What are the 10 Signs of Ageing?

When I was but a mere twinkle in my father’s eye (UGH. Oh God. Just vomited on myself for even using that phrase.) there was only one sign of ageing, and that was just looking absolutely battered. Ageing was ageing. Something inevitable. Yes, women slathered on Pond’s cream and did various weird things to themselves to try and delay the ageing process, but nothing compared to the things that women do now! Because now, ladies, we don’t have one sign of ageing (wrinkles), we don’t have three signs of ageing (wrinkles, eye-bags, grey skin) and we don’t even have Olay’s seven signs* anymore! (I’ve printed Olay’s Seven Signs of Ageing at the bottom of the page.)

No. There are now ten. TEN signs of ageing. Very soon, products will come out that target the 3,675 signs of ageing. They will include: the inability to tie one’s own shoelaces without making an unattractive grunting sound; putting the car keys in the kettle and then boiling it; calling one’s husband all of the names of anyone you have ever known before finally getting to his correct name. ClaireEmmaPeterPhyllisJamieAndrewDanielPatrickAnnaCLIVE!

I can’t find a list of L’Oreal’s ten signs of ageing so I’ve made a stab in the dark and created my own:

1) Appearance of fine lines

2) Loss of firmness

3) Dark Spots/Hyperpigmentation

4) Crepey, dry skin

5) Loss of memory

6) Loss of firmness

7) Tendency to repeat oneself

8) Saying “ooh. I really fancy a cuppa.”

9) Saying “ooh. I really fancy a cuppa.”

10) Wearing one brown shoe with a 2 inch heel and one black with a 3 inch heel. Not noticing until lunchtime after walking funny all morning and thinking, ‘that’s my hip giving out, that is.’

Personally, I’m more worried about the non-skin-related signs than those that can be treated (or not) with a cream. I do think it’s brilliant that we ladies of today (another sign of ageing is using phrases such as that one) have access to amazing technology and research when it comes to our skin, but I wish that everyone would lay off the ageing thing. It makes it into a real issue – we have to worry about it from the age of approximately nineteen! “Are you seeing the first signs of ageing?” NO! I’m trying to sneak out of my bedroom window and get to the off-licence without my parents seeing me! Eff off beauty industry!

God forbid that you’re in your early twenties because that’s when you see the VERY VERY VERY first signs of ageing! And must use a dedicated skincare range! To fight wrinkles before they appear!

I jest, of course. Being a skincare obsessive, I started thinking about wrinkles from the age of twenty-two-ish and I’m always happy to hear of a new ‘breakthrough’ skincare find. I’m just not sure that the whole world needs to be obsessed. By force.

Thoughts? Anyone want to add some signs of ageing? Age makes no difference – we’re all ageing to some extent, so fire away!

* Olay’s Seven Signs of ageing:

1) Lines and Wrinkles
2) Rough Skin Texture
3) Dullness of Skin’s Appearance
4) Larger appearance of Pores
5) Blotchiness
6) Dry Skin
7) Age Spots

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  1. June 10, 2012 / 7:44 am

    This made me laugh. I feel like I’ve only just graduated from the “anti-spot” section of skincare, the anti-ageing arena seems so much more complicated! x

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:16 am

      @Lily oh it is, it is! I will do a de-mystifying post soon! x

  2. June 10, 2012 / 8:35 am

    I’d like to see the phrase “anti ageing” banned. It implies getting older is some sort of horrible disease that has to be eradicated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as dedicated a follower of holding back the years as the next woman. But you have to face the fact that you can only slow the clock down, not stop it.

    Unless your dead of course. But then perhaps that’s what all this about; being really well preserved looking corpses. LOL!

