You really are as old – or as young – as you look and feel. According to Dr Michael Brickey, author of Defy Aging and 52 Baby Steps to Grow Young, only 20% to 30% of longevity is genetic – therefore 70% to 80% of anti-aging depends on what we think and the lifestyle choices we make. One of the biggest factors to keeping our youthful appearance, says Brickey, is psychological: our attitudes, beliefs and coping skills.
What are your ages?
Dr Hannetjie van Zyl-Edeling, author of Over the Moon! A guide to Positive Ageing, concurs. She describes the four different ages: chronological, emotional, biological and psychological.
- Chronological age: This is our age in years, and one we cannot change.
- Emotional age: This is how we behave – and it is influenced by our life experiences.
- Biological age: Our health and the inner workings of our body determine our biological age. But we can, to a large extent, choose our biological age, she says. “Both Dr Deepak Chopra, a very well-known endocrinologist and spiritual author, and Professor Willem Serfontein, a South African medical researcher, are among many strong voices from research who say that it is perfectly possible for us to choose a biological age that is up to 15 years younger than our chronological age.”
- Psychological age: This is how old we feel we are. It is influenced by our mindset and beliefs. “By taking control of our beliefs and feelings, we can significantly improve our psychological age and our internal programming that it is ruled by.”
As Brickey explains, our lifespans are increasing. “Science, particularly genetic engineering and tissue engineering, are likely to continue to bring huge gains in longevity.”
Anti-aging itself is all-encompassing, and can be implemented from as early as our 20s. It addresses how to prevent, slow or reverse the e ects of aging, including how we look, how we feel, and our attitude, he says. According to research compiled by the International Dermal Institute, and Dr Diana Howard, Annet King and Dermalogica founder Jane Wurwand, aging is one of the hottest topics in the skincare market. IBIS World Market Research estimates the anti-aging industry to generate $291,9 billion this year. Click here to find out which anti-aging proteins can treat diabetes, obesity and cancer.
Anti-aging and your skin: where is it going?
The idea is formulating that anti-aging programs are actually healthcare, rather than an act of vanity. Skincare marketers are moving away from terms such as luxury, pampering or indulgence – and towards science and research- based health and skincare.
The No 1 aging concern, say the authors, remains wrinkles. And many skincare products will promise to reduce or even remove these telltale signs of aging. However, warns Howard and co, only a limited number of ingredients will truly address the signs of aging, and unfortunately, nothing short of cosmetic surgery can really erase a wrinkle. The good news is that research (and science) has found that retinol (vitamin A), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and various peptides (such as palmitoyl pentapeptide, palmitoyl tripeptide, and oligopeptides) all show positive effects in stimulating collagen to help to smooth and retexture aging skin. The buzzword for all skin types is hydration, and this is particularly important when it comes to the cooler, drier months.
Ultimately, as your skin is your biggest organ, it is vital to ensure that you feel comfortable, beautiful and confident in it.