Concluding my sixth decade with Truth in Aging’s full knowledge array of anti-aging secrets, in-depth reviews, and knowledge base within tapping distance of my fingers took a lot of stress off of turning 60 last year. No doubt about it. But as in all things, it’s possible to become complacent and when 61 rolled around, especially returning from a California trip in February to Disneyland with my grandkids, I realized whatever I was doing wasn’t doing me any favors. I was actually losing ground. I wondered if it was something I was doing wrong, the health concerns I’ve dealt with the past couple years perhaps having caught up with me, or simply Father Time having his way with my face and neck. Whatever the cause, in March this year I had a “come to Jesus” session with myself and the mirror, and I came away whimpering.

I have spent a good deal of $$ on good product the past couple years; each product in and of itself having an excellent pedigree. But somehow, for me, put together they just weren’t performing. And in frustration and desperation, I again hit the TIA archives to read some more and believed I was carefully making my next best decision(s) and purchase(s) only to find my situation getting worse. I either had to find a way to love a pair of full-blown jowls (not in my wildest dreams) OR attack every image surface I had the misfortune to find myself reflected- and soon be committed! The only real choice: Find a way to reverse The Sag.

So what do you do in a situation like this? Go back to the basics. I was fairly adamant about not liking exhaustive face washing in my Regimen of an Aging Hippie and still am. But why it’s been well over a year since using Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser ($8) I haven’t a clue. At any rate I began here - picking up a tube and liberally soaking my face, neck, décolleté in the shower and remembering instantly the feeling of deep hydration while I washed my hair and other shower functions before rinsing it off. I use Orange Essence this way at least four times a week. In facial masques, I like La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the TIA shop) for the glycolic acid peel effect and use this every other week or so. I also use Your Best Face Prep ($80 in the TIA shop) for a face-brightening exfoliating cleanse perhaps once a month. I’m not keen on over-masquing. When I feel the need to cleanse my face any time, day or night, I like Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes ($6). They have lovely gentle ingredients and are wonderfully hydrating.

I used to use about four different toners, which I’ve now narrowed down to the one I absolutely believe I cannot live without: Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist ($38). This toner is in Dermalogica’s “AGE smart” line (Advanced Glycation End-products: AGE - damaging byproduct of sugar/protein reactions in the skin), and this toner has proven essential to me. If I use nothing else, if I’m ill, I still have time to spritz this over my face and neck (even my hands and arms) and rub it in. The combination of the antioxidants served up here extraordinarily hydrate my skin and truly prepare it for the next layer of product. Perhaps it’s the hyaluronic acid it contains. I find myself spraying it on during the day - just because.

A basic I’ve remained true to for quite some time is Glo-Therapeutics Peptide + Defense Serum ($132). This serum is full of peptides, including my favorites Matrixyl 3000, spin trap, carnosine, and niacinamide. It seems to help my rosacea. While waiting for Defense to soak in, I apply YBF Correct ($150 in the TIA shop) to my eyes. I’ve advocated Correct since its birth, I believe, and nothing’s changed. My eyes, at 61, are lifted and firm. My only complaint is a genetic inclination to dark circles. Correct helps but doesn’t eradicate this annoyance. After trying several eye creams, I’ve found one that seems to have beneficial effects and doesn’t irritate my eyes: SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair ($95). I’ve used it for about three weeks (at night, as recommended), and my eyes are brightening and the bruised look is lessening. This is very encouraging for extended results!

Now on to my day and night main events. I believe it is a combination of using these two products that has rolled back the clock. I shouldn’t exaggerate here, but it is a significant recovery I’ve experienced since The Mirror and Me in March. In March my jawline had definite, defined jowls. I actually wept. I couldn’t help but see them everywhere I went. And I made a point to see them wherever I could! As if I was wrong the 948 times I’d looked at my face beforehand. It seems silly and narcissistic, but working so hard on my face these past five years or so, to suddenly see it all puddle. Things were looking quite gloomy for this aging hippie.

