Facing Wrinkles: Why It Doesn’t Have to Hurt
News Flash from Peru: “A gang of murderers...allegedly macheted to death some 60 peasants, then slowly rendered the headless cadavers over votive candles in a mountain laboratory…The body fat harvested from this operation was supposed to have been sold…for use in high-end European face creams.” “Face It,” Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, March 29, 2010, pp. 58-61 While the author cautions that this grisly tale may have been concocted as a cover-up for drug dealing or terrorism, its inclusion in this lively, down-to-earth look at the latest wrinkle preventatives certainly makes a dramatic point. If a conspiracy involving high-end cosmetic companies buying human fat at $60,000 a gallon strikes a gang of criminals, the Peruvian police, and the public as a plausible motive for mass murder, then society’s search for "hope in a jar" is definitely getting out of hand. If a conspiracy involving high-end cosmetic companies buying human fat at $60,000 a gallon strikes a gang of criminals, the Peruvian police, and the public as a plausible motive for mass murder, then society’s search for "hope in a jar" is definitely getting out of hand. As Thurman notes, “Apart from dying, there is, to date, no permanent cure for wrinkles." Yet she also readily admits her own susceptibility to the alluring claims of today's anti-aging industry. But while her straight talk about the realities of aging is refreshing, I couldn’t help feeling the rueful tone of her article might leave many mature readers feeling resigned to looking older than they feel. The fact is, there’s a lot you can do to restore a healthy glow to aging skin. Scientific research into the mechanisms of aging continues to uncover new ways to prevent and even repair the free radical damage that ultimately leads to dull, wrinkled, sagging skin. From sun protection, solid nutrition, optimal fitness and adequate rest to mental and spiritual serenity, the elements of a balanced holistic lifestyle will do more to rejuvenate and revitalize your complexion than any so-called miracle cure. But remember: The positive effects of adopting good health habits don’t happen overnight. Although achieving incremental improvements over time demands patience, commitment, and discipline, you’ll enjoy more lasting results while avoiding the risks of radical procedures. The same is true of your daily and weekly skin-care routine. Regular use of safe, effective plant-derived cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers comprise the skin-care regimen of choice for a face that’s beautiful at any age.