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Anti-ageing and Diabetic Self Esteem

“I’m 58 and struggling to keep in shape. When I was young, people used to say my looks opened doors. Now I’m overweight and miss the figure I had. I have diabetes so I can’t move around as easily and I don’t have the energy I did. Coupled with looking wrinkled, I know people think I’ve let myself go. It isn’t from lack of trying. I know no doors will open for me now, which makes me sad. Would it be too vain of me, to try hugely expensive anti-ageing creams?” Shirley, Colorado.

There are two things going on here. One is related to Shirley’s beliefs and the other, to the actual ageing process. You were told good looks opened doors and you’ve lived your life believing it. When you saw yourself like that, it spurred you on. Now you see yourself differently and this saps your energy and your self-confidence.

We wonder if it is time to drop the belief that doors open only for good-looking people and start to believe that we are more than just our appearance? Age has its own privileges and invaluable experiences. These are hugely attractive qualities to the right people. Infact, who wants to stay young? Don’t forget, as you grow old, so does your entire generation. You will never be left out.

Now let’s think about ageing. Yes, we change physically. We generally have less energy and are less able to exercise for as long and need more sleep. So we need to adjust what we eat. If we go on eating the same as before, we’ll put on weight.

As for wrinkles, we just have to accept them. If you thought they were indicative of wisdom and loved your wrinkles, you’d find they don’t matter. Does it matter what younger people think? Surely, the best part about getting older is not caring about opinions.

The important thing is to feel good and confident in yourself. That way, your inner beauty and positive energy will start to open doors for you forever. Where your focus and investments needs to be, are on diet and exercise.

Now popular across the world, anti-ageing products can be some of the most expensive liquids in the world, but are these products at all worth their huge price? Anti-ageing products come in the form of creams and serums. They claim to make you look younger; by reducing, hiding or preventing the signs of ageing. High end anti-ageing products are some of the most expensive single use items in the world – just one fluid ounce of this rejuvenating serum will cost you $1800, making it one of the most expensive liquids on the planet.

Do anti-ageing products really work and does this explain why they are so expensive? Our doctor says, “in all honesty, a number of these creams are used for their placebo effect.”

More expensive, doesn’t necessarily mean better or more effective. Most anti-ageing cosmetics, even budget items, tend to include a standard set of ingredients. Water, glycerine, acids, oils and vitamins. However, the costliest creams contain an array of extravagant additions. For example, Creme de la Mer includes a trademarked “Miracle Broth”, comprised of hand harvested giant sea kelp, which it claims has the best self-regenerating powers.

According to our consultant dermatologist, Dr. Anjali Mahto, these expensive ingredients aren’t guaranteed or necessarily proven to be more effective. Often what companies will advertise is that their product contains ‘that one really interesting botanical or natural ingredient’ and is therefore ten times better for moisturizing the skin than something else. However, they are under no obligation to prove that it is that specific ingredient, that is causing the moisturizing properties and not something that is very basic as glycerine – which is found in most moisturizers. Product claims don’t necessarily have to stack-up in a way that requires stringent monitoring for effectiveness.

In the U.S. for example, anti-ageing medications must have approval from the food and administration for both, safety and effectiveness. Whereas, anti-ageing cosmetics, such as creams and serums, do not require FDA approval before they go on the market.

Consumer psychologist, Dr. D. Tsivrikos says, “When it comes to anti-ageing promises, it’s a very grey area. A number of these products promise people that they will actually reverse ageing, that they will actually make people look youthful again. By simply allowing a clinical population to test your product – is just a great deal of smoke, mirrors and dust.”

In actuality, we can’t really say that most of these clinical studies are not to be trusted, but the price consumers pay for the most expensive products is significantly higher than the cost of production.

An investigation in 2010, by The Daily Mail found that re-creating a 3.4 ounce pot of Crème de la Mer, from readily available ingredients, is estimated to cost roughly $35. Instead La Mer, markets their products, at $510.

La Mer has always maintained, “the value of Crème de la Mer reflects the highest quality ingredients, the time intensive and complex processes that are needed to create it and the powerful skincare benefits experienced by its thousands of loyal devotees around the world”.

When it comes to purchasing a very expensive product, most likely, about 60% to 70% of the price that we might be paying is related to the cost of packaging and marketing the cream, rather than the material cost of the product.

The desire to retain youthful looks is nothing new. Cleopatra is thought to have taken daily baths in donkey milk known for its acidic properties. Women of the French court poured aged wine on their faces, a process which is now recognised for having exfoliating benefits.

A Propaganda blitz and beauty adverts in mid-20th century magazines, actually demonized women for having so-called middle aged skin. This was the catalyst for a now booming and anti-ageing industry.

The anti-ageing market is expected to exceed $216 billion dollars by the end of 2021, but a large part of that includes cosmetic procedures such as, botox and face-lifts. Arguably an extreme answer to our natural ageing process.

It gets worse. Now more and more women in their mid-20’s are worried about ageing. We are currently living in a society that is so focussed on outward aesthetics that there is also a driving need for people who are more interested in things like laser surgery or injectables like botox or filler, from a much younger age than society has seen before.

So despite the lure of magical remedies and luxurious concoctions, avoiding skin damage and combating the signs of ageing don’t need to be so expensive. Budget products can be equally effective as the more expensive counterparts.

The focus shouldn’t be on the expensive products, but instead on a good quality sunscreen SPF minimum 30, ideally 50, throughout the year – 80% to 90% of the signs we associate with skin ageing occur directly because of sunlight, like fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation. Also important to use a vitamin based product or a retinoid. You don’t need to spend a fortune, a $40 product is unnecessary.

E364 – Anti-ageing and Diabetic Self Esteem –

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