L'Oreal research into beauty and ageing

Well that has probably made a few eyebrows move in terms of what this has to do with a Headway forum ?

I was reading an article where Helen Mirren talks about self confidence and within the article she mentions about her role with L'Oreal as a ambassador. When she toured their Laboratories she came across some impressive research.

What L'Oreal found was that putting older people through a program of health and beauty treatments it promoted a sense of well being and self confidence.

However, what they didn't expect was that after monitoring the people for a while, their physical balance and the way the walk is safer, consequently they had less falls !

Something I had never put together until today that when you see some older more sprightly people in the street they are the ones normally well turned out - some dapper old gent and ladies with styled hair and make up.

One of the things that came to mind, is that post injury many of us retreat into ourselves and don't go out that much and subsequently "don't make the effort" to look good. Which considering, that there is much more to concern us at that time is understandable. Some of us lose self confidence and have a low self image about ourselves - whether its walking, talking, doing things etc,

Whilst having a new hairdo or a facial isn't going to be a magic cure for a head injury it could be interesting to see what changes could happen with a bit of TLC or make over.

By coincidence, I tried growing a beard after Christmas , not a shortage of facial hair, just a profusion of white ones. My wife wasn't happy with me as I looked far too old for her - but then I certainly don't look like a toy boy :-(

38 Replies

  • This doesn't ring any bells for me Sos. I won't go out without make up and hair done & I'm very particular about my clothes (spent a fortune on new clothes after my SAH as a sort of consolation !

    But my balance is probably still my main issue after 5 years of practicing with balancing, walking and riding my bike.

    Call me cynical, but a company who had the worst record for animal cruelty in product testing and only stopped their methods when sales fell as a result of leaked publicity wouldn't think twice about fabricating a few 'facts'.

    I'd prefer to turn the whole thing on its head and to believe that folk who've enjoyed good health will be fit enough to walk steadily and look good.

    Sorry Sos ; feel like a 'fly in the ointment'. :o xx

  • Its ok, everyone can speak as they find and I have no knowledge or experience of L'Oreal apart from this article.

    I think Helen Mirren, being the person she is, had probably the same opinion and went to the Labs to verify - a supposition, no more.

    I am guessing the research was undertaken on mature people with low esteem who probably walked with a slouch/head bowed. Whether "make over" helped them to walk with their "head held high" obviously don't know.

    But it is an interesting concept - the old "look good - feel good" saying. Improving someones well-being through receiving positive comments on their hair, nails etc. may be an appropriate therapy for some people.

  • Where confidence is concerned, I couldn't agree more that appearance is everything.

    But I'd still want to turn that saying around so it reads 'Feel good = Look good' because I think wellness and being in control comes from within...........like beauty.

    Maybe it all depends on your starting point because there's logic to both. :D

    Love Ms Mirren by the way ! xx

  • Yep, she is one of those women that you would like to have a meal with just for the chat and experience - same with Stephen Fry

  • Dinner with Helen Mirren? No thank you!

    Dinner with Alice Bhandhukravi [BBC1], much younger, better educated, much better.

  • never heard of them ?????????????/ but then I do not watch much tv esp bbc sorry


  • Neither do I but I mentally have a place in my lonely bed for Alice Bhandhukravi.

    No chance of course but one can hope :(

  • alice alice who the is alice

  • Hello Saucepan, Jules here.

    I have been pondering this one - Cat, i didnt know Loreal did that to animals. Horrid, I use the brand, wont now.

    With me i am very aware i am 'making my bed and laying in it' with regards to how i walk and how i am view by others with my comfortable but dowdy dress code.

    I tried in the early days when i was more full of fight to do my physio stretching everyday and buy new clothes. But after a while i got fed up with the plateu i had reached and nothing improved further - that was as far as my body was going to improve physically.

    Now, what it means to me is i know that if i continue walking with a curled over/to one side back and a right foot that turns in i will only get worse from now on - not better.

    So for me i suppose i have (for now) accepted (with sadness) that no matter how tall and straight i walk i cannot continue with the pain it causes, and i now question why in fact it was so important aanyway.

    I think the early days of my recovery, before i knew this was permanent, then i might have tried it in the privacy of my home - but i was and still am shy about how my body is. I wouldnt, and still dont want people looking at me - my body or my face. Not that there appears to be anything hugley wrong to people, but there is to me.

    Hey - thats probably why i like this forum isnt it !

    Hope you are ok

    Kindest regards


  • The last paragraph hit the nail on the head and put much better than I could - as an older guy, grey balding - worrying about body image for me disappeared long ago as a lost cause. But for some people especially after a major injury don't like the feeling of people looking at them because they feel like they are being judged over their inabilities and faults rather than the positives.