    Ali x

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:16 am

      @Ali haha, yes – that pits it into perspective really, doesn’t it?! A good-looking corpse. Pointless! x

  3. Jools
    June 10, 2012 / 8:49 am

    Oh deary dear … you forgot to mention incontinence, which was apparent in my case as I split my sides laughing at your article this morning. Having reached my 40 somethingth year, (I have a tendency to forget my real age, as you’ll understand), I can honestly say that despite perhaps having a few less expression lines, I would not go back to being 21 for anything. Age brings with it wisdom, tolerance, an inner sense of acceptance and peace and much more self confidence. Yes, my skin might not be quite as flawless as it was in my 20s, but what’s important to me is feeling and looking the best that I can FOR MY AGE!!! And actually, thanks to a lifetime of taking care of my skin, eating well and getting enough of the physical stuff ….. hmm ….. I seem to be weathering rather well (or so my friends and family tell me). I haven’t resorted to the surgeon’s knife and why would I want to? How bizarre would it be to look 25 and have the mind of a 40 (coughs)-ing year old? I just couldn’t cope with the demands of a toy boy at my age … I’d rather sit in my beautiful garden on a sunny day with a good book – and a lovely cuppa!!!

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:14 am

      @Jools thank you! Yes, that hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it – we want to look good for our age. And for people not to wince secretly when you tell them your age and think that you look twenty years older than what you are! Haha.. On a serious note, INCONTINENCE? Please tell me that doesn’t get worse. I already have problems with star-jumps..

      • Jools
        June 10, 2012 / 11:46 am

        Star jumps are a nightmare – that’s the main reason I don’t go to aerobics any more. Plus having two children didn’t help one bit. I think there’s an operation but I’m such a coward … so I’m sticking with the pelvic floor exercises for now! xx

        • Ruth
          June 10, 2012 / 10:47 pm

          @Jools I haven’t even had any kids yet – imagine what I’ll be like! x

  4. Amanda
    June 10, 2012 / 8:51 am

    I think it’s a bladdy vicious cycle.

    I was happily living my life, relatively care free, and before I knew it, I was in my late 20’s.

    I hit 27 and suddenly I was being politely shoved into the world of wrinkles. Now, I’d never noticed them before but why should I? And why did they suddenly appear?

    I’d been LMFAO through my teens and early 20’s and after all that time it was beginning to show. So, of course society dictates that if you’re approaching 30 then you really should do something about those laughter/frown/eating something too big for you mouth lines.

    My point is – would I have noticed anything if I wasn’t told to look? This is where the bladdy cycle begins!

    Anyway, I’ve waffled. Incidentally I do use Olays Seven Signs of Ageing and have to admit it is a lovely product – has it cured my haggard face? Probably not but then I’m laughing too hard to worry about it.

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:10 am

      @Amanda I MUST try the Olay – I actually do want to try this L’Oreal product too, after all of my jesting. They have a lot of money for research, do these people, and I’m interested to see how the products compare to high-end… LOL at “eating something too big for your mouth” lines!

      • Amanda
        June 10, 2012 / 8:51 pm

        Its the one moisturiser I always repurchase and is often on offer somewhere, so its worth giving it a whirl!

  5. Cecilie
    June 10, 2012 / 9:19 am

    Ruth, you are so funny! I wish more people would joke about the anti-ageing obsession of the beauty industry. We’re all ageing, it can’t be avoided, and old people with wrinkles still look beautiful! x

  6. Ayla
    June 10, 2012 / 9:28 am

    Isn’t that what they meant?
    • 6.TONED SKIN

  7. June 10, 2012 / 9:30 am

    This post is hilarious – what does your mom think of your 10 signs list? :-))))
    But yes, I’m almost 35 and I don’t really feel that kind of product is for me, precisely because I cannot think of 10 signs of ageing that my skin would be suffering of (getting grey hair and needing a week to recover from a night out come to my mind first but that product isn’t likely to help).

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:08 am

      @Mariella oh GOD, the hangovers. Post-30, they are getting worse by the month! x

  8. Mel
    June 10, 2012 / 9:45 am

    Love it Ruth,and its very true.. The very one’s that are giving us a complex about ageing is companies like this.. hmmm? I wonder why… (No I’m not losing my memory just yet) Its all about the ‘money, the money’ excuse me while I bust into a Jessie J song.. Right back, to you all..What is wrong with getting old? Personally I don’t want to look 25 when I’m 90.. Its freaky! However, if I am going to look after myself and my skin, I will not be using L’Oreal, simply because I’m worth more than their ingredients. Majority of ageing comes from the sun damage, and secondly our genes play a major role.. So if your family have faces like maps of the world.. Then sadly, in time you will too.. unless you opt for surgery. There are great women out there who have aged gracefully, and they are the ones I admire, not the ones scared who are scared to admit their age. xx

