It is a long read but you can skim it and see if any tips you might like. Take what you like and leave the rest is my motto
By Jennifer Valoppi
As a child I loved to visit my very beautiful aunt who would beat egg whites into a froth, not for some glorious dessert, but for slathering on our faces. We would let the concoction stiffen and dry and when perfectly hardened into a crusty mask, rinse it off with warm water. My skin undoubtedly felt tighter and smoother and while my ten year old skin didn’t need any help, it made me feel glamorous and taught me to care about my skin at an early age.
Perhaps that why in all my years in television, interviewing hundreds of celebrities, politicians and regular people, whenever I run across people who look extraordinarily good for their age, I always asked their secret. And I’ve discovered they often share more in common than just good genes.
In the early 90’s, I had a hairdresser in New York who came to WWOR everyday to get me ready to anchor the news. Michael Huddle was well known in the NY television circles and Diane Sawyer was also among his regulars. He spent countless hours prepping celebrities for TV shows and magazine shoots and was always a pleasure to work with. One day after commenting on the beauty of an actress I had just interviewed Michael said, “Yeah, but she’s young and she’s not so pleasant. Just wait till her face catches up with her personality.” Michael believed that everyone’s personality eventually showed up on their face, and that all the Botox, fillers, and plastic surgery in the world couldn’t keep those unpleasant insides from eventually etching unpleasant expressions onto the face.
Perhaps that way so many celebrities who look truly wonderful, are avid meditators or yogis. Think Raquel Welch, Tommy Tune, and Jill St. John…all 70 (or almost) and all still looking amazing. Long before Botox – which wasn’t officially approved for cosmetic use until 2002, meditation was used to relax stubborn facial muscles and smooth out the creases. One day I interviewed the late Georgette Klinger at her Madison Avenue Spa and I commented on how she had no wrinkles on her forehead despite the fact she was well into her 70’s. “I tap my forehead whenever I think of it,” she said. “It helps you release the furrow in your brow and if you get into the habit, it will remind you all day to keep your forehead relaxed. The wrinkles come from the constant tension of your muscles.” Smart lady.
Twenty years ago, Connie Stevens, another fabulous almost 70 year old, told me to hang upside down for an anti-gravity facelift. That was around the time she was launching her product line, Forever Spring (www.foreverspring.com
), and what was then the revolutionary Time Machine, designed to exercise and tighten facial muscles. An extended product line, and a billion dollars in sales later, Connie still hangs upside down and she still looks fabulous. She suggests hanging over the side of your bed. She also still uses the Time Machine and she says her Forever Spring Ginseng Facial Feed is a miracle product that keeps her beautiful.
That doesn’t sound like an extraordinary claim today but just over a decade ago, the idea that a cream could actually improve wrinkles or reverse aging was completely scoffed at by the medical community. That was before Retin A helped launch an explosion of near miracle products.
One of the newest and most unique is a product that Gloria Estefan liked so much, she invested in the company and I have to say, the more I use it, the more amazed I am. It’s called CellGenesis Regenerative Skin Treatment by CellCeuticals (https://www.cellceuticalskincare.com
It’s made from the same substance that’s used to preserve human organs for transplant -- although you won’t find that fact in any of its promotional materials. It’s a night cream and while some people say they notice a difference in a couple of days, the product claims some improvement in a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks into use, I did notice a difference, but now over a month into using it and I’m really beginning to see results – and I mean big time results.
Like most people, one side of my face is slightly different and the marionette line more pronounced. My dear friend, Dr. Diane Walder, tells me that’s because I sleep on that side of face.
In any event, on the most pronounced side of my face, I’ve now noticed that the marionette line is going away – not completely but definitely diminished and I’m quite surprised. The other side wasn’t that noticeable to begin with. I was expecting a few lines around my eyes to go away, but not a full tightening of the face.
My friend Carole Seikly, who you can read more from below, was the first one to tell me about Cellceuticals and refered me to Gloria Estefan for more info. Since celebrities usually get the first crack at new and innovative products, I expected it to be good, but I didn’t expect such strong results. In fact I wasn’t even paying attention to the marionette lines, which I thought you could only get rid of with filler or surgery. It wasn’t until I looked in a particular mirror in my dressing room, under a particular lighting that always makes the lines look deeper, that I noticed the degree of the change.
I also love the history of the product. Despite the fact that they don’t publicize it as an organ transplant preserver, the fact that it is makes total sense to me and adds to the credibility of the product. Cellgenesis was apparently discovered when someone noticed that the people handling the organs were seeing great improvement in the skin on their hands. A Los Angeles plastic surgeon turned it into a face cream and developed a product line. I now use it every night.
