A few days ago I watched the very clever video below of a woman aging from a child to a late middle age woman. What struck me the most was how beautiful the woman was throughout the process. More than anything it seemed to confirm, for me at least that age is mostly a state of mind. Of course it is a little bit more than that as we are all destined to die from the moment we are born. However, for most of us who are lucky enough to be able to be the architects of our own lives, we can make that long journey, that circle of life in a myriad of very different ways. Although the end is always the same, the life-span the quality and the grace with which we do age on our journey are all up for negotiation, all very changeable. Anyway, before I go any further please watch the clip and remember to make sure your speakers are on, as the music is an integral part of the experience:
Of course I can spout on about the beauty and honesty of aging naturally until I am blue in the face, but few people would wholeheartedly agree with me. We have after all been raised during a time when youth and youth culture seems to be prized higher than most things; usually by advertisers and media companies and absolutely by the billion euro beauty industry. There is after all a long tradition of slapping this or that on our bodies and in recent years even injecting inert deadly bacteria and chemicals like botox into our faces. Nutrition is also an area the marketers have been keen to seize upon under the banner anti-aging. Although, this off shoot of the beauty and lifestyle industry is still regarded as a bit of an upstart because it has barely been around for more than a couple of decades, it has not been slow in making people quickly rich. I won’t try and deny for a second that I have not been influenced by the claims of both industries, I have taken supplements in the past and must confess that I have been moisturising my skin, with this cream or that for many years. But does it work, does any of it really work for long?
There was a time, perhaps up until about 10 years ago when I was a healthfood shop’s dream customer. I took multi-vitamins, multi-minerals, antioxidants, fish oils, extra B vitamins, Coenzyme Q10 and stuff like gingko biloba. However, after studying the science a bit more closely and eventually co-authoring a couple of bestselling books on the subject, I realised that my normal diet was giving me almost everything I needed, even as a vegetarian/ pescatorean (fish and seafood only). So I stopped almost all of these supplements and now only take a multi B vitamin and a spoonful of ground linseed on my breakfast muesli, which makes up for any shortfalls in my diet because I don’t eat meat. I should also point out that if you take nothing else – a spoonful of linseed (make sure you grind them as whole seeds mostly just pass through your body) is possibly one of the most beneficial things you can take for your body.
Photo by Health Gauge
Health foods and vitamin supplements may be one thing but what about the magic creams and potions we rub, spread or inject into our skin every day? I won’t deny that there are some visible benefits – especially if you want part of your face to lose its muscle strength so your wrinkles temporarily decrease as with Botox or dermal fillers in your face and lips. But because these have no significant long lasting affects you quickly become a tidy cash (or credit) sum of repeat business for whoever injects these things into your face (not always a doctor or surgeon). However, most beauty creams are little more than expensive moisturising creams – which despite a dizzying array of pricy ingredients all essentially try to do the same job. It’s about here that you point out that I just confessed earlier to using a moisturiser and you would be right to a certain extent. What I do use at night, in order to lock in moisture and hence keep my face looking a bit fresher and less lined, is a baby-bottom-butter. Waitrose baby-bottom-butter to be precise. This inexpensive (about £3) cream, initially intended for the care of a babies delicate skin actually came top in a 2011 survey and pushed aside other creams that retailed at over £100+ for the same amount. So go on try it and save yourself a load of money!
There are many other alternatives to achieve similar results as those declared in most expensive product marketing, which far too often stray towards making unrealistic claims and telling downright lies about this product or that. These industries rely to a certain extent on baffling the consumer with science and fancy ingredient names such as sodium lardate, lardium or tallow (all lard), ambergris (whale vomit) or hyaluronic acid (human placenta). Let’s face it you wouldn’t pay too much for anything containing these things if they overtly told you the common ingredient name for what you were about to smearing into your face… or would you?
Photo by Traveller_40
How a word count creeps up on you – I actually wanted to give you a list of about 25 or so beauty or nutrition industry myths that could be debunked, but I must end here with a promise that if there is enough interest I will return to this interesting but sometimes very confusing area later in the year. Until then, if you want to look good and age more gracefully: eat well, stop smoking or drinking too much, avoid stress as much as possible and oh yes get moisturising at night with baby bottom butter!
So… was that enough of a departure for you guys who needed a change from my thoughts on the disintegrating situation in Turkey… what too Metrosexual? Really? Oh well I’ll definitely fix that for you next time!