My Philosophy on Aging the Day I Begin the Back Nine

Moving to New Mexico has changed me in a lot of ways (right around 50 or so ways 2B exact).  

I think the biggest influencer has been my job, and the wonderful patients I am privileged to take care of: people of all ages in all stages of health and illness. One of the things I have learned is that there is a lot of heartburn here.  #longlivegreenchili #buystockinOmeprazole

The other resounding lesson I've learned is that "our past and present habits will become evident with aging ailments and medical conditions" (Anita Joy). Our bodies are a reflection of our thoughts and lifestyle (and genetics). The care you give now can spare so much pain later. Sure uncontrollable stuff happens. But we can stack the odds. 

I'm no different than others, who in the middle of middle-age has a mid-life crisis. It's sobering to wake-up one day and realize that trampolines are torture. And right around the corner is arthritis and down the street, cataracts. Aging is tough. It ain't for sissies. I see the challenges daily. It could be very easy to be depressed today, my birthday, knowing the potential horizon. 

Instead it's motivated me to step up my game, do what I can to be more mentally and physically healthy and focus on what is good about this back nine of my life. And I wanted to share that!! If I could help one person make a healthy change, all my time, effort and embarrassment will have been worth it! (See #50changes on my Instagram: jennifisher66)

You see....from my vantage point, "middle-age" seems to be a real sweet spot. (Although every age has benefits with things to learn.) The 20s are spent convincing others to love us. The 30s learning to love others, the 40s learning to love ourselves. The 50s and 60s+ are golden, when all that comes together: less proving, more giving and living. Not yet challenged with hearing loss, incontinence, daily arthritis pain, impaired mobility, or other struggles of aging, but with more freedoms that come with established careers, empty nests, and self-acceptance.

Cameron Diaz has a book called "LONGEVITY-- the science of aging, the biology of strength, the privilege of time."  I love her tagline and way to think about aging. I don't like the negative tone of the ubiquitous phrase "anti-aging" as if growing older is an enemy to fight against. You can't hold back a sunset. And those who want to let it happen naturally, without dying the gray or Botoxing the wrinkles, shouldn't be made to feel they are anti anti-aging. I also don't love the term pro-aging as if we are promoting tickets to a carnival ride. 

Years tick by like a moving train. It's pointless to be for (pro) or against (anti) that. Whether we slow down the train, or promote it along the way, the train, unless derailed, WILL get to the station. Being anti or pro-aging assigns value to something that just is. It is what it is. 

Plus, let's be honest, my pro or anti stance varies with the low back pain of the day. Some days I holler, "bring it on" loving the wealth of wisdom birthdays bring. Other days (usually after seeing an infirm 85 yr old), I adamantly want to stop the train. I want to get off and picnic forever in the nearby field of paintbrush and poppies, never ever re-boarding the age train headed to Dementia Town. 

Forget pro or anti-aging. How about choosing to simply find joy in aging, however that resonates in the moment. Your soul is rooting for this.

Joy in aging. Joyaging. Joyaging!! (I can make up my own words... it's my birthday). 

I'm grateful for the perspective and charisma that comes with 49 years of experience + 1 yr of sleeping (=50). Aging is a doomed privilege. Maybe I'm not lucky enough for forever. But I am lucky enough for now. For now, I'm basking in this golden time, that soft magic hour before the sun sets. 

We'll see what I say about all this when I turn 80. I'll probably need a new word, like constipatience!



.......... 43/50 SKINCARE Part C ..........

Here is my PM routine:

1. Cleanse: If I am wearing make-up, I use Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. Easily handles face/eye make-up. Or Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser.  Followed by 2nd cleanse with micellar water. If I'm not wearing make-up, I just use the micellar water with a cotton pad. Trendy product...it's all the rage. Attracts/traps dirt due to micelles, tiny oil molecules suspended in water. Was using Garnier Micellar Water (much cheaper dupe for the holy grail Bioderma) but it has ingredients I didn't love so switched to Caudalie.

2. Serums: again the serums are what do the work. I pick products with actives such as niacinamides, peptides, and fruit acids (glycolic or lactic acid). On half of my face (the half with Retin-A), I'm using Drunk Elephant Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (great name, cool packaging, cult following) It has both AHA and BHA (two types of acids). Listed as 12% glycolic.