My dear friend, who also happens to be my amazingly skilled dermatologist, Dr. Diane Walder of Bal Harbor, Florida also suggests everyone you some sort of a Retinoid at night, including over the counter versions, not just on your face, but on your body. Years ago, I had a celebrity friend in LA who once or twice a year used full strength Retin A on her face for 3 days and created a mini chemical peel.
Dr. Walder got me using TNS Recovery Cream by SkinMedica (www.skinmedica.com
), which I use everyday. TNS is actually a gel, as is CellGenesis, and not only does my skin feel immediately tighter after applying TNS, but there’s a big difference in the appearance of wrinkles. I use TNS is the daytime, and often don’t bother with anything other than an eye cream, although I’m told I should use some sort of antioxidant cream. I love the original formula La Mer face cream around my eyes, but I found it too heavy for my face.
The other can’t be without cream on a daily basis, is Strivectin Neck Cream (www.strivectin.com
) I’m convinced it tightens the jaw area and reduces any jowly appearance.
Another product I love is Prevage (www.prevage.com
). A long time ago I got into the habit of putting a dab of a new cream on a wrinkle on my wrist and applying it to my face from there. That way, if it did something to that one big wrist wrinkle, I knew the cream was working. Prevage, in my opinion, does wonders. I don’t care for the light diffusing sparkles but I still use it whenever I think of it.
I also recently started using a 40 year old cream invented by Miami Beach pharmacist Dr. Ben Grenald -- D’Lanerg Collagens Vitamin E Cream Moisturizer (that’s Grenald spelled backwards). Years ago I used it on sunburns with great results, but now it’s back in the front of my cosmetic’s drawer. I’m using it on my chest and under my eyes. And it smells like cherries.
There are so many wonderful products and techniques to try now days, but I always think back to Michael Huddle and his warning that your loves, fears, happiness and disappointments will eventually etch their way into your skin. But youthfulness is of course, not just about looking young. It’s about feeling youthful and carrying yourself with the kind of grace that only experience can teach. And we can learn equally from men.
As I watched Tommy Tune bounce and fly on the sand outside his Fire Island home I came to believe that dancing elevates the spirit and the face. Gregory Peck and Sidney Poitier showed me that great dignity is timeless. And of course, Frank Sinatra taught me it’s all about the attitude.
As the great beauty, Sophia Loren once said, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” Sophia Loren.
That said, behind every great beauty is a great beauty secret. Read on…
Products: Retin A is a must, alternating nights with Prevage. By day I use the Kate Sommerville line (an L.A based facialist to the stars). I LOVE face masks – and the SKII line has facial sheets that are amazing, and for the eyes to erase lines and puffiness.
Exercise: 6 -7 miles of fast walking every day plus working with a trainer for 80 minutes 3 days a week.
Philosophy: What you put in your body shows on your face. I believe in antioxidant fruits and vegetables, eating small meals every 3 hours, drinking 10 glasses of water a day and having a good attitude.
Secrets: Exfoliate to keep skin glowing and Nars chubby pencils for eyes. They have sparkles that are gorgeous for evening under your lower lashes.
Products: I started using CellCeuticals at Gloria Estefan’s recommendation and I noticed a difference in 2 weeks. I use Nivea on my body.
Exercise: Pilates 3x a week and trains 3 x a week for 1 ½ hours each day.
Philosophy: Eat healthy, take a little sun and have a weekly massage.
Secrets: Regular facials. I go to Tova for oxygen facials at Dr. Thomas Mehrel’s office in Miami Beach.
Products: Erno Laszlo Shake –It as foundation and Lancome SPF 15
Philosophy: Lots of bubbles and lots of laughter. Make a lot of plans while having a glass of champagne.
Secrets: In Venezuela I buy Beducen crème in a tube for diaper rash and use it on my face.
Products: The only things I’ve been consistent with for 20 years is a retinoid crème and sunscreen. I like Renova on my face chest and neck and SunReliable primer SPF 20 by Colorscience. I use Eucerin on the body.
Exercise: 3-4 times a week – 1 hour of body sculpting. I like group fitness at Equinox with Phillip gray, or the Pilates at Sanctuary. I also love golf.
Diet: Healthy, not a lot of red meat or junk. Lunch is my biggest meal of the day. I drink coffee every morning (it’s good for cellulite) and 1 to 2 liters of flat water a day.
Secret: 3 to 4 times a year – especially after new years – I do a three day juice fast to give the digestive system a rest.
Gloria Estefan – Recording Star
Secrets: CellCeuticals Regenerative Skin Treatment at night and Extreme Defense Anti-Cell Damage Skin Treatment in the daytime. In 2 days I noticed a difference under my eyes and in two weeks I really began to see a change. I love that it’s one product for the whole face and no separate eye creams. I also put it on the back of my hands and chest. My skin looks tighter, thicker and younger. I use the whole package including the scrub.
