In partnership with Clinique, AllBright speaks to a midlife coach and a Clinique education manager to learn how we can embrace the power of ageing while also living – and looking – as young as we feel inside.
We’ve all heard the expression ‘you’re only as old as you feel’ and it’s true that, while our bodies might age biologically with each year of our life, our mindsets don’t have to follow suit. There are so many incredible women living their best lives as they age that we can take inspiration from, such as businesswoman and influencer Iris Apfel, aged 100, who shares her personal motto with her two million followers on Instagram: “More is more and less is a bore”.
We all know that when it comes to ageing, more really is more – the one silver lining of the pandemic is that it’s taught us to appreciate the precious value of the privilege of ageing. And focusing on living our lives according to our subjective age – the age we feel – rather than our chronological age – the age we celebrated at our last birthday – not only makes us feel good, but also equips us with a whole plethora of health benefits. Research has shown that people who feel younger than their biological age also feel more psychologically resilient, perform better on memory tasks and are, typically, healthier overall.
Living life according to how young we feel is, naturally, helped by looking as young as we feel. Helping women to embrace their subjective age and live life to the fullest is something that trailblazing brand, Clinique, have long focused on as part of their mission to empower women across the globe.
Clinique launched the first ever dermatologist-developed skin care line back in 1968, and have remained committed to avoiding the use of any allergens, irritants or ingredients that could potentially harm the skin ever since. All of their products are simple, safe, effective, allergy tested and 100% fragrance free. This is also true of their new Clinique Smart Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum, a triple-threat formula engineered to outsmart wrinkles and fine lines from three different angles, visibly repairing, resurfacing and re-plumping skin, helping women to truly look as young and as vibrant as they feel.
To help us all embrace our subjective ages and glow from both the inside and out, AllBright spoke to an expert midlife coach and one of Clinique’s education managers, to hear their very best advice for embracing the philosophy that we really are only as old as we feel.
Midlife coach, Rebecca Perkins, began training to be a coach 14 years ago, at a time in her life that she describes as a “crossroads”.
“I was recently divorced and the first of my three children had left home for university,” she says. “Up until that point I had worked part time while my main focus was raising my children. I felt very fortunate to have been able to choose to be at home. I had always been interested in personal development and already had bookshelves filled with self help books. It seemed a natural progression to begin my training to be a coach when I had more time and headspace.”
Why did you decide to become a midlife coach and what does your role involve?
Focusing on working with women in midlife seemed the most natural fit for me once I'd qualified. I was going through a lot of change at the time. Divorce, selling our family home, my daughter had anorexia, one son had left home for university and my other son who was quite young was struggling with all that was happening around him. All of this was happening while I was setting up my business, and I appreciated how helpful working with a coach had been for me. I knew there must be a lot of women out there going through similar things, who felt isolated and just as confused as I had.
Midlife is such a time of change for so many women. Our roles are shifting and our bodies are changing. Many of us are looking for something ‘more’, but we don’t know what that is. I love having these conversations with women. I help them untangle what’s going on in their minds and help them refocus on what they truly want for this next phase of their lives.
What benefits has ageing brought to your life and career?
Oh my goodness, this is such a good question! In a word, EVERYTHING! We are raised in a society where we are made to fear ageing. Women especially often begin to feel invisible and as if they are redundant as they get older. This is so far from the truth. Ageing is a privilege in my opinion. How lucky am I to be approaching 60! Think of all those years of living I’ve got under my belt. Think of all the emotions I’ve felt, the difficulties and experiences I’ve had that can aid me on my life journey. One of the most powerful things I get to say to women when I’m working with them is, ‘yes, me too’. I've experienced so much of what they’re experiencing and that brings a deeper connection to our working relationship.
Maturity is listening to our inner mentor, our internal GPS and trusting that we know what's right for us. That’s a pretty cool superpower to have.
How can maturity work as our secret superpower?
I love this question! Maturity is absolutely our secret superpower because of all we’ve experienced up to this point in life. Maturity has taught me to not take life so seriously, to not care what others think of me, to be myself and be proud of all I’ve been through in life. It’s shown me just how resilient we all are.
There’s a wonderful exercise I often do with clients. I get them to imagine themselves at 80, to look back over their lives and ask themselves what words of wisdom they’d give to themselves right now. It’s beautiful to watch this happen. You know, it’s never going to be things like, ‘I wish I’d stayed longer in the office’, or ‘I'm glad I stuck with that relationship that exhausted me, I’m so happy I denied myself pizza, it’s a good job I listened to all those opinions and never went for that dream job’. Right? Maturity is listening to our inner mentor, our internal GPS and trusting that we know what's right for us. That’s a pretty cool superpower to have.
It’s said that we’re only as old as we feel. How can we embrace maturity while still feeling energised and young at heart?
A couple of years after I was divorced I bumped into a friend that I hadn’t seen during that time. She said she barely recognised me because I looked years younger and so alive. I thanked her and laughed as I walked away. Why was that? I realised that age was simply a state of mind. I had been carrying my unhappiness heavily and clearly, visibly. I think that once we realise and fully accept that we age and that this is a good thing, we can get on with adding more joy and fun into our lives.
Once we let go of the crazy expectations society puts on us to stay young, we are then free to enjoy life and to pursue things that bring us joy and fulfilment. We can decide to spend time with others who help us feel energised and young at heart. I think mentors are good for us, both those older and younger than ourselves. I love that l have friends who are both decades older and younger than me; it’s so enriching for my life.
Have you changed your beauty routine in midlife?
