Perfect Skin In A Minute

Your eyes and the skin around them quickly show up tiredness. Not enough sleep, stress and alcohol can make the circulation and lymphatic drainage sluggish around the yes leaving them puffy, red and itchy.

• A couple of slices of cucumber placed on closed eyes for 5 minutes –

• Or cold used tea bags – can help to reduce puffiness and redness

• But your best bets are soothing eye gels, masks or compresses.


Your skin is the first thing to suffer when you are feeling tired and under the weather, or have had a heavy night out. If your complexion is looking sallow and dehydrated, exfoliation is the best thing to restore tone fast.

• Use a scrub with tiny, gentle scruffing grains to boost circulation and leave the skin with a healthy glow. You apply it, let it sit on the skin for a few minutes, then rub gently. Finally rinse off with cold water.
• If you have time after exfoliating, apply a mask that will moisturise, brighten and firm your skin

Moisturising is essential for middle aged skin to retain its suppleness and healthy glow and to replace the nautural oils that dry up as part of the ageing process. But from recent reseach it appears that we are increasingly relying on cheap moisturising lotions and creams because they appear to be just as effective as expensive big-name brands.


Regular use of make-up is thought to accelerate facial ageing and the best complexions on middle aged women are those who have used little make-up.
Studies in America have shown that thousands of women in their 50s and 60s aged their skin prematurely by using “cold cream” to remove their make up. The high concentration of mineral oil in the creams clogged the pores and contributed to wrinkling.

Like it or loathe it make-up is a godsend when it comes to hiding signs of fatigue. Beauty scientists have been able to design cosmetics specifically for weary skin
by putting light reflecting pigments into foundations, blushers and eye shadows, a trick which brightens the face and puts lines and blemishes into soft focus.


• A natural blusher worn high on the cheekbones will give a much needed glow.
• The right colour eye shadow and lipstick also does wonders for a worn out face. Silvery-grey and pink eye shadows work well on your eyelids.
• If you find lipsticks change colour apply a special barrier lipstick before applying colour to form a layer of protection from both the allergy to the colour and the drying effects of sun and wind.
• A white eyeliner pencil is indispensable. Run it along the lower rims of your eyelids.
• Apply mascara to the top of lashes first and then brush up from underneath to give extra umph!
• Always protect your skin with creams and gels containing SPF.

Support From Cancer Charities

I suppose I’m best known as “The Green Goddess”.  As part of the original presentation team of BBC Breakfast Time from 1983 to 1987, I was a symbol for the nation of health and fitness and spearheaded the campaign to ‘Get Britain Fit.’ I am a qualified exercise teacher and since Breakfast Time have branched out into books, videos and DVD’s focusing on health and fitness. Now aged 70 I have made a new exercise DVD for the more mature (or less fit) person called EASY FIT which is released Jan 2010.

Whenever I am travelling I avoid exposure to the sun because 7 years ago I was diagnosed with skin cancer when I discovered a patch on my shin. I had suffered from breast cancer 22 years ago so I knew not to waste any time. Hospital staff tried to freeze it, and then I had to apply this horrible cream called Efudix. These treatments didn’t work so I made the decision to have it operated on. But when they drew the area where they were going to operate on my leg I decided against the invasive surgery. I got off the operating table and went straight home because I had heard that Cancer Research UK was researching a new treatment for skin cancer in various hospitals around the UK. I rang CRUK and was told about the treatment called PDT Photo Dynamic Therapy using The Paterson Lamp.  The lamp uses a scarlet coloured laser to destroy cancer cells.  The closet hospital to me using it was at Gatwick and I still undergo treatment with the lamp when a new area presents on my leg.

My skin cancer is a legacy left from many, many years of sunbathing throughout the 60s and 70s with no sun protection cream. Nobody used it back then which is why it’s ridiculous that young women don’t use it today when it’s so easily available. So many women in their 50s and 60s are now being diagnosed with skin cancer. I urge everyone to wear sun cream as a safeguard for the future.

Because I have had experience of both skin cancer and breast cancer I like to do my bit to help the charities who have helped me. Last year I took up the challenge “Trek China” for Breast Cancer Care hiking through the hills and villages from Beijing along the Great Wall of China. It took about 4 months of preparation and many days I walked for 15 miles around my home area. I’m lucky that I live on the River Thames in Surrey and there are some gorgeous walks here. On long walks I go with a friend for company and motivation. I’m a great fruit eater and I also love nuts and raisins, these keep me going as well as cereal energy bars.

I was one of 40 women walking the wall all raising money for charity. We trekked from village to village along the Great Wall and carried all our provisions on our backs. We packed light but although the weather was as warm as 25c during the day it was also very cold at night!  We were so proud to raise £140,000 for the charity between us!  It was a fantastic experience and not bad for an old ‘un!.

