Grace Miller* is a 76 year-old woman who came to see me for a skin screening exam. I knew her age and history because I perused her electronic medical record at my desk before I met her. She was a midwestern girl who came to San Diego years ago with her husband, who was in the Navy, and decided to stay rather than fight another Chicago winter. He has since passed-away and she now lived alone in the house they built overlooking the Pacific.
She had sandy-brown hair and sparkling blue eyes and wore a beautiful gold sweater and stone necklace. Dangle earrings sparkled under the exam lights. Her appearance belied her age — she looked 20 years younger than 76.
She had a few crows feet around her eyes and lines around her mouth. Her eyelids were slightly overhanging and her neck had soft wrinkles. Her jewerly and designer bag suggested that she had the means to live comfortably. She laughed when I asked her what her secret was to looking young. “I’ve used Oil of Olay for as long as I can remember,” she admitted, but that was all. As I examined her, she thought aloud about my question:
She avoided excess sun, but never wore sunscreen.
She never smoked.
She walks regularly, but does not adhere to any prescribed diet.
She has never used antioxidant, antiaging, or antiwrinkle creams.
She has never had Botox.
And she looked fabulous.
“The secret,” she replied after thinking it through, “I guess it’s not wasting a lot money trying to look young, but spending plenty of money to look beautiful.” I’ve got to write that down, I thought.
No antioxidant cream, low glycemic diet, sunscreen, or cosmetic procedure will stop you from aging. Anti-aging, aging backwards, age-defying, and age reversal are unreal concepts and false promises made up in board rooms on Madison Avenue.
Do you want to know the secret to looking young? Walk away from the antioxidant cream counter and walk into the shoe section. If you want to look young, then be beautiful — it is a much better use of your money.
*Grace Miller is not her real name.
**I received no free women’s shoes to write this post.
Photo: Litmuse (flickr)