    I guess that is the thing L'Oreal we trying to promote that looking good whilst it is literally skin deep has a much more positive deep down benefit.

    I used to like the early episodes of the "Look good naked" series with Gok Wan. Not that I like him (the opposite) and the bit about running round naked was a bit silly. It was the transformation in people from the start of his work to the final part where they felt good about their looks and body that I found interesting. It seemed to be that it was in three parts - finding a look that suited them, then people saying - you look fabulous and then the realisation that the individual does't have to look like a super model to look good and glamorous.

    But as you say, the nice bit about this forum is that people can put up ideas and people can kick them around a bit :-)

    All the best

  • Hi Saucepan

    yes, very true.

    One thing the chat here today brings to my mind is a member here once described a brain injury experience as 'humbling'. That is a good quality in a person.

    I am sad i will not do the things i thought i was going to in life, i also feel cheated it made my face and body look like this, but given the option of loosing one or the other I would definitely have chosen to be able to do the things i had planned, not restore my looks.



  • When I used to go to the Headway meetings, I used to chat to a very nice guy called Paul Pugh, whom was in a very poor state after an assault (see below).

    He turned to me one day and said how lucky he felt on times compared to people like me whom have memory and learning problems. He said he didn't know how people cope with it - considering what he had gone through, that was very humbling.


  • Hi Jules,

    Products with the leaping bunny logo are cruelty free. You can send for 'The little book of cruelty free' for free, to help you make your product selections. Please see link : crueltyfreeinternational.or...

    I used to be quite shy, never liked others looking at me and preferred to blend into the background, wearing plain/dark clothing. These days, with the stick and obvious movement abnormalities I am more noticeable anyway, so I figured I should wear what I like ! Bright colours, stripes etc all cheer me up : ) Never worn makeup - haven't the patience to apply it ! I think that colours can definitely play an important part in mood and how you feel. Angela x

  • Just want to add that I LOVE Jules ; only she can get away with addressing Sospan as 'Saucepan' ! ;-) xx

  • It is the actual translation :-) :-)

    Been called many things over the years - the funniest thing when we had some German work colleagues staying with us. One day the young woman, obviously nervous asked what does "Oi" mean ? I said "I didn't know - where did you get it from ?" . Clearly embarrassed she said that my wife calls you that a lot ! Still puzzled I asked her for an example - "Oi, your're suppers ready", "Oi, you taking the dog out", "Oi, you going to give me a hand"


  • That's brilliant Sos.

    So much for me seeing Jules's interpretation as a joke........................ I just love her more now ! x

  • that is a name in thailand

  • Really John ; do you know its meaning ?

    You OK by the way ? xx

  • not at this moment but I will try to look it up in one of my Thai books

    still in pain from the vaccination over 10 years now looks like the older I get the worse it is, i have an appointment to see a immunologist when I get back 10 years too late ?

    hope you are well weather considering ? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • I'll be ok by next Friday thanks John ; having my usual steroid shot for arthritis pain so should be like a spring lamb when it kicks in.............just wish it would last longer.

    So sorry you're still not getting pain relief (rotten business isn't it) but hope the immunologist can come up with something useful. Keep in touch my friend.......it's always good to hear from you. Love Cat xxxxx

  • oops (id say Freudian slip if i could spell it) !

    sorry sospan



  • :-)

  • You just did Jules !..................and an apparently very accurate one !

    Clever girl............... ;-) xx

  • I can understand that , but dressing up never made me feel better


  • I love how we can debate a point on here, and everyone respects the right of others to have an opinion that differs from their own, you're beating Fakebook in the 'reasoned debate' field.

    *Pulls up soapbox.* *It's supermarket own-brand soap.*

    I'm never far from getting into trouble about my opinions on aesthetic objectification, and the potential for nurtured-neurosis of impressionable people. (I worked with adolescents, and this 'You MUST be attractive' Fakebook/Instagram mentality has a lot to answer for.)

    I'm in the feel-good-look-good camp, the fact that I look like Stig of the Dump most of the time is immaterial, I went 'out' the other weekend, and tried to find some make-up, to avoid looking like I'd been exhumed, or escaped from somewhere. I'd evidently thrown one of my "I don't have to plaster my face in this CRAP!" tantrums at some point, because all I could find was an eyeliner, a lipstick, and a mascara that hadn't been used for so long it had mostly dried up.

