Are you curious (or worried) about how you would look five or ten years into the future?
Not to give you a doom and gloom tirade about old age. But if people can honestly answer what is the one thing that makes them worry at the thought of getting old, we might get surprisingly revealing answers.
Is it Mortality? Weakness? Vulnerability? Sickness? Or, are we more worried about how our physical appearance is going to change? We normally shut off niggling fears and worries forming in our heads at the thought of old age and its inherent physical changes. Often, because we are wired to think it is shallow!
Fear is fear and worry is worry, and whatever source and reason it’s coming from must be faced! When we face and address and resolve ours fears and worries, no matter how little, we feel better and free. So, what would you rather be?
Appearing nonchalant and fearless on the outside, but stressed and fearful on the inside? OR, honestly facing your inner demons brought by midlife or maturing age, resolving it, and at the end of the day, be happy and free?
Distress in Stages?
Generally, how we view the approach of old age depends on the age or stage in life we are in. If you are a woman in your thirties, you are likely to be preoccupied with your career, your young family, having fun and exploring more of life that the thought of wrinkles, age spots and gray hair, hardly makes a blip in your radar. Skin that succumbs to gravity is just too far fetched, given the still relatively plump and smooth skin you see in the mirror.
However, if you are a woman in your forties, the thought of how you are going to look five or ten years into the future must be starting to figure prominently in your mind. You must be starting to see fine lines creeping at the corners of your eyes, around the mouth and forehead. Perhaps, a little tightening of the skin on your neck? If you are the type of person who puts importance to appearance and how you present yourself to the world, then this would be the time (if you haven’t yet) to seriously assess your skin’s health and decide on your skincare maintenance in order to best prepare yourself for more mature age. After all, looking a decade, or more, younger than your biological age is not really impossible.
If you are a woman in your fifties, depending on how active and youthful you feel, and more importantly, how you have been taking care of your skin from the early stages, wrinkles and sagging skin may have already arrived. As you age, your skin becomes drier and thinner, and you would notice this change quite well. Due to oil glands becoming less active with age, glands produce less oil that your skin crucially needs to stay supple and moist, resulting in dry skin and facial lines or wrinkles becoming more prominent. But it is not too late! Your skin may not go back to be as supple as when you were in your twenties or thirties, but taking serious steps at optimum skincare, at this stage, will definitely do wonders in injecting back much needed moisture that would alleviate dried up skin and deepening lines resulting in skin that looks to have received a fresh breath of life! Natural, high quality oil-based moisturizer at this stage, is gold! A few facial lines lessened and dry skin patches moisturized can spell a huge difference!
If you are a woman in your sixties or above, you might be surprised at how many sixty and over grandparents look as young as their children, as cliche as this may sound.
Crisis in Mid-Life – Ignore it or Embrace it?
Physical aspect is just one of the many things that brings an onset of anxiety to a person in their mid-life. However, given the magnitude and obvious nature of this particular change, it is something that is difficult to ignore, because it is just too obvious for other people to see and contributes largely to how a person becomes too “conscious” of their appearance! It would be easier to admit to this fact and address it, rather than ignore from fear of being seen as superficial. It is not shallow or superficial, but rather, something genuinely important to consider. When you see yourself slowly changing here and there, and if these changes take you by surprise, it would tend to overwhelm the comfort and ease of familiarity you have with your appearance. Any normal person who takes pride of her appearance, cares well for it, and gives importance to how she presents herself to the world, would start to doubt and underestimate her value when she thinks and feels that she is going “downhill.”
For many middle aged men and women, one of the things that trigger mid-life crisis through the changes that start to occur, is the most obvious manifestation of aging — physical change. Mid-life crisis is often caused by a combination of factors that collectively puts an emotional and mental anxiety or difficulty on the part of the person. However, due to the nature of physical changes that comes with maturing age, it is often a major driver of the crisis. As the saying goes, the only constant thing in life is change.
Physical changes associated with aging is one of the major transformations a person has to go through, provided your are lucky or healthy enough to reach that stage.
That is, if you are to be honest about it. Mid-life crises kick in when you start to form a seed of doubt on how you are continually seen by other people. As you see yourself every day, the changes may or may not be noticeable in the beginning, but as you start to notice, the consciousness of how other people might start to see you (if they are noticing what you are noticing!) becomes a seed of doubt. This seed of doubt, if not addressed properly, would create a chasm so wide, it turns into insecurity. It is not rocket science to realize that insecurity is the gate to all sorts of green monsters growing inside our psyche. A clear understanding of middle life or maturity, as well as, steps taken to prepare would help you through the transformation. There is no need to be “beautiful “ in the commercial or “traditional” sense, however, knowing that you have expected and prepared for the coming of mature (old!) age, its actual coming would not come as a surprise to dread, but rather, an event to embrace.
