BEAUTY SECRETS: Australian women's faces are ageing faster than those of women in the UK, the US and Canada.
BEAUTY SECRETS: Australian women's faces are ageing faster than those of women in the UK, the US and Canada. Wavebreakmedia Ltd

Top beauty tips for the mature woman

LISTENING to an interview on Radio National with Fran Kelly and a Dr. Greg Goodman, dermatologist, associate professor, Monash University and chief of surgery, Skin and Cancer Foundation, would have made many an Aussie woman perk up and listen closely.

According to Dr. Goodman, a team of international scientists has found that Australian women's faces are ageing faster than those of women in the UK, the US and Canada.

The study of more than 4,000 women from around the world found moderate to severe signs of ageing 20 years earlier in Australian women compared to women in other countries.

This is not good news even though Australian women have long been aware of the sun's damage to the skin.

Dr. Goodman stressed that skin-care and skin protection from a very young age is one way to help prevent this premature ageing.

One of Australia's most respected beauty columnists, Stephanie Darling, is also one of the country's loudest advocates when it comes to anti-ageing and agrees wholeheartedly that the consistent use of sunscreen is essential for everyone, no matter the age.

Stephanie has spent her entire career chasing beauty in her work at some of the world's biggest and most luxurious magazines and interviewed countless celebrities.

She has even compared cosmetic surgery with Jane Fonda and discussed pelvic floor exercises with Dam Edna.

In her book, Secrets of a Beauty Queen, Stephanie shares some of the tips she has learnt trialling every new product that hits the market.

"I am a big believer in sunscreen," she said. "We look 10 years older than our European sisters, living in this crazy climate.

"Whether we are talking about a toddler or a 100 year old, sunscreen is a must.

"It should be used on the face, neck, décolletage and back of hands.

"I know people say 'not that message again' but it is the one beauty tip that will help everyone appear younger. That and a smile. That sounds corny but it is not.

"The greatest beauty accessory is a simple smile and it lifts your mood."

While good regimented skin care is an essential beauty tool, Stephanie says it is not necessary to spend a fortune on a jar of moisturiser just because it looks beautiful or bears a big brand name.

"Find a counter person (in the department store) that you can trust, who is good," she said.

"Companies come out with amazing moisturisers and some of these products work but others don't.

"Some women find Sorbolene amazing or Neutrogena excellent, which are brands available in supermarkets. As long as it has SPF 50 plus in it that is the key."

Stephanie admits that most beauty advice is aimed at women 50 and younger and many advisors seem to forget that women are still interested in beauty and glamour in their 60s and 70s and going into their 80s and even 90s.

"There is that awful thing of invisibility (for older women) that a lot of people don't address," she said.

"Look at Jane Fonda at 74, an amazing actor and celebrity and very beautiful. I think women get more beautiful as they age and become more powerful, wiser. I try and address my beauty column to include every age."

Secrets of a Beauty Queen by Stephanie Darling is published by Penguin. It's RRP is $34.95.

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