On the drug-store half of my face, the best comparable I could find is the ProX Olay Nightly Purifying Night Peel, which may be about 10% glycolic acid.

I'm able to use both an acid (night) and a retinoid (day) because my skin is used to it. May be too much exfoliation for sensitive or virgin skin.

3. Moisturizer: the expensive half of the face gets Dermalogica (won't re-use when this runs out) or Mad Hippie (delightful natural cream with safer ingred). Drugstore half gets Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. A great product, pleasure to use. One of the industry's and Olay's best seller of all time. For a reason.

Skin Treats: once or twice a month I use Dead Sea Mud Mask by Pure Body Naturals. 4.5 stars with over 8,000 reviews on Amazon 😱!! This is especially good for acne, rosacea or irritated skin. I just like using it....it makes me feel all spa-ish and fancy.

I use the PMD Personal Micro-Derm tool 1-2x /month.

Glycolic peel (30%) after the PMD. * Do NOT use with active cold sores. Caution with dormant HSV.

Obviously you can see, I employ both chemical and physical exfoliation.

Finally: love, love the luxurious Mahalo line: the company, philosophy, branding, packaging, name, everything about it. And opening a package from them is pure awesomeness! Check out their beautiful IG feed! I'm not a big fan of oils...but if I'm especially dry and feeling indulgent... this is the oil I reach for.

My two-sided experiment isn't perfect. There are lots of influencing variables....but I can definitely see a difference between the two sides of my face. Which side do you think is looking better?

Thanks for stopping by.... let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!

Ms Fish


....... 43/50 SKINCARE Part B .......

Here is my current AM Skincare Routine:

1. Cleanse with Kirkland wipes from Costco. They are soft, gentle, and a good price. I've tried several others (Yes to Cucumbers, Neutrogena, etc.) but these are hands down my favorite.

2. Tone with either Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel (Natural Grocer or Amazon) or Pixi Glow Tonic (Target) with 5% glycolic.

3. Vitamin C serum. This is the backbone of a complete skincare routine. Proven in clinical trials. This is an antioxidant which treats and prevents photo damage, the biggest precursor to aging and cancer. It is unstable in heat and light, so needs to be from a reliable source that mixes the product fresh. I use this. There is a LOT to learn and know about Vit C. There are lots of different types and the formulas and secondary ingredients used depend on the type of Vit C. Not all C serums are equal!! Despite what you can find on the web, do not try making your own serum.

4. As mentioned in Part A, I am experimenting with drugstore versus higher-end products on my face, hoping really there isn't too much of a drastic difference or I'm going to look might funny. hahaha.

 So on one half of my face, I use Tretinoin Cream (Retin-A*). It comes in different strengths. Right now I'm using mid-potency of 0.05%. This is the worker bee, prescription only. Lots of good long-term data with good efficacy. It thins the top layer of skin promoting rapid cell turnover. Thickens the deeper layer of skin, to boost collagen, improving wrinkles. Reduces age spots and evens skin texture. May reverse pre-cancerous cells.

On the flip side of my face: Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle serum.  This has retinol, a weaker cousin of the prescription Retin-A with the potential for more irregular absorption, depending on face conditions (pH, dryness, inflammation, etc).
*avoid retinols if pregnant

5. Moisturize: don't do this daily in the am unless looking dry. If I wear foundation, I use Embryolisse, a light delicious moisturizer as a base.

6. Sunscreen: Every single soul, regardless of age, should wear BROAD SPECTRUM daily but imperative if using Retinoids. This can be in the form of a moisturizer with SPF (love Cerave AM), in a tinted CC or BB cream, or as a stand-alone. Currently using Neutrogena Ultra-sheer with Helioplex in SPF 30. (Anything more than 50 is wasting your $$).  This chemical screen is ok if driving to and from work. If outside for awhile, I prefer a physical block. Like Badger-an organic and natural zinc oxide.

7. Don't believe in eye creams.

8. We can talk about lips on request..... comment here if interested....

Continue on to Part C for my nightime routine.

Ms Fish


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