The increase in life expectancy that weíve witnessed over the last hundred years has been nothing less than astonishing. The average person today will live some 30 years longer than a hundred years ago. Science and the beauty industry, in general, are racing to keep up with the new demands created by the increase in longevity. Within the next 20 years, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, including me, will be over the age of 65. As maturing adults with longer lifespans, we constantly look for ways to counteract the signs of aging.
Ten years ago, I was browsing the bookstands in a local bookstore and stumbled upon ďThe Wrinkle CureĒ by Dr. Nicholas Perricone. I bought it and read it from cover to cover. It was all about the power of antioxidants and the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil used in combating wrinkles.
As the assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale, Perricone explained how wrinkles were basically visible battle scars from renegade free radical damage caused by a combination of factors. These include the passage of time, stress, poor nutrition, excess alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, and exposure to cigarette smoke, sunlight and pollution Ė terrible news for me as I have been guilty of nearly every single one of these at various stages of my life.
Over the course of the last decade, as Iíve continued my quest for the fountain of youth, not only have I adopted antioxidants and fish oil as my front line of defense, but I have found a few other little tricks that have had a big impact in the ongoing mission. Here a just a few:
1. The first is to smile. Not only is it an instant face-lift, but it produces endorphins, reduces stress, boosts your immune system, lowers your blood pressure, and makes you look better. Make the effort to smile more and then see #2.
2. Whiten your teeth. Think of your teeth as diamonds. The whiter they are, they brighter they shine. Itís one of the quickest ways to take a decade off the face.
3. Quit smoking. Iím not trying to sound like your mother here and certainly not passing judgment (as Iím guilty as charged Ė well, never mind). Smoking ratchets up the wrinkle factor as it sucks away the vital glow of healthy skin. It literally suffocates your face. Thatís where those pesky lines around your mouth come from. So just quit. Sorry.
4. Use a sunscreen as a moisturizer Ė always. Thereís no need to layer them anymore. Now you can buy a fabulous sunscreen with an SPF 30 that can be used as your primary moisturizer.
5. Donít ever sleep in your makeup. You just canít. The older you are, the larger your pores become, and leaving makeup on all night just fills those pores up to the brim Ė and all the scrubbing in the world wonít get them clean, let alone back to a reasonable size. It has to be a habit.
6. Drink a ton of water. Iím admittedly terrible at this one. People who drink at least half of their body weight in ounces, per day, have better skin, reduced puffiness and suppressed appetites. And because water carries oxygen, it improves brain function and muscle strength. My New Yearís resolution is to drink more water, period.
7. Get your Vitamin C. Itís arguably one of the strongest immune boosters known to man. Vitamin C is also a potent nutrient for our skin. It reduces sun-induced skin damage, improves skin elasticity and is essential in the production of collagen. Consume it internally and apply it topically.
My age at 65 and my grandmotherís age at 65 are clearly two different things. Weíve managed to re-set our beauty biological clocks, and I plan to take every possible advantage of it. But make no mistake; with all this talk of health and beauty and turning back the hands of time Ė one fact remains. Beauty is as beauty does.
We all know that beauty comes from the inside. Itís not about having a pretty face. Itís about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart and most importantly, a beautiful soul. And while chasing back the hands of time is fun Ė and in my case a sport Ė growing old is a privilege denied to many. Enjoy your time and embrace it fully.
So relax Ė but keep putting those cucumbers on your eyes! Put your feet up. Enjoy a glass of wine. I enjoy a glass of red wine each night for its antioxidant health benefits. The other glasses are for my exceptionally witty comebacks and flawless dance moves Ė wink.
Happy New Year! Thanks for picking up this monthís issue of VIP Jackson Magazine. Itís great having you as one of our readers. Enjoy!