Natural Approaches to Beauty and Anti-Aging

PRETTY IS HOW SOME WOMEN ARE BORN

These women are blessed with facial features that are generally agreed upon to be attractive.

BUT TRUE BEAUTY REFLECTS ONE'S INNER AS WELL AS OUTER BEAUTY

Real beauty is more related to the beauty of one's response to life, rather than some pre-conceived image. It is the kind smile in response to someone's imperfect attempt at an appropriate remark, or the look of loving patience when others would have crumbled their expression to impatience and anger. The beautiful face is the one that is not perturbed by the host of tiny frustrations that arrange themselves in the day, but rather is governed by a deeper joy.

JOY IS BEAUTIFUL

The best exercise one can do to keep this kind of beauty, is to constantly find the blessings in one's life to be thankful for. They may be large or small, or even hard to remember during life's minor difficulties, but they are there to be found to raise a faint smile to the lips and the eyes at even the most trying times. It is the look that makes the other person feel accepted and cared for, and the look of someone who accepts and cares for herself.

BUCK THE BOTOX

It is interesting that a number of otherwise pretty women seek botox injections in their 40's to release the tension creases between the eyebrows - those creases related to anger. Whether from frustrated expectations, being hit upon too many times, or neglecting to listen to the subtle voice of one's feminine compassion, these creases (exaggerated in the pictures of fierce Samurai warriors) are sure signs of a distasteful emotion that has been hidden.

ANTI-AGING WITHOUT SURGERY: SUN PROTECTION

By far, the most important thing you can do to prevent excessive aging of the skin is to avoid excessive sun damage. People tend to get the most sun in exposed areas, and those are the very areas that show the most damage as they age.

HATS

Hats with broad brims are very valuable for two reasons:

1) They prevent direct sun's rays from hitting the face.
2) T hey prevent squinting and wrinkling of the face on a regular and repeated basis.

A baseball cap is helpful, but does not protect as well as a broad brimmed hat from sun off to the side and on the ears. The eyes require protection from sunglasses. Sun protective clothing also is helpful.Another really important area to protect is the V-neck region. Since this area shows with clothing, it is often left open in the sun, showing off one's tan. Over time, the skin begins to look more like mottled leather, so that it looks much older than the rest of the skin in a woman in her 40's or 50's. Similarly, the back of the arms and scalp of a man shows significant sun damage in the 60's and 70's.

THE TIME YOU SPEND IN THE SUNAND SHADE

Protection of the skin is best done by avoiding the sun's rays during the middle of the day when they are most direct. Staying under a porch or umbrella so that one is in the shade also helps.

SUNSCREENS

Sunscreens should be your secondary form of protection. The type of skin you have, in terms of lightness and darkness, easy sun burning vs. natural sun protection, has a lot to do with how carefully you need to protect your skin. Pale-skinned people of Northern European descent, especially from areas where the sun does not shine much, have to be much more careful with sun protection if they are to prevent aging changes, and skin cancer as well.

Sunscreens have been shown to have protective effects against burning, aging, and skin cancer. There are still some questions that remain about the long-term side effects of sunscreens, but they are certainly better than getting burned. They make sense as a supplement to the other precautions mentioned above, rather than as a primary form of sun protection.

Even getting a mild gradual tan rather that a maximum tan, especially for people who have olive complexions and can tolerate some sun exposure, will make a difference in the long run. Actual sunburn seems most likely to cause aging effects and skin cancer, but sun tanning does increase the risk of both of these conditions. It seems to make sense that one should maximize beauty over time, rather than have a big flash of tan skin and then a rapid course of skin aging afterwards.

TANNING BEDS

Don't use them.

ANTIOXIDENTS

Applying and taking antioxidants is another way to protect against aging changes from the sun. Anti-oxidents include Vitamins A, C, and E. Eating foods that contain anti-oxidants builds in a natural protection in your diet. There are many different classes of foods with different kinds of anti-oxidants. Antioxidents inhibit free radicals, which helps reduce the speed of the aging process.

FACIAL MASSAGE

Gentle massage can be use to relax various creases on the face. If this is done without excessive stretching of the tissues, it can help restore and remind one of a more relaxed, less creased appearance. Key here is becoming aware of relaxation of the muscles, and returning to that relaxed state over and over.

Sometimes wrinkle improvement requires looking in a mirror to see the degree to which one, for instance, wrinkles the forehead repeatedly to show concern. Massage strokes should be in an upward direction to counteract gravity. They should be gentle so as not to stretch the tissues excessively.

BALANCED LIFESTYLE

Living a balanced lifestyle with a sensible pace makes a big difference in slowing down aging. Imagine driving a car real hard and not caring for it, and how long it will last compared to one that has not been pushed to the limit and cared for properly.

Look at the aging changes that occur to most US presidents after they are in office for a term. Look at the aging of musicians and people who push themselves with speed. Or consider the skin of smokers who spend a lot of time in the sun outdoors. These are extreme examples of how to accelerate aging. By staying within reasonable bounds (getting good sleep, eating well, keeping stress low), you can do the opposite and slow aging.

Next: Get Dr. Dattner's Top Ten Natural Skin Tips