Here are four guaranteed ways to rejuvenate an aging face and minimize anxiety over the effects of time.
- Maintain Your Facial Structure
- Supplement Your Nutrition
- Use the Right Skin Care
- Maintain Your Mental State
Why Does Looking Older Make us Anxious?
Some of us just don’t like looking older, plain and simple.
We recognize that our faces take on an aesthetic we don’t value and our anxiety is purely vanity based.
Or is it?
In a June 2018, Dear Therapist column on theatlantic.com, a reader turning 50 shares her “quiet and desperate panic” over her aging appearance and her inability to calmly accept wisdom in place of youthful beauty.
The therapist (Lori Gottlieb) addresses the reader’s concerns with this explanation of why people have anxiety over looking older;
“That image you barely recognize in the mirror doesn’t just reflect an older face; it also reflects what that older face signifies: loss of beauty, maybe, but also loss of youth. It is a daily visual reminder of your mortality.”
This is a good explanation as it goes a bit deeper than hating your wrinkles just because they are “ugly.” We are scared of dying and don’t like being reminded that one day, it’s going to happen.
Who suffers from this type of anxiety?
Everyone has anxiety over the signs of aging to some extent and no one likes seeing their youth slip away.
But who suffers the most when it comes to their aging faces? Not surprisingly, the answer to this question is, middle aged women.
Once we get to our 40th birthday, the signs of time can really start to show. Without proper maintenance, our skin’s collagen starts to decrease along with our muscle and fat mass.
It’s no wonder then, that women aged 40-54 received 7.9 million cosmetic procedures in 2019. That’s 49% of all procedures performed in the US!
Regardless of how intense our anxiety is or why we fear the signs of growing older, there are solutions. Good ones.
Here are four great, affordable and safe options for looking (and feeling) as young as you possibly can.
1. Maintain Your Facial Structure With Face Yoga, Proper Posture and Expression Control.
Over time, unless exercised, the muscles of our body start to atrophy. The same is true for the muscles of our face.
Many people don’t realize that our facial muscles need exercise to stay tight and toned. If our skin has toned muscle to attach to, (yes – our skin is actually attached to our muscles) wrinkles and sagging can be kept at a minimum.
For me, this is especially apparent in my jowl area, where, if I don’t practice facial exercises, “marionette lines” start to form and I get the “bulldog” look.
Face Yoga is the easiest, most effective way to exercise your face.
I’ve tried several different programs over the past 10 years or so and by far my favourite is The Face Yoga Method by Fumiko Takatsu.
Fumiko started creating her programs about 15 years ago in an effort to correct asymmetry in her face after a car accident.
Devastated by her face’s uneven appearance, she devised her own solution and has been helping people achieve their best face ever since.
Fumiko in her mid-30’s and in her early 50’s.
Not an exercise buff? Don’t worry, neither am I.
The great thing about face yoga is that it isn’t hard, the repetitions are low, you can do it anywhere and because the muscles are so small, it doesn’t take much time to see results.
I must admit that lately I haven’t been keeping up with the exercises and I can see the negative effects on my face. However, I’ve been in slumps before and I know that once I start up again, I will see results in just a few days. The key is to keep doing the program consistently.
Fumiko even has exercises that you can do while driving, brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
“Part of the beauty of this practice is that there are few to no tools required so you can practice anywhere, even if you’re the busiest person on the planet! If you can say “yes” to these practices, you will have plenty of time to exercise your face throughout the day.” Fumiko Takatsu
Aside from the obvious physical results, these exercises have additional benefits. Increased circulation and collagen production as well as relief from tightness and tension headaches are all part and parcel of the program.
She also provides access to the support of an online community of fellow face-yogis and offers guidance on breath-work, posture and facial expression awareness.
You’d be surprised how many of our habitual expressions add to our signs of aging. (say good-bye to sleeping on the side of your face and “text-neck”!)
In her own words, Fumiko is “here to make us look young again.”
If you would like to try her fantastic, life-time membership program, you can find it here.
2. Optimize Your Nutrition to Look Younger.
Can you imagine living for 180 years?? Me neither. But, that is what Dave Asprey, anti-aging guru, father of biohacking and founder of Bulletproof, plans on doing.
A bit on Dave and his products.
In this article, he provides a list of powerful anti-aging nutrients and explains what they are, where to find them and how they work.
It goes without saying that the healthier (younger) we keep our body’s systems and organs, the healthier (younger) we will look. Makes sense right?
Here are Dave’s top nutrients for fighting the signs of aging. All of these nutrients are available in supplement form as well as food sources.
He does mention though, that consuming adequate amounts of Collagen Protein and Pyrroloquinoline quinone from food is challenging so supplements are recommended for these particular nutrients.
(Before trying any of these suggestions, please read the article for more details and consult with your healthcare professional.)
3. Derma Rolling Makes Your Skin Younger.
Along with keeping our insides saturated with anti-aging goodness, we need to nourish and care for our skin as well.
With the global anti-aging market worth 191.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, youth seekers all over the world are buying every skin product under the sun.
Before we dive into the critical ingredients of the best anti-aging products, let’s talk about a secret weapon that will make any product you use more effective.
Drum roll please …the derma roller!
If you have not tried derma rolling, (at home or at the salon) you are missing out!
What is a derma roller? Essentially a derma roller is a tool that causes micro damage to the surface of our skin (no, it does not hurt) which in turn causes our skin to “heal” and produce more collagen.
I have been derma rolling my face about twice a week for over a year now and the difference in my skin is impressive. It is tighter and the small lines at the corners of my mouth have lightened considerably.
