We’re a nation of WAGs....that’s Women Ageing Gracefully

59 has been declared the precise age at which women are expected to grow old gracefully a survey has revealed. 

The research also revealed the average woman over 45 would like to shave just 5 years off her real age and less that 10 per cent would actually lie about their real age.

The poll of 2000 women aged 45 plus and 500 men found 80 per cent felt they needed to abandon some styles as they got older with many trends needing to be ditched as early as their forties.

Researchers have pinpointed the age women believe they should  to drop certain looks like false nails, high-heels and tight fitting clothes.  And now that the party season is in full swing, women may need to think twice before they head out of the house.

The poll by anti-aging brand Nurture Replenish Skincare found over a third of women said fake tan should be dropped by the time they reach 40 and a third say false lashes are out for anyone over 43. 45 per cent of women say that anything glittering must go by 40, but red lipstick is seen as a beauty classic, with 38 per cent saying it’s ok to wear whatever your age.

They might be in fashion this season, but leather trousers are also a no-no for the 40+ woman, as nearly 60 per of women polled agreed they were not for the over 40’s.

A whopping three-quarters of men said that certain looks were aging and that they were put off by women who try too hard.

A spokesman for Nurture Replenish Skincare said: ‘’Many women will be able to relate to these findings. ‘It’s true that as you get older you may have to adapt your look and 50 is a watershed decade for most women. But every woman will face this stage at different times in her life and what age is right for one woman won’t necessarily suit the next.  What’s important to remember is to be yourself and don’t be forced to look a certain way because you feel you have to.’

Despite living in an age-conscious society, a confident 59 per cent of women said they think they look younger than they actually are and said they don’t need the latest trends in fashion and make-up to look good.

Only a quarter said they would consider cosmetic surgery with the health risks, cost implications and the fear of something going wrong being the biggest deterrent.

A very comfortable 74 per cent said they are happy to let nature take its course and not succumb to drastic anti-ageing measures such as cosmetic surgery whilst most agreed there comes a time when you’re fooling no-one by dying your hair.

Only 21 per cent of women would chose to have cosmetic fillers and the poll found that respondents declared a good diet and a strict skincare regime as the answer to staying youthful, with just eight per cent threatening to resort to surgery.  Being wrinkle-free was the must-have attribute to looking good when you hit your fifties and sixties.  But confidence, wisdom and intelligence were also listed attributes the contributed towards older women feeling in their prime.

A spokesman for Nurture Replenish Skincare added: ‘It appears we are seeing a Botox backlash as women seem to be more interested in looking good than looking 20.  At the end of the day, what make-up or hair style you wear is a personal choice but it’s good to hear that women in their fifties feel confident enough in their looks to stop being a slave to fashion'.

‘It’s encouraging that women only want to shave just 5 years off their real age and most are not interested in cosmetic surgery.  Nowadays with so many advances in skincare that is achievable.  The key is to adapt and change your routine as you mature.’

The study also found that Helen Mirren was named the celebrity that is growing old the most gracefully.  Runner-up was Bond actress Judi Dench, followed by Absolutely Fabulous Star Joanna Lumley.

 Julie Brackenbury, cosmetic nurse and advisor to Nurture Replenish Skincare suggest these five beauty rituals to keep you looking young and beautiful.

1. Wearing an SPF 30+ every day is essential; it’s never too late to start. Sun protection will help to protect your skin against age spots and pigmentation as well as slow down the damage that causes lines.

2.  Start using a day and night cream which contains phytoestrogens as your body’s natural levels will have dropped by your 50s and this hormone plays an important role in collagen production.

3. Make exfoliation and facial massage a regular skincare ritual. Exfoliating regularly will help increase the skin's cell turnover, helping your anti-ageing creams to be more effective by going further into the epidermis. Make up goes on smoother too. Massage helps to increase the blood flow to the skin which also tends to slow down as we age.

4. Think about your neck. In a recent survey conducted by Nurture Replenish Skincare, 60% of women felt their neck was an age giveaway, citing loss of elasticity as the cause. Look for ingredients like pure retinol which boost collagen production and help to restore skin firmness.

5. Start taking a skin supplement, beauty comes from within, not just from the products you use on your skin. Nurture Replenish Day-Night Skin Nutrition Supplements contain phytoestrogens and other skin repair nutrients such as Omega 3.

Julie Brackenbury is a top cosmetic nurse based in the South West.  She is an Independent Nurse Prescriber and is member of the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) and the British Dermatological Nursing Group (BDNG).
Julie is frequently called upon by BBC Radio Bristol to answer listener questions on skincare and she regularly attends conferences and training sessions to keep up with the fast paced cosmetic industry.  Julie also writes for academic journals and is currently working on a number of aesthetic research projects.