All living things age with the passage of time. This is a perfectly natural process, and ideally something to be embraced as part of a life well lived. Any suggestion that we can or should fight the aging process, including what are described as “premature signs of aging”, is nothing more than a marketing scam used by the beauty industry to prey on low self-esteem cultivated by the non-stop presentation of young, photo edited and/or surgically altered bodies in advertising and entertainment.
Some say looking good helps us feel better, but I’m inclined to prioritize efforts to feel good because that reminds us to take care of ourselves. Audre Lorde was a Caribbean-American writer and civil rights activist who famously said (among other great things) that “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Maybe not all of us would consider ourselves engaged in political warfare, but daily life can be really tough, and it isn’t easy to justify the time required to slow down and recharge. However, when we take care of ourselves as best as we can, we can begin to appreciate the many different ways our bodies help us radiate confidence in our ideas, abilities, skills, and wisdom… all of which contributes to a healthy love for ourselves and those around us.
I realize that there is a never-ending list of products promising youth in a bottle. Some contain plant or animal-derived toxins to freeze and fill skin, while others claim to deliver nourishment through worm castings, slug slime, and all sorts of freeze dried or mushed up internal organs. Some offer a touch of glamour through the inclusion of diamond dust, for example, which is said to reflect light and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. All in all, I feel these kinds of products are concerned more with grabbing for your wallet than genuinely helping you feel your best. That just doesn’t seem fair.
I’d love a world wherein all bodies are beautiful, and a lifetime of personal experience is worth more than a face lift. But, while we work together to create this more caring world, it doesn’t hurt to:
- remain well hydrated (i.e. drink lots of water and moisturize regularly)
- avoid sunburn
- avoid smoking
- avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol as both can be very dehydrating
- avoid unnecessary exposure to toxins through petrochemical-based body care products and processed food with lots of preservatives
- practice stress management techniques and try to get enough rest
Each of the above mentioned items will help your whole body feel refreshed and energized, while also helping your skin glow with enough good health to match your fabulous personality =-)