Is There A Real Fountain of Youth?
The legend of the “Fountain of Youth” has existed since the days of Herodotus in the 5th century B.C. Great. Many were believed to have set out in search for this elusive fountain whose restorative waters would turn back the clock.
This search persists to this day, although in different ways. For centuries, women used milk baths, herbs, skin whiteners, and coverings in order to stave off the effects of harsh sunlight and environmental conditions. They would pamper themselves and use natural colorants to adorn their skin and hair.
Today, men and women continue to seek out a “magic” solution to the aging process. The term “anti-aging” has come to refer to products and processes that arrest the hands of time, just like the mythical fountain of youth. The question is whether many of the products claiming to be anti-aging really do what they claim. Add to this the tendency in this country for society to worship youth and outward beauty, and you have heightened pressure for consumers to find the magic bullet.
Are Skincare products the New Fountain of Youth?
It is highly unlikely that any single skincare product can halt aging. The human body is a complex machine, and the skin is its largest organ. Scientific studies point to things like shortened telomeres, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors in an attempt to understand what causes aging in the first place.
As far as the skin is concerned, things like oxidative stress and too much sun exposure can cause the skin to lose elasticity. Loss of collagen can be caused by smoking and other factors, which can cause skin to sag. Cell turnover also decreases as we age.
In order to counteract some of these changes, there are a few topical ingredients that have shown results:
- Products containing retinoids can help lighten age spots and increase cell turnover.
- Scrubs and lotions containing alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids help eliminate dead skin cells. Examples are citric acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Alpha-hydroxy acids, which are water soluble, tend to be gentler than beta-hydroxy acids, which penetrate deeper and are oil-soluble.
- Antioxidants like ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) and catechins and polyphenols (found in green tea) help with inflammation that can damage skin and other organs. Vitamins C, E, and H (Biotin) help maintain healthy skin and hair. These are found in many foods, but skincare products often add them, too. However, since it is unknown how much will be absorbed by the skin, it’s best to eat a variety of healthy foods or take a supplement if a deficiency is suspected.
Finding our Fountain of Youth
Just how much you feel you need to do in order to slow down the aging process depends on many factors, including lifestyle, diet, environmental toxins, cultural mores and heredity. Just how young do we want to be? We prefer to use the term “age-defying” to describe the steps we take to keep ourselves as healthy and vigorous as possible, while embracing age-related changes to our bodies. Our new Vitamin C Face Crème with Niacinamide is designed to gently renew the skin’s surface while smoothing without silicone. While some might welcome such procedures as Botox, dermabrasion and collagen smoothies, others might be happy with aging gracefully with such practices as yoga and meditation, gentle exfoliation, and a detoxifying diet. Whatever your preference, it’s important for us to balance self-care and self-acceptance. After all, being happy with ourselves may be the best beauty treatment of all.