Ageless beauty: what we’ve learned so far

Two of our ageless beauty ambassadors talk about what they’ve gained with age and discuss the beauty essentials they wouldn’t be without – including a great deodorant

Cathy Soraghan and Margret McCarthy

Cathy Soraghan (left) and Margret McCarthy, styled by Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon for the Ageless Beauty photoshoot. Photographs: Johnny McMillan


Founder of Women on the Run fitness studios and Dun Laoghaire Cycle Tours, Cathy Soraghan is only getting started with really enjoying life, she says, while building her exercise empire at age 54.

Sports and exercise are what make me tick
“I’ve been a personal trainer for over two decades now – no one had even heard of the profession in Ireland in the early 1990s. Yet so many people now work out with a trainer. It’s great to see as I really believe a few one-on-one sessions can do more good than a year of going to the gym, doing the wrong exercises that yield no results.

Having a hip replacement was hard but I’m stronger
I slipped in a restaurant a few years ago and it destroyed my back and nearly ended my career. Walking was so painful, never mind jumping around a gym. I was told I needed my hip replaced but put it off until last year. The recovery was terrible: more from an emotional point of view than in terms of pain and I slipped into a dark depression. But I got help, took time to heal and managed to come out the other side mentally and physically stronger and happier than before.

Age has made me more determined
Getting through the last few years has made me determined to live life every day to the full – no more wasting my time on things or people that drag me down.  For years I was so caught up in running everyone else’s lives (kids, partners, extended family and work), and I put all my needs last.  Irish mammies tend to be martyrs to other people: we need to focus on ourselves and learn to put our own happiness first. Since turning 50 I’ve set myself the challenge to do two or three fun and empowering things a year, just for my own enjoyment. Last year I walked the Camino and took up painting - it was so liberating to be on my own and do my own thing.

I’m happiest on my bike
I love freewheeling down hills with the wind blowing through my hair. It makes me feel like a kid. I often cycle from my home in Wicklow to my training studio in Dun Laoghaire and in the summer I run bike tours along the same coast. It doesn’t feel like work at all, and that’s key to my happiness.

My beauty regime is practical by day, glam by evenings
By day I simply wear a tinted, moisturising sun cream, to cover up a few broken veins around my nose and to protect my skin too.  And I always have about four cans of good, but gentle deodorant on the go like Dove Original Anti-perspirant Deodorant – one in my bag, one at work, one in the car and one at home. I run around so much I’d feel very self-conscious if I wasn’t able to freshen up with a quick spritz.  When I’m going out, I love getting glammed up, and am having a thing with lipstick now - I love a good deep pink. And it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing if my hair is not good - it takes away from it all. I’ll either book a blow-dry or put in my Velcro rollers, and once my hair is good, I can take on the world.”

A retired businesswoman, Margret McCarthy, 76, is as busy as ever, helping mind her four grandchildren and honing her oil-painting skills when she has a little downtime

I’ve been surrounded by beauties all my life
I started out working in the beauty industry with Elizabeth Arden herself, in her iconic salon on 5TH Avenue New York back in 1960. She was so beautifully groomed, as were all the women I encountered in New York. It made me realise the power of personal presentation: good hair, skin and nails are far more telling than any outfit or accessory. I went on to work with many international beauty companies and brands and had a hugely rewarding career. Of all the businesswomen, models, mothers and clients I encountered over the years, the most beautiful were rarely the youngest or even the prettiest, but rather the ones who were really enjoying life and feeling good in their skin.

Gilding the lily is not necessary
It makes me sad when I see mature women caked in make-up, with hair extensions, fake eyelashes and who’ve clearly been getting anti-ageing injections. In my mind, they make themselves look older and less attractive.  Beauty to me is accepting what you’ve got and making the best of what you were born with. Work with what you have, not against it.

I only embraced my grey hair at 70
Throughout the years I’ve had brown, black, auburn and blonde hair. While the grey strands started creeping in during my 40s, I just kept dyeing my hair until one day I realised that every hair on my head was silver. I decided to stop trying to cover them up and accept them and now I love my grey.  I genuinely feel if grey hair is cut right and well styled it looks as good as any other colour. Christine Lagarde is my current hair inspiration.

Keep your beauty regime simple
I’ve had access to the best and most expensive beauty products and skincare experts in the world. And yet do you know what I use on my skin every day? A bar of PH-balanced face soap and a face cloth.  You can’t beat it. I follow with a light moisturiser and have only recently added a serum to my regime. To really get a glow, I get out and walk the pier. I swear fresh sea air makes you look more radiant than any facial could. And I wouldn’t be without deodorant, I love the fragrance and performance of the Dove anti-perspirant range, it’s perfect for days running around after the grandkids - sweaty grandma is not a good look!”


The Irish Times conducted a reader survey of 100 women asking their views on a selection of Dove products, including Dove Original Anti-perspirant Deodorant. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and readers loved the effectiveness yet moisturising benefits of the deodorant. Here’s what some of our respondents had to say:

“I loved this deodorant, the effects lasted all day (including a long concert at Slane!) and I still felt fresh at 1am.”
Sarah, 45, Louth

 “Very good deodorant, it really moisturised my underarms and felt like a treat to use, rather than just a functional part of my grooming regime.”
Claire, 38, Dublin

“A confirmed user of Dove already, I love that the antiperspirants keep you fresh yet are not harsh on underarm skin.”
Cara, 40, Dublin

“I'm very particular about the smell of body products and love the clean scent of this range,”
Orla, 46, Dublin

“A very effective product, it didn't leave any marks and worked throughout the day.”
Anne, 59, Dublin 

Dove is committed to making beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety, for women everywhere. The new and improved Dove anti-perspirants nourish and care for your underarm skin like never before while still providing up to 48 hours protection against sweat and odour. Find out more here: dove.com/uk/home.html