Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Posts Tagged ‘facial acupuncture

Why am I looking so “youthful”?

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I had dinner with a dear friend last night. Although she’s the same age as me, she doesn’t seem as traumatised by the aging process as I am. To be fair, she’s very pretty (as I was told by my own DD) and shows hardly any signs of age on her porcelain complexion – so why should she be worried?

I, on the other hand, have been throwing a never-ending barrage of stuff at my increasingly saggy, baggy, sun-damaged and wine-ravaged face and, last night, my friend, who is largely unaware of the majority of my slightly pathetic anti-aging efforts, greeted me with the memorable sentence: “You’re looking very youthful tonight.” (I think there may have been a question mark, but maybe I imagined it. Maybe it was actually an exclamation mark of surprise.)

If they told me pigeon poo would take 5 years off, I'd try it.

So what is it that did the trick, I wondered, as we pondered the menu?

a)      Five sessions of anti-aging facial acupuncture? Definitely there’s less puffiness after that, but “youthfulness”? Not sure.

b)      The fact that we’re on school holidays and I’ve been waking up at least half an hour later than usual and lingering in bed with my coffee and Ideal Home magazine? Quite possible.

c)       The way I applied my blusher last night under my cheekbones instead of on the apples of my cheeks? Maybe?

d)      My slightly darker hair dye? (No longer the 25-year-old beach blonde.)

e)      My new supermarket face cream? For the past two years my precious and ridiculously priced Rodial cosmetics have been the things I would save first in a fire (after the children and DH, of course). But, since January, they’ve been impossible to get hold of in Dubai so I picked up a bog-standard £10 moisturiser in the supermarket – L’Oreal Derma Genesis, to be precise – and, I can barely bear to admit this, but [whispers] I think it’s better than the Rodial.

As I sipped my first glass of Malbec under the golden glow of the fairy lights at the golf club last night and bit into a deep-fried jalapeno, my mum, visiting from the UK,  hit on the real reason for my youthful look.

“It’s just the lighting, isn’t it?” she asked. “It’s very flattering out here tonight.”

Mothers, eh?

Written by mrsdubai

April 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm

How to get rid of “mum face”

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Victoria Beckham suffers from, according to the Daily Mail, “mum face”.

And, by that, they don’t mean the kind, care-worn face of a loving parent, but a knackered one, aka dark circles under her eyes, grey skin and a gaunt look.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels a flicker of sympathy, especially when I look in the mirror myself. Admittedly, I don’t jet around the world with four kids in tow, run a fashion empire and keep a fit footballer interested – but I do drive around Dubai (hundreds of kms a day sometimes), write a blog, work part-time, keep a gorgeous husband interested and do an awful lot of cooking (which I’m sure La Becks does not).

Anyway the dear Daily Mail went on to suggest how to “banish mum face” using products, treatments and diet (obviously for VB, the answer is to eat more chips, stop taking transatlantic flights like we do taxis, and use birth control from now on).

But I feel I should tell you how I’ve been combating “mum face” myself in the last few weeks. There has been some improvement in the “crumpled” look I have in the mornings, a definite reduction in eye puffiness, and increased radiance.

The question is, which action has been the most effective?

1)      Facial acupuncture – I’ve now completed four appointments. While I’m beginning to hate being pricked with 30 needles once a week, I do enjoy the extra nap-time and I think the acupuncture is responsible for the new lack of puffiness around my eyes, as well as the added radiance due to better circulation. My Chinese doctor asked if I’d seen any “lifting”. I didn’t think I had. But maybe it’s subtle.

2)      Not drinking water late at night – It was always my “thing” to drink buckets of water before bed, to dilute all the Sauvignon, natch, and prevent a hang-over. But the lovely Chinese doctor explained that drinking a litre of water before bed was probably contributing to my eye puffiness as the kidneys can’t deal with all the liquid while you’re asleep so it gathers in places most likely to be spotted by Daily Mail paps. I stopped drinking loads of water at night. I don’t have puffy eyes in the morning anymore.

3)      Taking Perfectil vitamins – They’re supposed to give you good skin, hair and nails. I’m a great believer in working from the inside out, but I keep forgetting to “take with main meal”. I do wonder if “take with large glass of wine” achieves the same result.

