Anti-aging products don’t work.

Anti-aging products don’t work.

It’s something we all know deep down inside.

But still we hope.

Maybe I just don’t know enough.  If I kept up with the trends, I’m sure that new breakthrough technology would help me retain my youthful glow.

Maybe I’m just too cheap – if I spent more money on that fancy cream, it would work, right?  There must be something amazing about it, to justify that price.

Maybe I’m not consistent enough.  If I could only remember to remove my makeup every night, and apply that serum with upward, lifting motions with my fingertips – then it would work.

Maybe I didn’t start early enough.  If only I hadn’t partied so much in my 20s, and instead developed a rigorous skincare routine, then I would look amazing.

It must be my fault.

 

But deep down, we know, in our bones, that these products can’t undo years of hard living and poor lifestyle choices.

And we also know that anti-aging products can’t do what they say on the tin.

Anti-aging.

It’s an impossibility.

Like it or not, every day, we age.  We move forward in time.  We grow.  We change.  We evolve.

Even the name of the product is setting us up for failure.

 

I’m not saying we should let ourselves go.  That we should let ourselves fade into a floral-printed, polyester-clad, hunched old age, with a quiet shuffle off to the golf course.  Au contraire.

I’m saying we should redefine our goal.

Anti-aging is impossible.

Think of the most gorgeous older woman you know.  What does she look like?

I’m guessing it’s not the woman with collagen-injected lips, a perfectly smooth forehead, perky breasts and coiffed hair.

There’s a slippery slope with plastic surgery that we all sense, innately.

A little bit can be ok, and then suddenly – woah – it just feels wrong.

 

No, I’m guessing that the most gorgeous older woman you know is vibrant.  Radiant. Happy.  Maybe with little crinkles around her sparkly eyes when she laughs.  Full of energy.  Alive.  Fully embracing her unique self, and not shy about who she is.    

The most gorgeous woman is bien dans sa peau (one of my favorite French expressions meaning ‘feeling good in her skin’).

Isn’t it funny how we know what makes a woman gorgeous – but then, we apply different rules to ourselves?

Aging gracefully might be OK for others, but for ourselves, we want to freeze-frame our 25 year old bodies – forever.  And any deviation from that is failure!  Self-criticism!  Blame!

The fact is that we are all aging.  Every day.  It’s part of moving forward in life.  And at any age, the most beautiful women look like a gorgeous, vibrant, alive version of themselves.  The best version of themselves possible.  They look their age (well, within 10 years or so!), and they look good.

 

It’s much more fun to move towards something, than run away from something.

The other thing that really gets me about ‘anti-aging’, is that it’s fear-based.

The whole idea of focusing on ‘anti-‘ something, means that we’re focused on the negative thing.  We’re afraid of it.  We’re trying to avoid it.  We’ll do anything to prevent that perceived bad thing from happening!

You see, even if you manage to avoid the dreaded aging today – it could get you tomorrow! Or next week! We must be ever-vigilant!

It’s an exhausting and never-ending struggle.

 

Instead, it feels so much better to focus on the future and work towards a goal.

What if, instead of anti-aging, we spent all that energy, all that research, all that money, all that time focusing on creating beauty and radiance  and abundance in our lives.

What if we focused on feeling bien dans sa peau?

What if we focused on nourishing our bodies through food, water and good sleep, so we were full of energy everyday?

What if we focused on maximizing our good qualities, rather than trying to hide our faults?

What if we focused on looking like the best, most alive, most vibrant version of ourselves?

What if our prescription for health was laughter, human connection, whole foods, water, sleep and creativity – everyday?

 

Life would be a lot more fun.  We would treat ourselves better.  We’d all be a lot healthier.  And we’d have many more vibrant, juicy, gorgeous women around!

 

Forget anti-aging. Let’s do this instead.

So instead of anti-aging, I’m asking you to join me on a quest for a different goal:

Natural Radiance.

The dictionary definition of Radiant is:

  1. sending out rays of light; bright; shining
  2. characterized by health; intense joy; happiness etc.

Sounds like a pretty good goal to me.

When you’re naturally radiant, you’re glowing, vibrant and full of energy.  You’re beautiful – in an alive, authentic way.

You’re making choices (and using beauty products!  Oh I do love beauty products!) not to prevent an awful possibility, but instead, to enhance your radiance.  To maximize what you’ve got.  To get pleasure out of life.  To enjoy the journey.

