Category Archives: Anti-Aging

The Powerful Influencing Effect of People’s Faces On Other’s Behavior

Beautiful-Baby-Face-Photo

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but what a face can do is apparently priceless.  Princeton researchers discovered that people might make fast, subconscious decisions based solely on appearance at times when it was thought the decisions were based on more rational measures.

 In this case, participants in the study were asked to choose which political candidate seemed most competent by looking only at their picture.  The people were able to predict the outcome of nearly 72 percent of three U.S. Senate races based only on this visual information.

“The findings are striking—I didn’t believe them at first,” said Alexander Todorov, assistant professor of psychology and public affairs.  “I think that a lot of inferences that we make about other people are fairly automatic and can even occur outside of conscious awareness.  The catch is that these inferences can influence important deliberate decisions.”

From Birth on We Make Decisions Based on Appearance

One study found that, within the first 3 to 6 months of life, a baby established a preference for “attractive” people.  They look at attractive faces longer than unattractive faces during this age span, then, when they reach 1 year, begin to show a more positive response to attractive people than unattractive people.

Further, studies have shown that very young children make choices about who they’d like to play with based on facial attractiveness and body form.  Evidence has even been found that physical attractiveness influences social acceptance among children in nursery school.

But kids are not the only ones with such views.  In a study in which 400 teachers analyzed the same school records for two children (one attractive and one unattractive), the teachers gave higher ratings of education potential to the attractive children.

Is Beauty Really in the Eye of the Beholder?

A review of literature on the effect of facial attractiveness from 1932 to 1999, published in the Psychological Bulletin, found that beauty is, in fact, NOT in the eye of the beholder.  It was found that most people agree about who is or is not attractive (within and across ethnicities), and there may be universal standards by which attractiveness is judged.

Plus, that old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ seems to go largely ignored.  Adults and children considered attractive were judged more favorably and treated more positively than their unattractive counterparts, even by those who knew them.

Moms Even Judge Their Babies

Beautiful-Baby-Face-Photo

Surprisingly, according to the Langlois Social Development Lab, mothers appear to be more affectionate toward and play more with their infants if they’re attractive, compared to those who were less attractive.

Plus, mothers of less attractive infants rated them as more of a disruption to their lives than mothers of attractive infants.  Although none of the mothers treated their infants badly, attractiveness did influence even maternal behavior.

What Makes a Face Attractive?

There are several theories out there as to what actually makes a face attractive.  Some researchers believe that youthfulness, a smile or a symmetrical face all play a role.  And, according to Langlois Social Development Lab, a face must be “close to population mean” to be considered attractive.  In other words, it must be average.

Are We All That Superficial?

What does all this mean in the real world?  Are we all just superficial beings wrapped up in judging one another on our looks?  Not really.  Many researchers suggest that these preferences are ingrained in us, and that we may prefer an attractive person in choosing a mate because we believe attractiveness on the outside may also be a sign of a healthy inside (and thus a more reliable mate).

Or, as in the case of the first study, the participants made subconscious decisions based on the photos—they probably would have a hard time describing why they felt one candidate looked more competent than the other, it was almost an instinctual decision.

Most important when it comes to yourself and your face – facial expressions are a reflection of how you feel and what makes you happiest.  Repetitive movements become creases, such as frowning, smiling, squinting, corners of the mouth turning down etc.  The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the expression on your face records each of your fleeting emotional states. As feelings of worry, excitement, and positivity pass through your mind, they tell your facial muscles how to respond. People with a good poker face can hide those feelings, but for the average person, there’s some leakage.

What about when people’s faces are at rest? What can you infer then about their feelings? Perhaps you’ve caught yourself inadvertently in the mirror or the reflection of a window when you were in the middle of a thoughtful, contemplative episode. Were you surprised to see that you looked angry, when you weren’t?

This common situation of catching a glimpse of yourself while at rest and looking angry has inspired the term, for women, “Resting Bitch Face”.

