I belong to a closed Facebook group of women physicians. It’s a supportive lot, discussing family issues, doc/patient situations, empty-nesting, aging parents, teen angst etc.
Today, I got sucked into a thread all about anti-aging skin care. I’m inclined to take any medical advice dished out by these women seriously, ‘cuz they’re all docs, y’know. The thread went on FOREVER and I read every last bit of it. I took notes. Yes, I did.
GRASS is the takeaway message. Growth Factors (peptides) Retinoids Antioxidants (vitamin C) Specialty stuff (hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid) from your favorite fancy brands and Sunscreen. I might rearrange the mnemonic to be SGRAS. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and the fountain of youth is filled with sunscreen, folks.
There was also talk of botox and fillers and chemical peels and dermabrasion and lightening cream for age spots. One woman performs a six-step process morning and night.
At the end of it I was seriously bummed out. Would a group of male doctors ever engage in this discussion? Is our cultural aversion to “aging” so intense that this group of highly educated women will pour money and time into products, ablutions, and procedures designed to keep them looking young. Fresh. Relevant.
Last time I checked, the alternative to aging was death. Can we re-define beauty to include not only gray silver hair, but some wrinkles as well? (So says the woman who asked her photographer to airbrush out the prominent frowny lines between her eyebrows. Note the smooth expanse of forehead on my blog photo. That was in 2011. Time has passed.)
I’ve ordered up some hyaluronic acid. I’ll let you know how it goes.