Sunday, 4 March 2012

Ageing, Ageism and Ageists- The unholy trinity


"Age is just a number. Unless of course,

 you just happen to be,

 a bottle of wine' - Joan Collins


The above quote came courtesy of the Urban retreat weekly newsletter that arrived into my inbox between 11 to 11.15 am this morning. This is the link if you are interested: http://link.urbanretreat.co.uk/u/gm.php?prm=qZJAbs1Rkl_110392308_166267_24783


On this quiet Sunday morning, I woke up to a quiet street despite living just off the intersection of  3 busy roads . I had some ideas about the concept of ageing and how it affected my day to day existence racing through my mind. I am of the impression that the impact of fear of losing the 'look of youth' is so stark that I couldn't see for looking.

I check my inbox ( routine, another sign of walking away from the hap hazard nature of being young), I am going through weekly round-ups and daily updates from Beauty bloggers ( my favourite is the British Beauty Blogger updates-  very good at being frank and candid) and cosmetics company ( Zuneta- congratulations on the honors bestowed) about the next anti-ageing skin lotion or potion or mask giving that burst of radiance that apparently has been stolen from 'you' by time.


Maybe, we are being made to think that becoming older ( tsk!tsk! the four letter word) is simile to looking older! Now, suppose that we believe that this is true, then, the next question would be, do lotions/potions/creams work? After all, the skin is the surface and we are applying all the purported nutrients to it, surely it must be doing something. No one formula seems to work and so we have cosmetics companies channelling their big bucks into research, and pumping out data on trials of their products. As a clinician, I know that these so called clinical trials are rarely published in reputable journals, and what is reported is qualitative ( meaning they report how women feel or apparent results of perceived improvement which could well be a placebo effect ). For reference, a drug trial can take up to about 10 years for efficacy. These women may have had the same feeling of tightness/tautness/ reduction in wrinkles if the applied olive oil to their skins daily! The chosen demographics and the number of subjects are also questionable.

Ageing as a concept traverse beyond the superficiality of skin creams, it is something deeper than that. It is how how we feel, how we think, how we connect our trinity of mind, body and soul. The coming together of our entity which in our adolescence seemed to be all over the place. Some of us never grow out of it, and it can get dysfunctional at times, but some of us can channel our inner child and experience the world in its wonder and awe.

Getting older taught us some lessons so that we may not repeat the same mistakes. But you know what, mistakes are OK as long as you know that you are making them yourselves- that is the power of getting older, independence of thought and action.

Now back to skin creams- at the the end of the day, to address ageing you have to go deeper. Go past the epidermis, and straight down to he cellular level. We all have genetic codes that determines the longevity of each cell, a Nobel Prize was awarded for this particular piece of research. If we are careful with our bodies- protecting our internal structure ( lavish it with nurturing ingredients- eat well, sleep well etc), minimise stress ( both internal and external) then maybe we are actually talking about preventative work rather than damage control!

The celebrity culture has its ups and downs but the parading of resurfaced/cosmetic surgery enhanced faces are not what I would consider a good choice for role models or purveyors of advice on skin care, but they are marketing for Cosmetics surgery and procedures.

After all that is said and done, skin creams are fire fighters, we are better off addressing the problem of the kindling, no? Know your skin and above all know yourself and your body. Age is only a number, it is how you deal with it that counts, I say use it and don't lose it. I see my mother and I think, if I am half as wilful ,resourceful and have the skin that she does when I am 65, I count myself blessed. In fact I count myself blessed  because I have my mother as my role model!

Who is yours?

My mum- I inherited her love for Pearls 

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