 

Good food, herbal remedies, natural beauty products, creativity … these can all help you cultivate your own natural radiance.  

Natural radiance is my new goal, and I hope it will be yours too.

 

YOUR TURN: I’d love to know what you think about this idea of ditching the anti-aging, and shifting our goal to natural radiance!

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think AND what one change you’ll make this week, to be more naturally radiant.

About the author

Amanda Cook is an author, entrepreneur, and alchemist. She helps successful women create lives of meaning & magic by connecting with the seasons. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, The Sunday Telegraph, Natural Health UK Magazine, and more. Learn more at AmandaCook.me.

Amanda Cook is an author, entrepreneur, and alchemist. She helps successful women create lives of meaning & magic by connecting with the seasons. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, The Sunday Telegraph, Natural Health UK Magazine, and more. Learn more at AmandaCook.me.

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  1. I love your blog and have made the cleanser, it’s wonderful, as good as the most expensive cloth cleanser my daughter bought me as a birthday present. I’m going to make another bat h for her, I’m sure she’ll love it. I would love to make a night cream, I have been given a bottle of Argan oil, could I use it in a cream, it is pure oil and I would love to use it in a cream or a facial oil.

  2. Thank you for the great work that you do, sharing wonderful content and useful formulas/recipes. I stopped using all facial moisturizers, toners and eye cream and replaced them for your lovely deluxe facial oil. I’m also a huge coffee-lover (with cream) and I always thought creamer had far too many, unpronounceable ingredients (I’m also a Michael Polan reader) so I started making my own creamer based on your pumpkin spice recipe too. I feel great, I feel empowered and I would dare say radiant 🙂

    Yes, we all love our grandmas, when we’re young we think plastic surgery is pathetic and the term “age gracefully” comes easily out of our mouths. But as we realize we are starting to look like our beloved grandma in the subtlest way, we panic and then the gap between what we say (or said) and do becomes wider.

    I am turning 40 this year, I probably “look good for my age” but I KNOW things are changing, how they’re changing and where they’re changing. The neck, the hands and recently while doing a donward facing dog yoga position in shorts, I looked at my knee and thought “even you Knee?”.

    And while aging may not be easy for some women like me, you’re absolutely right, aging cannot be stopped and neither can our inner sunshine. let’s be pro-radiance in 2014!!!

    1. Hi Haikaa, I’m so glad to hear you’re loving the facial oil and finding a more natural route to beauty. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this post, I really appreciated it!

  3. Hi Amanda. great article. I don’t use those expensive stuff ( and I don’t wear make up) and I found for my sensitive skin a tiny bit of bicarb in warm water as a scrub once a month does the same to me as the before and afters on TV. I actually look younger at 30 than I did at 20 because of one , hmmm, “miracle” anti ageing product – home grown vegies.

  4. I totally agree with this post. I believe it is important to be comfortable and confident being you and to stop trying to conform and fit in with others/society. This week i am going to drink more water and make time to use my treadmill to be more naturally radiant.
    Thanks!

  5. I never liked the term Anit anything. It always sounds like a war against something. Why would anyone declare war on their skin. I’m looking forward to your workshops. Just starting out with Natural Skin Care and would love new ideas. Thank you.Hugs.

  6. Being 48 and feeling years younger I truly believe that taking care of ourselves on the inside shows on the outside. I have only changed a lot of things such as diet and exercise a short time ago in order to set a better example for my daughter. Just hope I didn’t start too late…taking for granted good genes! You can never start too late…but the younger you do the better!!! Looking forward to delving deeper into this site 🙂

  7. I completely agree that most anti aging products don’t work, I think using natural products will bring better results.

  8. i am with you. i am 50 and feel right at home with my body and my goals. ageing is reality and i am embracing it. lines and dark spots are all part of it and who has the enery to try and be who you aren’t. kirsten

  9. Hi Amanda,
    U’ve said it all. Ageing is a way life tells us “u’ve come a long way”, lol. Its scary thinking about it alone, the wrinkles, the dry skin…… Buh when I tink abt ageing with grace, radiance and beauty, it makes it easier. So let’s do it. Age with NATURAL RADIANCE.

  10. I’m 61 and still think I’m 25!!! Giving back has kept me young and age is just a number. My grandmother lived to be 100 and gave back every day. What a GREAT role model she was…

  11. What a great post…and so perfectly timed as another birthday rolls around. I’ve been known to say that, “Age is an attitude, and baby I’ve got attitude!” I’ve spent a fortune over the years on creams and the whole gambit. I’ve also spent a youth baking in the sun so am lucky to say I have any skin at all! Time and again, people freak out when they find out how old (chronologically speaking) I am; happened just yesterday and a girl of 20 almost fell off her feet when she heard I am going to be 65. She thought I was in my 40’s!!

    I found your site, because, as I said, I was researching how to make my own products and loved what I saw as I explored your site and felt the life in your words!! Namaste….

  12. Hi Amanda, Love this article! I’m a 68 year old wrinkle. I earned every one of them as well as my silver grey hair. I look for creams and other products that ‘shine’ my skin and let the wrinkles alone! Who was it who said ‘a person has the face they deserve by the time their 40?’

    1. Hi Alice, whatever you’re doing is working because you’re beautiful (and sparkly!)

  13. Hi Amanda, thanks for the post. It has re-confirmed what I’ve always thought, the real you is the one that you should show to the world regardless. Being yourself makes you beautiful, whatever your age. There are no amount of creams or lotions that can change that. Remember to live your life with love and laughter and radiance will surely shine out on all around you.
    x
    Gillian

  14. Hi Amanda.
    Personally I have NEVER in my life used any anti-aging anything. I mean what’s the point we still age anyway. The most beautiful person I know has wrinkles and lines but she is so vibrant and radiant anyway especially when she smiles. That is where I would like to be

  15. Hi Amanda
    Thank you for writing your positive uplifting and natural thoughts.

    Beauty we all know does come from within. oh and from the outside, your genes have a BIG part to play in this. My Mum is in her eighty second year and has the most beautiful virtually line free skin on her face and every one always comments on it when they discover the years she has attained. She has a simple and inexpensive regime of water and whatever face cream she has to hand; certainly nothing expensive. The luck of good genes hold the answer.

    My particular bug bear is how companies are able to touch up photographs of ridiculously flawless models in glossy magazines when selling their beauty products to us. This should at the very least be noted on the advertisement. We are being lied to, and as you say and we know ” the look is unattainable”. Sadly the lies continue to sell as companies continue to pay the high advertising fees.

    Looking as good as we can on the outside can help us to feel good on the inside, and need not be expensive as you know and show. One thing I have learnt is that colour plays a part in this. The clothes we wear close to our face, and makeup we choose (if any), certainly can add or detract from our age. I have recently completed a course on colour and have found that this is a great piece of knowledge that everyone should have in their feel and look good tool box. I am seeing a client this afternoon and looking forward to adding to her tool box.

    Knowledge is power as they say, so thank you again Amanda for sharing your findings with us.

    1. Tell me about it with the advertising! Even if we ‘know’ it’s not real, it still gets into our subconscious and I think makes us be self-critical when we look in the mirror…

  16. I’ve never believed in any anti aging cream nor used one. While I was on chemo and after, people always told me I looked radiant. No make-up. Just me in the raw. I juiced a lot more at that time and had to drink water like a camel 🙂
    I still drink water, eat good veggies n fruits and have been sleeping without any sleeping aides. All natural is what I want to be. All I need now is to obtain good healthy make-up to enhance my radiance. Thanks for the info. I am with you on this topic.

  17. This is my mantra! Beautifully said! What is so bad about aging anyway? It happens to everyone, if you are lucky enough to live.

    Live your life… Being interested and interesting is far more beautiful than a made up, or plastic-surguried face that is blank and perfect.

    I did not look in the mirror for two weeks, as an experiment. When the two weeks were over and I looked at myself, I saw a vibrant sparkling human being, not focusing on blemishes and “imperfections”.

    Your skin may sag, you may get “turkey neck”, you may wrinkle, you may slow down. So love yourself already and be free! As you say, radiate outward. Focusing on physical attributes will not make one happy.

    I love this post and I love my 55 year old self! Thanks for saying what I’ve been saying for years. I love looking at photos of people in their late years and seeing the sparkle of their personalities in their eyes. Beautiful…

    1. Deb, it really is all about that sparkle in the eyes, isn’t it? And I love the idea of doing 2 weeks without a mirror!

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