The Fit Woman’s Dilemma
43-year old Jennifer Lopez (posing above for Vogue) reportedly works her butt off to keep her body tight after having twins. But she also takes good care of her skin with luxe products to fend off something called the old face/young body contradiction.
It’s a condition seen on many older fit women, particularly on runners: a toned body due to years of pavement-pounding cardio and dieting, but a face that looks gaunt and wrinkled. It’s an ugly truth many active women face by the time they hit 40: working out hard for many years can do a number on your face. Skincare experts have dubbed it the “runners” face.
Why does this happen?
When you lose weight, the face is the first place that shows it. The fat pads under the eyes go first, then the fatty areas around the smile and chin weaken, and lastly the cheeks. Volume in these facial areas are the hallmarks of youth. While all this facial fat loss is happening, gravity kicks in and weaken the collagen fibers that allow skin to stretch and spring back. A drooping lower face is common in runners. “As we age, we lose volume in the mid face, resulting in more heaviness in the lower face and neck,” says our medical advisor Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue in Toronto. Celebrity example: avid jogger Madonna, age 54. Hello jowls!
How to beat it
First of all, don’t stop exercising. Research proves that sweating it out regularly keeps your heart healthy and brain sharp. Studies also suggest that you can look about seven years younger by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and practicing smart skincare habits. Need help with the latter? Here are some skin-saving tips to keep your face as fit as your body:
- At-home, use quality anti-aging products that contain retinol, a form of vitamin A naturally found in the body that fights the appearance of wrinkles and skin crepiness, thereby helping reduce the signs of aging. And get into the habit of daily exfoliating. Our medical advisor, Dr. Lisa Kellett, is huge on using a gel-based exfoliator for its hydrating properties, as mature skin can lack moisture.
- Seek professional help at a skin clinic with non-invasive rejuvenation treatments for natural-looking, lasting results. For example, Botox or Xeomin can help smooth out the vertical lines between the brows, which can make you look tense. Diamond peels (microdermabrasion) and Foto Facials helps fade brown and red spots, rosacea and spider veins and improves the overall look of mature skin.
- If you’re in your 50s and living a fit lifestyle, you may be starting to see static wrinkles. “Before it was only when you frowned, but now you have wrinkles at rest. There is aging of the hands, neck and chest, where the skin is more delicate,” explains Dr. Kellett. “That’s when we use the ProFractional treatment, a laser that burns off wrinkles.”
Need inspiration? Meet Kim!
43-year old Kim Leto-Dolan is a mother of one and has graced the cover of a fitness magazine every month in 2011. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Leto-Dolan is a fitness industry darling and is regarded as one of the most beautiful mature models in the biz. Never an athlete growing up, Leto-Dolan didn’t begin getting in the best shape of her life until her mid thirties. She has since competed in fitness competitions where she is required to do perform one-arm push-ups. She has dedicated her career to fighting childhood obesity by blending her passion for motherhood with fitness, using her popular blog to inspire women worldwide. In addition to crediting regular exercise and clean eating for her youthful figure, she says that her devotion to smart skincare is also paramount. Here’s the skinY on how she successfully wards off the old face/young body problem.
Skin type: Normal, with a slightly oily T-zone
Q: How do you keep your face looking so young?
I’ve been faithful to a good skincare regime since I was 18! It includes consistent exfoliation with my Clarisonic brush and a good microdermabrasion scrub followed by moisturizing with Nia 24 Skin Strengthening complex. I also moisturize my neck and chest with sunscreen and moisturizers.
Q: Your eyes always pop in photos. What do you use on them?
Q: Any skin concerns?
Being part Latin, I suffer from hyperpigmentation. These dark spots or blotches taught me quickly that I could not put my face in direct sunlight. Hydroquinone and Retin-A have completely gotten rid of any discoloration in my face. These two active ingredients have made an amazing difference in the way I’ve aged. I use Obagi Clear 4% hydroquinone cream and Retin A 0.025% and 0.050% every other day.
Q: You’re very skin-savvy. Where did you learn about skincare?
One of my first jobs was working for Lancôme so working in the industry very young got me interested in it. When I was 13, I was already using a gentle buff puff with a face wash and Lancome Progress Eye creme.
Q: Do you get regular treatments done at a spa or skin clinic?
Every six weeks, I get microdermabrasion. My next in-clinic venture will be peels. I do my own facials weekly using masks for purifying and moisturizing, depending on the need and time of year, scrubs, and massage.
Q: What are your thoughts on …
Makeup: Never sleep with it on.
Sun protection: SPF is not always enough. The only way I’ve been able to completely get rid of hyperpigmentation is to have a physical block in addition to sunscreen. I do wear sunscreen, but I also wear a big hat and dark sunglasses.
Botox and fillers: If you can change something that you really don’t like, do it. No judgment here. I have not used fillers, but I have tried Botox.
Plastic surgery: It is a personal decision, and I don’t believe in judging anyone for their decision to have it or not have it. I nursed my daughter for 16 months, so having breast augmentation was something I really wanted to do. I could train my body and eat clean, but there wasn’t anything I could do to change my chest. It was very frustrating.
Q: What do you want your daughter to know about beauty?
Beauty comes from the inside, and there is nothing more beautiful than being happy and confident.