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:08 am

      @Mel ah, you see I am a great believer in good products! Yes, genetics do play a massive part, but I have seen siblings grow older who have treated their skin VERY differently, and you can absolutely tell them apart! I too think it’s freaky to look 25 when you’re 90, but I’d quite like to look 40 when I’m 50. If that makes any sense?! Not that it’s the be-all-end-all, of course. Good health over appearance, any day of the week! xx

  9. June 10, 2012 / 10:20 am

    I find it to be all about aging naturally.
    You cannot stop aging any more than 50 years back, but it’s the rate we can change.
    As long as you have even colored glowing skin, wrinkles don’t really play a big part.
    Sadly the trend is to look unnaturally tight like a canvas stretched to the max.
    Sure your skin is plump & glowing & uniform in color etc, but is this healthy?

    I look at my mom and she has wrinkles. She’s 56 but has an amazing glow, yet is losing firmness in her face. Her sisters all smoked & tanned like crazy, thus all looking a lot older than her.

    It is partially genetics but also life in general. The bill comes in the end and I rather have had a life with laughter and fun, than a constant worry about ‘wrinkles’ or looking old.

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:28 am

      @Phil yes, exactly. Just slowing it down a little and making small changes to routine that help to keep the skin on its toes! x

  10. June 10, 2012 / 10:23 am

    Hi Ruth,
    thanks for that post, Do you reccomend the lancome tient miracle foundation because I purchaced it but I cant seem to find a way to make it work for my combination skin. Also can you do the £20 makeup challenge!


    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:25 am

      @Zainab what an earth is the £20 makeup challenge?! xx

  11. June 10, 2012 / 10:41 am

    Hahaha…I´m eating porridge as I read this and almost choked!!!

    You forgot sagging boobs…I heard they have cremes for that as well!

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:43 am

      @Erian oh yes, forgot those! xx

  12. Jan
    June 10, 2012 / 10:52 am

    For me signs of ageing are having to correct myself because a memory is no longer 20 yrs ago it is 30 yrs ago. Having 3 teenagers who are deeply into various bands I have found myself saying that I can’t hear the words and that it all sounds the same – but they all (even my OH) peed themselves laughing when I happily sang the words to the Lady Ga Ga Poker Face song as “Cherry pie, cherry pie” rather than “Can’t read my, can’t read my”.

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:48 pm

      Oh Jan, that is a classic! x

  13. June 10, 2012 / 10:54 am

    I know a lot of older women who have lined faces, but a beautiful, glowing complexion which comes from a healthy lifestyle and good products. Of course I want to avoid lines as much as I can, but my main concern is my general complexion. I want to age like those women. At 29, I still regularly get asked for my ID in pubs, and it is starting to bother me a little! At a job interview, I was told that I had ‘achieved a lot for my age’. I don’t know what age they thought I was! Sometimes I worry that the general lack of responsibilty I have in my life encourages me to dress, act and look like an 18 year old!

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:48 pm

      Haha, I get this too! Don’t wish it away though..I feel sad when I DON’T get ID’d, and I’m going to be 32 this year! x

  14. June 10, 2012 / 11:13 am

    When I am 60 (if I am ever somehow 60), I expect roughly to look it. I have no desire to frighten small children with unnatural modifications. Of course the definition of ‘natural’ is hazy and varied, here I am shunning drastic measures.

  15. eloise
    June 10, 2012 / 12:12 pm

    Hi Ruth, coincidently, i just started using the L’oreal 10 signs day cream. So far I like it. Was looking for an everyday cream with spf and it has spf 20 which is great. so far i like it. very rich so a little goes a long way. the night cream is also nice. strange texture…almost like a very very thick serum?? not sure. Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts once you try it out!

