How AGEIST is disrupting the visual vocabulary of age

Heidi Volpe - June 13, 2017 - The Daily Edit.

How do you see AGEI.ST changing the current visual landscape on this?
David: Do you know anyone who looks like that Google image search you did? They seem like slow, medicalized, out to pasture diminished people in need of some sort of help. True, there are those people, but I am not one of them, and neither are the people I know. We are at the very height of our powers, and to present us in a medicalized way is just not real, or effective communication.

The first big issue we talk about with people over 50 is the visual vocabulary used. The major issue is not a capacity or capability question, it’s a visual issue, and that vocabulary was entirely bankrupt. When I photograph people for AGEIST, it is about self-empowerment, because it is the contrary is what is shown in the media: disempowerment. Our people are shown to be strong because they are strong, stronger than many of them realize. If we can move the needle on two points, strong and modern, we have made an enormous impact.

You’ve spent your career photographing vibrant, youthful beautiful people, defining the lifestyle category. What drove you to explore this seasoned group of people, which in turn throws a new lens on this generation?
Thank you for that, it’s true I sort of defined that category, but there is more to life than the 18-28 age group, and I wanted to get with what my own reality is. I’m 58, and I have been doing advertising and editorial work for 35 years, and all the while, the people I am photographing seem to stay the same age: 18-28. If you look at the spending power of people over 50 it’s $5 trillion/year in the US alone. If you look at millennials it’s several decimal points from that. This was the commercial driver of doing AGEIST, but from a personal standpoint, photographers are always strongest when they are doing what they know best. I can work with 20-year-olds very well, and I really enjoy it. But what is my unique contribution? Maybe it is more with people like myself.

Why is this project important to you and how did this develop?
It started with wondering why media is so millennial obsessed, and there are real reasons for it, but almost none of them are based in fact. Why are we spending such a giant amount of resources communicating with people who don’t have the spending power to buy the product? At this point, we realized we needed to question pretty much everything and to rewrite the playbookThe first thing was the visuals, what does it mean to be an AGEIST person and how do they look compared with other imagery out there? That took a while to understand. Our first iteration was a newsletter, which is still hugely popular.

When people go to our site, the first thing that people notice is how we look.  We have a unique and powerful POV. I would like to take all the credit for that, but it is really a team effort.

Your piece about tackling life after 50 is close to 100,000 hits on LinkedIn. Since most of your reach is digital are you considering print?
That article is actually over 135k now and climbing. In terms of exposure, and in terms of incoming comments and emails, it’s vast. If I do a cover for The New York Times Magazine, of which I have done several, maybe I will get 1 email. With AGEIST, we get flooded with them daily. It’s incredible. The button that we hit is so powerful and there is so much pent-up feeling out there; it humbles me every day.

I love print. To me print is a luxury product, it is premium as compared to the disposability and poverty of real estate that one gets on digital. But starting a print magazine, is a big commitment. We will do it at some point, but right now we don’t have the bandwidth to do it to the high level we would want to.

Who is on your team and what are their roles?
I do the photographs, the interviews and the creative direction. Our director of publishing takes the interviews and makes them sound great. He also oversees the social channels, the newsletter and all our content output.  Matt Hirst does strategy, research and finance. Ed Delfs is our digital media expert and big brand outreach. All of us work together on a daily basis along with the other team members.  It’s an A-level team, everyone plays at a very high level. We also have a rather esteemed group who advise us, including the CEO of HAVAS North America, and the head of BMW strategy. We have attracted the attention of some extremely influential people. I am regularly amazed by the people who are reaching out to us for our thoughts on things or wanting to be included in the AGEIST site.

How are you using quantitative data?
I have always been curious about brand values, brand messaging, and how to best serve that.

With our AGEIST clients, I want to make sure we are getting them the best possible results. We start with qualitative insights gathered from deep in-person interviews. We then boil those down to find specific behavioral drivers. These insights help us to ideate with the client and the social team about what those could look like and what channels we think would work best. Then we test in market, rinse and repeat until we really have it dialed in. Only then do we produce and shoot the high quality work that gets the big media push.