Like I said earlier, new things - BETTER things - just weren’t working. As I thought more about this I began to remember my beginning “set” regimen that I was so happy with and wondered why I had veered so drastically. Basics, I thought. And… baby steps. One product at a time. I didn’t want to overwhelm my skin. I don’t know how many of you remember how much I liked and used Dimitri JamesSkinn line. When I needed good facial potions at a decent price I discovered Skinn. I found his Crease Release Day Cream and Wrinkle Balm Night Treatment both to be fabulous creams. They rejuvenated my skin in my mid-50s and sustained a healthy glow. I was happy with them for a couple of years or more. Product has a siren call for many of us; it does for me. It beckons; it whispers to the inner (wishes we were) goddess in us and seduces - we surrender. I did. I was lured away. But, really, back to reality…

In this (my new) reality, I only needed a night cream. So I ordered the 2-oz jar of Skinn Wrinkle Balm for normal to combination skin ($40 if purchased alone; if you purchase both day and night cream you get both in 2-oz jars for $58 - a very good deal!) I’m here to tell you people! This cream was made for me, I swear. Within a week my jaw was lifting and filling in. Wrinkles that had become ravines were lessening to wrinkles. The ingredients are spectacular - barley, yeasts and algae extracts, Matrixyl 3000, Renovage are among a host of the all-star cast. Marta might find something to squint at, but I’m a simple lass and am satisfied. Heck, I’m thrilled.

Piggy-backing (timing wise) on this was the new formulation of YBF Control (though the price alone should have tightened my jaw; $160 in the TIA shop). I put my dimes together and bought it out of the gate! You can put me on an infomercial and I couldn’t sound more full of cornmeal… but the same day, the minute after, I applied Control I knew it worked. My marionette folds, jowls, my loose neck all lifted. Darrell Owens has produced a miracle in a canister! I love the new Control. The combination of Relistase, Matrixyl 3000, Syn-Tacks, resveratrol, and spin trap alone are enough to make me swoon.

YBF Control is all about elasticity, and for me it’s extremely visible. Skinn Wrinkle Balm is about restructuring and line and wrinkle lessening and filling. These two products somehow work in synergy within the derma layers of my skin to strengthen, fill and plump. My mirror doesn’t lie. Since March I have had an amazing improvement in the skin of my face and neck!

My hands get a lot of attention; more than I ever would have imagined even a decade ago. I am still using Regeniskin ($39.95) as the first layer, followed by Amala Rejuvenating Neck and Décolleté Treatment ($86). Don’t laugh! I was on the Amala site, and I did buy the Rejuvenating Hand Cream. Rejuvenate is the brand’s cocoa line. The cocoa bean is an excellent natural source known for redensifying skin, renewing elasticity, and encouraging cell renewal. As I was looking around at how each Amala cream or lotion functioned, I felt the Neck and Décolleté cream was perfect for hands in these very firming, thickening and lifting properties. I am satisfied with my choice, and my hands are shaping up very well and looking exceptionally healthy and youthful. As I said, I bought the hand cream and carry it in my purse and use it often. I’m really hooked on the fragrance.

For my hair, I use Evo The Therapist Calming Shampoo ($30) and Evo Ritual Salvation conditioner ($25) when I wash it. I apply Schwarzkopf leave-in conditioner (for color-treated hair) and L’anza’s neem oil to it immediately after washing on wet hair and let it set up a bit in the towel. This is when I also apply Hair Vitality Complex ($49 in the TIA shop) from ear to ear around my forehead face line.  After blow drying, I use a dab of Evo’s End Doctor ($26) rubbed evenly over the surface of my dry hair for split-end smoothing and defrizzing during the upcoming flatiron process. If I need hair spray, my “go to” is Alterna Caviar Anti-aging Working Hairspray ($20).

There’s more; I could go on… Wow! It really does take a village. I send peaceful vibes to each and every one of you. Groove on….