    I am not a feminine female. I lollop about the place in jeans and hoodies because I'm comfortable like that. I wore 5-inch stilettos when I went 'out', which essentially turned me into a ginger-affe, I'm 5ft 8 and 3/4 barefoot. I don't have a 'beauty routine', I wash my face with soap, sometimes I remember to put moisturiser on, and, since I've turned 40, I have a new hobby of 'hunting for interestingly-positioned stray eyebrow-hairs.' (Nobody told me that would happen, I expected wrinkles and such, but not finding a rogue eyebrow-hair sprouting on my forehead.)

    This, for me, isn't 'new' since the BI, I've never really worn make-up, and my hair is usually tied in a pony-tail, or plaited so it doesn't tickle my face, I don't iron my clothes, why would I iron my hair? I have a wardrobe full of clothes I don't wear, the ex used to like to trot me out as arm-candy, there are dresses so short that you'd be able to see what I'd had for breakfast if I walked upstairs in front of you, and tops where feats of NASA-level structural engineering were needed to avert catastrophe. That's part of my objection to objectification, and that's very much MY issue.

    If you want to follow fashion, go for it, if you want to watch 'seven steps to apply lipstick perfectly', or 'how to use your eyebrow-crayon' tutorials, go for it, if that's what YOU want to do. My slant on this is that I've worked with a hell of a lot of women who wouldn't leave the house without a full face of make-up, and were permanently on some sort of fad-diet. Some of them couldn't walk in heels as well as I can, and I'm essentially a bloke.

    Confidence comes from within, I'm not going to parrot beauty-is-skin-deep, but I very strongly believe that a positive self-image exudes more confidence than having the 'right' outfit. (Some of my outfits look like they were hastily assembled, in the dark, at a jumble sale, a colleague once described my 'look' as "Like you'd stripped off, rolled in glue, and then run through a charity shop blindfolded.", I didn't slap him, because he was right.)

    There's a tangent-thought, about it being more important to be healthy than attractive, but, given the audience, I'll save that one for Fakebook, it'd be like that mindlessly irritating thing, where people in the doctor's waiting room insist on asking other people how they are. "Fantastic, never been better, that's why I'm at the doctors."

    I accepted a long time ago that I didn't have to style myself a certain way, to fit with other people's expectations. Two years in to the 'new' me, that's still very important to me, fair enough, I don't share with everyone that I fall over quite a lot, or that the sensory over-stimulus of some 'normal' situations actually makes me want to scream, but that's just me adapting to my new normal. I'm never going to be mainstream-attractive, and that doesn't matter to me, it's more important to me that I'm broadly functional, and working on being healthier. (Yes, it would be ace if the Pilates brings back my muscle-tone, but it's more about the core-strength and balance for me.)

    Do as you will, all of you, but please, do it for you, not for other people, and for the love of all that's good, don't do it because a cosmetics company said you should.

    *Dismounts soap-box, singing "Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's margarine."*

  • :-) Well that brought a smile to my face in a cold, wet, dreary day in Wales.

    I used to work in many large offices across the UK. One of the things that you mention, I always used to comment on - the inability of some ladies in heels to walk like a lady and not like a builder. As a piece of fun, It has even been known for me to do a "walk off" in the office where I have managed to get my size 10's into a co-workers shoes and seen who can walk the straightest line in "heels". Invariably, the 6ft, 17st, 48 inch chest, size 10 shoe won. After demonstrating proper deportment to one girl, head up, shoulders back, walk one foot in front of another not pointing outwards, She tried it took a few steps, wobbled and fell over - "that's really hard" she said :-(

    You make that interesting point about "make up", appearance and confidence. I have also worked with women who would rather sit in the car in the car park and be late, than turn up without make up. Some people wear it like a mask and hide themselves behind it.

    The worst for me is, when you see someone whom looks like they got make up lessons from Coco the clown - white face concealer, bright lipstick and nails, false eye lashes, eye liner, powder around the eyes, eye brows removed and draw back in by the creator of " Angry birds" and the hair ...... It is obviously their choice, their style but makes you wonder is that lack of knowledge, a statement or something else....

    I do miss the style and fashion of the 80's where there was such variety in the way people used to dress, do their make up and hairstyles. It wasn't just the ladies whom used to style themselves. However, never really got down to South Wales - but then nothing much does! I was accosted by a rather sweet "grooming technician" in a London store a few years ago. He asked me "what grooming products does sir use?" "WHAT ?", "You know moisturisers, concealers, bronzers .." the guy was mystified when I said "Where I come from men have only just started eating salad"

    Still one memory for the day - 5ft 8 wearing 5 inch stilettos ..........

  • I amuse myself sospan, the 5-inch heels I mentioned are the most expensive thing in my wardrobe, because they're Dr Martens, those buggers will last forever. (Especially if, given recent wear, I only put them on twice a year.) I'm at-ease with myself enough to be able to poke fun at me, and I honestly hope I didn't come across as judgemental to people who do have a 'beauty routine', I've been awake since 2.30am again, and know I have a tendency to 'go off on one' sometimes.