4)      Changing my blusher – It’s Bobbi Brown who got me onto this. As a girl who’d used a brown-toned blusher for years, it was a revelation to me how much younger a pink-toned blusher will make you look. I made that change about eight years ago. This month, I switched to an even more pink-toned blusher. I got lots of positive comments along the lines of, “You look amazing. Have you changed your hair?” and “Wow, you look really well.” Heh, heh.

I do suspect, though, that the best thing I can do for anti-aging is to give up wine. And, my dears, I can tell you now, that’s not going to happen. How pink-toned do you think a blusher can get?

Switch from sludgy pink to brighter pink on the apples of your cheeks. It'll take off 10 years.

Facial acupuncture – why would you (not)?

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I’ve never been one to be too fussed by the eternal quest for youth – wrinkles, I believe, will come no matter what – but, since turning 40, I have to admit I’ve started to notice small changes in the texture and tone of my skin. A little sagginess, to be precise. A little dullness. Some unfortunate crumpling in the morning.

And, for a girl who thinks she’s still 25, it’s a bit disconcerting. My mumhas old skin – not me (she’ll kill me for saying that, so I’ll just add, that she actually has amazing skin for her age. “Just soap and water, dear, and a bit of goo from Avon.”)

Facial acupuncture - not as ouchy as it looks, as long as you don't move


Over the years that I worked as editor of a woman’s magazine, I tried creams, lotions and serums from every major and minor beauty house. I tried cutting-edge creams featuring scientific breakthroughs; organic herbal creams; creams that utilised the sound of potted whale music; ones that gave you electric shocks; and ones that had to be wiped on gently with the fur of a female rabbit under a full moon to the sound of violin music to reach their full potential.

Some have been okay; others most definitely not worth selling a kidney to buy but, again, none of them will do as much for you as will a good cosmetic procedure.

I have nothing against Botox and fillers, but I’m reluctant to go that route purely because I don’t think the results are as precise as customers may like to believe. Let’s face it: We’ve all seen faces in Dubai that show the evidence of Botox gone ever-so-slightly wrong. Yes, I mean you, Mrs I-Can’t-Smile. And you, Mrs Droopy Brow. And you, Mrs Lopsided.

So this year, as the facial crumpling started to last beyond 10am, I tried a couple of non-invasive treatments (infra-red skin-tightening to boost collagen – don’t bother). Today was the turn of facial acupuncture.

I’ve had medical acupuncture before, with major success, so I knew what to expect. I’d also read a little on the internet about it. Apparently, a course of 4-5 weeks can be as effective in lifting and rejuvenating the face as Botox, but without the poison and paralysis bit, and with the added bonus of increased circulation which leads to the holy grails of G.L.O.W. and R.A.D.I.A.N.C.E.

Sounds good, yeah?

So, after a consultation (“How much do you drink, Mrs Dubai?” “Three glasses a night, doctor.” “What? Water?” “No. Sauvignon.”) the lovely doctor explained he was going to work as well on detoxing my body and boosting circulation as there was no point in working only on the face (it’s a “holistic” treatment, natch).

“Will I be able to see a difference after today?” I asked eagerly.

“Yes,” he said. “Some people notice their skin is very shiny.”

Great – an hour of needles and I get a shiny face.

So the good doctor slid 14 needles into my face (only a little ouch-y on two) and then 14 into my body and left me alone “for 15 minutes”, with a lovely heater directed on my bare tummy. “Don’t move,” he said, “or it might hurt.”

Grateful for the extra nap time, I promptly fell asleep to the sound of tinned birdsong. Much later I began to worry that the doctor had forgotten me and nipped out to Starbucks – but how can you jump up and open the door when you’ve 28 needles stuck in your body? I dared to lift my be-needled arm and look at my watch. Forty-five minutes had passed.

I’d better bloody look 25 after this, I thought.

And do I? Of course not. But I will try to go once a week for the next 4-5 weeks, after which the doctor said we should definitely be seeing some quite permanent lifting and radiance results that require only limited top-ups.  

Believe, or don’t believe – it’s got to be better than Botox. You can read more about facial acupuncture for anti-ageing here. Meantime, I will keep you posted.