The Science Of Looking Younger


Key Takeaways

  • We’re on the verge of being able to reverse aging in the body internally & externally

  • Looking better doesn’t negate our need for good sleep, proper nutrition, and exercise, but – our aesthetic appearance does affect us socially, emotionally, mentally and is worth pursuing

  • Menopause is the first sign of aging in an organ, before the rest of the body experiences symptoms

  • Monitor and track estrogen, progesterone, and SHBG sex hormone in the 30s and 40s to optimize hormone replacement therapy that may be needed during menopause

  • Protecting the skin is much more than vanity – the skin is the first line of protection again pathogens, viruses, wounds, foot ulcers, etc.

  • Tips for healthy skin: avoid UV light, wear sunscreen, quit smoking, minimize alcohol intake, avoid processed foods

  • As far as skin creams, there is the most evidence in support of Retin-A – but we don’t know about long term effects so don’t use them every single day

  • Hair loss can be slowed with treatments but ultimately is genetically determined

  • Tips to treat hair loss: topical creams (i.e., Rogaine, Minoxidil), Retin-A you can rub topically – apply several times per day; pills (i.e., Propecia) once per day; laser beams (low laser light therapy – hair caps approved by FDA); platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

Menopause: Definition, Symptoms, Therapies

  • Menopause really affects the first organ in a woman’s body to experience the effects of biological aging

  • Menopause takes place before other organ systems start to show signs of aging and damage

  • The female reproductive system ages earlier than the rest of the body because we’ve evolved to have children sooner in life as a protective measure

  • Menopause symptoms: mood swings, vaginal dryness, loss of sex drive, migraines, hot flashes, increased susceptibility to heart disease

  • We’re continuing to find better ways to maintain hormone levels and protect against signs of aging that take place during menopause

  • Menopausal hormone therapy: estrogen (and other hormone) replacement to alleviate symptoms of menopause

  • It’s worth monitoring and tracking estrogen and progesterone in the 30s and 40s during the luteal phase of the cycle to have a baseline idea of what natural levels are in the event that hormone replacement is needed in the future

  • If you have a history of heart disease in your family, make sure your doctor knows before pursuing any hormone therapy as there are contraindications

  • It’s also worth tracking sex hormone SHBG which may impact the efficacy of hormone therapy as well as insulin levels in pre-and post-menopause

Skin

  • The largest organ in the human body is the skin

  • Skin is the barrier to the world and the first line of protection we have

  • Skin pinch test: (1) relax your hand on a table; (2) pinch up skin on the top of the hand; (3) observe bounce back time

  • Targets: in your 30s and 40s the skin should pop right down; in 50s it should take less than 10 seconds; in 60s it should take 10-15 seconds; over 70 it’ll take 30-60+ seconds


  • Epidermal (skin) thinning is a problem as we age in both men and women

  • Protecting your skin isn’t just about looking good, it’s about life and death – protection against pathogens, wounds, foot ulcers, infection, etc.

  • There is some truth to the idea that you are as old as you look – centenarians not only age well biologically but there is a correlation in appearance as well

  • There is evidence that an epigenetic clock based on methylation of skin cells predicts biological age well

  • There is an environmental component to skin aging from the sun – but you do need sunlight for health, be smart about exposure and wear protective clothing and sunscreen

  • Sunlight hits DNA molecules and fuses some cells, causing mutation

  • Skin is full of senescent cells and secretes inflammatory factors

  • “If you can lower the age of the skin, you can save the rest of the body.” – Matthew LaPlante

  • Tips for healthy skin: avoid UV light, wear sunscreen, quit smoking, minimize alcohol intake, avoid processed foods

  • If you haven’t historically been good about sunscreen use, use creams with peptides to restore some health – check out One Skin

  • There is debate about whether collagen use is actually effective – but it’s safe enough to experiment

  • Other useful creams & serums:

  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant and good for the body’s overall health

  • Retin-A is one of the most important ingredients in protecting fine lines and wrinkles – it is used as a defense against acne, increases downstream collagen production promotes keratin & autophagy, and much more


  • Important caveat – we don’t know about the long term effects of Retin-A use, don’t use it every day

  • Hyaluronic acid (HA): HA supports plumpness of skin and is related to aging with possible protective factors against cancer

  • There are an increasing number of creams with resveratrol in them which likely turns on sirtuin defense of skin

  • The future of skincare products will likely center around boosting NAD

Botox, Skin Peels, Microneedling

  • Botox (bacterium Clostridium botulinum) is a toxin found in food

  • Botox is a purely cosmetic treatment, highly effective at getting rid of wrinkles by inhibiting neurotransmission so muscles will relax and wrinkles will clear

  • Skin peels make your skin look nicer but won’t really change the age of the skin

  • Microneedling may cause enough damage to the skin to induce hormesis and positive stress effects on the skin

Nails, Hair & Hair Loss

  • Rate of nail growth is a strong indicator of aging

  • The rate of nail growth decreases about 0.5% per year

  • There’s a strong genetic component to hair loss and baldness

  • Hair loss can be slowed with treatments but ultimately is genetically determined

  • Hair loss isn’t necessarily a sign of aging – appearing gray and distinguished had an advantage in history because you looked wiser

  • Hair loss occurs when important stem cells get kicked out of the follicle

  • Treatments for hair loss: topical creams (i.e., Rogaine, Minoxidil), Retin-A you can rub topically – apply several times per day; pills (i.e., Propecia) once per day; laser beams (low laser light therapy – hair caps approved by FDA); platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

  • As we age, hair stops growing on the head and starts growing in less desirable places like ears & nose – but we don’t really know why

  • Gray hair is associated with stress but it doesn’t have to be permanent! You can reverse grayness in the earliest phases and recover function by resetting epigenetics with a cocktail of minoxidil, cyclosporin-A, and pigment promoting dug (analog of rapamycin)


 

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