Aging, Menopause, Skin, Skincare

Skin! 10 Ways To Start The Anti-Aging Process at Any Age


A post by freelance writer Elizabeth Rago:

It’s never too late to start the anti-aging process. From encouraging cell renewal to seeking out professionals to recommend skin care products, here are 10 tips to reviving the vibrant and youthful skin you were born with…

1. Exercise–Dinana Rodriguez of lists 5 ways working out can benefit your skin and besides boosting oxygen and unclogging the toxins in your pores, exercise eases stress making that natural happy glow shine.

2. Wear (SPF) protection–Exposure to the sun can happen any time you step outside, so choosing a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) and applying properly is key.

3. Be patient–If you are starting a new regimen, whether it isa change in diet or testing out new skin care, give your body some time to respond to the switch in routine. You are planting a seed of healthy goodness inside your body and while you can’t see the results yet, the benefits will bloom in time.

4. Lather Up–Keeping your skin hydrated is a key element to the anti-aging process. Supple skin reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

5. Control Yourself and Don’t Over-exfoliate–“It’s no coincidence that women often start to overdo it in terms of exfoliation at midlife,” said The International Dermal Institute’s Director of Global Education Annet King.“This is when the cell-turnover begins to slow, and the skin’s overall metabolism subtly declines. In response, many women may get a bit reckless, wanting to “amp up” the exfoliation.”

6. Protect Yourself From the Sun Even In Cold Temperatures– Use a tinted moisturizer with an SPF, even during cold months when it might appear that the sun is not strong enough to cause damage.

7. Encourage Cell Renewal– In your 20’s, your skin cells were full of cell turnover energy, busting out fresh new cells every 14 -25 days. But as we age, too many poor choices like all-nighters or the overuse of alcohol starts to catch up with us, not to mention what our skin is exposed to environmentally. New Beauty Editors suggest you stay away from sweets, “Sugar will boost inflammation’s damaging effects, but eating good fats and oils, like tuna, salmon, soybeans, tofu, olive oil and avocado, help regulate cell metabolism, boost cellular repair and suppress inflammation.”

8. Get Educated – “It’s so important to interview, consult and map out the facial conditions of your client, as a free service before any product purchase and certainly before any professional service,” Annet King impresses to students who are preparing to become licensed estheticians and professional skin therapists.

9. Eat healthy – We are bombarded with the message “eat healthy”, but it’s important to take into account your personal lifestyle. The Mayo Clinic’s approach to diet “aims to teach you how to choose healthy foods and portions and to develop healthy lifestyle habits so that you can maintain a healthy weight for life.”

10. Invest In Quality Skin Care, But Don’t Break The Bank– It is important to find out from a professional what kind of skin care products you should use, but natural health and wellness practitioner, Dr. Andrew Weil, disagrees that buying expensive products ensures healthy skin. In fact, he says, “The best ways to maintain skin health aren’t very glamorous and certainly aren’t overly costly: good nutrition, adequate intake of both water and essential fatty acids, and daily use of a good antioxidant multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.”


Elizabeth Rago is a freelance writer specializing in health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle content, working with yoga studios, chiropractors, mental health, and wellness practitioners. Elizabeth writes the weekly column, The Circular Home for Chicago Shopping (an editorial partner of the Chicago Tribune) and is Senior Editor of All Things Girl, highlighting topics related to the modern domestic woman. She has been published in Mamalode Magazine,, and  Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Google+.


Menopausal Beach Toes

Barbara on the Beach

Beach walker here.

Barefoot beach walker.

That is until three years ago when I noticed the sand wearing away the skin on the bottom of my toes.


Those poor toes returned from a beach walk looking like I’d run a marathon on oyster shells. What gives?

The thinning skin of menopause. (Although it took me a year or so to understand this was the culprit). When the estrogen diminishes, the skin suffers. You can read more about it here.


I now wear my clunky walking shoes when beach walking.

Fine on a fall day when you’re sporting shorts and a t-shirt.

But it’s not a great look with a flowy beach cover up.

And talk about a  nerd alert:  Someone shouts from their blanket, “Beach walk!” and you say, “Sure. Just as soon as I put on my socks and shoes.”

I should have appreciated my barefoot beach walks even more than I did in those glorious hours.

I never imagined the upcoming woes of menopausal beach toes.

But, thank heavens, my shoes, socks, toes, and I continue to enjoy wonderful walks very close to the surf.

Like so much else about aging, it’s all about figuring things out and adapting.

My goal: To leave footprints in the sand as long as I can.

What about you?  Any beach walk troubles?


Giveaway Winners!  Congrats to Stephanie, Lisa, and Susan who won Yay! Pie! magnets; Shelley who won the canvas print giveaway; and DIane, who won the Kegeling t-shirt. (Diane, we want to know if you’re brave enough to wear it!)

Photo:  Cliff snapped this photo on East Beach of Bald Head Island, one of my favorite places on Earth.

Aging, Menopause

Alligator Skin, Lovable Lyle, and a Giveaway!