According to the RBF theory, if a woman is caught in contemplation (i.e., not smiling), people are more likely to think she’s angry than if a man shows the exact same facial expression. A woman who doesn’t smile is assumed to be in a bad mood because, so the theory goes, women are expected to smile at all times. Through cultural conditioning, women have learned that in order for people to like them, they have to wear a smile even if they don’t think anything is particularly funny. Men who look thoughtful are seen as serious; women with the same expression are perceived as unfriendly and unlikeable.

 

They say survival of the fittest, thats not true… it is survival of the adaptable.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 5.19.32 PMIt’s likely that you’ve heard about the detrimental effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels and chronic stress can affect every physiological system in your body, including your thyroid and adrenal glands. It can make you anxious and irritable, lead to weight gain and bone loss, contribute to diabetes and heart disease risk, and deplete your energy levels.

Cortisol is also known as the aging hormone. When cortisol gets too high, it puts you into a “fight or flight” response, which stimulates your sympathetic nervous system and your adrenal glands. When this occurs, there is a decrease in your digestive secretions and an increase in blood pressure. This puts your body in a state of constant stress, which will burn out your adrenal glands, stress your digestive tract and cause you to age more rapidly.

So if you want to look younger, feel younger and be healthy — and heal adrenal fatigue — you must get your cortisol levels balanced.Side effects of chronically elevated cortisol can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Common Colds
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Weight loss resistance

So what can help us adapt to stress and lower cortisol? Adaptogens …

 

What Are Adaptogens?

Phytotherapy refers to the use of plants for their healing abilities. Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants: They help balance, restore and protect the body. As naturopath Edward Wallace explains, an adaptogen doesn’t have a specific action: It helps you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological functions. (1)

Naturopath Marcelle Pick of Women to Women reports that adaptogenic herbs can recharge your adrenal glands, helping you to respond to stress. (2) Adaptogens include ashwaganda, astragalus, ginseng, licorice root, holy basil, some mushrooms and rhodiola. According to Jan Whiticomb, there are 16 proven adaptogenic herbs.

Top 7 Adaptogen Herbs

1. Ginseng is the most well-known adaptogen, and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is considered the most potent. According to Wallace, research has validated Asian ginseng’s use for improving mental performance and your ability to withstand stress. This red ginseng also has antioxidant effects, antidepressant effects, and can help naturally lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

There are a number of adaptogens referred to as ginsengs that aren’t technically ginsengs, but keep in mind that they have similar composition or effects.

2. Holy basil also called tulsi, holy basil is known in India as the “elixir of anti-aging.” Preliminary studies suggest that holy basil benefits include helping you fight fatigue and stress; boost your immune system; and regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and hormone levels.

3. Ashwaganda is often referred to as Indian ginseng. Often used in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwaganda regulates the immune system and eases anxiety. Ashwaganda has been used in Eastern medicine for over 2,500 years and has immuno-modulating effects that boost your immune system and aid the body in lowering cortisol levels.

 

4. Astragalus root is used in Chinese medicine, astragalus boosts immunity and buffers the effects of stress. It increases the amount of anti-stress compounds our bodies use to repair and prevent stress-related damage. It may also reduce the ability of stress hormones like cortisol to bind to receptors.

5. Licorice root can increase energy and endurance, boost the immune system, and protect the thymus from being damaged by cortisol, but its use requires professional supervision because of how it may affect blood pressure.

6. Rhodiola (rhodiola rosea), or golden root, is a potent adaptogen that has been the focus of much research. Rhodiola provides a buffer to stress-related mental and physical fatigue. According to Whiticomb, Rhodiola was used by Russian cosmonauts, athletes and military personnel, and years of study have begun to uncover the very mechanisms by which it acts as an adaptogen.

Rhodiola rosea contains a phytochemical known as salisdroside. This component helps relieve anxiety and combat aging. Rhodiola suppresses the production of cortisol and increases levels of stress-resistant proteins.

Studies have found that it restores normal patterns of eating and sleeping after stress; lowers mental and physical fatigue; and protects against oxidative stress, heat stress, radiation and exposure to toxic chemicals. Rhodiola also protects the heart and liver, increases use of oxygen, improves memory, and may even extend longevity. Also, new research proves it’s effective as a weight loss agent.

