Opinion: What's Anti Anti-Ageing?

Ladies, here’s the thing - haven’t you ever thought that it’s really weird that so much anti-ageing stuff is marketed to us specifically? Think about it for a sec - have you ever seen a men’s anti-ageing skincare product? 

I’ll bet that you haven’t. 

It’s a little bit strange that as women, we’re seen as a universal, homogenous group when it comes to not wanting to age. Anti-ageing products are almost universally marketed towards women - but should it be?

What Is Anti-Ageing - Really?

Have you ever considered the idea that society has different standards when it comes to men and women when it comes to ageing? Here’s the thing - when male celebrities age, they seem to pass into silver fox territory pretty quick - hello, Jeff Goldblum and George Clooney! Three’s a charm - I’ll add Brad Pitt to that list, too. 

And yet, they’re usually given a bit of a pass for not looking as young and perky as they used to - and I reckon that’s a bit of a double standard. Ok, not a bit of a double standard - it’s a HUGE one. 

Magazines and social media (especially social media these days) fuel this absolutely crazy idea that women are pretty much not allowed to age. The public commentary on women’s appearances is everywhere - and we see it pile on to celebrities the most. At best, you’ll be forgotten but at worst, you might be ridiculed for your efforts to ‘stay relevant’. Remember when Megan Fox was (and sometimes still is) ridiculed for some filler she got in 2010? 

It seems like there’s a careful line to toe between trying hard and looking like you’re trying hard (à la Megan Fox’s ‘obvious’ plastic surgery). Kinda unfair that realistically, it takes effort - but you can’t look like you’ve made the effort. It’s a bit of a paradox, isn’t it? 

Remember how everyone flipped about how good J Lo looked ‘for her age’ when she re-wore that iconic Versace dress? Now obviously, that took a lot of effort - and yet she didn’t receive the same flak. 

Jennifer Lopez Versace Dress

Credit: Instagram/JLo

Overlooking for a second that saying someone looks good for their age is a bit of a backhanded compliment, there’s one major reason why J Lo still pretty much looks the same. She can literally afford the best of everything - obviously the best of the best skincare, esthetician treatments, and probably some strategic filler - but I’m talking about what’s beyond that. 

She probably has a personal trainer and a personal chef - she has access to everything that she could ever need to quite literally stop the clock. And yet, why do we act as though looking like J Lo at 50 is somehow attainable, just if we used the right skincare? 

The thing is, it isn’t - and it’s probably not a bad idea to come to peace with that. That’s where anti anti-ageing comes in. I mean, if you want to do the whole J Lo thing that’s cool too - just don’t feel like you have to. Also, I’m not saying that anti-ageing skincare doesn’t work - it’s just not going to turn you into J Lo!

What’s Anti Anti-Ageing?

I know what you’re thinking - what on earth even is anti anti-ageing? 

Super simply, it’s just the idea of being against anti-ageing. But even then, it can get cut into slight differences - there’s being anti ‘anti-ageing’ (the phrase) and being straight up against anti-ageing products in general. What’s the difference?

Let’s talk about the first one. You might have noticed that less anti-ageing skincare has the phrasing ‘anti-ageing’ on it. It’s slowly becoming phased out in favour of phrases such as ‘regeneration’, ‘rejuvenation’ and ‘youth activating’. 

But here’s the thing - even if we don’t call it anti-ageing, isn’t it basically the same thing in a different box? Technically, yes - and that’s totally fine. In my opinion, it just gives products a better way to actually describe what they can do for your skin, whether that’s improving texture or reducing fine lines. Anti-ageing is way too general, anyway!

Anti anti-ageing is also the idea of just not being worried about your skin changing as you get older and not purposely doing much about it (honestly, it sounds like what men already do and get a free pass for doing). For some people, the idea of letting go of wanting to look younger is freeing - for some, it’s almost unthinkable. 

Is Anti Anti-Ageing Right for Me? 

Well, here’s the thing. Only you can decide what you want for yourself and your skin. Do you need to run out and dump all your anti-ageing skincare in the bin? Nope. Is it bad that you want to use anti-ageing skincare? Also nope. 

For me, it loops back to the idea of skin care as self-care. If taking care of yourself means using products that are designed to firm skin here and smooth away those wrinkles there, then do it and live your best life. After all, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m already on the anti-ageing (uh, sorry, I mean rejuvenating) skincare train. 

My bottom line is to always do what makes you happy - if that means using retinol and getting botox, keep doing it. If not, that’s cool too - there’s room for all of us to get our beauty affairs together in our own way!

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