I have a friend Gail just like Oprah has a friend Gayle.

Their names are spelled differently, but they are the same kind of friends.

They tell us stuff.

Stuff we might not know about life and getting older.

Gail said to me a while ago, “One of the things I hate most about aging is alligator skin.”

I had never even heard of alligator skin.

I had never even thought of my skin EVER resembling an alligator’s.

Later that day, my eyes caught a pattern on the side of my calf.

Something I hadn’t noticed before.

Alligator skin.


I did some research.

Not much info.

One blogger suggested: “Hydrate.”

Gail says lotion helps some, but it doesn’t make the alligator skin disappear.

I think she’s right.

Mine seems here to stay.

So I guess it’s time to embrace my patches of alligator skin.

Or perhaps it’s crocodile skin.

Bernard Waber, author of the wonderful picture books about Lyle the Crocodile, died on May 16.

In honor of Lyle, the world’s most gentile and gracious crocodile, the creative spirit of Bernard Waber, and our own Friend for the Ride menopausal aging skin, I’m giving away a copy of the Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile Storybook Treasury.

Storybook Treasury

Lyle is not the type to sit around and grump.

He tackles life with gusto.

Even when the chips are down, you seldom see him frown.

And he seems quite content in his crocodile skin.

I’m going to work hard to be content, too.

After all, alligator/crocodile skin makes us all a bit more like lovable Lyle. Lyle Giveaway:   To enter the giveaway, leave a comment by July 1 saying you’d like to be the winner.

Top Photo:  These charming alligators were created from recycled tires, which I found on the site Reclaim, Grow, Sustain: Leaning to Live a Life Sustainable. 

Giveaway Winner:  Congrats to Carol, who won the Care Organizer!  Thanks to Margaret Mintz for donating this innovative resource for keeping track of medical records.

Aging, Celebrations, Menopause

Let’s Talk Skin and Gravity!


A post from writer Meg Tipper:

So let’s talk gravity, skin and gravity.

I never used to think much about my skin except to notice a zit or to put on sun screen.

Perhaps a decade ago, in my early 50s, some strange extra-terrestrial presence began creeping over my body.  I was afraid to notice.

But one day, my nephew made its presence undeniable.

It was summer.  We were sitting on a couch together, face to face, with our legs extending towards each other.  He first just looked down at my legs.

Then he put both hands on my thighs, a few inches apart, and squeezed them together, causing my skin to look even more like corrugated cardboard.

Then he looked at me with horror and asked, “Aunt Gangy, what’s wrong with your skin?”

As my 50s wore on, it was not the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes or in my forehead that got my attention.  Wrinkles I expected, wrinkles people talked about.

What I was not prepared for was sag, the sheer force of gravity on skin:  the way my cheeks are falling onto my chin, the way my upper arms jiggle, the way my breasts are now resting comfortably on my stomach, the way my ass has no personality.

It is sad to feel my sexy body deflating right before my eyes.

This spring I will have the pleasure of walking down the aisle as the mother of the groom.

While I am over the moon happy for this wedding, being the mother of the groom is not what little girls dream of.

Perhaps in shock, definitely feeling a little rebellious, I allowed myself to be talked into buying a dress for the wedding which is low cut, sleeveless, and tight.

I was told I look “hot,” and who can resist believing that?

However, when I looked at myself in my hot dress in the cold light of a mirror at home, alone, all I saw was sag.

I have brought in the best sag-fighting artillery:  heavy upholstery in the way of a bra, uplift in the way of an impossibly tight and uncomfortable undergarment, which promises to eliminate any lines or bulges, but also makes me feel like I will be prevented from sitting or peeing during the wedding.

I stand in front of the mirror and try to find a way to hold myself, say, tucking my upper arms behind my shoulders; I search for a way to angle my face for the inevitable photos, so that can I swivel my neck around and hide the chicken skin.  Suddenly, I have a serious interest in moisturizer.

I know it’s crazy. I am an attractive, older woman.

I am 60: glorious, sexy sixty.

I’ll keep telling myself, and I’m sure, come springtime, in my hot dress, on a fabulous occasion, full of love and happiness, I will feel it!

Meg Tipper

Meg Tipper is retired after over thirty years as a teacher at almost all levels of education.  Her last teaching job was as an English teacher and Writing Center Director at Gilman School in Baltimore.  She has published articles, stories, poems, and personal essays and has been a regular contributor and columnist for  Meg lives in Catonsville , Maryland, with her partner, Jim Himel.  They travel frequently and work on their old home and garden.

Meg’s first book, Standing at the Edge: A Year of Days After Sudden Death  (Apprentice House, 2010) chronicles her journey after the sudden death of her 22 year old daughter, Maggie.  Her son, Stephen Feiss, teaches math at Mt. Mansfield Union and coaches soccer at Winooski High School, both outside Burlington, Vermont.

Standing at the Edge:   Proceeds from the sale of Standing at the Edge go to the Maggie Feiss Fund of the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF).  For more information, go to the Standing at the Edge website.  The book can be purchased at