7. Cordycep mushrooms reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms are funguses with antioxidant properties. That means nutrition-rich mushrooms have all the benefits of antioxidant foods. They may not be adaptogens in the classic sense, but each has adaptogenic, anti-tumor and immune-enhancing properties.

Eating well, getting proper rest, staying active, writing down what you’re grateful for and maintaining social connection all help protect you from chronic stress, which can kill your quality of life. Adding adaptogens to your routine can make you even more resilient to the damaging effects of high cortisol levels.

 

 

 

Do We Instinctually Favor Beautiful People

A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, but what a face can do is apparently priceless.  Princeton researchers discovered that people might make fast, subconscious decisions based solely on appearance at times when it was thought the decisions were based on more rational measures.

In this case, participants in the study were asked to choose which political candidate seemed most competent by looking only at their picture.  The people were able to predict the outcome of nearly 72 percent of three U.S. Senate races based only on this visual information.

The findings are striking—I didn’t believe them at first,” said Alexander Todorov, assistant professor of psychology and public affairs.  “I think that a lot of inferences that we make about other people are fairly automatic and can even occur outside of conscious awareness.  The catch is that these inferences can influence important deliberate decisions.”

From Birth on We Make Decisions Based on Appearance

One study found that, within the first 3 to 6 months of life, a baby established a preference for “attractive” people.  They look at attractive faces longer than unattractive faces during this age span, then, when they reach 1 year, begin to show a more positive response to attractive people than unattractive people.

Further studies have shown that very young children make choices about who they’d like to play with based on facial attractiveness and body form.  Evidence has even been found that physical attractiveness influences social acceptance among children in nursery school.

But kids are not the only ones with such views.  In a study in which 400 teachers analyzed the same school records for two children (one attractive and one unattractive), the teachers gave higher ratings of education potential to the attractive children.

Is Beauty Really in the Eye of the Beholder?

A review of the literature on the effects of facial attractiveness from 1932 to 1989, published in the Psychological Bulletin, found that beauty is, in fact, NOT in the eye of the beholder.  It was found that most people agree about who is or is not attractive (within and across ethnicities), and there may be universal standards by which attractiveness is judged.

Plus, that old saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ seems to go largely ignored.  Adults and children considered attractive were judged more favorably and treated more positively than their unattractive counterparts, even by those who knew them.

 

Moms Even Judge Their Babies

Surprisingly, according to the Langlois Social Development Lab, mothers appear to be more affectionate toward and play more with their infants if they’re attractive, compared to those who were less attractive.

Plus, mothers of less attractive infants rated them as more disruption to their lives than mothers of attractive infants.  Although none of the mothers treated their infants badly, attractiveness did influence even maternal behavior.

Are We All That Superficial?

What does all this mean in the real world?  Are we all just superficial beings wrapped up in judging one another on our looks?  Not really. Many researchers suggest that these preferences are ingrained in us, and that we may prefer an attractive person in choosing a mate because we believe attractiveness on the outside may also be  assign of a healthy inside (and thus a more reliable mate).

Or, as in the case of the first study, the participants made subconscious decisions based on the photos—they probably would have a hard time describing why they felt one candidate looked more competent than the other, it was almost an instinctual decision.

Skincare for Men

Men’s facial skin is typically thicker than women’s and less likely to be sensitive to ingredients in facial cleansers and moisturizers. Skincare is also usually a simpler routine since men typically don’t wear makeup.

However, shaving is another story. For men with heavy beards or curly or kinky hair, irritation and razor bumps can be a big problem. With proper face care, though, those hazards can be made a thing of the past and a clean, smooth face can become a welcome daily occurrence.

Bar soap tends to dry skin out more than liquid cleansers. If your skin feels tight or a little itchy after you wash your face, try switching to a liquid cleanser.

You may experience problems with acne if you have very oily skin. Acne is caused by excess oil production that clogs pores, causing inflammation.

Look for soaps or liquid cleansers that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or benzyl peroxide. All three of these exfoliating agents remove the upper layers of dead skin and allow for deeper cleaning of pores. They also have antibacterial properties.