Tell us how you gather your information?
The main strategic model we have created for AGEIST relies on qualitative analysis.  We use our proprietary information, gathered from hundreds of interviews, to inform and educate our clients about what’s up with this remarkable new emerging group of adults. Never before has a 50-year-old had every reason to believe they are only 1/2 way through their lives. That has enormous ramifications on people’s value systems, their purchasing habits and most essentially, how they see themselves in the future. What we do is identify people we think are in this leading edge group living in a new way. I want to know their story, but I also want to know what are they doing now, what are they into, what do they want to learn, how do they feel about different brands, products, media.  We take all this information, fully timecoded, and unpack it, combine it with the hundreds of other interviews, and then pull out and correlate platforms and drivers of behaviours. With this, we can make a predictive model that helps us look forward into how they will feel about certain services, products or communications.

Does every photographer secretly want to be an interviewer? Is this simply the same process of taking a portrait but with words instead?
Personally, I’m a very curious person, and when I photograph someone for a magazine or an ad, it’s a privileged position. Generally, this person is of some interest or accomplishment, or I wouldn’t have been sent in. So I use that time to banter, make jokes, but also to chat with them about what’s they are into.

The process of making a photograph, if I can simplify something that is not so simple, is that we observe, we interpret and we record, which is very much like interviewing. With a great model, it’s like tennis, she hits the ball one way, then I hit it back, on and on. With portraits, it’s still always a partnership. People may not know what’s happening as I chatter away with them, but we are collaborating towards an image that I am focusing on getting. Of course, my vision is only half of that partnership. What the other person is bringing often makes for something wonderful and better than anything I could have pre-visualized.

Would you agree that you’re getting data from people but in a much more transparent and direct way? Whereas let’s say most practices are more subversive?
I would agree with that. We talk. If you don’t want to tell me something, you don’t. It’s not an interrogation, it’s a very pleasant 2-way conversation where I am just really curious about this other person.

What have you learned about yourself as a photographer in this process?
That I love photography. We do interviews, we make videos, we give presentations, we create campaigns, all of which is awesome. But my first love, the one I will never abandon, is photography. It is the driving organisational principle of my life. The still image as a reflective piece of art is a magical object. I have been looking at snapshots, contact sheets, prints and digital images for 50 years, and it holds me like nothing else.

Are you approaching your photography in a new way with this project?
Yes, I am. As someone once told me “if you want to get into the chair across the room, you need to get out of the chair you are in”. I edited my personal site, removing much of the younger lifestyle work. It was scary to do that, as that work was decades in the making.

But you have to choose your lane, and if I was going to do AGEIST, it just didn’t make sense to have the happy snap young people in there. It was a totally different expression. The work now comes from a very different place. It’s not so much “how will clients relate to this”, as “how do I like it and how will my gang in AGEIST like it”. How can I make the most powerful image possible at this moment?

Despite my fears, I am now contacted by advertising and editorial clients to work with them because of this new work.

Your interview with Tara Shannon is a terrific example a woman that has deep roots in the high fashion industry modelling for Irving Penn and Richard Avedon amid many others. Her voice is an excellent discussion about models at 61 and what that wisdom brings to a shoot.
Thanks, that was a great conversation I had with her. She is a fantastic model and someone who has given considerable thought to the idea of invisibility/value as it intersects with age. People can read that here.

Age is a truly a gift. What do you think gets lost in this younger generation?
It’s a bit unfair to ask a 30-year-old to understand a 55-year-old. But it’s the same for me. I really don’t know what it’s like to be 80, I can guess, but I won’t really know until I am there. One of the shocking things about AGEIST is that about 1/3 of our audience is under 30. That is utterly surprising to me and completely unintentional. What they tell us is that we show being older as being filled with possibility, being cool, being people who they aspire to be. So for younger people, we are a north star.

I really dislike the whole idea of age brackets. The only reason we put people’s ages on AGEIST is it’s an interesting data point. But we don’t talk about age, it’s better to just say this person is rad, and they happen to be whatever age. It’s a bit insulting to say to anyone of any age “wow that’s great for someone your age”. That’s not helpful to say to an 8-year-old or an 80-year-old. When someone is cool, it doesn’t matter what age they are, they are just cool.

Why do you think her story is striking a chord with people?
Well, she is, for one thing, an incredible model. She is also a very smart articulate woman of 61 who knows what’s up. Not everyone at 61 can look like Tara, but so many people relate to what she is saying about invisibility and worth in society. Once you tell a group of people who are used to being ignored and are essentially invisible, that now we see them, and we understand them, well that is a massively powerful thing to do.




the world's most interesting man: the comeback

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Tequilla  for Astral 
Dos Equis and agency Havas invented one of the most fantastic ad campaigns and characters ever with the Most Interesting Man in The World. We loved him, everyone loved him. Then someone thought that they needed to “contemporize” the campaign. In other words, make it younger.  The new Most Interesting Man of the Year 2.0 bombed, beer sales tanked, and HAVAS, a great agency gets fired. Maybe they should have called AGEIST first?

