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The Science of Beauty: Navigating Aging Gracefully

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

Hey there, gorgeous readers! Today, we're going to delve into an intriguing subject that many of us are curious about: the link between beauty, health, and aging. Let's kick things off by embracing this thought:

Beauty isn't just about looks. It's also a reflection of our health, genetic traits, and interactions with our environment.

Book cover of "Survival of the Prettiest" by Nancy Etcoff

As suggested by Darwin's theory of natural selection, attractiveness plays a crucial role in our survival. In the fascinating book "Survival of the Prettiest," attractiveness is tied to various markers of health and fertility. But let's not get too academic here!

Let's focus on the skin - our largest and arguably most aesthetic organ. When it's healthy and glowing, it's an advertisement for our wellbeing. Why? Because our skin is a timeline of our health. Young, radiant skin, for instance, shows that our cells are renewing themselves regularly, a process that slows down as we age. The skin's youthfulness is preserved by active oil glands and structural proteins collagen and elastin. Skincare products with retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, have become popular as they can help speed up this renewal process, improving skin texture and reducing signs of aging. Remember, if you're using retinol, be sure to also use sunscreen to protect your now more sensitive skin.

As we get older and our hormone levels change (you know, that whole menopause thing), our skin's elasticity declines and wrinkles emerge. And let's not forget hair. Our locks tell us a lot about our health. A thick head of hair signals vitality, while thinning could point to aging or stress. Ensuring a balanced diet, rich in proteins and essential fatty acids, is key for maintaining hair health. However, if you notice significant hair loss, a healthcare provider or dermatologist should be consulted to determine the underlying cause. Thyroid health can impact hair loss too.

Beyond skin and hair, our physical features reveal a lot about our health and fertility. Certain facial features, like high cheekbones and full lips, and a smaller waist relative to hips, are often associated with fertility and youth in women. This perception is a key reason for the popularity of waist trainers, as they accentuate the waist. Therefore, it's understandable that drawing attention to the waist area, whether by using a cincher, belt, or simply showing the waist, is commonly seen as appealing. Let's also not forget that high heels exaggerate the hourglass shape - especially when walking.

Infographic to download that shows how to measure your hip to waist ratio.

Speaking of waist-to-hip ratios, let's delve into this a bit more. This ratio is a fantastic indicator of hormonal health. A larger waist could signify higher androgen levels or menopause, while an ideal ratio of 0.67 to 0.80 in women suggests fertility and youth. As we age and go through menopause, managing these changes is crucial. Women with any insulin resistance—from conditions such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), diabetes, or simply not tolerating carbs well—may struggle with the insulin resistance that comes with low estrogen during menopause. As a rule, in addition to dialing in your carb intake, make sure you get enough fiber and veggies in, as hormone balance shifts out of favor for fat loss and balanced blood sugar. If you need help dialing in your nutrition, I can help!

And lastly, don't forget about the importance of rest, recovery, and relaxation. Rest is when our bodies rejuvenate, repairing cells and tissues, including those of our skin and hair. Recovery is the process where our bodies recalibrate and regenerate, finding equilibrium after the stresses of the day. Then there's relaxation, the soothing balm that lowers our cortisol levels, slows our heart rate, and allows us to breathe a little easier. Regular relaxation can support hormonal balance, reduce inflammation, and give our skin that enviable glow. Additionally, all these actions promote better sleep, a key ingredient in the recipe for vitality and beauty. So, take that leisurely walk, indulge in a hot bath, or get lost in a good book, because the road to health, beauty, and aging well is paved with ample rest, recovery, and relaxation.

While our health and appearance are influenced by many factors, we can positively affect them with lifestyle changes. According to Dr. Sara Gottfried, M.D., author of "Younger: A Groundbreaking Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years," our lifestyle choices significantly impact our genetic expressions - or our epigenetics.

This growing field of study looks at how our habits and environment can lead to changes that affect how our genes work. The positive news is that even with less-than-ideal genes, we can change our health trajectory by managing our environmental influences. We can make our bodies work for us, not against us, by making mindful lifestyle adjustments.

Dr. Steve Horvath is a leading expert in the field of epigenetics. He's developed an 'epigenetic clock' to measure biological aging and predict lifespan. His research highlights the incredible impact our lifestyle choices have on our biological aging.

By making healthier choices—like regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress reduction, adequate sleep, strong social connections, and avoiding harmful substances such as smoking and excessive alcohol—we can not only look good but feel good and live longer!

Remember, your beauty is a reflection of your overall health. Take care of your body, make thoughtful, healthier choices, and embrace aging with grace. After all, each wrinkle is a tribute to the life we've lived, the smiles we've shared, and the challenges we've overcome. Here's to aging not just gracefully, but powerfully and confidently!

Until our next rendezvous, keep glowing inside and out! 🤍

There are 2 images showing how results from Thorne Research's Biological Age Health Panel will look on your smart phone.


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