Lots of facial moisturizers promise to keep your face young, but not all of them deliver.  A lot of products these days tout the fact that they contain antioxidants,  Prescription-strength products with retinol (Retin-A) do smooth out fine lines and wrinkles and even reverse signs of aging at the cellular level.  However, the lower levels of retinol found in over-the-counter products may not be high enough to do much good. ZO Medical products have a few great options.

Retamax

Utilizing an innovative micro emulsion technology, this potent retinol, blended with plant stem cell antioxidants and bio-mimetic proteins, helps reverse the signs of aging and aids in the prevention of future damage.  Stimulating Collagen Formation and Skin Barrier Function  RETAMAX™ aids in skin rejuvenation by triggering the natural formation of collagen and encouraging the restoration of the skin barrier function by up-regulating the production of hyaluronic acid, the skin’s most vital natural hydrating factor.

Antioxidant Response  This biocellular antioxidant system serves to block free-radical damage, helps protect vulnerable cellular DNA, and addresses the root cause initiators of future skin aging. Optimizing inflammation management and anti-glycation irritation, RETAMAX™ helps ensure maintenance of the new, healthy skin state by defending against inflammatory-initiated skin damage.

RETAMAX™ Micro Emulsion System

  • High-potency vitamin A stimulates the skin’s natural rebuilding process
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action with vitamins C and E, and buddleja plant stem cells
  • Biomimetic protein activation for skin regeneration
  • Micro emulsion technology supports rapid delivery of key ingredients

Advanced Night Repair, a lightweight, high potency retinol formula that targets multiple signs of aging skin while protecting against future skin aging and damage. Ossential Growth Factor Serum, a lightweight gel that strengthens skin, repairs aging skin, and protects against future signs of aging. Formulated for all skin types, even the most sensitive.

If your face gets irritated from shaving, try a shaving cream with aloe. Try lathering up with a little extra water and leave it on your face for a minute before you shave to soften beard hairs.  Pre-shaving oil is another solution. Applied several minutes before shaving, the oil helps moisturize skin and soften beard hairs.

  • For razor bumps, which are caused by ingrown hairs, look for a shaving cream that contains glycolic acid or salicylic acid, exfoliating agents that unplug pores. Look for hypoallergenic products without fragrance to avoid further irritating your skin.

More important than shaving oils or creams is the razor you use. Electric razors are less likely to irritate than blades. But if you prefer a blade, choose a single or double-bladed razor. Skip those multi-blade brands that promise the closest possible shave.  If you have trouble with razor burn and razor bumps, you don’t want a very close shave. It’s better to leave a little growth in order to avoid ingrown hairs.  Shave in the direction that hairs grow, not against the grain, which can cause more irritation.

 

 

Anatomy of the skin around the eyes

The anatomy of the skin around the eyes, also referred to as the adnexa is unique to the face and body. In order to properly care for the skin around the eyes, it is important to understand not only the anatomy of this area, but also the process of skin cell renewal.

Eyelid skin is composed of several layers. The deepest, the subcutaneous layer contains a thin layer of fascia which lies on top of the orbicularis muscle, a muscle that allows the eyelid to move. Next, the dermis, which forms the support layer of the skin, is made up of threadlike proteins including bundles of elastin and collagen, fibroblasts, nerves and vessels. The top layer, the epidermis, is made up of basal cells, melanocytes, Langerhans cells, keratinocytes and on top, the dead cell layer (also known as the stratum corneum) made up of corneocytes. The epidermal layer gives the skin its appearance, color, suppleness, texture, and health.
Basal cells reproduce new cells every few days. As these cells migrate upward, they become drier and flatter.  Once they reach the surface of the skin, they are no longer alive, and are referred to as corneocytes. This process of migration from basal cell to corneocytes is what gives the epidermis the ability to regenerate itself. This skin renewal process is known as desquamation. Desquamation is an ongoing process that takes about two seeks in a young person, and significantly longer – about 37 days for individuals over 50. The build up of corneocytes gives skin a callous or dry, aged and thickened look. The skin feels and looks rough and its ability to retain water becomes impaired.