Why Anti-aging is Not All About Beauty
Writer: Wan SofaSyifa
Reviewed by: Fenny Lim, BSc. (Hons) Nutrition, UKM
“Anti-aging” or “reverse aging” are some of the more popular terms we see in the market, especially in the health and cosmetic industry. Products such as dietary supplements, skincare, and makeup widely use these terms in their marketing strategy. These terms usually target customers aged 35 and above who worry about their body’s natural aging process. More often than not, these worries are more about external appearances – beauty, rather than the overall aging process.
Anti-aging Products and Services
Types of Anti-aging Products and Services
There are various anti-aging products and services in the market. These can range from oral-based and skin-based products such as dietary supplements or skincare products. The services, such as cosmetic surgery or treatments, can be divided into intrusive and non-intrusive. Skincare products are more mainstream for anti-aging products and cosmetic surgeries for anti-aging services.
How Anti-aging Products Work
The effectiveness of anti-aging products generally relies more on what ingredients are used. For skincare, retinol is the most common ingredient. Retinol is a topical retinoid that helps with skin elasticity by increasing your skin collagen’s thickness after prolonged use. You can find it in facial cleansers, toners, serums, and more . These are some easier products to find, but depending on the brand and formulation, they can be pricy – although not as costly as cosmetic procedures or surgeries.
How Anti-aging Treatments Work
As mentioned, anti-aging cosmetic services are normally divided into procedural treatment and surgery. Treatments can be both intrusive and non-intrusive. An example of a common non-intrusive anti-aging treatment is a facial treatment provided by spas or wellness centers. These facial treatments usually involve skincare application, facial massage, masks, and other similar services.
Injections of botulinum toxin or fillers are examples of intrusive anti-aging cosmetic treatments. A form of botulinum toxin injection preferred in the current market is hyaluronic acid injections to reduce deeper lines . Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan found in your joints, giving your skin its bouncy, moisturized look .
How Anti-aging Services Work
As an alternative, cosmetic surgery can include procedures such as facelifts, which reduce sagging skin immediately after surgery. However, cosmetic surgeries normally have higher risks, and if you are considering it, we advise you to check with your doctor. Typically, people with a high BMI (Body Mass Index) or an existing health condition are at higher risk when it comes to cosmetic surgery .
If you are looking for an anti-aging option for beauty, we suggest you check with your nutritionist, dermatologist, doctor, and surgeon to see which option gives you the least risk but with better longevity.
Aging and Health
On the other side of the mirror are the effects of aging on your health. This aspect of aging does not get the levity it deserves. Having some health complications as you age is considered a fact of life. In truth, the severity of your aging health depends on how you treat your body in youth, with genetics playing a minor part.
Healthy aging is slowly gaining momentum recently, especially since the United Nations (UN) declared the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing from 2021 to 2030. The World Health Organization (WHO) is tasked to lead the implementation of this movement. A recent study by the UN found that the number of elderly rises even in poorer countries because of the advancements in medication.
Even so, whether in the poorer countries or the most advanced, medical costs proved to be the main obstacle to healthy aging. Who you are, your environment, race, ethnicity, and many other qualities often affect how medical policies are made for the elderly .
Common Health Problems in Elderly People
As you age, different aspects of your body age with you at different rates – depending on your diet, lifestyle, and even genetics. According to a 2017 study , common health problems in the elderly are divided into normal aging – issues naturally caused by aging, somatic diseases – issues diagnosed by extreme focus on physical symptoms, and chronic diseases.
For natural causes, common aging health issues are in terms of;
- Sensory decline – it’s normal for you to start having problems with your sight and hearing as you age
- Dizziness – can be part of your geriatric syndrome
- Muscle decline – this is in terms of losing your strength and dexterity as you age
- Immunity decline – your body’s immune system starts to decline with aging, and it’s easier to get sick with more severe symptoms
Somatic diseases are much more common as you age when you’re also experiencing some of these chronic diseases;
- Cardiovascular diseases – arrhythmia or a change in your heart palpitations, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure are the more common conditions among the elderly
- Hypertension – high blood pressure is another common aging condition which is more often caused by bad lifestyle and, sometimes, genetic
- Osteoarthritis – untreated muscle and joint pains can lead to osteoarthritis, where the more severe the condition is, the more pain you experience
- Diabetes – is a very common long-term condition that affects how you convert food into energy that can affect your living quality
- Osteoporosis – happens when your bones lose their density because of calcium deficiency as you age
You can generally contract chronic conditions when you exacerbate the earlier signs or by not practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Anti-aging Products and Services for Health
Anti-aging products for health focus on prevention or alleviating symptoms. As for services, prevention is very rarely the focus since most services are surgical-based or treatment-based to alleviate existing symptoms.
Some common products include joint relief creams, muscle patches, sugar substitutes such as Stevia, and various dietary supplements. An example of treatment is dialysis to help manage diabetes and surgeries such as hernia repair, an extreme result of muscle weakness until it pushes through your tissues or organs, causing extreme pain .
What we need to understand is that the moment you need to subscribe to any form of aging health treatment or services, it is too late. These aging health issues defeat the purpose of experiencing healthy aging – what we want to achieve in ‘anti-aging’ health. So the best way to go is via prevention, and the best way to do it is by taking dietary supplements that help improve your daily nutrition intake.
How to Choose Your Anti-aging Supplements for Health
Choosing a dietary supplement should be about understanding what your body lacks and needs. It all comes down to the ingredients themselves. Some ingredients you should be looking for are;
- Omega 3 fatty acids – proven to improve visual acuity, reduce risk factors for heart diseases, and more
- Astaxanthin – a potent antioxidant that helps improve the immune system and reduce inflammation
- Lycopene – a carotenoid that can reduce hypertension and support cardiovascular health
In our previous blog, you can explore how these ingredients (and more) can help you age healthily.
Like always, we encourage you to speak with your doctor and nutritionist early on so you can start your journey towards healthy aging.
As part of our creed, “Adding Years to Life,” we believe prevention is the cure and healthy aging is the way to go. Aging and anti-aging should not only be about beauty but also health. Some people misunderstand beauty and health, especially in aging, are not co-related. In truth, what you see on your skin is most probably the earliest signs of aging.
Ensuring you are living a healthy lifestyle and providing your body with the nutrients it needs as you age is the way to go so you age better. That’s why, while you can bank in on “anti-aging” skincare, choosing the right “anti-aging” supplements can help you kill two birds with one stone – gain a healthier body to enhance your natural beauty.
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