Both Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Care are an excellent sources of support and information when you are diagnosed with cancer.  I advise anyone undergoing treatment or surgery to find out as much information as possible about your illness and the treatment advised for you. Cancer charities are so helpful so pick up any leaflets or books that you can find or ring the helpline or look at the website… I feel having any treatment is like going into battle – so the more information you have, the better equipped you are. Make sure you eat a balanced diet comprising of as much nutritious fresh food as possible.  Also, put yourself first and give yourself time to relax. This is the time where you need to take time out from your usual responsibilities. You owe it yourself, your family and friends.



Age Is A Challenge

Age is a challenge to the mind and the body but like every challenge I’ve ever met, I have risen to it. There is an entrenched belief in society that getting flabby and sedentary and disconnected from life is an inevitable part of the ageing process. But that’s just not true.

Some say that age is just a number and for others it’s the excuse to put their feet up and let life pass them by. Speaking personally the last few years of my life have been the best, and the busiest. The world is a wonderful place to be in at this time of life, and I can’t see any reason to waste time by doing nothing.

I suppose it was the prospect of losing my life, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the height of my fame in 1987, that instilled in me the determination that having been given a 2nd chance in life I would never again waste another day.
It was quite by chance that my cancer was discovered thanks to the Daily Mail. I was 47 at the time and in the early stages of the menopause, having hot flushes. When I read an article in the paper about a trial for hormone replacement therapy, I thought I’d volunteer. I was particularly interested in the claims that it could improve bone density and stave off osteoporosis. Green Goddesses need strong bones!

Before I could take part in the trials some medical tests including a mammogram were required. That mammogram probably saved my lifeAGE IS A CHALLENGEbecause it showed that I had breast cancer. I underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy followed by immediate reconstruction. Today I am fighting fit!

Style Confident In My 70’s

I’d describe my style as classic, with a modern twist. My mother was a great seamstress who taught me the basics. Sadly, she died when I was about 15. I don’t make clothes now, but I do my own alterations.

I like to shop everywhere. TK Maxx and Marks & Spencer are my current favourites because they’re great value. I also adore designer Amanda Wakeley, Medina and Frank Usher for evening and special occasion clothes…

Massive shoulder pads were a trademark of the 80s but I loved them! Being very tall, I could get away with it. I also loved the 60s, when the mini-skirt first came in.

I’m more confident now than ever, which is why getting older is so fabulous. Looking as good as I can gives me confidence. It’s important to know what suits you and to make the most of yourself.

Colour is so important and can lift my mood. I like “traffic light colours” reds, orange and green. Green became my trademark colour by mistake. I began wearing yellow leotards and tights but I looked like a large prancing canary, so tried beige but looked naked on screen, then finally the green.

If my hair’s not right, I’m not right. It has a strong natural curl, so dampness makes it frizz. In hot countries and for sport I wear colour coordinating visors to keep my hair under control.

I’m very fortunate in knowing and mixing with lots of young people so I am open minded about new fashions and don’t get set in my ways. I love to experiment. OK so I’m 70 – but I still feel 17 inside.

The Cancer Counselling Trust

If you have never seen a counselor before, it is sometimes hard to imagine what this will entail.

22 years ago I discovered I had breast cancer. I couldn’t believe it. I was 47 years old and felt as fit as a fiddle. But overnight my world turned upside down, as the whirlwind process of diagnosis, surgery and treatment immediately took my body over. I underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy followed by reconstruction. A period of convalescence followed, and finally my body recovered. Outwardly, it appeared that I was more or less back to normal. Family and friends heaved a sigh of relief, and I returned to work.

I got on with the business of living, and pushed the distress I had felt at losing both of my breasts, to the back of my mind. Angry feelings were replaced by a sense of gratitude; I had been given a second chance in life. My successful career continued, and I happily watched as my children, and then my grandchildren, developed and began to make their own mark on the world.

But then 7 years ago I felt something was emotionally wrong with me. I looked for reasons as to why I was increasingly distressed. I realised that for so many years I had de-pressed my emotions. I had pushed aside my personal feelings of grief at the loss of my breasts, and of my perceived diminished femininity. My emotions were compounded by a sense of sexual rejection, and for the first time in 15 years I found myself blaming cancer for my insecurity and depression. I knew I needed professional help to unravel my confusions.

The Cancer Counselling Trust was a phone call away. My first visit was reassuring. Sitting with a trained counselor my muddled emotions boiled up and bubbled over. I decided this was the therapeutic support I so badly needed. During the suggested course of counselling it was a relief to be able to finally open up, and to share my deepest and most personal problems.

The sessions gave me the opportunity to re-access my feelings, to make sense of them, and put them into perspective. My counselor was someone I could trust, more importantly she was outside the circle of my concerned close family, and worried friends. With her I felt no need to hold back or to spare my emotions. I was able to unburden, to let go, and after a period of time I was stronger. And finally, I felt a peace within myself again.