Allure magazine was recently praised for banishing the term "anti-ageing" from its pages. Also, more and more beauty brands are losing the term altogether, rather placing the focus on optimising skin health.
Ageing is not ugly or devoid of appeal, it is something to be celebrated. But too often we compare ourselves with unattainable beauty standards instead of finding value in things other than the superficial.
I recently spoke to Dr Juanita Kilian at a Nimue skincare event where the importance of skin technology and the evolution of knowledge on ageing skin were dissected.
“If only we knew then what we know now”, she said.
Pertaining to many days spent in the sun, bathing in UVA and UVB, we have grown more aware of the damage the sun, in particular, can do to your skin – from ageing it way before its time to skin cancer. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many dermatologists often refer to sunscreen as the only product that can effectively deter skin damage.
My generation might look better than perhaps those of our parents as we use more sunscreen (no matter what complexion you have)and the next generation – millennials and GenYers - will hopefully practise even better skin health.
But what do we know now? We know that anti-ageing is not the way.
Allure says it best with this: “Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that ageing is a condition we need to battle — think antianxiety meds, antivirus software, or antifungal spray.”
The term itself means to disregard ageing, to stop it and to reverse it - because it is something undesirable.
Zara was recently reality slapped online after revealing it’s somewhat ill-conceived 'Timeless' clothing campaign. Featuring models over 40, a clear correlation was made between ageing and ugliness. One that shouldn’t be reinforced – ever.
One of the models explained: “I prefer myself so much better now than 10 years ago or 20 years ago. Obviously, it would be nice not to get old and ugly, but the mental process is only for the better,” she said. “So, it’s a paradox: more confidence, and you are getting old. But it’s... I kind of like it.”
There needs to be a paradigm shift where we focus on health, the health of skin and the health of the body rather than on trying to find an antidote for that which, frankly my dear, is like death and taxes, unavoidable.