Going for that Young Look

Recently while walking the Sheltie, I had a chat with an older man along our regular route.

He told me about his time serving in WWII, how he and his three brothers all were in service simultaneously. Then he asked me how old I thought he was.

Well, I stammered, you served in WWII, so you’d have to be at least eighty — right?

Give me a hug, he exclaimed, before telling me he’s ninety-five!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many folks who are ninety-five. And this man certainly didn’t look like I expected a ninety-five-year-old person to look.

Probably because he didn’t have a wrinkle on his face.

Not one!

It was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. No brown spots from the sun, no dryness, no whiskery stubble.

I wanted so much to ask him how come he looked so young. I mean, I’m pretty sure he hadn’t bought into the sunscreen craze, hadn’t “had work done,” hadn’t exfoliated and creamed and moisturized and all the things we’re told to do to protect our skin.

A few days later, my sister called and said her dermatologist mentioned that the reason elderly men’s faces look so much younger than elderly women’s is that they shave.


Yep, apparently shaving is a natural exfoliant, ridding the skin’s topmost layer of dead cells and revealing the “good stuff” underneath.

Who knew?

I’ve been going to dermatologists for decades, and not a one has told me that.

They probably don’t think women need to be shaving their faces.

But I’ve been in hair salons where female customers regularly come to have their mustaches bleached. And I’ve seen plenty of fair-haired women with tons of “peach fuzz” on their cheeks and jawlines. And lately I’ve been seeing TV ads for “discrete” hair removal products aimed at women as well as men.

So maybe there’s something to it. What do you think? If you’re a woman, would you consider shaving your face if you could waylay the appearance of wrinkles in your old age?

23 thoughts on “Going for that Young Look

    • Haha! If you’d seen the rest of him, you’d know he was really 95. And with his wife right inside, he’d be a pretty brazen old guy to be “courting,” wouldn’t he?!

  1. Well, no, I don’t think I’d be willing to shave. It’s enough to keep up with shaving my legs. But there is something to abrasion. My sister’s facial skin looked so fresh when I saw her last June and she said she’d been using one of those dermabrasion brushes (can’t think of the brand name) on her face and declotage. She got it at Costco and I’ve seen them at Wal-Mart. I would like to get one of those. There’s something to removing that top layer of dead, dead skin. And I’m bad about it.

    • I’m bad about that, too, Barb, thanks to having such sensitive, Irish skin. I did exfoliation a few years back, but I always ended up looking like a tomato! There’s got to be a better way.

  2. Why Not!! And I think he would have been flattered if you had asked him for his beauty secrets, after all he asked you to tell him how old he looked. Please, go knock on his door right now! 😀 Isn’t hair suppose to come back thicker after you shave it, tho? And why don’t all men have smooth skin since most of them shave? When I’m good about it I just use a plain kosher salt and gently rub it on my skin but I would try shaving. I just love a good beauty secret!

    • The thing is, I don’t know whether it works! I had a friend whose personal trainer told her shaving doesn’t make hair grow back thicker and darker. I guess the only way to know for sure is to give it a go — wanna be our guinea pig and report back??

  3. I think the dermatologist was teasing. After all, I’ve seen some elderly people, both men and women, with beautiful skin, but their whole face is wrinkle-free and the guys certainly aren’t shaving their whole face!

    I think a lot of it’s genetic. Some people simply have more signs of aging than others – even those who should be most at risk for Wrinkledom. In any event, no, I wouldn’t take on any shaving practices. I don’t color my gray hair, either. Some things are more trouble than they’re worth – in my opinion, of course!

    • Yes, I think genetics has a LOT to do with it. However, I just happen to know another 90-plus year-old gentleman and he, too, has that smooth-as-butter complexion. Maybe your face smooths out after you reach 90?? Wouldn’t that be something to look forward to?!

  4. Well, no, I don’t think I’d sign up to shave my face. If shaving really does ;help with a youthful appearance, I’ll be flaunting my armpits like a badge of honor in twenty years or so 🙂

  5. Debbie, I’ve never heard the theory on shaving nor would I want to try it! BTW, a number of my patients were well into their 90’s and looked twenty years younger. Also, I have a 95 year old aunt whose skin is as smooth as can be. Her secret- she never used soap on her face, only noxema. I think it has a lot to do with genetics and sun exposure. Age is only a number!

    • I agree that age is only a number, Kathy, but who doesn’t want to LOOK younger if that’s possible? I mean, nobody sets out to look like a prune by choice — most of us are more vain than that, especially if we have a family or class reunion to look forward to!

  6. I don’t care how young he looks, Debbie. There’s NO way I’m going to shave my face to achieve that youthful glow. Though, I have been known to wax my eyebrows and upper lip. But that’s it. I cannot fathom the idea of running a razor on it. Bad enough I have to shave my legs. They’re very sensitive and I tend to break out in hives. Can only imagine what my face would look like. Yikes!

    • You’ve got me laughing once again, Monica! I totally see your point — it IS bad enough to have to shave legs without having to do the whole body hair removal. Maybe he’s got some kind of special cream the rest of us don’t know about?!

  7. Debbie, I generally agree with Monica but this time, I differ in my opinion. hee hee! If I was guaranteed to stay wrinkle free by sheer virtue of shaving, I would say, bring it! I would dash out and stock up on shaving cream and razors. I would tell the Significant Other and the Son to move over so I could be the one to leave the bathroom sink full of whisker shavings. I would be over the moon that I no longer have to spend money on expensive wrinkle creams and apply them daily. Seriously. I would do it in a heartbeat. As for shaving my legs, I think I would even stop doing that. I mean, who needs shaven legs when you have a wrinkle free face? ha! 🙂

    • Bella, you’ve given me my first belly-laugh of the day — thank you! A part of me thinks you might be spot on. I mean, really — we spend a small fortune on creams and stuff, trying to keep that youthful glow. If we could be certain that merely shaving would do what these creams say they’ll do, why not shave? And honestly, you don’t see ladies walking around with wrinkled legs, do you??!!

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