What’s your aging strategy?Dr.Christina Plaskos
I feel very fortunate that I spend my days helping people look and feel their best. With the advent of social media there is much more information available to help with this, however much of it can be conflicting and it often leaves people feeling confused and unsure what is best for themselves. Should I be using medical grade skin care products or all natural products? What is the best age to start Botox to prevent wrinkles? Is gluten free the best approach? My goal has always been to simplify these questions for people to help lower their stress levels when deciding which habits to adopt or let go. Through these observations and experience, I created the Aegis 7 Elements TM (nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, professional treatments, products, and YOU) to focus on all the key areas of Pro-AgingTM. I have defined Pro-AgingTM as being a mindset that focuses on improving oneself each day through positive and healthy behaviours.
In our 20s having a good diet, moderate exercise, and small investments in our skin health (which may include Botox and filler) may be sufficient. But in our 30s we may need to focus more on adequate sleep, more intense skin treatments, and stress management techniques. Our 40s may require the use of hormone therapy and other professional treatments along with the foundation we laid in our 20s and 30s. The key being that everyone is different, every stage of life is different, and everyone’s plan needs to reflect these differences.
One of the Aegis 7 ElementsTM that I receive frequent questions about is ‘Professional Treatments’ and specifically hormone therapy to restore and rebalance what is lost with aging. Declining hormone production as we age has been associated with skin aging, decreases in lean body mass, as well as bone mineral density, sexual desire, intellectual capacity, and mood. A study in post menopausal women has shown that “both systemic and topical estrogens appear to have positive effects on hormonal aging, increasing skin collagen content, thickness, elasticity and hydration” (1). Furthermore, other reports suggest positive correlations between the levels of circulating estrogens and perceived age, attractiveness, enhanced skin health, and facial coloration in women (2).
Taking this a step further, how do hormones affect the way we feel? Estrogens influence aspects of brain biochemistry known to be important for cognitive functions such as mood and anxiety. For example, one study found that three months of hormone therapy in post menopausal women significantly reduced depression and anxiety. It is unclear if the hormones are acting through serotonin pathways or whether it is due to improving sleep quality and reducing hot flashes. In contrast, testosterone therapy, which is generally thought of as a male treatment is also very important for aging women as studies have shown that it may be used to treat hypoactive (decreased) sexual desire disorder in post-menopausal women (3).
Unfortunately we cannot look solely to hormones to look and feel our best. It is a synergy of each of the 7 Elements that is most important. Having a qualified team around you including a medical doctor with formal training in hormone therapy and wellness and cosmetic expertise to create a customized plan is the first step in living a healthier and more youthful life as we age.
1. Archer, D.F. Postmenopausal skin and estrogen. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Oct;28 Suppl 2:2-6.
2. Lephart, E.D. A review of the role of estrogen in dermal aging and facial attractiveness in women. J Cosmetic Dermatol. 2018 Feb 13.
3.Petering, R.C., Brooks, N.A. Testosterone Therapy: Review of Clinical Applications. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Oct 1;96(7):441-449.
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