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:47 pm

      @Eloise I’ll put it on my list! x

  16. lucy
    June 10, 2012 / 12:20 pm

    hi ruth… please can you do a post on eyecreams, it would be sooo helpful! x x x

    • lucy
      June 10, 2012 / 12:22 pm

      i’ve actually just started to read your beauty snapshot post and saw that you’ve mentioned the pai echium eyecream but you only use it for travelling. what do you use when you’re at home? thanks so much :) x x x

      • Ruth
        June 10, 2012 / 10:46 pm

        @Lucy no, I do use it at home too! Also StriVectin, Alpha-H Absolute, Murad Age Reform… x

  17. Tonya
    June 10, 2012 / 1:30 pm

    This is one of your best posts Ruth. I laughed so much my husband demanded to know what I was reading. I read the lost to him and he didn’t understand at all. Why aren’t men subjected to this type of marketing ploy?

    I was want to add to the list:
    A bottle that glows in the dark or gives an alert tone for those who have reached the age that they can no longer remember where said bottle is located. ( Not that I’ve ever done such a thing. Well, okay I did, but just once.)

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:09 pm

      Nice!!! All important things should glow in the dark – it would make life a lot easier.

  18. Vivienne
    June 10, 2012 / 2:27 pm

    Lol, lol, lol….Just peed my pants after reading all those funny comments. Another sign of aging….Oh hell, now I remember what I forgot to pick up at the pharmacy. Adult Pampers. Heh, heh… Loss of memory…. and the list continues. But I am pleased to know that I am at that age, where I can truly see the humour in aging, and not have to worry about it.

  19. Jo
    June 10, 2012 / 3:16 pm

    Lol so true! You forgot consistently “saying ‘oh dear'” (Grandma was so good at that one it was practically every exhalation!) ;)

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:09 pm


  20. Minshu
    June 10, 2012 / 3:36 pm

    What an interesting post!!!Ruth, you’re such a smart beauty. But, deep down, to be honest, doesn’t everybody wants to do whatever it takes to keep the youth? And, really, I don’t see anything wrong with it. There are so many things that are out of our control, let’s at least control our aging process:)

    By the way, have you ever tried facial exercise?

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:08 pm

      I haven’t, Minshu, no! Have you? x

      • Minshu
        June 11, 2012 / 2:15 am

        No, wanted to, but all those stretching your skin kinda scares me.

  21. June 10, 2012 / 5:07 pm

    Ha ha, this really made me laugh! I have recently invested in a Clarisonic which I am assured by the lovely sales people at Space NK that it will not only work to reduce pore size/ oily patches/ spots etc, but will also tackle wrinkles…Job done?..we’ll see! I’m 28 and still getting the odd spot but also faced with the ageing card! Luckily no memory loss as of yet though, but I do like my cups of tea :S ….

  22. thumbalins
    June 10, 2012 / 5:15 pm

    Amen! I do think that by the time I manage blemishes I will have to combat those signs of ageing. Meh… what can you do?

  23. Gaya
    June 10, 2012 / 6:44 pm

    Saturday, afternoon. Grandma 1 in the kitchen with mum and grandma 2. Mum and grandma 2 are talking about wine and the difference it makes when the vines are located in sunny places. Grandma 1: “Wine comes from grapes? I didn’t know.”
    Later on on that day, I was rummaging through the kichen’s drawers in search of chewing-gum while talking with grandma 1. Without even thinking, I naturally ask her if she wants some. Her answer: “Darling, do you think I have teeth?” (implying that she does’nt have appropriate teeth for chewing gum cause she has teeth of course:p).
    So, signs of ageing: slight amnesia and, apparently, weak teeth.

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:04 pm

      Haha!!!! Oh dear! xx

  24. Maria
    June 10, 2012 / 6:59 pm

    such a funny post! genious!

  25. Helen
    June 10, 2012 / 9:25 pm

    I think right now, being in my early twenties, I’m not so bothered about anti-ageing atm but I do know the importance of using SPF to prevent sun damage. However, this has sparked a debate about growing older and western societies’ attitudes towards it- it isn’t healthy with the constant bombardment of adverts telling you how to get better skin and this and that. If people can accept aging gracefully, I think we’ll all have a better mental health. I think when you’re 70, you won’t worry about your skin, but whether your dementia is going to advance to a stage where you can’t even remember your son’s name. I work in health care and it puts things into perspective. In my twilight years, I think I’ll put my middle finger up at the beauty industry and say that it all doesn’t matter, because quite frankly, I’ll swap great skin for a life with few chronic diseases and great mobility!

