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Slow down the clock |


Slow down the clock

Marbbie C. Tagabucba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - There is no stopping it, and there’s no need to fear it. The physical manifestation of age — the proof of life that’s in the way the lines on your face curve upward or downward or the way your back and knees might or might not creak —  is a mysterious, multifarious process caused by factors that range from DNA damage to cellular miscommunication, stimulated by a bigger range of factors you can’t control like genetics to gravity. I’ve been told it gets better in ways we don’t expect. As experience changes our perspective, so will how we feel about beauty, and in turn, how—and if—we ever come to terms with looking at ourselves.

Either way, there is a clock, and the enhancement game in the last decade is placing in your hands a snooze button. The bigger picture is that it changed our perception of age. Jennifer Lopez is what 45 looks like; Kylie Jenner is the new 18. The former is part of the first generation to commit to sunscreen and a Retinol regimen in their 20s. The latter is part of the first generation to discover—and seize and document, to great avail—that to look like the best version of ourselves at any age, nobody needs to go under a knife anymore.

That’s not to say the quest for the fountain of youth is a walk in the park; it’s more like a marathon which you have to commit time and money to, just like religiously applying and reapplying sun protection even if you’re indoors; even infrared rays from artificial light like your computer monitor play a role in aging. Don’t forget your hands and your décolletage. And exercise your mind and your body not for how they make you look but for what they can do for you. And rehydrate every 20 minutes, plus watch your high-glycemic food intake, as Dr. Nicolas Perricone (founder of the eponymous skincare line) has found through his ground-breaking research on inflammation’s link to aging.

The injectibles

It’s true that romantic bliss from a new relationship, the alkalizing benefits of drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning, or MAC Strobe Cream will impart a glow on your face, but not even The Eye Concentrate by La Mer or a Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher concealer and YSL Touche Eclat combo can cover and bounce off enough light to hide your dark undereyes when it’s caused not by pigmentation but by shadows. Dr. Windie Hayano of Skin Inc. suggests filling it in, and none would be the wiser.

Before conversing with Dr. Hayano, I associated Botox (proper noun; a brand of a neurotoxin injected to stop a muscle’s movement before deep wrinkles show up) with a frozen face, and collagen fillers to cartoon-like inflated cheekbones and puffer-fish lips. Technology did something about that. Botox and fillers can now be administered in micro-droplets with a tiny needle—needle-phobes must know that eyebrow threading stings much more—resulting in a more natural look that retains your ability to grin, frown, do goofy faces, etc.

Dr. Hayano says when you start Botox in your 20s, it can be even more effective at slowing down the clock. Get Botox on the sides of the bridge of your nose to prevent smile lines and in the middle of your forehead to prevent a perma-scowl, prevalent with those with bad vision because they have to squint. You can get fillers in areas that recede and age you in ways you don’t expect, like around the temples. Still, this is where your dermatologist’s skill, artistry, not to mention taste, comes in. To truly be happy with the results, you both have to agree on what you find beautiful.

Ultrasound treatments like Ulthera and those that use radiofrequency (at Facial Care Center they offer ReFirme and its more powerful counterpart Thermage) keep the skin’s collagen thick so it is lifted, taut and healthy. Laser du jour RevLite zaps dark spots, a common marker of age for fair-skinned Asians. These all act like magic wands, dispensing waves, heat, or zapping light, respectively, deep into the skin, hitting the source, signaling it to act younger.

Don’t lose your hair over it

Laser technology can also stimulate hair growth at Svenson’s. If you think your hair’s great now, if one of your parents is losing their hair, you probably will too. You can choose to forego the abovementioned enhancements just like Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg, but your hair is akin not just your age but your identity; see Wintour’s supershiny bob and bangs and von Furstenberg’s lush waves.

Last year, a bald spot was a sign that it’s too late. If you have the resources for a hair transplant, The Aivee Institute carries the robotic machine Artas which harvests healthy strands of hair and plants it into your scalp so it can grow like new again.

For those who still have a fighting chance, don’t focus on your hair and overload it with conditioning proteins; this is counterproductive and will only make it more prone to breakage. If you’re in your 20s, take care of your scalp. Prolonged blockages to your hair follicles like sebum and dead skin send signals to your roots to stop growing hair. Aveda carries an exfoliating shampoo from its Invati line to keep your scalp clean and healthy. It’s also infused with natural hair growth stimulants turmeric and ginger.

By any definition, it’s a lot of work. Pretty is as pretty does, and inevitably we will all get the face we deserve.

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