Beauty and Anti-Aging In the interest of beauty and maintaining a youthful, vibrant look to your skin, there are a multitude of applications for combining the best of complementary medicine with modern conventional dermatology. At any point in life, one can make changes in factors which have accelerated the aging process of the skin. A variety of natural internal and external treatments can be chosen from and customized to fit your specific needs and skin characteristics. As powerful as any "miracle treatment" may be, it is potentially far more effective when integrated into a total approach by a skin specialist who has decades of experience combining natural and alternative modalities to improve the appearance of the skin. For example, anti-oxidants work best in concert with one another. Specific machinery that the body uses to detoxify foreign chemical, known as enzymes, need specific working attachments, known as "co-factors" to operate effectively. Identifying and supplying the proper minerals, vitamins, or other nutrients which are your missing "co-factors" can make a much bigger difference that swallowing jars full of the wrong stuff.

Imagine increasing total beauty over a lifetime, by extending your young and gorgeous years into your 40's, 50's, 60's, and even 70's. Is this possible without surgery? The truth, the answer to this question lies collectively with the women who have aged beautifully. Skillfully asking their story and secrets could amass a pool of information, which could guide generation of women to maintain their youthful appearance longer. This guidance wold not only be in terms of general principles, but also in the form of very specific suggestions tailored to each individual according to their own specific genetic makeup, experience, and desires.

The paradox about aging studies is that by the time we complete a study on aging, the generation asking the question is too old to use the results. We need a more dynamic look at the choices women made who look young and attractive for their age.

The problem is that photo aging is the predominant cause of accelerated aging, but is only one of the known causes. Outdoor activity is healthy, and a tanned outdoor look is prized as a sign of a healthy appearance. Unfortunately, people take this to the extreme by repeatedly acquiring and showing off their killer tan. They compound the problem by maxing out their tan repeatedly at every opportunity through their childhood, teens, 20's and beyond.

Solar aging contributes heavily to wrinkles, blemishes, and sagging, which appear in their 40's, 50's, 60's, and beyond. Let us imagine the extreme of a blond whose lifestyle of getting the darkest possible tan, smoking drinking, eating fast foods and staying out late give her a slight edge on in the realm of social activity. This life style will take its toll on her appearance from the fourth decade on, and she may loose a few decades of good looks, cutting her total life beauty (appearance rating X time) by up to 50%.

The other extreme is the person who gets no outdoor sun, air, and exercise. Without taking vitamin D, that person would also have weak bones from lack of sun-mediated vitamin D production. Most people fall somewhere in between, often seemingly affected by impulsive decisions, chance, and factors beyond their control.

There is a dynamic of conscious balance for each individual, which allows both a modicum of outdoor appearance, and a reasonable prolongation of good looks. I call that state of balance the Beauty Zone. Defining and refining that zone for each individual, and aiding them to stay in it, is the scope of this project.

Alan M Dattner, MD

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