Stuart Miles on ignoring the lure of anti-ageing products

In the first of his exclusive blogs, ageing expert Stuart Miles reveals why he believes we should concentrate on ageing well on the inside.

Ask most people over 30 to look in their bathroom cabinet and they will no doubt find something with the phrase ‘anti-ageing’ on it.

But can we really ever turn back the clock?

[Stuart Miles: 10 things men should avoid to stay looking young]

As a specialist in ageing who helps clients look better I am always careful not to sell them false hope. With the right key ingredients the skin’s appearance can be improved, giving us a far more youthful appearance - but to call this 'anti-ageing', is that going too far?

Products like Retinol have been proven to help deep set wrinkles appear finer and Glycolic Acid has been proven to have a rejuvenating effect on the skin. These are examples of products that can definitely help improve things, especially for people who have sun damaged skin or have neglected themselves over the years. This is quantifiable and definite skin improvement but the phrase 'anti-ageing' suggests that somehow your miracle pot of cream can somehow stop the ageing process in its tracks.

The ageing process goes on inside every single cell of our body which is why lifestyle, diet and making sure we supplement with the right things as we get older all play a massive part in how we age. I believe that some fruit and vegetables could be more realistically labelled anti-ageing than, say, a pot of cream, and it might make people buy them more! Another interesting area of research at the moment is one that connects our gut health and ageing. By making sure we keep the good bacteria in healthy supply, we can keep ourselves fitter and younger.

Many of us wait until it’s too late and want a quick fix to look younger, which is why instant fix treatments have become popular. None of them are cheap options but you will often see instant results. Not everyone can afford this luxury and even for those who can, it’s something that can sometimes ruin your individuality if you are not careful. We want our faces, which is what the world sees every day, to be a true reflection of the person that we feel inside. However, we may feel like a 25-year-old inside and if we are 50 we are never going to look like that and it’s a mistake to try to do so.

[Read more: Make-up tips for over 50s: 9 youthful beauty tricks]

I encourage people to manage the ageing process throughout their life at key stages to avoid the need for anything dramatic. Your aim is to look younger, more vibrant and healthier than anyone else your age and this is really achievable with the right amount of care. You need to tackle things from the inside whilst protecting yourself from more damage from the outside, being mindful to tackle any problems as soon as they appear. 

I believe that looking good isn’t about denying the ageing process. Age is something to be proud of; it’s a symbol of experience. It’s odd that in other cultures they respect their elderly as wise and knowledgeable, yet we see them as out of touch and past it! For me it’s not about denying how we age but instead delaying it, slowing down the process and looking younger for longer. 

For more tips, visit Stuart Miles' website

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