We live in an age of beauty illusions, where media stereotypes determine our norms, and where the prevailing norm is agelessness. It is beauty that is flawless and forever young—even as we age. As an esthetician, when an 18-year-old woman sits in my chair and shares about her latest Botox injection, I know what she’s been sold. She’s been sold the idea that aging is unacceptable and that Botox is how she can counter it. I also know that the media and its experts have failed her. They’ve neglected to inform her that chemical injections and quick fixes aren’t her finest solutions. They’ve refused to tell her, and every woman, that the beauty that comes with age can be both graceful and captivating.
I recently discussed this idea of graceful aging with ecopreneur and green beauty expert Lake Louise, founder of the clean skincare and makeup brands Lotus Moon and Plain Jane Beauty. Louise has been advising women in natural beauty and wellness for nearly two decades. Her wisdom nourishes both the skin and the soul as it helps us see just how attainable graceful aging is for every one of us.
ADINA: Lake, as the owner of multiple holistic beauty brands that help women age well, what does aging gracefully mean to you?
LAKE: Aging gracefully is about experiencing joy within the aging process. It includes having a happy heart, being self-confident, and not criticizing yourself. It involves self-love and not comparing yourself to others’ standards of beauty. When we age with stress, sadness, and depression, we produce toxins that lead to irritation, inflammation, and ultimately, accelerated aging. A life lived with joy, laughter, and smiling activates endorphins in the body and helps support graceful aging.
A: Through Lotus Moon Skin Care, you help women enjoy a holistic approach to health, beauty, and lifestyle. Please explain what a holistic approach to aging gracefully looks like and why it’s effective.
L: A holistic approach to aging adds mindfulness to how you live. It prompts you to choose carefully, such as eating unprocessed foods and exercising regularly. Such choices nourish your body and maintain an ideal flow of oxygen coursing through it. It also involves building downtime into your day, which helps counter stress. All of these components feed your mind, body, spirit, and skin while also thwarting disease and accelerated aging.
A: When you mention “mindfulness,” I’m reminded of how self-affirmations are built into Plain Jane Beauty’s Crème Minerals makeup foundation names. Can you talk a bit about mindful practices and their role in graceful aging and beauty?
L: Being mindful of our inner dialogue is extremely important to our well-being. We must actively change our negative self-talk into loving reflection. The first thing I do every morning is give thanks. I give myself a big hug and say, “I love you, Lake.” Sitting with yourself in that energy and vibration can profoundly influence how you experience your day. The affirmation I use is, “I awaken in the knowing that everything I create and experience this day is love, appreciation, and perfect support in motion.” Our inner dialogue profoundly influences the choices we make and how we age.
A: What are some common practices that impede our ability to age gracefully?
L: The most obvious would be a high consumption of alcohol, as well as smoking and not drinking enough water—those are the big ones. A lot of people are worried about parabens and some of the ingredients in skincare, but they don’t realize that alcohol does damage to the body. Resentment, anger, dehydration, and stress all add toxins to the body that lead to inflammation and accelerated aging. Things like going to bed by 10 p.m., maintaining a consistent skincare routine, getting facials regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle are all natural, preventative, healthful agents to aging gracefully.
A: What are the most common issues we deal with as we age, and what are the top ingredients you recommend for addressing them?
L: Fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, loss of collagen, lackluster skin, dehydration, skin cancer. These issues are common to aging. There are a lot of older women who don’t have a skincare routine. They unknowingly strip, irritate, and dehydrate their skin. They don’t have a clue as to how to deal with their hormonal changes. This is the unfortunate result of a youth-obsessed culture that disregards aging skin.
My answer is also greens, greens, greens—spinach, arugula, kale, collard greens, parsley.
Eat them, drink them, whatever you like. They pack tons of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and amino acids that your body needs. They keep your body alkaline, which helps prevent disease from attaching to your system and thriving. Just rotate them so that you don’t have alkaloid buildup and trigger a reaction. I also highly recommend taking one tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily, which provides essential fatty acids. [Flaxseed oil] contains omega-3, which the body can’t produce, and it helps improve skin, hair, and nail health while also helping boost the mood.
A: What are your top skincare ingredient recommendations?
L: Hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil. Hyaluronic acid is antiaging and plumping. It’s almost like water for your skin. Jojoba oil is the only shrub in the world that almost identically matches your natural sebum. Anyone with sensitive skin can use it. Jojoba oil helps maintain balance in sebum production. It’s extremely effective, which is why it’s used in Plain Jane Beauty’s Cream Minerals foundation.
A: Are there any last words you’d like to share about graceful aging?
L: Be light and nonjudgmental with yourself. Understand that it’s OK if you didn’t complete everything you had in mind for today because tomorrow you’ve got a brand new day. Treat every day like New Year’s Day. And always do more of what you love.
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