The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Melanie's "beauty secrets"
I got into another Online discussion about beauty tips. Now that I'm 48 and still fairly well preserved, I feel somewhat qualified to answer this question. I view with skepticism, any "beauty column" written by anyone under the age of 40. Unless you've dealt with getting older (without resorting to plastic surgery,) you don't really know what you're talking about, in my opinion.

So, for what it's worth - here are my "beauty secrets" for men and women:

Oxygen - your body craves it! If you smoke, please stop. Everyone that I know who has quit - has done it cold turkey. Do deep breathing exercises a few times every day. You'll be surprised at how much it energises you. I am always energised after a gig. Singing oxygenates your blood and brain.

Stay hydrated. Stick to zero calorie drinks whenever possible (water, herbal teas). Try to get your daily caloric intake from food - not soft drinks, fruit juice, fancy coffees or "energy" drinks. There is a low nutrition:calorie ratio with high calorie drinks. Meal substitute shakes are not "drinks."

Get enough sleep. Get a bare minimum 7 hrs sleep at night. I function best on 8 - 9 hours.

Be kind to your skin. Don't use soap on your face. Wash with warm water and a cloth to exfoliate. Use a sun block every day - even if you work in an office. You won't accidentally "forget" when you get into this habit and don't have to think about it every day.

Banish wrinkles. I use Stri-Vectin (warning: it's not cheap). It has been clinically shown to be as effective as Botox after two months' continual use, for eradicating wrinkles. If you can't afford Stri-Vectin, creams with fruit acid have been shown to work, although they will irritate your skin to begin with.

Moisturise your hair. If you have dry, frizz-prone hair like mine, use a couple of drops of sweet almond oil distributed through your hair, before blow or air-drying. Unless you have very oily hair, you don't need to shampoo every day. I shampoo every two - to - three days. I expect to cut down to once or twice a week as I get older.

For beautiful nails, a folic acid supplement daily will make your nails tougher and less prone to splitting and chipping.

Smooth scars out of your life. Mederma is like a miracle (you can order online.)

Maintain a healthy weight. We all over-indulge from time to time, but there are ways to nip the bad effects. • If you can walk it - leave the car at home. I know it's tough unless you live in a city or village neighborhood, but if you can leave the car at home, do so. You'll also save on your fuel bill. • Keep chitosan on hand for when you know you'll have a fatty meal, and take two capsules about a half an hour before you indulge. (Chitosan is NOT for people who are allergic to seafood!) My weakness is pizza and ice cream - so I'll take a couple of chitosan capsules before I eat. Chitosan is a fat blocker. • Drink a cup of green tea twice a day. Green tea boosts your metabolism. It's one of the few "natural" things you can do that has been proven to help weight loss. • Stay active. Remember, if you don't use it, you'll lose it. I've got inflammatory arthritis, but I still go out dancing and walk everywhere and will for as long as I can.

Don't stress! Stress will age you. Maintain a healthy, positive attitude. Don't do things that you know will cause you stress down the road, like have unprotected sex, hook up with someone who needs "fixing," or over-borrow and max out your credit card. An ounce of prevention is good for a stress-free life. Think for the long-term. If you hate your job, what's to stop you from looking around for something better? And remember to smile. It improves your face value!

Believe in something outside of yourself - call it The Force, God, or Nature - whatever you're comfortable with. You can't solve all problems. Have a place you can lay your problems for a while.

Be a beautiful person on the inside - a lot of that will show on the outside. Remember, dogs and babies can tell a "good" person from a "bad" one.

And remember - although it might not always seem obvious, someone out there loves you.

Addendum: I forgot about teeth! Good dental health is a must. See your dentist regularly. I go at least once a year for an exam and a cleaning. A great smile is one of your best assets. If you suffer from staining, try out some of those bleaches you can get in the dental care aisle of the grocery store. They really do work. Use a soft bristled brush so that you don't brush your gums away, and brush three times a day. And floss before you go to bed (you won't have really bad morning breath, either, if you floss.)
posted by Melanie O. at 9:51 AM -
  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Feel free to add your tips here and I'll add them to the blog. :)


  • At 9:12 AM, Blogger Kanani said…

    I LOVE your "48 and well preserved." I 'm sure anyone who meets you would agree, but it's your spirit that's just the best. By the way, Kevin McKenzie is going to guest blog too. Feel free to post whatever you want over on my blog. I've written the intro which will go up today.

  • At 9:14 AM, Blogger Kanani said…

    Beauty tip:
    Wear rubber gloves while cleaning or washing dishes.

  • At 9:46 AM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    I'll second the rubber gloves!

  • At 4:07 PM, Blogger Mabs said…

    You are not 48.

  • At 8:56 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    I am, mabs. I am. (The secret's out!)

  • At 1:06 PM, Blogger Mabs said…

    I refuse to believe you!

    Cocktails somewhere in Sydney Friday 1st Feb - BE THERE!

  • At 8:08 AM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    OK. :) Sounds great!

  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    My friends are on their 70s...and have trouble with dry skin. The solution was to not wash every day with soap. Sweat washes away with just plain water. Oily secretions needs soap and water, but glands have pretty much shut down at our ages. A quick rinse off does a good job of keeping us social acceptable. Soap is needed only on those places that are "dark, warm and moist." ..selective washing, you could say.
    I learned to rinse off in the tub with warm water. A few drops of an oil in the water keeps my skin from drying out.

  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger Anthony said…

    I love these health and beauty tips! I think being healthy, treating your body as your temple, and taking care of yourself as best as you can makes one beautiful. I also know that self-love, self-appreciation, and self-respect are beautiful. I would also like to suggest brushing your teeth with baking soda; it gets them nice, shiney and white, and it neutralizes bad breath, too! Also, a lukewarm or room tempeature rinse of green tea or chamomile is also good for your hair and gives it a nice shine. You can also use it as a spritz during the day to moisten your skin. Lavender water and rose water are also good for these purposes.

  • At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Donald said…

    I'm an American. There is no avoiding stress these days. Unless I take up drinking....but I like my liver.

  • At 12:43 AM, Blogger Kanani said…

    Oh... water.... I drink loads of water each day.
    And in the morning, I get up and put saline eye drops in....moistener, so that I don't rub my eyes so much during the day!

  • At 7:23 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Don - that is so true - it's very difficult to avoid stress, especially when it comes to making a living, paying the bills, and trying to get ahead. I think this is where having a well developed sense of humor and the ability to see "the big picture" need to come in.

    I have come to see life like a game of chess. You have to be able to think ahead several moves to avoid setting yourself up for a pitfall. Unfortunately, I am a long ways away from being a chess grand master. ;-)

  • At 12:05 AM, Blogger Julia said…

    Hi beautiful. I can't believe you are 48, not that the number matters, but you look simply amazing. You have a wonderful energy and that always shines through.

    And like others, I believe an inner peace and happiness, and a positive, pro-active spirit is the best beauty secret.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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