Be The Best Version of Yourself
If you take care of your skin and body and know that you have exerted an effort to be the best version of yourself, then you are, and will feel secure with the coming of maturity (ok, let’s admit it – old”er” age). The feeling of security and absence of negative anticipation in itself, greatly reduce the feeling of stress that contribute to speed of aging. Research supports that chronic stress is believed to speed up aging by releasing stress chemicals into the body, as well as, shortening the length of DNA strand which result in biological changes. Making the mistake of shrugging off stress and anxiety brought about by changes related to “getting old” only exacerbates and accelerates the actual aging process. A relaxed and secure person would likely exude energy and youth that translates to youthful appearance.
There is nothing wrong with growing old! It is a process! And by many standards, a blessing. It just needs to be understood and the stigma that comes along with it, destroyed. It is perfectly fine to feel the attachment to youthful appearance and that you are doing your part to be as physically appealing and attractive, by your own standards.
One thing that appears to be certain is that not taking care of your skin when younger jeopardizes the fate of your skin health and appearance in the future. Have you ever regretted having used a certain product? Perhaps, it did not agree with your skin, or maybe it caused your skin to react a certain way that you did not like? Or, perhaps it resulted in a type of skin that you only noticed much later, after prolonged use? Certain chemicals or compounds are not bad if used correctly, however, accumulation of particular substances in your system may have certain effects in the long term. Key phrase is – long term effects.
If you are to pick. Between the following products, which would you choose?:
Product 1: Typical skincare product with chemicals and synthetic compounds
>> short term effect – appears to produce expected results, after a while.
>> long term effect – unknown, possibly harmful.
>> health impact – unknown, with possible harm.
>> environmental impact
Product 2: Skin Care product made up of natural ingredients, using natural process.
>> short term effect – may take a bit more time to produce expected good results, but feeling of satisfaction over clean, healthy choice is immediate. Like many good things, a little bit of patience pays off.
>> long term effect – expected good results that is stable and lasts longer.
>> health impact – good and beneficial.
>> environmental impact
It would be remiss for consumers to forget about the issue of environment impact. It is not just consumers’ health that is at play in the question of chemicals or synthetic ingredients in cosmetic and skin care products, there is also the environment health. For instance, in exfoliating face wash, who would ever consider or think of those tiny particles called micro-beads as harmful to the environment? These micro-beads are made of plastic and are so tiny that when they are washed down the drain, they are too small that they are not caught in sewage treatment plants. If for this reason alone, natural coffee and plant based exfoliants are the obvious better choice for face and body scrubs. Chemical components, as well as, non-biodegradable packaging do not breakdown, and therefore, accumulate in our ecosystem. Product manufacturers must be conscious and do their parts in respecting the integrity and health of the environment and leave as less carbon footprint as they possibly could.
If you are the type of person who believes and loves the look of “real” and natural, and who puts so much value to your health, I am quite certain that you would pick product number # 2. Rightly so, having peace of mind is a great motivation to go for a certain goal when you are not worrying about negative impacts to your health. After all, you do want to reach old age, minus the “old age” look! But if you are compromising your health, then the question about your living a long life becomes a worry.
Natural vs. Science. Better to Strike a Balance!
It is not to say that products with synthetic or artificial ingredients are bad, chemistry and science is there for a reason and they can do a great amount of good. However, it is more of the particular kind of ingredient that we have to be cautious about (Hydroquinone, Octinoxate, Polyacrylamide, Parabens, etc.). There are reputable agencies that regulate the use of dangerous and harmful substances in skin care and potentially harmful ingredients are supposedly used only up to a certain limit that would not jeopardize people’s health in the long term. However, until sufficient research are done and enough evidence are found, these substances can be used. At the end of the day, it is up to the consumers to decide whether or not to continue using products with potentially harmful ingredients and risk long term side effects to their health.
One might think that physical or outward appearance is far too shallow to ever be considered as something to get ready for. However, if you have the chance, wouldn’t you? If you could get the physical aspect of the many changes that come with old age, in check and thereby reducing anxiety, wouldn’t you do something about it?
But wait! Take a pause… let this sink in… you would not look good if you are not healthy. And if by freak of nature, you still happen to look good even when you are not healthy, this can be guaranteed — you would not feel good. And you will not be here in wonderful planet Earth for very long!
Really, no rocket science involved here, Health is key to maximizing our life to the full and beauty, peace of mind and happiness are the logical result. As the saying goes, you have to love the skin you’re in, and when you love something, you take care of it, seriously. At the basic of skin care is cleansing and moisturizing, at the very least, these two factors would spell a difference to your skin. The difference that could make you the best version of yourself.
You deserve to live a long and healthy life filled happiness and security. Embracing old age but feeling confident, energetic and happy because you feel good about how you look is worth all the effort of presenting yourself. Block all the outside noise, your inner voice is more important if it tells you that you are beautiful. After all, you don’t have to be young to be youthful.