Here’s a good one for you: I have a problem with the very term “anti-aging.” You should, too.
While I revel in physically slowing down the effects of visible time and past abuse on our face and body, the barrage of information surrounding it is increasingly daunting. Confused or not, the last thing we want to do is stop maintaining our youth or our attempts at regaining a more refreshed appearance.
As a child, when I saw my Mom meticulously and religiously applying face cream before going to bed, I can’t imagine she was thinking that she was “anti-aging.” I’m convinced she believed she was making sure she stayed beautiful. And that she did. She wasn’t anti anything; my Mom was pro remaining gorgeous—and that’s what all of us should do, too. Heck, in today’s market, it’s safe to say we can actually wipe 15 or more years off our face without surgery. If that’s not pro-gorgeous, I don’t know what is.
Maintaining a youthful appearance will never be called ‘anti-aging’ again—it is now ‘pro-gorgeous’.
To be clear, I want to be first to begin to change the vocabulary we’re using and thus begin the anti anti-aging revolution: The practice of maintaining a youthful appearance will never be referred to as “anti-aging;” it is now called “pro-gorgeous.” OK, I feel better.
So what can you expect from the “Gorgeous” department in both nowitcounts.com and its sister magazine, CS, going forward? For starters, we’ll look at what’s available and how to use it in skincare, devices, procedures and cellular supplements. Be sure to check out my blog on nowitcounts.com for regular updates and invaluable beauty tips.
Sometimes the ABCs of youth retention regimens are so confusing that they’re prescribed out of order or context and are not clear about what product goes before and after their miracle serum or creams. Meaning, what products are we using and in what order do we use them? Taking that a step further, one may realize that true reversal of pigmentation spots, wrinkles and sagging, short of engaging an actual medical procedure, requires an orchestrated calibration of “punch and jab”—the right foods, skincare products, exercise and exfoliation protocols. And the more medication we take, the more water we must drink. (I know it’s not easy, but as I wrote that line, I got up from my chair and just guzzled a 16-ounce glass. Go ahead, you go, too—I’ll wait). Another issue, rapid weight loss and gain (“yo-yoing”) can add another layer of efforts to your beauty protocol. Also, knowing when retinols or AHAs (skin smoothing Glycolic or Lactic acids) need a night off from your repertoire can determine if you can face another day, literally, in public tomorrow. Mind you, most of these skin smoothing over-the-counter treatments can be used safely, effectively and with great results that require no down time.
Many of us grew up with luxury brand promises of eternal youth by the likes of Alexandra de Markoff, Elizabeth Arden, Hazel Bishop, Estée Lauder, Helena Rubinstein and, of course, Ponds Cold Cream. But most of these formulas from yesteryear were more external moisturization and marketing than actual science. Sadly, most pre-1980 skin creams simply sat on top of our skin not unlike boot cream. Fast forward three decades and we now have learned to speed up sloughing cycles, inhibit aging molecules, attract internal moisture to our facial skin and infuse active ingredients beyond the topical layers of our skin. Yes—science and research has taught us how to penetrate and restructure the skin on our still pretty faces. Or we can simply burn layers off gently, a little each week and still make a fresh-faced public appearance. We’ve also learned how to avoid photo aging (UV light exposure and direct sunlight) and that certain processed foods and sugars or carbohydrates that turn into sugars degrade our skin and joints (particularly products with white flour and high-fructose corn syrup.
Historically, many of our most potent pro-gorgeous cures and pharmaceuticals stem directly from nature itself: Citric and lactic acids for exfoliation, jojoba, shea butter, avocado, almond oil and aloe for stabilization and moisture. Then there’s the ancient (and still hailed as super-effective) Ayurvedic remedies, which mix precise percentages of “actives” such as turmeric, basil, ginger and mint to penetrate and infiltrate the dermis, also known as skin. Exquis Skincare is the most valid scientific/Ayurvedic source I’ve found to date.
Many scientific breakthroughs are rapidly changing what is possible in the age-reversal process, allowing once-thick, leather-like skin to be smoothed, lifted and toned to an even color. Potent ingredients that have survived extreme elements of nature are the basis of these phenomena, such as HeviaMD’s The Specialist Potent Repair Serum comprised of red mangrove extracts that thrive in lengthy sunlight without water. If your “magic bullet” requires world-class research, luxury presentation and proven efficacy, then La Prairie’s launch of Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection (a serious multi-tasker) is something you’ll definitely want to take notice of. Imagine a radiant flower blooming in the middle of a Swiss Alps ice storm. Well, after decades of microscopic study, that plant’s very DNA has been dissected to stability and infused into a luxurious dry oil serum and luxury cream that works and feels like nothing else you’ve tried. This is an indulgence with a visible payoff that will make any ice princess worth her salt jealous. I promise.
Who can forget Faye Dunaway’s seminal portrayal of Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest? The 4:15 a.m. jog (chasing her assistant in an 8 mph Rolls Royce through Brentwood, CA), facial ice baths and chin lifting bands. Well, although that type of dedication to eternal youth may seem extreme—but, is it, really? Remember, it was depicting a timeless Hollywood icon in the latter stages of her fabled career.
We can, however, refine Ms. Crawford’s efforts with better products in less time. One of my favorites steps to base pro-gorgeousness is today’s retinoids, AHAs (acids), micro-derm scrubs and lifting devices.
In order for our expensive serums, creams and night treatments to be maximized, sometimes we have to exfoliate (gently remove) topical layers of dead skin—or speed up the natural process, which slows down significantly at ages 30, 40, 50 and some people more than others. There’s a reason why antique furniture is stripped down to the wood—or minimally, lightly sanded before refreshing with a coat of lacquer. The finish is thick, bumpy and dull, having been exposed to harsh cleaners, light bulbs, sunlight, spill rings and extreme, seasonal temperatures that have baked in those imperfections. I say, oh yes, get rid of that crusty layer.
Naturally, organically or scientifically, two brands offer stellar exfoliation results. Rhonda Allison is a very large line and relies on professional recommendation and evaluation. Its Retinol Supreme and Skin Smoothing Gel provides an instant flaking of wrinkles, oh-so-gently. I was rubbing off expired skin from my crow’s feet in 48 hours without a trace of irritation. If you’re super sensitive or just want a more measured, bioactive approach then I’d highly recommend [ comfort zone ]. Its Italian Skin Regimen lineup is impressive, luxe, and effective.
Comfort Zone’s decades of science and sustainability are intended to work from the inside out “finding the most powerful ingredients and delivering the most effective results.” I strongly suggest watching Comfort Zone’s US growth as the brand becomes a staple to those pro-gorgeous insiders. Night Renewer provided a gentle, but noticeable exfoliation on my forehead wrinkles thus allowing me to extend my Botox (yes, Botox) for a few more months.
As we head into spring, a truly healthy beauty—or pro-gorgeous—regimen is the new black. We all know that today 60 is the new 40-something and regenerating is the red-hot trend. At least we can now—finally—put to rest that negative sounding term behind the billion-dollar business known internationally as anti-aging. Let’s positively and happily usher in the era of living a pro-gorgeous life. Who’s with me?