No one wants to admit it, but almost all of us want to shave off some years, and there are more options than ever for cheating time.
Have you ever looked at a photo of yourself someone posted on social media and given a little gasp? If you don’t feel old, why the heck do you look like someone tossed you in the dryer and forgot to push the “wrinkle control” button? You can certainly embrace your wrinkles and gray hair as badges of participation in the journey, but if you want to explore your options, we’ve got some ideas.
Before we get to the quicker, easier methods for erasing some years, let’s get to the most important one: getting fit. If cross training and interval sessions are already in your arsenal, skip this section. But the single most vital thing to make you feel younger, make your body last longer, improve your outlook and yes, look more youthful, is to get in shape.
Check with your insurance provider to see if you’re one of many eligible for the Silver Sneakers Medicare program. Silver Sneakers offers free gym membership, special classes, online workouts and many other benefits that have the added bonus of a like-minded community to keep you motivated. Not only will you look younger, but joints will stabilize and balance will improve.
If you don’t qualify for Silver Sneakers, check if your local gym has a senior discount. There are hundreds of ways to get your body moving, and a workout can be as simple as opening the front door for a walk. Exercising helps tone all your muscles, including your heart. You’ll gradually breathe easier, have more endurance and be able to take on greater challenges. You may lose weight, or transfer weight from fat to muscle. Either way, you’ll feel and look better!
To get started, check out this article on getting in shape after 50.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water every day, especially while you’re working out. Your skin is the last organ that water reaches. Inadequate water intake can dry out skin, so drink about eight glasses a day to support a healthy, glowing complexion. For an added boost, apply a product containing hyaluronic acid to your skin before you put on moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water to plump up your skin.
To Gray, or Not to Gray, That is the Question
Is it distinguished, or just frumpy? You can choose to rock that gray and wear it with pride, and you’ll have plenty of company. But what if you’re not ready yet, or your job demands a more youthful appearance, or you’re sticking a toe in the dating waters and want to have a little more confidence?
Before you hit up the hairdresser for a dye job, you can try a temporary, natural solution at home. Tea can turn those gray hairs back to their original hue. Black tea makes a brown color, or use chamomile for blond hair or rooibos for redheads. Make a strong solution with several teabags, let it cool and apply it to clean, wet hair. The longer you leave it in, the stronger the color will be. Weekly applications will do the trick. Brunettes can try a strong brew of coffee, adding spent grounds to intensify the color.
For a longer-lasting change that you can do yourself, try shampooing out your gray hair with Control GX. It gradually restores pigment through repeated use.
If your gray is mainly at your temples, or sparsely sprinkled through your hair, getting highlights may be your best option. They’re fairly low maintenance, and you can keep the color fresh with a color-preserving shampoo and conditioner. Another option is to get your roots lightened to make sparse gray hairs less noticeable.
Finally, you can get a complete color process at a salon that will last for weeks, except for regrowth. Roots will appear after about ten days, and you’ll need to touch them up. A little concealer touch-up spray will do the trick until your next visit.
You can exercise wrinkles right out of your face, according to Marja Putkisto of Method Putkisto, a company that developed a regimen for tightening the muscles of your face and neck to improve your appearance. As an added benefit, better circulation should enhance the look of your skin. Read more about it here.
How to Get a Younger Mindset
An age-conscious society drives older adults to look youthful, but have you considered whether or not you are thinking young? It’s both a science and an art, and can lead to happier outcomes than the trimmest, smoothest physique. Better yet, you can get started today and see immediate results!
Following are simple prompts to encourage youthful thinking:
For further encouragement, read this Big Think piece on how your mind-body connection determines how you age.
How much have you spent on wrinkle cream? Don’t put down one more penny unless it’s for Retin-A, which can improve skin texture, fade dark spots and wrinkles, and even help you retain collagen, which gives your skin firmness and elasticity. Although it’s only available with a prescription, there is plenty of strong science to support its use. Retin-A, the drug known generically as retinoic acid or tretinoin, shrinks dilated pores, improves cell turnover and reverses the damaging effects of sun exposure.
Deep wrinkles call for more intensive procedures. Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist for a complete consultation to discuss your options. The first process to consider may be Botox injections. The shots aren’t a permanent solution, but you’ll get results for months. The thin needle stings, but you should be able to continue daily activities.
Fillers are another option. You can use fat from your thighs or rear end, or use one of the commercial fillers on the market. Your doctor should be able to talk to you in detail about the pros and cons of each. These are not permanent fixes, but they will last months or years.
Laser surgery has become popular in recent years because of its safety record and quick recovery time. A vast array of laser types address different skin issues. Some work at the surface level, while others send their beams deeper into the skin to stimulate collagen and improve scar tissue. Go here to find what you need to know about a wide variety of laser procedures.
A mini facelift may be next on your roster of options. Your surgeon will tighten underlying muscles and skin in the lower third of your face, around your jaw. Sagging skin and jowls will disappear, along with deep wrinkles. Although it’s sometimes called a “weekend facelift,” that’s a misnomer. Recovery usually takes a week to 10 days, and swelling and bruising can last much longer. Read more about the mini lift procedure.
You may want a little more nipping and tucking than the mini lift provides. It’s common to combine a mini lift with another procedure to address a problem area. This might be a neck lift to remove saggy tissue from the chin to collar area, a mid facelift for your cheek region, a brow lift for a wrinkly forehead or a blepharoplasty around your eyes.
A full facelift is the mother of all wrinkle treatments. Your facial skin will be loosened up, stretched, trimmed and restitched. The underlying muscles are tightened and adjusted as well. Research your surgeon extensively. Ask for before and after photos (you want to finish with a natural look, not a surprised Barbie façade), and check the doctor’s credentials. You can find a board-certified plastic surgeon by visiting the website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
One of the most frustrating things about considering cosmetology is not being able to compare prices. No one wants to call 20 doctors to ask how much they charge, but just try to find published prices. Until this changes, there’s Denver’s Happy Clinic Price List. People travel to this modern clinic from all over the country for a wide variety of cosmetic procedures. You can view their charges right on your computer and get a good idea of what you can expect to pay locally and the types of treatment that are available.
There are reasons you gain weight as you get older. Small consolation, but true. Even if you weigh exactly the same as when you were 20, the percentage of fat is greater when you’re 70. That’s because we lose muscle cells as we age. The best way to combat this loss is exercise, which works even in our 80s and 90s. Check out this article on National Public Radio to find out how muscle toning works.
If you’re still convinced you want a quick fix, there’s a new alternative to liposuction. Yes, you can go to a surgeon and have them jab a suction rod in your fat over and over, or give coolsculpting a try. Instead of sucking out fat cells, coolsculpting freezes some of your fat cells to death. A device sucks your fat roll between two clamps that lower the temperature of this section of your body until it kills off 20-25 percent of the fat cells in that area. The cells don’t regenerate, according to the company, and it doesn’t affect untreated areas. At about $200 a treatment, it’s worth a look.
Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors