Your Anti-Aging Arsenal
on April 14th, 2019
A good friend of mine often states of the desire to be more beautiful, "No one is immune." We all age, and many of us long for simple steps to take (and enjoy!) to help us to age well. Though inevitable, the aging process may happen with grace and with intention.
As a plastic surgeon, I have seen the effects of stress, a poor diet, and pollution on the face and body, both within the body--in the tissues-- and outside of it. After at least a decade (and counting!) of observation, education, and experience, I have come to the conclusion that aging poorly is, in part, a function of years of long-standing, repetitive, excessive, unchecked inflammation. How do you know if you’re inflamed? If you are a modern day citizen of the world, managing family, relationships, a career, and life in general, you may, indeed, be host to excessive inflammation either consistently or from time to time.
If you assign any value to how you look and whether appearances matter, I offer you my top five tools to mitigate total-body inflammation. Use these tools in your global anti-aging arsenal:
1. Proper nutrition: certain foods may be incompatible with your cell type. Those foods may cause inflammation that may manifest as overtly as intestinal cramps or as slyly as acne. Eat right to look right!
2. Adequate exercise: Yes, it’s for your heart, but it’s also for your face. Movement is integral to intestinal function (peristalsis) to keep waste flowing out of your system. You are also what you don’t eliminate. Exercise enough (overdoing it also causes stress!) for radiant skin and so that you’re not full of sh*#!
3. Drink up: Stop the madness and drink your 1.5-2 liters of pure water daily. I have a hard time with this, too. But, oh what a difference it makes! Besides, hard liquor is overrated!
4. Get to bed: sleep deprivation leads to increased production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol can break down the collagen in your skin. Lack of sleep also reduces the release of human growth hormone, the hormone that aids in tissue repair and regeneration. There are good reasons why it’s called “beauty sleep!”
5. Clarify your contacts: say goodbye to the haters, naysayers, doubters, and emotional vampires. If they do not elevate you, your psyche, or your spirit, then delete, delete, delete.
6. Self-love is self-care: if you are not comfortable telling yourself how fabulous you are, then at least stop putting yourself down. Eliminate all negative thoughts about yourself. The self-sabotage of negative thoughts and emotions will trigger cortisol to be released (again). The stress hormone (unchecked) will then activate an inflammatory cascade that, uninterrupted, will age you quickly.
7. Sweet nothings: Correct: sugar does nothing good for you. Take from one with a sweet tooth: it is challenging to quit. Yet, I will not sugar-coat it: your body proteins are coated by sugar (a process called glycosylation), unattractive effects are the result.
8. Detox: reduce your exposure to environmental toxins as much as possible. Consider switching to glass from plastic, to essential oils from commercial cleaning products, etc.
9. Get therapy: whatever it is that you need to reduce your level of stress and to feel all right in the world… This may be massage therapy or talk therapy, etc.;
10. Be mindful: mindfulness and respecting the mind-body connection: practices as meditation have been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in the body. Wrap that around your brain for twenty minutes.
It’s not just beauty, it’s life!
In great health and with beautiful intentions,
Stay Fabulous—inside and out!