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- Joleen Diaz, 43, and Meilani Parks, 19, both from California, have a 23-year age gap
- The pair, who are very close, are often confused for siblings by strangers
- Joleen says maintaining a rigorous skincare regime has helped keep skin young
Like daughter, like mother — like Instagram influencers. A mother and daughter who get mistaken for sisters on social media regularly leave strangers stunned by revealing the 23-year age gap between them.
Joleen Diaz and her daughter Meilani Parks are 24 years apart in age — but strangers often think they’re sisters.
Elementary teacher Joleen said: ‘We are very close. We do lots of things together, travel, shop, work out. And sometimes just lay on the couch and talk.
“I don’t think she minds,” says Diaz, 43, of her 19-year-old. “While she was growing up, she would often hear people tell me they thought my mother was my sister.”
It is due to the closeness she shares with her mother that teenager Meilani does not take offence when people think her mother is her sister.
‘I was pretty young when I had her, so it’s not entirely impossible that we could be sisters.’
The Northern California pair are very close, but while Diaz may not look her age, she does her best to act it.
Now the single mother has revealed that she keeps her skin looking as youthful as her daughter’s by maintaining a good old-fashioned clean living. The single mom (she split with her partner 13 years ago, but they remain on good terms) has a straightforward secret to explain her youthful appearance.
She continued: ‘I’ve always lived a healthy, active lifestyle. I rarely drink alcohol, I get a lot of rest, and eat a balanced, healthy diet.’
“Meilani and I have never gone clubbing or partying together,” Diaz, an elementary school teacher, tells Jam Press, adding that she doesn’t plan to go out with her daughter in the future, either. While she’s had her share of late nights, “these days, I’d rather stay home, drink a nice cup of hot tea, and watch a good movie.”
The youthful mother, whose beauty regime is centered around skincare, also believes the key to retaining the appearance of her skin was starting early, around the age of 12.
She said: ‘I religiously take care of my skin, 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 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.
‘Living in California, sun protection is naturally key. 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.’
Apparently it’s working: The matriarch’s Instagram — which has more than 22,000 followers — is full of comments about how young she looks.
“You are officially the hottest mom in the world!” raves one Insta fan.
“You and your daughter look like sisters,” writes another.
The youthful mother now insists that her daughter follows the same rigorous routine in order to maintain her radiant skin.
She said: ‘Yes I do. I had her start around age 12.’
However, Joleen also believes that a relaxed attitude is key to keeping a youthful glow.
She continued: ‘I’m pretty pragmatic, and try not to worry too much about the past or anticipate worries in the future.’
Joleen and her partner split up amicably 13 years ago but the family still get along, and regularly vacation together.
The mother added: ‘I live a pretty simple life and I’m content with what I have.’
“I absolutely use sunscreen, every day, even on cloudy, rainy days,” she says. She’s been using Retin-A for roughly a year and a half and has seen her skin get “better and better” with it. “Having good skin gives me confidence,” she says, “even on the days I don’t look my best.”
The idea that Diaz is Parks’ sister, the mother points out, is not beyond the realm of possibility.
Diaz and Parks frequently shop, travel and work together though — or just hang out, “lay on the couch and talk.” Their closeness, Diaz says, helps Parks to not find the “sister comments” strange.
The youthful Joleen (left with mother Joanne and daughter Meilani ) said she also protects her skin by using sun protection
After discovering Joleen and Meilani are mother and daughter, social media users have been quick to share their confusion – with some in disbelief at the reality of the relationship.
One user wrote: ‘Wow!! You still look so good! You’re a Supermom haha.’
While another questioned: ‘Are you really a mom???’
Another person added: ‘Who had who at this point.’
Meanwhile others have pointed out the pair look so alike the could be twins, with one asking: ‘Are you twins?’
Great genes, right? Share your thoughts below.