Other Products: I use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer instead of foundation and Lancome Photogenic Skin Illuminating concealer under the eyes. I also like Lipfusion lip plumpers.
Exercise: I do 5 days of cardio, either biking or elliptical, weights 2x a week and Pilates 3x a week. It’s crucial for my back and I can outlast anyone energy wise.
Diet: I eat carbs but not at night and try and stick with brown rice and quinoa. And I take lots of vitamins.
Tip: Small plates fool you into thinking you’re eating more. Interrupt eating with talking.
Philosophy: I’ve been working since I was 17. Now I take things easier. I don’t stress and I feel really good in my own skin. We have the power to heal ourselves. Our thoughts create reality. If I think I’m old I’m gonna get old.
Secrets: I started using D’lanerg Collagens - Vitamin E Cream Moisturizer on my face, neck and chest 3 months ago and everyone has commented on how great I look.
Philosophy: I like inexpensive bargain products. D’Langerg is $7.00 for the small jar. Think positive. If you feel young at heart you feel young everywhere.
Exercise: I walk, swim and play tennis
Note: D’Lanerg Collagens is available at Navarro’s. The company is working on an internet site.
Bambi Blum Attorney
Products: Retin A, Chanel Precision Ultra Correction Eye Cream and Neutogena SPF for day. Cle de Peau Refreshing Blancing Lotion and Foundation, MAC eyeshadow and Lancome Hypnose Mascara.
Exercise: Daily – alternating between lifting weights and a 2 mile walk.
Secrets: Drink 2 shot glasses of Acai juice per day.
Philosophy: Lots of love and laughter, lucky genes and, of course, a great dermatologist.
Dr. Diane Walder, MD Dermatologist
Products: My routine is always use a retinoid at night. My favorite is Tazorac. I use a growth factor (TNS) and an antioxidant in the day, followed by sunscreen in the morning. I usually use scrub once or twice a week, and have a light peel when I'm looking a little dull. Of course fillers and Botox help keep me looking fresh.
Secrets: Fraxel repair around the eyes gets rid of puffiness and crows feet in a week – It’ll have you looking like you’re 30.
Philosophy: A fabulous dermatologist, a great attitude, and a wonderful lover.
Note: Dr. Walder has a skin care line with therapeutic ingredients. Her favorite is a chemical free sun screen that won’t burn your eyes.
Check what you’re putting on your face, not all products are the same you need to have therapeutic levels and a way to get these things absorded into your skin. That’s what your doctor does.
Ann Barish, Film Producer
Products: I’ve never used soap on my face in my entire life. I use Pond’s cold cream, I change moisturizers frequently and I never put my face in the sun. In fact I put on moisturizer with 15 block and then put 30 sun block over it. I never wear make up in the day time other than lip gloss. I don’t use foundation, only concealer.
Diet : I take Emergen-C and calcium and I eat a lot of vegetables. I restrict my carbs and drink tons of water.
Philosophy: Stay out of the sun, drink lots of water and have the good luck to inherit your mom’s beautiful skin
Exercise: 2x a week I work out with weights or do aerobics. I also do yoga 2x a week and I love to golf. Secrets: I recently dyed my eyelashes darker
Connie Stevens, TV/Film star turned beauty mogul and film producer
Secrets: Younger men and hanging upside down to increase the blood flow to your face and head. Tip: you can hang over the side of the bed.
Best pick me up: Keep your hair looking spiffy.
Philosophy: Relax behind the aging process. The stress of worrying about aging will only give you more lines. Have a goal and meet new people.
Products: Forever Spring Time Machine and Ginseng Facial Feed.
Exercise: Exercise for the mind is just as important as for the body. Get into arguments, talk politics – have a debate. Think!
Philosophy: Be a nurturer and have nurturing people around you. Get dressed and get out – being with people is an elixir
Secret: A loving husband full of energy who pulls me along.
Exercise: I was a gym rat for 12 years then the aches and pains got in the way so now I do Pilates 2-3 times a week.
Diet: I always ate fruits and vegetables with complex carbohydrates and never ate much sugar. occasional vodka and wines
Secrets: I use YSL Matte Touch Primer over my make up instead of under. It’s like a finish. Frequent trips to the dermatologist.
Products: Sothys SKII Cleanser, essence and moisturizers.
Exercise: I work with a trainer 2 x a week lifting weights and get regular weekly massages.
Philosophy: Keep busy. I do a lot of charity work between Washington DC and Palm Beach.
Diet: I don’t eat a lot of fat, I use homeopathics for a variety of things and I take Omega 3.
Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light. —Helen Keller