    People are meat no-one eats, and I'm sure people shudder as much at my tattoos and piercings as I do at people who wake up an hour early to draw their eyebrows on, the world would be dull if we were identikit clones.

    Chortling at "Men have only just started eating salad." as well, my Granddad was Welsh, and I had years of holidays in Wales, you'll get 'metropolitan' eventually, but, as even the Romans didn't get to you, it might take a while. I like Wales as it is, I don't want to think of your fantastic green spaces taken up with McDonald's, and Starbucks and the like.

  • Ink on people is quite interesting to see, read and sometimes enjoy. Some of the ones I have seen over the years are truly exceptional.

    Some don't really suit their owners and some bad ones make you cringe and some I guess are regrettable. The ones I like are the ones that have a personal story behind them that means something special

    Hopefully the "metrosexual" movement will have withered and died before it gets here - the signs are encouraging with beards being the latest fashion item - rather than designer stubble !

    It ism't so much the McDs and Startbucks at the moment it the number of "Lotka cafe", Polish Deli's that is causing a concerns. Wales was always quite a tolerant country - during the war years many Italians were interned in Wales and after the war the didn't want to go home but instead brought their families over here. Same with Afro Caribbean in Cardiff. However, in the local schools Welsh has dropped to third place in the language behind English & Polish.

  • Crikey, I didn't realise Welsh wasn't as prevalent as Polish! My maiden name was Bevan, but I can only manage 'Cwrw' 'Safle Bws' 'Dwym Parcio', and 'Diolch', the usual tourist-phrases...

    My tattoos are all out-of-sight, and they all tell parts of my story, I don't have the 'arm-carpet', although there is what could be construed as a tramp-stamp, which was done before tramp-stamps were even a thing.

    I'm not sure metro-sexuality would sit well in the valleys, I'm an hour from a major city, and even I don't 'get' it. Beards, I get beards, beards are smashing, which is why I don't shave... Wales-memory, of sitting outside a pub in Aberdarron, because we had dogs, and the ex saying "Are you cold, love? All the hair on your face is standing on end."

  • I have no tattoos , I could never understand why people have tattoos I have seen many stunning women with tattoos and I wonder why so beautiful they are but with horrendous tattoos ?????????????????????????????

  • so true, as for grooming products I thought they were for dogs and cats

    real men are clean shaven well washed polite honest and smartly dressed

  • looks like you are my kind of woman all woman

  • remember the song behind a painted smile I would never trust a woman with loads of make up a little yes but then most women do not know how to use make up or perfume

  • Bit like some blokes don't know when to lift their finger on the spray button on Lynx antiperspirant :-)

  • spot on , but I prefer creed

  • With you, Gaia - 'feel good' is the priority and I don't honestly care what I look like - as long as it is relatively tidy.

    I don't use 'beauty products', haven't done for years. I only buy clothes once in a while when things have got too tatty to wear. So many of these things are over-engineered and produced in highly questionable ways. But it is a bit like supermarket groceries - hard to avoid entirely even though you are not 100% sure you like what you are getting or where it has come from, and my way of dealing with that is only to get the barest of essentials. Resources are finite after all. Think it is my Franciscan leanings.

    That is ok for me - how I look really hasn't figured in how I feel since I was about 19. For other people it can be part of their stability set, the things that make them feel all is well. How I function is probably my key stability marker, and I can relate to Jules' comment about feeling shy about how things weren't working properly, although since becoming ill I have gone more with Gaia and Angela's approach which is more 'this is me, here I am' - and one thing I would say about that is that I have gone from a background of thinking of myself as someone who knew how to accept difference to truly becoming a person who understands, and tries her best to embrace, difference.

    Looking well-turned out can be a real life support for some. Just throwing something on and turning out is more my way of doing things. But I hope I would only object to other people's lives if the way they looked suggested they were in some kind of danger.

    And yes, this forum in particular is so open, so tolerant, so forgiving, so full of love and sharing. It is a really special space of humanity and I am pleased I found you all 2 years ago x

  • looking good an putting on a mask as I call it when I do it as its for going unnoticed,to be like everyone else as haven't got the confidence for much more,people say I look younger than I am which be bloody brilliant but my body don't act like it,rather more like the tin man,an nails if you have phsoratic,arthritis can make your hands worse.then there's the result of mascara,looking like id been to a funeral,as they don't say you will be so sensitive to ingredients that you wasn't before,so now I don't bother as truth is just makes me iller,

You may also like...