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  • nicoladiepdael

Anti-Aging. A Holistic Botox Alternative.

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Botox has definitely had it's moment in the spotlight, and for good reason. If your facial muscles can't move, they don't form creases in the skin. Presto! No wrinkles.

But as is the nature of humans, we love to release things before we have long term data, making us, the customer, the lab rat.

Fast forward several years and we're starting to see the long term affects of this experiment.

I think that those with any kind of anatomy and physiology knowledge would have seen this coming; sagging faces. If you stop using a muscle, it atrophies, meaning that the muscles gets weak and start to waste away. In relation to the face this means loss of volume and tone. ie. sagging. So we go from having creases in the skin from flexing the muscles too much, to having creases in the skin from it hanging. What's the mainstream solution to this loss of volume? Filler. Which then migrates around the face, giving people the classic 'moon face'.

All of this has been enough for me to say no to Botox, but with that being said, we aren't all in a place to focus on holistic and root cause modalities, which tend to take more time and effort. There are also some looks that just can't be achieved with natural methods. Injections do have their time and place. If this is you, my recommendation would be to seek out an injector who is holistically minded that can increase the benefits while minimizing the draw backs. I'm a big fan of informed consent, so make sure you do your research and weigh your personal pros and cons.

I've been a Holistic Esthetician for 17+ years, I've played with every gadget and topical product and beared witness to many a skin care journey, and I'll tell you what I think is the best strategy for anti-aging.

Our goal is tight skin right? Tight skin is much less prone to wrinkling. So how do we get it? Tight muscles is a no-brainer. Muscles are attached to fascia, which is attached to skin. If muscles are tight, it will pull the skin into place. We love this. Things like facial exercises and microcurrent devices are the way to toned facial muscles. Not sponsored, but I love NuFace as an at home toning device. This is what I've used on my myself and my clients for many years with great results. Microcurrent and facial exercise aren't a quick fix, it takes time and commitment, but it's the kind of thing that will have people quesioning your age, as long as you're dedicated.

The other aspect to tight skin is fluid retention. When we get lymphatic fluid pooling in between the skin and muscle, it's heavy, and gravity wants to pull it down. This causes sagging, jowling and wrinkles as the skin folds over itself.

If you're prone to a "puffy" face, this is a good indication that premature sagging and wrinkling is in your future. So what can you do?

Focus on your lymphatic system. If you have fluid retention in the face, you likely have it in other areas of the body, and it's likely impacting your health. Lymph is the waste management system and "puffiness" is a sign that the system is backed up, and waste is collecting in your tissues, causing cell damage. A big aspect of lymph flow is liver health. This is an in depth and complex topic and you should work with someone qualified to uncover your bio-individual needs when it comes to lymph and liver health.

But what can you do for immediate results? Gua Sha! I've also been using this amazing tool on myself and my clients for many years. When performed properly it draines the excess lymph out of the face, giving it a smoother, tighter appearance. You'll notice immediate results, but it should be done daily if you're looking for wrinkle prevention or reversal.

Gua Sha also helps balance the muscle tension in the face. We want toned muscles, but we also don't want muscle imbalance.

The microcurrent and facial exercises take care of the lax muscles, and they do help with chronic tension patterns by providing "reciprical inhibition" which basically means that when a muscle tightens, it causing the opposing muscle to relax. But what can you do when you have left over tension that just won't quit (hello elevens). Gua Sha is great as a pressure point tool that can release muscle tension. Hold a point of the tool on the tense muscle, take a few deep breaths and draw little circles. Over time this will retrain the muscle to chill out. Chronic tension patterns are also a window into emotional tension patterns, which is definitely worth addressing if you've got areas that aren't responding. But that's also for another post..

So those are my weapons of choice when it comes to topical applications. And they make a big impact, however, I can't overstate the importance of the internal work. Liver health, lymph flow, hormone and nutrient balance are the big game changers when it comes to anti-aging. With that internal work, not only will you look younger, you will BE younger physiologically... and ain't that the real flex?

If you want to get started on your internal anti-aging journey, get in touch with me and lets make a plan.

x Nicola

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