I’ve recently started to use it on my hairline to regrow hair (it’s working!), the stretch marks on my stomach, leg cellulite and the loose skin on the backs of my hands too.
You can find rollers of varying needle length, price and quality. I have used a ten dollar roller from Winners, a thirty dollar roller from Amazon and this higher end derma roller from StackedSkincare.
The cheaper rollers did the job, but I much prefer the roller from StackedSkincare. The quality and strength of the needles are better and thus will stay sharp longer.
Dull or damaged needles can cause long-term damage to your skin. It also has a more robust, professional feel to it and it has a replaceable head (saving you money in the future).
Whichever roller you choose, it’s vital that you follow safe usage protocol as well as sanitize your roller properly.
In this video, the lovely and knowledgeable Abigail James does a great job of explaining what a derma roller is, what it does and how to properly use one. It’s so worth the 10 minutes of your time as she covers everything.
Please watch this first if you want to try this game changer for your skin.
After I derma roll any part of my body, I apply a Hyaluronic Acid serum to my skin. You can apply just a basic scent-free moisturizer but why not take advantage of the newly created channels of the roller and get some serious nutrition into your skin with a serum?
My favourite right now is the First Aid Beauty, Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum from Sephora.
I’ve been using the First Aid Beauty face wash and ultra repair cream for about two years now with great results and recently decided to treat myself to the serum.
Packed with Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides and Collagen, this product does not disappoint and is cruelty-free and gluten-free to boot.
First Aid Beauty offers great products and are super popular with the 40+ crowd and those with sensitive skin.
So, what are the vital skincare ingredients that will give us our youngest looking skin? (once again, please check with your healthcare provider before trying these as some elements may contradict certain medications)
- found in serums, moisturizers and other products.
- promotes collagen production to reduce fine lines
- can thicken the dermis
- serves as an anti-inflammatory, preventing redness
- found in serums, moisturizers and others products
- vitamin A derivative, it’s technically a type of retinoid
- boosts the amount of collagen your body makes and plumps out skin
- decreases fine lines and wrinkles
- improves skin tone and color
- found in serums and moisturizers
- aka vitamin B3
- supports the outer surface of skin, increases its resiliency
- improves texture by making pores look smaller
- helps balance oil production
- good for all skin types.
- found in its pure form at natural food stores
- produced from the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) plant
- relieves dryness
- removes makeup
- protects against sun damage
- calms eczema
- found in serums and moisturizers
- naturally found in human tissues, especially in the eyes and joints
- two main sources; plant origins and animal origins
- humectant ingredient in skin care – this means that it draws moisture into the skin from the environment (if you live in the desert, it won’t work that well)
- deeply moisturizes the skin and helps boost the natural moisture content of the skin
- found in serums and creams
- protein derived from bovine, fish or porcine sources
- encourages the renewal of cells and minimizes facial muscle contraction (wrinkles)
- found in serums and creams
- lipids (animal or plant source ) that help form the skin’s barrier and help skin retain moisture
- help the skin protect against environmental aggressors like irritants, and pollution
Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
- found in actual sunscreen, moisturizers and make-up
- protects against photoaging, wrinkling, spotting, loss of elasticity caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation
For more inspiration, check out this Skincare Queen! She is 50 years old and has never had a cosmetic procedure.
4. Being Angry Makes You Look Older
There is growing awareness of how our state of mind affects our aging. Evidence of the amazing connection between our mind and body is piling up and information on how to use the power of our thoughts to reduce the signs of aging is out there.
An upset and unbalanced mental state (stress) can definitely cause wrinkles. When we are stressed, angry or upset, we produce high amounts of the stress hormone cortisol which in turn breaks down collagen and elastin.
Stress over the long term can also cause insulin resistance, which is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood.
The excess insulin in your blood contributes to a process called “glycation” which hinders elasticity in our skin tissue, causing wrinkles to form.
So how do we harness the power of our mind to control our stress and limit the effects of time on our appearance?
Marisa Peer, best-selling author, motivational speaker and therapist, tells us that having the belief that “we are enough”, is incredibly important to looking and feeling young.
Once we believe that we are good enough as we are, any growth and improvements we make are just icing on an already wonderful cake.
I came to understand and embrace this concept about three years ago and I can say with confidence that being kinder to myself and reducing my inner turmoil has resulted in a younger appearance.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy and critic. We get our own cortisol flowing, trigger the aging response and make ourselves look unnecessarily old.
So, how to avoid this? Praise yourself.
It’s true that praise makes us look and feel younger, not to mention it raises our self-esteem.
We need to invest in ourselves and learn how to believe that we are enough.
As Marisa says’ “The most important words you will ever hear are the ones you say to yourself and believe.”
Here is a therapeutic exercise she recommends to make our faces look younger:
When you’re looking in the mirror and wondering how you can get rid of the signs of aging (wrinkles, creases, spots), ask yourself these questions:
- If this skin condition had a role, function, purpose and intention – what would it be?
- If this skin condition was trying to do a job for you, if it was trying to help you, what would it be doing?
- If it was trying to speak to you, what would it be saying? What is the message?
This may sound a bit silly right but give it a try, you might be surprised at what you come up with. I was moved to tears when I tried it and actually felt really kind toward myself afterward.
“If love boosts your skin, the empowering truth is that love is always available, when you love yourself.”Marisa Peer
There you have it! Getting older does not mean getting uglier. We can’t stop time from marching on but we certainly can look (and feel) great while it does.