The unexpected consequences age has had on my beauty shelf.

Thanks to our brand partner, Olay

You know when you look at old photos and you cringe and laugh and get nostalgic all at the same time?

That was me on the weekend.

I think you can see why below.

That trawl through the albums (I have actual printed photos) was the best thing I’ve done in weeks.  Because I might have had dewy cheeks and a firm neckline and an enviable absence of jowl back in my 20s, but I actually prefer the way I look now.

Anne in her 20s. Image: supplied.

Yes, I have a few wrinkles. I don’t so much ‘glow’ as occasionally ‘flush’. And yes, ‘dewy’ is a bit more ‘dullish’ these days. The sunspots haven’t made it to my face yet, but they’re there on the back of my hands, so I know it’s probably only a matter of time.


But I have a face I’m happy with. And I think it’s because I’ve taken good care of it.

I wonder if my mum could have said the same thing. The products in her skincare arsenal were, well, pretty basic. I remember a moisturiser (the same one used morning and night) and soap. And a pathological aversion to the sun.

Me? I have day and night creams. Eye cream. Serums. Exfoliators and toners. And I use them all. Because good-looking skin is the holy grail of every woman, and the skincare companies spending squillions of dollars in research aren’t doing it just for fun.

Lately, I’ve stepped my skincare up a notch because the good ship perimenopause has sailed into view. It’s had impacts I didn’t anticipate. I knew about flushes and mood swings. My partner has been on ‘sensitivity’ notice for months.

But what I wasn’t expecting was the changes to my skin.


"I wasn’t expecting was the changes to my skin." Image: iStock.

It’s drier. It’s less likely to bounce back after a night when I’ve agreed to a third glass of red. And it’s itchy (especially around my jawline). No one told me this might happen, so for a while I thought I’d developed some kind of allergy. My doctor told me different.

Just to be certain, I checked in with three of my closest friends (because what would a doctor know anyway?). Two of us are itching, but we’ve all noticed our smile lines are smiling long after we’ve stopped.

There’s a lot of research out there about the changes that happen in maturing skin. It pretty much all comes down to falling levels of oestrogen and collagen and everything that goes with that - slower cell turnover, thinning skin, hyperpigmentation (aka those sun spots), declining elasticity. It’s something most women will experience to some degree or another.

So what to do?

I’ve followed the simple rules – drinking more water and turning down the heat in the shower. One made me wee more and the other made me enjoy my showers less. I’m not one for fillers or lifts, and it’s way too soon to think about hormone therapy.


Time to rethink the potions cupboard.

It used to be so easy, but it's time to give my beauty shelf a little more thought. Image: iStock.

I was given three of the products in Olay’s Regenerist range to sample, the Overnight Miracle – the Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence, the Micro Sculpting Cream and the Micro Sculpting Night Cream. The full range encompasses cleansers, eye serums, UV Creams and more.

A lot of brain power has gone into this stuff. Put simply, Olay’s research has revealed that Vitamin B3 will speed up the renewal of surface cells and reduce wrinkles (give it to me NOW!!). And that olive extract has anti-oxidants that will help protect skin.


And that pro-collagen peptides will reduce wrinkles and firm up my jowl (well, not just my jowl, but that’s the bit I’m very keen to tackle). It’s all very science, but it promises to boost skin renewal by 60 per cent (that’s 20 million cells, but who’s counting?). Why wouldn’t I give it a go?

It’s not an exactly taxing routine. Pre-Essence on first, morning and night to prep my skin for a dose of anti-ageing goodies and boost their penetration. Day cream for the day. Night cream for the night, when DNA repair is more active. (Note: the night cream is deliberately light to allow the skin to breathe, but I Ioved it).

Four days later, my skin feels softer and plumper. The itching around my jawline has calmed down. And my face looks kind of brighter. When I told the same three friends I’d consulted on my ‘allergy’, I discovered two of them are already converts.

“Darl, seriously, it’s good,” said one. The other had a little rave about the night cream. I checked out reviews on a number of beauty sites, and they seemed to agree.

Olay products are already among the top-selling products in the world, with Forbes ranking it one of the top beauty brands globally. This range - which essentially makes maturing skin more responsive to anti-ageing ingredients – will only enhance its reputation for skincare that works without breaking the bank.

I don’t look like I did in those pics from when I’m 20.

But then, I never wanted to.

How have you updated your beauty shelf?