nerve disorder], but the more I do, the less it’s there.”
WHAT THE DOCTORS SAY
“Helen has a good exercise regimen and a good energy level, and her stress level is pretty low,” says Dr. Perricone. “Her main concerns should be that she’s getting enough protein, drinking enough water and following a good daily vitamin regimen.” Since her diet is already well balanced, Dr. Weil says she can ditch the multivitamin while Dr. Perricone recommends adding a glucosamine supplement to help lubricate her joints and ease joint pain. Natural anti-inflammatory agents like turmeric, along with acupuncture or massage therapy, could also help her arthritis. Dr. Weil recommends taking the antioxidant CoQ10. “Statin drugs [like Lipitor] are very effective at lowering high cholesterol levels, but they interfere with the body’s production of this compound, which appears to be important for heart health.”
Since she spends so much time outside, “purchasing a dual facial moisturizer and body lotion with built-in SPF will make it easier for Helen to remember her daily sunscreen,” says Dr. Murad. “She should also wear protective gear like wide-brim hats, sunglasses and long-sleeved shirts.” Besides avoiding the sun, a topical product with vitamin C or hydroquinone will help gradually lighten the darker areas of skin on Mara’s neck.
Genuine Health Multi+ Daily Bone Builder tablets ($20, at Drugstores); Marcelle Revival Regeneration Firming + Brightening Cream Serum ($56, at drugstores); Avon Anew Platinum Day Cream SPF 25 ($45, avon.ca)