What got me thinking about the term ageing gracefully?
I was scrolling TikTok, as one does after a long day of work, and came across an account that was all about fighting ageism. A woman was dancing to the beat of a trendy song, and on each downbeat another ageist term popped up. I’m watching, loving the message, and absolutely here for the self love.
“Ageing Gracefully” pops up and I’m immediately taken aback, as someone who has used the term previously with no ill iWhat Does Ageing Gracefully Mean to You?ntent. That initial reactive wave of confusion and anger washed over me, but then I sat with it a moment, and considered what people hear when we suggest ageing gracefully.
Is "ageing gracefully" a compliment or ageism?
If you can age gracefully, does that mean there’s a way to age disgracefully? That those who don’t engage in western standards of beauty and youth-centric treatments should show the results of their cumulative years in shame?
Some of the symptoms of getting older are the accumulation of hundreds or thousands of smiles and laughs, or from hours deep in thought, or communicating all those exciting stories to our friends over a glass of wine through the years.
The issue with "ageing gracefully"
When companies promote ageing gracefully, they’re often talking about anti-ageing topicals, botox, fillers, and other products aimed to diminish fine lines and wrinkles; to “turn back the clock” on the most visible signs of ageing.
I don’t believe this is properly informing clients or having them engage meaningfully in their health. What we fail as an industry to communicate in these surface-level appeals to “anti-ageing,” is what exactly are we treating and why? A perfect example of this is if your injector is providing you botox and never mentions wearing sunscreen.
Understanding our skin as we age
Our faces change as we age, primarily as a result of expected volume loss of fat pads, repetitive muscle movements, loss of collagen and elastin, decreased dermal thickness, dehydration, and free radical damage.
Our faces will wrinkle and sag over time, but what degree of that is due to excess damage and not just natural ageing?
It’s the portion of cumulative damage that we look to treat at our medical aesthetics clinic in Kelowna, as if you had the chance to go back to being 15 with all the knowledge we have now. How would your skin look had you been an avid sunscreen wearer, used high quality skin care to support optimal skin health, and received skin health treatments from the beginning?
We are just now starting to understand the massive effects preventative care has for our skin. Many of us are experiencing the effects of things previously unknown, things our doctors never used to warn us about.
So for us, “ageing gracefully” may be a term we retire, but the philosophy of restoring skin to what it could be, and reversing or diminishing the effects of unnecessary skin damage, will stay.
We don’t need to accept our skin being in poor condition, just because of what has already happened to it. It’s never too late to improve your skin health, and indulge in cosmetic treatments if you want to! We’re not anti-ageing, we’re pro-health, and healthy skin is protected, hydrated, and happy.
If you're interested in learning more about your skin health, book a free consultation with one of our skin care specialists. We look forward to chatting with you!