The first step anyone should take when creating their personalized routine for aging well is to wipe out all the myths that surround aging, including the causes, bogus anti-aging tips, and inaccurate prevention options. Here are five of the most common myths that are holding you back from aging well.
Anti-Aging Myth #1: “Aging is all in the genes.”
Whether it’s the age spots on your hands or fine lines around the mouth, how you age has less to do with your genes and more to do with how much attention you pay to aging well. For example, even if you are conscientious about your anti-aging skin care routine and have inherited great genes, a habit like smoking can overpower all of that thanks to the toxins and poisons in cigarettes, like arsenic, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide, that interfere with your body’s ability to continue aging well. Don’t want those crow’s feet your mother had? Invest in a hydrating eye cream and wear full protection sunglasses. Prevention is the key to aging well, not genes.
Anti-Aging Myth #2: “It’s too late for me to start exercising.”
It is never too late to start working on an anti-aging fitness routine. In fact, studies have shown that even a brisk, 20-minute walk every day, at any age, contributes to aging well because it has the power to reduce your cholesterol as well as your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. There’s no such thing as being too old for anti-aging fitness, because you can tailor your routine to what works for you and your body. The more exercise you do over time, the better your fitness level will be, and the better your fitness level is, the better equipped you are to continue aging well.
Along with improving your chances of aging well, anti-aging fitness also enhances your anti-aging skin care routine because as you sweat, your body is releasing toxins, along with dirt and oil on your skin’s surface. Plus, the increased blood circulation gives you a healthy glow, reduces inflammation, and improves the overall health of your skin.
Anti-Aging Myth #3: “I don’t need to wear sunscreen in the winter.”
This is a popular anti-aging skin care myth and causes the most harm to aging well when it comes to your skin. Just because you don’t see the sun or you work indoors, it doesn’t mean you’re any less susceptible to the harsh implications of the sun’s rays. UV rays actually penetrate through clouds and windows and reflect off ice and snow, making them just as much of a threat to aging well in winter as in the summer. Wearing sunscreen year-round is essential for aging well because it provides a shield against harmful UVA and UVB rays—a simple anti-aging skin care step that goes a long way.
Anti-Aging Myth #4: “My skin is oily, so I don’t need a moisturizer.”
The oil on your skin might make your skin feel “moist,” which is why the misconception of not needing a moisturizer as a part of your anti-aging skin care routine is so common. But skipping moisturizer altogether can work against your efforts toward aging well. Facial moisturizers put water, not oil, back into the skin, and the hydration from the water is what helps plump out those fine lines. If you have oily skin, it means your skin excretes excess sebum, but facial moisturizers contain ingredients that are absorbed into the skin, helping it to continue aging well over the years.
If you use other skin care products, like cleansers and exfoliants, for aging well, but then skip the moisturizer, you run the risk of drying your skin out too much, and when that happens, sebum production goes into overdrive to compensate—so you actually end up making oily skin worse. Using a moisturizer helps to keep sebum levels in check.
Anti-Aging Myth #5: “Taking multivitamins will delay the aging process.”
If all it took was popping a multivitamin to ensure aging well and avoid the natural signs of aging, anti-aging wouldn’t be a billion-dollar industry. The truth is that while multivitamins can be helpful, they only provide the bare basics of aging well; the rest is up to us. If you have a well-rounded diet, you shouldn’t need to rely so much on vitamins or anti-aging supplements. Plus, several studies have shown that taking multivitamins isn’t as effective for aging well as many people think because they don’t necessarily do much for disease prevention.
Barton, A., “Multivitamins a ‘waste’ of money for general population, reports suggest,” The Globe and Mail, December 17, 2013; http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/multivitamins-a-waste-of-money-for-general-population-reports-suggest/article16001734/.
Harrar, S., et al., “8 Aging Myths, Debunked,” Reader’s Digest web site; http://www.rd.com/slideshows/8-myths-about-aging/#slideshow=slide1, last accessed January 20, 2014.
“Skincare Myths, Busted,” Marie Claire web site, January 29, 2013; http://www.marieclaire.com/hair-beauty/trends/busted-skincare-myths.