Who wants to age gracefully?
I’m pondering the whole anti aging area and whether cosmetic medicine for skin rejuvenation fits with the slow aging philosophy. I’ve personally dabbled with lots of cosmetic treatments and mostly enjoyed the results. Let’s face it, one of the reasons we resist accepting the aging process is because we find it challenging to reconcile our outward appearance with how (old) we feel inside.
Whether we like it or not, age becomes an issue at a ‘certain age’
We don’t ever really feel that age is an issue or that we’ve changed in essence, but our bodies tell us otherwise. THEN we are programmed from an early age and bombarded with messages conveying that we are only valuable in our youth and when we look youthful. We might try to address this and look at cosmetic medicine as a solution. Unfortunately (and this is where the cosmetic industry has gotten somewhat of a bad name at times), we can often be further demoralized by practitioners then seeking to educate us about the ‘problems’ we have with aging – the sagging jowls, the deeper lines and the increasing shrinkage of fat from the (until recently!) padded parts of our face.
Where does cosmetic medicine fit when considering a ‘slow aging’ pathway?
Bringing cosmetic medicine into the mix of things we do to adapt to the changes aging brings, is a very personal choice. I would like to see discussion about this come into the open, as have personally come 360 degrees on my attitude to this. I know that cosmetic medicine at this stage of our society’s evolution is helping thousands of women maintain their jobs, feel better about themselves and maintain their ‘currency’ in a youth-dominated culture. The reality is that ageism is alive and well and is the critical issue we should be addressing before we go after women for being ‘self indulgent and vain’ by using cosmetic medicine. The reality in our society, is that good looking people get better jobs and more money. There’s a raft of research linking looks with success even where there’s a decided absence of capability! Marry this propensity with that of ageism and there’s no doubt in my mind that cosmetic medicine is a key plank in a slow aging strategy, but like all strategies has to be carefully developed and implemented.
Slow aging means we approach any intervention in a positive way
Slow aging philosophically promotes health not fear as a driver of the decision for any intervention and cosmetic medicine is no different. Cosmetic medicine is a helpful tool in the maintenance of the skin’s function and prevention of disease. In terms of an incentive for prevention, if you’ve spent thousands of dollars on CO2 laser treatments, then you’re going to be very careful to use sunscreen after this. This might be the deciding factor for some people in implementing a whole of life sunscreen program, that they might otherwise not consider!
So, I’ve concluded that cosmetic medicine can be a slow aging intervention when it focuses on the need to keep our skin and underlying support structures regenerating and maintaining healthy function. It is not about creating a more beautiful look, but simply supporting the skin to be as healthy as it can possibly be as it ages. The upside of course, is that you’ll ultimately be as good looking as you’ll ever be!