Forget fancy facials, costly cosmeceuticals and going under knife and needle in the pursuit of beauty. In their book, The Beauty Prescription, dermatologist Dr Debra Luftman and psychiatrist Dr Eva Ritvo have come up with a complete formula for looking and feeling beautiful – inside and out - without the pain of procedures or the hefty price tags. It’s one prescribed dose of gorgeousness that’s not available at your GP so grab a pen and paper and start taking notes for a healthy, glowing year ahead!
NEW YEAR REMEDY
Forget unrealistic resolutions that you leave you cursing before you've reached mid-January. Instead, pour your good intentions into revamping your beauty regime. “It's the perfect time for what we call ‘New Year, new you’”, say Luftman and Ritvo. “It's a wake-up call for looking at everything you're doing, from cosmetics to exercise.” Here’s how to get started:
1.) Give your cosmetics cupboard an overhaul. According to the authors, old or rarely-used products are “a breeding ground for bacteria” and can lead to all sorts of skin complaints and infections. Save your skin by going through your beauty bag and getting rid of anything that’s been sitting around for a few months. It’s also important to wash your make-up brushes and sponges every few weeks.
2.) If your skin tends to be tired, dull, or looks red or flaky, it could be that the products you’re using aren’t right for you. Give your face a fresh start by identifying your skin type and finding a regime that works with, not against it. You can also apply this to your make-up essentials. “Talk to a colour stylist or make-up consultant and find out which colours in cosmetics are best for you,” suggest Luftman and Ritvo.
3.) Keep on top of things. We’re often so busy we tend to forget about the little things that are vital for good health. “Check your diary. Have you been to see your doctor, dentist and beauty therapist lately?” they ask. If the answer is ‘no’ it’s time to push that ‘I’ll- do-it-when-I-get-round-to-it’ appointment to the top of your priority list.
CREDIT CRUNCH CURES
Thanks to the credit crunch, you may have had to forgo that miracle (and let’s be honest, immodestly pricey) moisturiser to pay your mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your entire beauty budget. Here, Luftman and Ritvo show you how to look and feel gorgeous in a cost-effective (and sometimes completely costless!) way:
:: Good beauty products don't have to be expensive. Supermarket brands are affordable, accessible and – most importantly – as equally effective as those found at department store cosmetic counters. Remember, it's the ingredients that count, not the packaging.
:: When it comes to skin care, keep it simple. You don't need 10-plus products to achieve beautiful skin. An exfoliating cleanser, an SPF moisturiser, and a therapeutic night cream will do the job just as well.
:: Look no further than your kitchen for free beauty products. Oats work wonders on sensitive skin, chilled green tea bags make great eye de-puffers, and for a youthful, pink-tinted pout, lightly scrub your lips with a mixture of granular sugar and cherry jam.
:: Caffeine dehydrates your skin so curb your coffee habit and instead of spending $10 a day at Starbucks, rather deposit it in a 'beauty piggy bank' and save up for a special beauty treatment or product.
:: Smile and slick on some bright lipstick. A smile with a splash of colour is like a welcome sign for people to feel attracted to your beauty.
:: Women tend to underestimate their beauty by 20%. Give yourself an instant ‘beauty boost’ with a dose of self-confidence by looking in the mirror and realising that others see you as more attractive than you see yourself.
:: Exercise your way to a beautiful you. Not only is it free, but if you do just 20-30 minutes of exercise, five days a week, endorphins will be released resulting in glowing skin, improved muscle tone, and a better sense of self-confidence.
LONG TERM TREATMENT
Ok, so your beauty prescription has survived the silly season and the credit crunch cutbacks, but can it survive the test of time? Life’s challenges can take their toll and “lead to constant stress that strains your beauty in many ways,” Luftman and Ritvo warn. Instead of throwing away all your hard work the minute times get tough, they suggest focusing on the following:
:: Work on your inner beauty by learning to manage stress and become the most serene, positive, unstoppable person you can.
:: Learn to meditate, do yoga or find other practices that calm the mind and reduce stress.
:: Take time out from your hectic lifestyle for the beauty treats that make you smile.
:: Turn your home into a spa for the day and switch off the computer and telephone.
The Beauty Prescription, by Debra Luftman and Eva Ritvo, RRP$34.95, is available from McGraw Hill. See www.thebeautyprescription.com for more details.
TRIED & TESTED
According to a survey marking the launch of RoC Retin-Ox Wrinkle Filler, when asked if they would like to look younger, 70% of women agreed they would. But don’t let ageing angst get you down. Instead, magic tell-tale lines and worries away with an instant wrinkle filler. We put three to the disappearing-act test:
The product: MD Formulations Wrinkle Filler & Deep Crease Relaxer, $80.00
Our verdict: Fab if you're too scared to try Botox. This lightweight cream can be applied on easily, and erases fine lines and wrinkles instantly.
The product: Olay Definity Eye Illuminating Treatment, $39.99
Our verdict: Tired eyes? This serum illuminates, smoothes fine lines and will strengthen the delicate skin around your peepers.
The product: Tri-Aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler, $69.00
Our verdict: The ‘polyfilla’ of face creams minus the uncomfortable thickness, this silky, odourless cream achieves good longer-term results.