The "No-Tox" Solution
For 45-year-old Suzanne, noticing the effects of aging is bad enough when she looks in the mirror, but when other people think she's her son's grandmother, that's where she draws the line. "I'm not interested in stopping the aging process," she says, "so much as I am more interested in aging gracefully." Suzanne says she's tried every anti-aging product on the market, but never considered getting Botox treatments. "Before I take that step," she says, "there would be a lot more educating of myself to do." Dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone has some answers to frequently asked questions about the popular procedure.
"The whole idea in terms of aging is to be healthy," Dr. Perricone says. "My definition of beauty is health -- when you're healthy, you're an attractive person. So we have to come up with strategies that make you healthy, not just fix the outside -- beauty from the inside out."
The doc then shares his opinion on Botox treatments. "I think Botox is a bad long term strategy," he says, "because what it does is atrophy muscle. As we age, we lose muscle mass, so the face goes from a nice roundness to flat. Well, the fastest way to accelerate muscle loss is to paralyze the muscle. So it might be a quick short term strategy, but not a great long term one." Dr. Perricone says that the average Botox treatment costs about $400 and lasts about two to three months. "So there are better ways of approaching this," he suggests. "We want to increase that muscle mass, increase that muscle strength and it will naturally contract and bring that face to a more natural appearance."
In the interest of fairness, Rach says, "We contacted Botox and they claim there are studies that show Botox can help you look younger in the long run, and they boast a 97% patient satisfaction rate. Botox further claims that there are no scientific studies that absolutely prove that Botox causes atrophy."
Whether or not one chooses to get Botox is a personal decision, but Dr. Perricone suggests the "No-Tox" solution -- changing your diet to bring a fullness back to your face. He says there are certain foods which will help you appear younger, but beware -- some foods thought to be healthy might actually age you faster.
Dr. Perricone breaks down several foods and explains if they slow down or speed up the aging process:
Rice cakes - "A rapid rise in blood sugar, burst of inflammation, you put on body fat, wrinkle and get old."
Olives -- "Olives, olive oil -- incredible. Beautiful skin, beautiful hair. You need fats to burn fats and for healthy, beautiful skin."
Sardines -- "A cold water fish that has essential fats like omega-3s, it turns off inflammation, it turns off the aging process and it makes for a healthy brain."
Avocados -- "A great source of good fats and the green color means lots of antioxidents -- a natural anti-inflammatory."
Oatmeal -- "Oatmeal is good unless it's instant. We also absorb it more quickly; blood sugar goes up, insulin goes up. When your insulin goes up, you have a lock on body fat. The key is slow-cooked oatmeal."
Potatoes -- "Bad actor. It's converted to sugar, so for the same amount of carbohydrates and blood sugar in two potatoes I could find that in two candy bars and it would have the same effect."
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