For those of you who are regular readers, you know that for a licensed Aesthetician, I am rather anti-mainstream; choosing instead to counsel my clients to take a much more holistic, internal/external approach to their Menopause-related health and beauty issues.
Add to that, my years spent in the Hollywood film and TV industry as a makeup and special effects artist, and I also am very anti-plastic surgery- having seen firsthand how ‘non beautiful’ many of the finished products turn out to be.
Don’t get me wrong: cosmetic surgery definitely has its place. In the event of deformity or maiming accident it can do much to restore one’s self esteem and self confidence- and in that regard proves to be an important and valuable tool.
But when used -and abused- as it is today, it quite frankly, in my professional opinion, has become a woman’s worst enemy.
Throughout a woman’s life her face ages in a very predictable way, and there is a profound wisdom that accompanies the process.
Let’s take a closer look:
Starting around the age of forty, noticeable facial changes begin to occur.
The skin begins to blotch, suppleness diminishes, texture becomes coarse, wrinkles, bags and sags appear and fatty deposits under the skin begin to decrease, which causes pouches to form under the eyes, chin and around the cheek area and jawline.
Once peri menopause and Menopause set in, sebum production declines and the skin begins to dry out- becoming noticeably less vibrant and radiant. Pores enlarge during this time too.
This is a gradual process that takes place over several years. By age 55 this aging process begins to speed up, bringing with it age-related changes that are much more pronounced and obvious; the underlying and supportive collagen becomes less elastic, skin tissues thin considerably and then atrophy, causing the underlying bone structure to become much more prominent. The mouth, cheeks and eye tissues begin to sag and furrows form around the mouth and forehead during this time.
Granted, all of this sounds rather dismal and beyond our control but take heart Ladies: almost ALL of the causes of these age related changes are now being shown to be lifestyle- induced.
Tanning beds, smoking, sun damage, poor diet, drug use- be it illegal or prescribed, heavy alcohol use, hormone imbalance and untreated health issues, persistent/ ongoing stress, chronic depression, environmental pollutants- all of these issues bring with them cumulative effects that sneak up and grab us by the throat in later years.
Simply put, this means a life lived in an unbalanced and/or unhealthful way will eventually lead to a much harsher aging experience-internally AND externally.
What is the most interesting thing of all to me is this:
Some of the latest studies are starting to show it’s not the standard wrinkles, bags and sags that make us appear ‘old’ to others- but instead it’s uneven skin pigmentation that causes others to view us as ‘old’ or ‘older/middle aged’.
Why do I find this to be of such interest?
The human skin contains molecules called Chromophores. Simply put, these are little light reflecting molecules present in the skin. Skin has what is known as ‘optical depth’. This means our eyes perceive discolorations on the surface of the skin- and those discolorations are SUPPOSED to be there! They’re normal.
When a woman flees to a plastic surgeon for elective cosmetic surgery, more times than not, she opts for lifting and filling procedures. According to the latest studies mentioned above, these are NOT the issues that to others reveal ‘age’.
To make matters worse, the female face ages in certain patterns and ways, as was discussed at the first of this article. After undergoing a face lift, the aging process simply continues and with the passage of time, soft tissues continue to atrophy, collagen continues to decline, the face as a whole continues to sag.
More face lifts become necessary to ‘keep up appearances’ and this process simply leads to an eventual mummy-like appearance.
NOT a good look for a Gal!
Another new study recently conducted indicates that a bit of excess weight carried by a woman in midlife actually makes her face appear YOUNGER.
Granted it’s preferable to keep one’s weight within a normal, healthy range- but carrying an extra 10 – 15 pounds offers what is proving to be an aesthetic advantage. Again, there seems to be a profound wisdom inherent in the human body, especially as it moves through the aging process…
So just what does all this actually mean?!?
In the last year to two, plastic surgeons are now having to admit they’ve gone ‘too far’ and have created a sea of alien-like women; expressionless faces, devoid of much human characteristic. Because of this admission, women across the country are no flocking to surgeons to have spots and wrinkles ADDED back to their faces.
As I have always said: living a healthy and balanced life leads to healthy and balanced Beauty.
Eating a healthful diet, getting plenty of rest, drinking enough water, taking the right supplements, finding joy in every day, and gratitude in every night, avoiding toxins in all forms, be they cigarettes, drugs, alcohol- toxic relationships-especially at midlife- can’t help but prove to be the ultimate beauty elixir!
Getting -and keeping- your hormones balanced also is vitally important to Beauty.
And as for the ultimate tonic, I leave you with these wise and very profound words. Mull them over until we meet again:
A woman who cannot be ugly is not beautiful. -Karl Kraus