"Is it confusing to say we should embrace some wrinkles as part of the well-aging process but try to prevent other unnecessary ones? I like to think of wrinkles like fat – there are some that we should whole-heartedly welcome and wear with pride as part of life, and there are others we should try to avoid for optimum health."
If you’ve been reading any of my posts, you might’ve seen that I use the phrase “unnecessary wrinkles” often. Even when I’m simply using the word “wrinkles,” I’m usually referring to the unnecessary kind and I thought it might be helpful to clarify what I mean by that.
Hopefully you already see that SeoulofSkin is all about healthy skin as part of overall health and well-aging, not anti-aging. Anti-aging is an impossible goal to achieve if you happen to be human – it’s not natural and we would never advocate for that. Well-aging, on the other hand, means embracing the aging process which inevitably will include wrinkles for all of us, but taking ownership of the process with grace and vigor. Well-aging is an inspirational goal that I believe is attainable with good habits, products, nutrition, exercise, elements of the soul and experiences.
Is it confusing to say we should embrace some wrinkles as part of the well-aging process but try to prevent other unnecessary ones? If so, think about fat and your body. People are generally encouraged to exercise and eat healthy to control the level of fat in their body. Too much is not good and can lead to all sorts of health issues. On the other side though, trying to eliminate all fat in your body could have even more disastrous results. It could mean eating disorders and sweeping health deterioration. I like to think of wrinkles like fat – there are some that we should whole-heartedly welcome and wear with pride as part of life, and there are others we should try to avoid for optimum health.
A good illustration of unnecessary wrinkles would be deep creases in your brows resulting from years of a bad angry face habit. Or deep wrinkles around your mouth coming from unfortunate smoking habits, excessive straw use or unprotected sun exposure. Wrinkles on your neck that come from hours of scrunching down to look on your cell phone could be another good example. Necessary wrinkles are the default - so those that come naturally with each day passing and reflect your character and the depth and meaning of your beautiful time on planet earth.
Again, similar to fat, you likely won’t be able to point to one specific wrinkle in your face and label it as either necessary or unnecessary. However, the more you work on your inner confidence and other elements of the soul, I’m guessing you’ll have a hunch and be able to tend to all of your complicated yet often fabulous wrinkles in your own special way.
For me, I’m focused on cutting out bad facial expressions that don’t accurately represent my inner state but I never try to hold back genuine laughter or a necessary cry. I also try to moisturize and wear sunscreen always but whenever I see a new sunspot on my cheek, I try to accept and welcome it as part of me and my skin, instead of rushing to banish its existence. The most recent ones that appeared reminded me of all the fun I had on my last vacation in Hawaii! My cheeks continue to sag with gravity and age, which I try to combat with a good gua sha massage every night and the art of face relaxing, but I’m not hoping that I’ll reverse the sagging…I’m just working towards the perfect middle ground they will eventually reach. So saggy, but not too saggy, and perfectly imperfect for me.
I’m guessing when you take some time to think about it, you’ll be able to establish your customized views on well-aging and wrinkles. Whatever they end up being, so long as they are thoughtful and authentic to you and accurately reflect what you need from your unique journey of life, I’m sure it will be the right way to think about things.