Burt’s Bees Orange Essence ingredients: Glycerin, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, avena sativa (oat) kernel flour, lanolin, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, quillaja saponaria extract, avena sativa (oat) kernel oil, vegetable oil, beta-carotene, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, tocopherol

La Vie Celeste Mask ingredients: Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Gel*, Aqua (Purified Water), Sclerotium Gum, Bamboo Grains (Bambusa Vulgaris) Extract, Kaolinite (Pink Clay), Glycolic (Hydroxyacetic) Acid, White Tea (Camellia Sinesis) Extract*, Bearberry (Acrtostaphylos Uva Ursi) Extract*, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabral Licorice) Extract*, Melon (Cucumis Melo) Extract*, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobillis) Flower Extract*, Cosmocil CQ (Polyaminopropyl Biguanide), Grapefruit Seed Extract (Citrus Paradis) Extract*, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic) Acid

YBF Prep ingredients: White tea (reverse osmosis water, white tea), aluminum oxide crystals, olivem (cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate), Pentavitin (saccharide isomerate), niacin, edelweiss extract, triglyceride, alpha arbutin, allantoin, Syn-Tacks (glycerin, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminobutyroyl hydroxytheonine, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminohydroxybutyrate), vitamin e, vitamin B5, Matrixyl 3000 (glycerin, butylene glycol, water, carbomer, polysorbate-20, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3), Syn-Coll (glycerin, palmitoyl tripeptide-5), olive leaf extract, Lipochroman-6 (dimethylmethoxy chromanol), idebenone, sodium hyaluronate, spin trap (phenyl butyl nitrone), orange oil, bergamot oil, paraben du

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Towelettes ingredients: Aqua (water), aloe barbadensis leaf juice, glycerin, camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, tocopherol, citric acid, parfum (natural fragrance), xanthan gum, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, dicaprylyl carbonate, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, glycine soja (soybean) oil, benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, amyl cinnamal, citral,citronellol, limonene, linalool

Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist ingredients: Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Palmitoyl tripeptide-5, Arginine/Lysine Polypeptide, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Glucosamine HCI, Sodium Carboxymethyl Beta-Glucan, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Sorbitol, Proline, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Methyl Gluceth-20, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Glycerin, Disodium EDTA, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzyl PCA, Phenoxyethanol, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Isoeugenol, Linalool, Acorus Calamus, Aniba Rosaedora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil, Hellianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil/Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate

Glo-Theraputics Peptide + Defense Serum ingredients: Aqua (Water), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium PCA, Squalane,Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil,Cetearyl Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract, Paeonia Albiflora (Peony) Flower Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Glucose, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Olivate, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Algae Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Laureth-3, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Epigallocatechin Gallate (EPCG), Phyllanthus Emblica (Arnia) Fruit Extract, Carnosine, Niacinamide, Phenyl t-Butylnitrone (Spin Trap), Acetyl Carnitine, Ubiquinone, Thioctic (Lipoic) Acid, Crataegus Monogina Fruit, Phytic Acid, Adenine, Yeast Extract, Glutathione, Cysteine, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Tocotrienols, Copper Tripeptide-1, Manganese Ghloride, Superoxide Dismutase, Trehalose, Sucrose, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Tocopherol (Alpha), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol

YBF Correct ingredients: Reverse osmosis water, Eyeseryl (water, acetyl tetrapeptide-5), licorice root extract, Haloxyl (hydroxysuccinimide, chyrsin, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3), Snap-8 (water, acetyl octapeptide-3), olivem (cetearyl olivate), Matrixyl 3000 (glycerin, butylene glycol, water, carbomer, polysorbate-20, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3), cucumber extract, Renovage (triglyceride, teprenone), nylon-12, triglyceride, Syn-Tacks (glycerin, palmitoyl dipeptide-5, diaminobutyroyl hydroxythreonine, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminohydroxybutyrate), alpha arbutin, nutmeg butter, caffeine, olive leaf extract, vitamin E, ethyhexyl palmitate, vitamin B5, dimethyl isosorbide, spin trap (phenyl butyl nitrone), Lipochroman-6 (dimethylmethoxy chromanol), Sepilift DPHP (dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline), idebenone, alpha lipoic acid, sodium hyaluronate, c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, violet leaf absolute, oakmoss absolute, triethanolamine, paraben du

SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair ingredients: Water (Aqua), Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Boron Nitride, Polyacrylate-13, Behenyl Alcohol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Phytosterols, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Squalene, Oriza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Retinyl Palmitate, Allantoin, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Bisabolol, Butylene Glycol, Isoceteth-20, Steareth-20, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Arachidyl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Ethylparaben, Ethoxydiglycol

Skinn Crease Release Day Cream: Vanilla planifolia fruit extract, linoleic acid, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), phospholipids, cyclopentasiloxane, cetearyl methicone, dimethicone, isopentyldiol, santalum album (sandalwood) extract, phellodendron amurense bark extract, hordeum distichon (barley) extract, polyglyceryl-2 stearate, hydrogenated lecithin, glucosamine HCl, algae extract, yeast extract, tribehenin, ceramide 2, brassica campestris (rapeseed) seed oil, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, phaseolus lunatus (green bean) seed extract, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), squalane, manganese gluconate, phytosteryl isostearate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, stearyl phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, perfluorodecalin (Rejuvenox™), calcium hydroxymethionine and 3-aminopropane sulfonic acid (Essenskin™), sodium PCA, xanthan gum, panthenyl triacetate, tourmaline, tocopheryl linoleate, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin

Skinn Wrinkle Balm ingredients: Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) extract, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), squalane, phospholipids, isopentyldiol, santalum album (sandalwood) extract, phellodendron amurense bark extract, hordeum distichon (barley) extract, glucosamine HCl, hydrogenated lecithin, algae extract, yeast extract, urea, tribehenin, ceramide 2, brassica campestris (rapeseed) seed oil, thymus vulgaris (thyme) extract, lupine amino acids, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapetide-7, phaseolus lunatus (green bean) seed extract, caprylic/capric triglyceride and spilanthes acmella flower extract (Gatuline Intense™), caprylic/capric triglyceride and teprenone (Renovage™), phytosteryl isostearate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, dioscorea villosa (wild yam) root extract, linoleic acid, stearyl phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, sodium PCA, perfluorodecalin (Rejuvenox™), xanthan gum, panthenyl triacetate, tocopheryl linoleate, chlorphenesin

YBF Control ingredients: Reverse osmosis water, Relistase (glycerin, acetylarginyltryptophyl diphenylglycine, Syn-Hycan (tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric urea trifluoroacetate, magnesium chloride, glycerin), Syn-Tacks (glycerin, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminobutyroyl hydroxythreonine, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminohydroxybutyrate), Matrixyl 3000 (glycerin, butylene glycol, carbomer, polysorbate-20, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tripeptide-3), nylon-12, olivem, Renovage (triglyceride, teprenone), olive squalane, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, ethoxydiglycol, dimethylisosorbide, meadowfoam seed oil, trans resveratrol, spin trap (phenyl butyl nitrone), vitamin e, c10-c30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, leucidal, lipochroman-6, sodium hyaluronate, coenzyme Q10, tetrahydrocurcuminoids, alpha lipoic acid (R-lipoic acid), trithanolamine

Regeniskin ingredients: (Active) stabilized Epidermal Growth Factors (EGF), stabilized Platelet derived Growth Factor(PDGF), stabilized Transforming Growth Factors (TGF), stabilized Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGF); (Other Natural Ingredients) Protein Growth Factor, Bio-Ferm Herbal Complex (includes Jojoba, Saponaria, Yucca, Rosemary, Chamomile, Comfrey, Arnica, Juniper and Horsetail), Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearic Acid, Octyl Salicylate (sunscreen), Aloe Vera, Almond Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Deionized Water, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sweet Orange Oil (natural Fragrance)

Amala Rejuvenating Neck & Decollete ingredients: Water (Aqua), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Alcohol*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Stearic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract*, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter*, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil*, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter*, Natural Fragrance (Parfum), Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil*, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil*, Citrus Auratium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil*, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil*, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil*, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Oil*, Carapa Guaianensis Seed Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Lecithin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract*, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract*, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract*, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil*, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool