I can’t help it – the very phrase “anti-aging” makes me cringe inwardly. As if someone is trying to run away from life and its consequences. I immediately think of people agonizing in front of mirrors, being unhappy, having painful surgeries, botox, chemical peels… you name it… to look, err, tight. Forced, even, like a rose pushed through a commercial hothouse but disappointingly lacking in fragrance. I then think of young and beautiful friends who have passed away tragically and who would probably have given anything to be able to worry about sunspots, wrinkles and crowsfeet.
This anti-aging cringe thing I have is a professional liability, since I make and sell natural things for people’s bodies and skin, and the very phrase “anti-aging” makes a whole lot of people reach for their purses and credit cards without even thinking. So why don’t I simply push my scruples out of the way and settle into entrepreneurial anti-aging bliss?
Well, you see, most “anti-aging” products contain things that should make you worry. Things with poly-syllabic chemical names that are unpronounceable and which, if I were to buy them at the wholesale chemical place here in Thailand, would come with safety and hazard warnings. Chemicals that are well documented to not only irritate and dry skin and cause all manner of physical problems from depression to asthma, but which also accumulate in your blood and vital organs and impede your immune system. In short, over time and with repeated usage, they make you sick. Do they make you glow with health and vitality and make your gorgeous? Almost never.
Conversely, if you focus on your natural and radiant health, the outcome is almost always (often by accident, as an unexpected by-product!) that you start to glow with that special something that people love. If you forget about the way you look and just go for a run, take a yoga class, laugh in the kitchen with your lover or maybe sleep in the moonlight…. *something* happens. You stop worrying and stressing. You discover that instead of the $60 pot of chemical-cocktail-night-cream that the $8 bottle of natural oil actually works better. You decide to spend the other $52 on a new skirt and it makes you feel great. It makes you smile. You find your yoga class is fun and you decide you’re worth the time to do it, and in that new freedom you smile more and that simply helps people to engage with you. You start thinking more about what you eat, you sleep better and all of that makes you look 10 years younger. You talk to the lady who falls over all the time at the yoga class and hear her story about her long term illness and her struggle to walk well, and suddenly you don’t care about the smile lines around your eyes so much – in fact, you start to feel rather proud of them. The more you focus on your natural, radiant health, the younger and more beautiful you look and feel to the people around you. You ooze energy and creativity. People smile when they see you.
Next time you see someone plugging expensive “anti-aging” products, stop and think and read the product label. Ask about the ingredients. Then spend an hour on Google and be prepared to be shocked. Ask yourself if you really want to bombard your body with dangerous, toxic chemicals for the transitory dream of looking younger (if indeed it even works). Look at the massive monetary and physical costs involved in these “anti-aging” products and ask yourself if simple, natural health might not be a better path to choose.
Ironically, a healthier, happier you will look more gorgeous and probably even a bit younger, but you’ll possibly be too engrossed in new things and the great people around you to care.
In loving memory of Steph, who shared Ward 3B with me many years ago and helped me make it positively rock with laughter until even the nurses frowned and fussed over drips and pain management implements. Beautiful Steph died at the age of 17, only 3 weeks after being diagnosed with a melanoma on her back.