This is an interesting question. The answer is yes. I used to wear a lot more makeup than I do now. Ten or even 20 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt of leaving the house without at least mascara, blush and lipstick on, even to the supermarket! Now, at 58, I rarely wear makeup and feel absolutely fine about it. I look after my skin much more simply these days. Good products, and always a daily SPF5O on my face, in both summer and winter. I also wonder whether for me there was something about wearing makeup as a mask to hide behind. Maybe now that I’m much more comfortable in my skin I don't need it for that reason, but instead choose to wear it when I want to.
What advice do you have for women who want to embrace the ageing process and truly thrive?
It all begins with accepting that we’re ageing. It’s what happens to all of us if we’re lucky. When we focus less on the outside world’s demands and expectations of us then we can focus on what makes us truly thrive. We then get to enjoy life in our bodies, and we see more love and less fear. We can ask ourselves, ‘how do I want to live? How do I want to be?’ And the thing is that when we are living from this place of thriving we find that it’s infectious! Others want the same too.
Katrina Blount started working in cosmetics at the age of 17, at a time when she thought “the more makeup I wore the better I looked and skincare was a secondary after thought!” She adds that, “this is now completely reversed and skincare is my life”.
Continuing with the story of her career progression, she says that she “worked on the counter for Clinique in my hometown and it was, and still is, my dream job! Over the years I have held different positions within the brand that have led me to the fantastic role I have now.
“I started out as a Clinique consultant then became a counter manager and then a business manager after having a baby. After working as a business manager for five years, I was promoted to being an area sales and education manager for the south. Through this, I learned that my passion lies in education, which led me to my position now – I’ve worked as omni retail education manager for the UK & Ireland for the last 3 years. My main role is to guide and educate the Clinique consultants and field force on delivering a simply amazing experience to everyone. This could be through product training, in-store coaching, live demonstrations, hosting seminars and, more recently, through social media.”
How do you believe skincare affects how we feel about ourselves?
This question is actually really close to my heart, as I’ve always believed that if you look good, you feel good. Skincare can be life changing. I suffered from blemishes as a child and I did what all teens do… I covered them up under layers upon layers of makeup. Then one day, while working at Clinique, my counter manager introduced me to the world of the 3-step skincare system. It was a game changer!
Using the right products to clear, brighten, and even your skin can not only make you feel better, but I also believe that having a routine helps to give you a bit of ‘me time’ in your busy day. Even the three minutes it takes for you to wash your face and massage in your moisturiser can help you to relax. Plus, we all know how a good skin day makes us beam from ear to ear! I’ve also seen first-hand as a consultant the confidence boost that clients get from visit to visit, once they get the right routine and see the results. They walk in with their heads held high and a smile on their face.
How should our approach to skincare and the products we use change as we get older?
At Clinique, we recommend that everyone have a seasonal skin check. This gives you the opportunity to check in on your skin and see what needs to be added or removed. Your skin is constantly changing and so should your skincare. In your 20s and 30s the basic skincare routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising is fine; if that’s all you have time for, great.
As we age, we need to be smarter with our product selection, and choose multi-use products. I say, seek out the new innovations, and have a conversation with yourself about what you want out of your skincare now – because it will have changed. As you age, your skin starts to thin, you produce less collagen and elastin, and your cell turnover slows down. So you want to make sure you help maintain healthy skin by introducing active ingredients such as Retinoids, one of the key ingredients in our new Smart Clinical Repair Serum. In addition, you need Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid and, of course, mounds and mounds of SPF.
At Clinique, we don’t put age brackets on our skincare; it’s all about the goal... Our main aim at Clinique is to create great skin, not younger skin. Great skincare can really help us to be happy and comfortable in our own skin.
How can skincare help us to embrace the ageing process and welcome maturity with open arms?
I’m a firm believer that age isn’t something to consider when looking for skincare. At Clinique, we don’t put age brackets on our skincare; it’s all about the goal. Your goals will change as you age, but your skincare doesn’t have to include anti-ageing products if you’re in your 50s or 60s, if that’s not part of your goal. Our main aim at Clinique is to create great skin, not younger skin. Great skincare can really help us to be happy and comfortable in our own skin.
What products do you recommend we use to achieve a youthful, glowing look, no matter our age?
My go-to product to provide immediately glowing skin is the Moisture Surge 100hr Auto Replenishing Hydrator. It is the perfect addition to anyone’s skincare routine, no matter what skin type or age you are. This gel cream is packed full of Hyaluronic Acid – just press it into your skin and it will provide an instant glow.
Another product I can’t live without is the Fresh Pressed Booster Pure Vitamin C 10%. The innovation in this product is insane, and the great thing about it is that you can slip it into any routine. Just add two drops into your moisturiser to provide an immediate glow, and over time this booster will help to brighten, re-texturise and even the skin tone. What’s not to love?
The final product that I would say is a game changer is the Clarifying Lotion. This magical lotion is a mild liquid exfoliator that helps to remove dead skin cells, revealing the brighter, fresher skin underneath. The key ingredient is Salicylic Acid, a BHA that helps to speed up cell turnover.
What other tips and advice do you have for women to look as young as they feel?
Take time to pamper your skin! Why not give yourself a treat night? Plus, you are never too old to start using SPF – I think it’s something we don’t always think of, but it’s important all year round. Think of your skin like you do your body; feed it and exercise it, and it will thank you for it!
Click here to enjoy a limited-time special offer on Clinique Smart Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum 30ml, RRP £55 but currently priced at £40