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Anti-Aging and Longevity – What's the Difference?

updated: July 24, 23

min read

Anti-Aging and Longevity – What's the Difference?


The Checkered Past of Anti-Aging

Anti-aging emerged as a major trend in skin care in the 1980s when even the best cosmetic companies were at best mainly trying to help skin retain moisture and minimally support collagen production. The primary focus of the new "Anti-Aging" approach was using Vitamin C and antioxidant strategies to try to reduce inflammation topically. In 1995 retinol was approved by the FDA, and in 2002 Botox was also approved for treating frown lines around the mouth. Interestingly, even though the skin is the largest organ in the body and appearance is tied to and affected by what is happening in the whole biological system, these "anti-aging" interventions focused exclusively on topical approaches while largely leaving systemic health to the medical system. 

Let's face it almost everybody wants to look younger than they are. However, several things about the term and the approach of "Anti-aging" have proven to be unrealistic, problematic, and perhaps even harmful. In addition, "Anti-Aging" implies fighting nature and the continued ephemeral and unrealistic goal of preserving a youthful appearance throughout life. It's a stressful pursuit. It most certainly led to many mental health issues, and often, people who pursue this approach just look weird.

Longevity is About Beauty Through Health

The emerging field of Longevity science has broader, more health-related goals than just improving appearance. It recognizes that aging is part of nature, and it works with nature's biological and scientific principles to help individuals slow their aging, extend their health span, realize their biological and human potential, and look their best while doing so. Looking like your best you is a more wholesome and realistic goal than trying to look young forever. You don't need to look young; you want to look beautiful, and everyone is beautiful when their biology is optimized.

Ingredients That Lead to Health

The "Anti-aging" approach has also primarily meant only topical approaches to skin health and beauty with an occasional supplement, or too many supplements, thrown in without thought to a comprehensive approach to the mechanisms of aging. Thus, most of the cosmetic industry is built on the false premise that topical creams alone are the best approach to skin health and appearance. That is unscientific and will not work to optimally address the health and appearance of our skin, the largest organ in our body. Your skin is connected to the gut and the brain by a network of neurons, and its appearance is intimately related to the whole body's health. Therefore, any effective approach must begin with systemic health.

The Science of Longevity Woman with bike

Longevity science makes people look better by making them healthier. In fact, what we call beauty is a manifestation of health and inseparable from health. People are attracted to people with glowing complexion because it's a sign of healthy microcirculation and blood flow, optimal immune function, and lower levels of genetic damage that result from environmental stress over time. We are biologically designed to be attracted to health. And the skin is the manifestation of a canary in the coal mine of our health. In fact, clinical studies have shown that more than 50% of people judge each other's age and health by looking at each other's skin. (citation) And the way to make our skin beautiful is by caring for it and everything else as well. This idea is ancient. The classical Greek word for beauty was "Kalos," which means roughly "all the parts working in relation to the whole." It was related to Aristotle's idea of "Eudaimonia," the state of "good soul" or human thriving. Ancient Chinese Medicine sought to balance Ying and Yang, and Ayurvedic Medicine sought a balancing of the Doshas. This is like the modern scientific principle of "homeostasis," bringing things into optimal function. Beauty, therefore, is not about temporary fixes and treatment of symptoms of aging; it's all about bringing the whole system into harmony.

We also know that we co-evolved with plants, and an emerging body of scientific research into human longevity has revealed that dietary strategies based on plants have significant effects on human health span and lifespan. In fact, people in the so-called "blue zones" who eat certain plant-based diets live significantly longer lives than in other parts of the world. But "natural ingredients" used randomly, topically, or nutritionally, without understanding their effects on the fundamental biology of aging, are not likely to work very well and, in fact, often don't do much. Skin longevity requires a whole system approach which includes the use of diet and supplements that are well coordinated and complementary, that protect against environmental and genetic damage, and address the biological causes of aging, as well as a routine tied to the skin's circadian rhythms. Unfortunately, most anti-aging and skin care approaches completely ignore the circadian rhythm.

Anti-aging is about trying to eliminate visible signs of aging superficially. Longevity is related to interventions and a routine that protects your DNA and prevents it from being damaged by environmental stressors in the first place. It's about using apoptogenic herbs and plant polyphenols to help to prevent oxidative stress. It's about dietary and topical strategies that help preserve your skin's barrier function and maintain epidermal integrity. It's about boosting cellular metabolism all over the body so that you look and FEEL younger for longer.

The science of longevity brings in a more wholistic and fundamental understanding of the systemic drivers of aging (reduced mitochondrial efficiency, DNA damage, chronic inflammation, cellular senescence, and harnesses the power of natural compounds not just to treat the cosmetic symptoms of aging but to supply the body with the essential nutrients it needs for natural self-repair and regeneration. These processes include boosting mitochondrial function and certain activation via raising NAD, DNA repair support via multiple natural complexes, reactive oxygen species reduction with multiple ultra-potent and maximally bioavailable antioxidants, and support of cellular autophagy with compounds like Fisetin and curcumin.

There are all kinds of beauty in the world, and one does not need to conform to the stressful pursuit of an arbitrary and conformist standard of beauty in commercial culture. You can protect your beauty starting at a young age, and you can age and age beautifully. Everyone is beautiful when their biology is optimized and their purposes in life are larger than themselves.

Nothing is as beautiful as a life with purpose. 

Shine on,

The founders of Aramore 

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