    ANYWAY, I still love reading bits and bobs about beauty because I’m really curious about how different ingredients can do different things. Beauty should ideally be a hobby integrated into a daily routine, not something I should be a slave to. I’m glad that you wrote this and I love your attitude towards the ten signs of aging! I think there are so only so many things we can protect against, namely wrinkles and dark spots, other things can be sorted out with make up (brightening primer for dull skin for eg).

    Okok, I think I’ve typed enough! Hope you had a lovely weekend! :D lots of love x

    • Ruth
      June 10, 2012 / 10:44 pm

      Thank you Helen – enlightening, as usual! Yes, I think that health has to be the most important thing – I’ll add to this and say that I think it’s quite crazy when people put their lives/health at risk because of pure vanity… I was talking to a plastic surgeon on Harley Street (research!) and he was telling me all of the crazy things people ask for. It was mind-blowing! x

  26. June 12, 2012 / 9:43 am

    The age thing is a really weird one. I’ve had wrinkles on my forehead since I was a teen because I’ve got a really animated, expressive face and it was a stressy time. I’m not a fan of those at all so wear a fringe sometimes.

    BUT you know what lines I am getting that I love? Little laughter lines around my eyes, I think they’re cute and add character. They show up when I smile. I can live with those : ) Genes play a big part it’s true.

    My mum is 71 this week and looks amazing. I once saw her with all her siblings when she was in her 40s and she looked the youngest one there and she’s the eldest – but she’s maintained great health & a fastidious but simple skincare regime. Ponds cream she says is her secret, drinking lots of water and going for a brisk walk everyday. Oh and she likes climbing mountains. My mum sticks on a pair of walking shoes and trots of to Chamonix with my sister to climb them in a shalwaar kameez, I think that’s BRILLIANT! I bet that fends off the 100,450 signs of aging a treat ; )

    • Ruth
      June 18, 2012 / 1:18 pm

      Your mum sounds amazing Yasmin! x

  27. Gillian
    June 13, 2012 / 11:59 am

    I’m 30 now and have noticed that for the past year it just takes my make up longer to ‘settle’ if that makes any sense… Most of my friends are into Botox but I think I’ll be giving that a miss… (particularly as I was asked for ID buying cooking wine for my dinner- result!!)

  28. UrielxXxEllen
    June 14, 2012 / 11:22 am

    The whole anti-aging hysteria is really crazy isn’t it?
    I will admit however that it is something I worry about. Like so many people have said already, obviously, I would value good health over my vanity any day but like most people, I do like to look good.
    I’m 21 now and I’ve started toying with the idea of an eye cream? What do you think? I’ve started to notice teeny tiny fine lines around my eyes. My Mum and bf said that they can’t see them but I can see them lol!


    • Ruth
      June 18, 2012 / 1:17 pm

      Ha! Yes, I used an eye cream from early on. I just like to. Have you seen Soap & Glory’s one in the little pot? That’s a good one to start with if you’re just after something quite basic! You’ll get lines at the eyes anyway, whatever you do, because eyes are so expressive. So don’t obsess over them! xx

  29. June 17, 2012 / 7:56 pm

    I had an hilarious conversation with someone working for L’Oreal and on campaigns for this product: they couldn’t name the 10 signs either :)
    This is kind of a response to Olay’s Total Effects and their 7 signs, apparently.

  30. Susanne
    July 12, 2012 / 10:23 pm

    I desperately need your advice on eye cream! So far I have purchased so many of your recommended items (madara,alpha etc) as your recommendations rreally seem to work for my skin type. On to eyes! I don’t have bad wrinkles, just noticeable fine lines I think are because I’ve lost a lot of weight and when I was fatter my eyes were all puffy and scrunched. What would you say your top eye firming/tightening creams/serums are…. Under £60ish? I would be unbelievably grateful for your advice x x x

    • Ruth
      July 13, 2012 / 11:31 am

      StriVectin SD xx

      • Susanne
        July 13, 2012 / 12:32 pm

        THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! X

  31. March 23, 2013 / 11:17 am

    the neck, the neck, the neck!!!! what is the best product to use for skin on neck! that is the most problematic area in an aging woman IMO!

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