As skin ages it loses elasticity, becomes drier, and more lined and wrinkled. Do you remember looking in the mirror for the first time when you saw wrinkles on your face? The mirror slapped me silly. How about the first time you saw wrinkles on your spouse? You didn’t dare say anything, did you?
If you are a man, be careful not to say anything about unusual growths or changes in skin texture on your wife’s face or for that matter, any part of her body. You must maintain this heightened sensitivity until age 80 or when your wife has frequent conversations with the coffeemaker.
Some people wrinkle more than others when they age. People in the Rocky Mountain States like Colorado wrinkle more than people in other parts of the nation due to climate. The dry weather in Colorado gives people more wrinkles than if they lived in a more humid state. The low humidity and high ultra-violet levels in the Rocky Mountain state because of high altitude inflicts vengeance on your skin.
People with lighter skin have a propensity to wrinkle more than people with darker skin. The color of your skin is highly correlated to wrinkling. This is the result of the varying degrees of pigment that we produce. The darker your skin, the larger the pockets in skin cells known as melanosomes, and these contain the sticky pigment melanin. In darker skin, the melanin is packed so tightly that it absorbs and scatters more light, giving you more protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
When a man wrinkles he’s distinguished; when a woman wrinkles, she’s aging. That’s society at its worst. Wrinkled men look experienced and wise; wrinkled women look like they’ve been dragged through a thorny rose bush backwards. Some of us need an attitude adjustment.
I’ve read that foods such as vegetable oil, read meats, white bread and sugary processed food can hasten skin wrinkling due to chronic inflammation in your body. Foods that are believed to prevent wrinkles are high in omega 3 fatty acids, and alpha-linolen acid such as flaxseed oil, avocados, salmon and olive oil. Also fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, zinc and beta caretone- nutrients that enable the body to produce collagen which keeps skin firm. So the expression: ‘you are what you eat’ applies to growing old. I need to eat a young person.
The Battle over Wrinkles
Many aging baby boomers have a ‘forever young’ mindset, postponing the inevitability of wrinkling by spending billions of dollars every year on wrinkle creams, Botox and plastic surgery. According to the market research firm Global Industry Analysts the U.S. market for anti-aging products is projected to be more than $114 billion in 2015.
A good face lift might last 8 to 10 years, while facial fillers might last 1 to 2 years, and Botox about three months. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to appear young if it makes us feel good, raise our confidence and promote a healthier lifestyle. The problem with forever young attitudes is not individual attempts to maintain a youthful appearance but rather the societal messaging that staying young is superior to growing old; that smooth-looking facial skin is beautiful and a wrinkled face is ugly.
Plastic surgery may be common among celebrities but some refuse to go under the knife and have chosen to age gracefully instead. Here are some of the actors/actresses/models who have joined the resistance movement in the battle against wrinkles:
Brooke Shields (47) Brigette Bardot (78)
Emma Thompson (54) Julianne Moore (52)
Kate Winslet (37) Kate Moss (39)
Rachel Weisz (43) Ursula Andress (77)
Daniel Craig (45) Catherine Deneuve (71)
Brad Pitt (50) Javier Bardem (44)
Jodie Foster (50) Connie Britton (46)
Johnny Depp (49) Judi Dench (78)
Katherine Ross (74) Sigourney Weaver (63)
Julia Roberts (45):
There is a collective denial of aging in America and we need to reverse this trend. American author, Clarence Day, once said:
“Age should not have its face lifted, but it should rather teach the world to admire wrinkles as the etchings of experience and the firm line of character.”
If you decide against anti-aging treatments, here are some ways for coping with wrinkling.
Ice Cream. Eat a lot of ice cream because I’ve never seen a kid with wrinkles.
Cream and Sandpaper. Apply anti-wrinkle cream on face, followed by sandpaper for best results.
Reading Glasses. Remove your reading glasses—out of sight, out of mind.
Meditation. If you deeply meditate- you may convince yourself all that matters is your mind and soul. We just want you to believe that you are not your physical body. Because if you are not your physical body, why worry about physical rotting and the wrinkles that accompany it?
Perhaps a more important reason to take up meditation is the fact that I never met a Buddhist who had plastic surgery on his or her face. Buddhists don’t sweat the small stuff like wrinkles and shriveling. If meditation works for over one billion Buddhists, there must be something to it.
Misery Loves Company. Hang out with people who have as many or more wrinkles than you—select your friends carefully but keep your wrinkled friends closer. Or identify celebrities who are aging and showing wrinkles—the list of celebrities who have joined the resistance movement in the battle against wrinkles presented earlier is a good start.
Home Remedy. My Grandmother had a remedy for how to prevent sagging skin—just eat until the wrinkles fill out. She was always pushing food.
It is easy to become fixated on wrinkles, particularly on our face. But as long as we remember aging is something which happens to all of us, a ‘feeling of togetherness’ eases the pain.
The choice is whether we do anything about it and if so, how much are we prepared to do. People who have taken care of themselves through natural remedies like a healthy diet, exercise, and positive lifestyle choices create a healthy appearance while raising self-confidence that helps them deal with the inevitability of aging.
My Grandpa once said: “old age stinks but it’s the only way to live a long life.” A wrinkled face is a work of art that took years to create; be proud to display it.
Dr. David Lereah
Are You Ready to Accept Wrinkles?