I have lost count of the number of stories where people claim they cannot tell the difference between a mother and a daughter. And while most of them are utter disappointments, this one is the real deal.
Despite a 23-year age gap, people often think that single mum Joleen Diaz, from northern California, is her 19-year-old daughter’s sister.
Joleen, 43, and daughter Meilani have an extremely close relationship.
The mum said: “We are very close. We do lots of things together – travel, shop, work out. And sometimes just lay on the couch and talk.”
But because she looks so good for her age, Joleen says Meilani doesn’t take offence when people mistakenly believe them to be sisters.
Elementary school teacher Joleen said: “I don’t think she minds. While she was growing up, she would often hear people tell me they thought my mother was my sister.
“I was pretty young when I had her, so it’s not entirely impossible that we could be sisters.”
So how does the mum stay looking so young? Joleen says it’s all down to taking care of yourself.
She says: “I’ve always lived a healthy, active lifestyle. I rarely drink alcohol, I get a lot of rest, and eat a balanced, healthy diet.”
The key to her youthful appearance, she explains, is a solid skincare regime.
“I religiously take care of my skin,” Joleen says. “And everyday wash my face in the morning and before I go to bed.
“I began taking care of my skin at a young age, around 12 or 13.
“My mom used to buy Mary Kay [cosmetics] and I would secretly use her skin care products.
A product that has shown dramatic change for me is tretinoin. Most people know it as Retin-A. I’ve been using it now for about a year and a half, and I’ve seen my skin just get better and better.”
But living in California means Joleen has to be extra careful when it comes to protecting her skin from the sun.
She added: “I absolutely use sunscreen, every day, even on cloudy, rainy days. I also use a vitamin C serum day and night.
“Having good skin gives me confidence, even on the days I don’t look my best.”
Meilani has taken her mum’s lessons on board, following the same regime for the past seven years.
But while you might think Joleen is one of those mums who tries to tag along with her daughter on nights out and to clubs, she couldn’t think of anything worse.
She said: “Meilani and I have never gone clubbing or partying together. And I don’t foresee us doing that anytime in the near future.
“I’ve had my share of doing both – these days I’d rather stay home, drink a nice cup of hot tea, and watch a good movie.”