Words Matter: Why “Optimal Aging” is Making Headlines

  • 3 min read

Words Matter: Why “Optimal Aging” is Making Headlines

What do Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz and Andie MacDowell have in common? They are three beautiful, famous women who have made the choice to let their bodies, hair and faces age naturally – prioritizing their mental and physical health over trying to fight the visible signs of aging at every turn. Sarah Jessica Parker has recently been called “brave” for letting her signature blonde hair turn naturally grey – but while she insists that isn’t brave (and begs beauty and entertainment reporters to focus on praising acts of actual bravery, her decision to take a positive outlook toward aging is in many ways helping to change the conversation around how society expects women to age (or not age).

As far back as Ancient Egypt, women have tried various techniques to reduce the signs of aging. Cleopatra used to bathe in donkey’s milk, Elizabethan women used thin slices of raw meat to smooth wrinkles, and the daughter of pianist Margaret Kroesen invented “Frownies,” pieces of tape designed to hold skin taut in 1889. The first “anti-aging” beauty cream was introduced in the US in 1927.

It’s worth noting while women were held to this unattainable standard of beauty, men were free to age naturally. So, it’s no coincidence that as younger generations of women continue to fight against societal sexism and inequality, and embrace individuality, older women and even beauty and skincare brands have taken a different approach towards aging. The term anti-aging is quickly falling out of favor, being replaced with the more aging-positive term optimal aging.

And when you really think about it, aging is a luxury – not everyone is lucky enough to live a long healthy life – so it should be something we celebrate!

We believe optimal aging should replace the term anti-aging and skincare products should support this positive shift. For us, it’s not about looking younger but feeling better and becoming the best version of yourself at any age.

“Optimal Aging” vs “Anti-Aging”

Generally speaking, anti-aging in skincare is an attempt to stop and/or reverse the natural progression for aging skin. Constantly chasing the “fountain of youth” can be time-consuming and costly and leave you feeling overwhelmed or depressed. Optimal aging is all about acceptance. It means selecting skincare products that work holistically with your body, feeding your skin moisture, antioxidants and cell-turnover ingredients that it needs to keep the skin looking and feeling its best.

When we talk about optimal aging, we talk about making small adjustments to our routines to support the skin’s natural evolution. Optimal aging goes further than just a skincare trend, it’s a lifestyle choice that encompasses mental and emotional wellbeing.

The main difference between these two concepts is the way they view age. Anti-aging sees growing old as a problem that needs to be fixed, while optimal aging sees it as something that should be embraced and enjoy; it’s about feeling confident and beautiful at any age.

However, it’s important to note that while anti-aging can be viewed as eliminating signs of aging and optimal aging is all about embracing them; optimal aging ultimately gives women the power to choose how they want to age without feeling like they have to match societal standards. We encourage our clients of all ages to feel self-confident and to pamper themselves regardless of the inevitable aging process.