This week Johnathan Goldsmith, the actor who played the original WMIMITW, is in a new TV spot selling tequila with the line, “When I don’t drink beer I drink tequila.” Genius. AGEIST salutes you.  He also has a new book out "Stay Interesting: I Don't Always Tell Stories About My Life, But When I Do, They're True and Amazing.” 

kick-ass middle-aged women are the heroes in this video game ad

I’ll be honest: I know nothing about video games, or almost nothing. But when this came up on my radar I just had to share. I mean what’s not to like? Middle aged women out there doing the action movie thing like they are 24-year-olds. Rock on ladies! But the reason for the ad is what really got my attention. The game developer’s research found that 80% of the active players are women aged between 30 and 55.  Another stereotype bites the dust, turns out that the 15-21 year old male demo aren’t the only ones getting the bad guys.

To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old

In 1946, a 23-year-old Army veteran named John Goodenough headed to the University of Chicago with a dream of studying physics. When he arrived, a professor warned him that he was already too old to succeed in the field.

Recently, Dr. Goodenough recounted that story for me and then laughed uproariously. He ignored the professor’s advice and today, at 94, has just set the tech industry abuzz with his blazing creativity. He and his team at the University of Texas at Austin filed a patent application on a new kind of battery that, if it works as promised, would be so cheap, lightweight and safe that it would revolutionize electric cars and kill off petroleum-fueled vehicles. His announcement has caused a stir, in part, because Dr. Goodenough has done it before. In 1980, at age 57, he coinvented the lithium-ion battery that shrank power into a tiny package.

We tend to assume that creativity wanes with age. But Dr. Goodenough’s story suggests that some people actually become more creative as they grow older. Unfortunately, those late-blooming geniuses have to contend with powerful biases against them.

“Young people are just smarter,” Mark Zuckerberg pronounced at an event at Stanford in 2007, when he was the 22-year-old chief executive of Facebook. He added, according to a VentureBeat writer, “I only own a mattress,” and then expounded upon the putative correlation between youth and creative power. His logic didn’t exactly make sense (and he later apologized), but his meaning was perfectly clear: Middle-aged people are encumbered by boring possessions (gutters, dental floss, orthopedic shoes) and stale ideas.

Since that speech, Silicon Valley’s youth worship seems to have grown even more feverish. Recently, a 12-year-old inventor named Shubham Banerjee received venture-capital funds from Intel to start his own company.

Read more here: NYTIMES

70-year-old woman runs 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days

(CNN)Running four marathons in five weeks wasn't enough. Running 10 marathons in a year wasn't enough. Running more than 70 marathons during her lifetime wasn't enough.

Seventy-year-old Chau Smith wanted to challenge herself even further, so she decided to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. In January, the Missouri woman accomplished that goal.

    Between January 25 and January 31, Smith ran marathons in Perth, Australia; Singapore; Cairo; Amsterdam; Garden City, New York; Punta Arenas, Chile; and King George Island, Antarctica. Each day, Smith woke up and ran 26.2 miles. Then she'd get on a plane and fly to the next destination to do it all over again.

    Despite her marathon training, Chau Smith still works 10-hour days.

    "She didn't want to publicize this before doing it," said Steve Hibbs, owner of the specialty travel company Marathon Adventures, which organized the trip. "She overcame a lot, and it was just really impressive to see her run and complete the event."

    Nine other people joined Smith in running on all seven continents. Although she had done many marathons before, training to run seven in a row took months.

    "It took me eight months to really train," Smith said. "The last four months, I really put in long, long runs. Every week, I ran from 15 miles to 130 miles."

    Running across the world

    The challenge, which Hibbs dubbed the Triple 7 Quest, presented a unique set of obstacles. During the first race in Australia, the temperature was above 100 degrees, Smith said. She became severely sunburned.

    The most challenging race was in Cairo. The group's connecting flight from Singapore was delayed in Abu Dhabi, so they arrived in Egypt with only a few minutes to change before heading to the race start.

    "We have 10 minutes to go up to our rooms to change and don't unpack," Smith said. "The key wasn't working for my room. I almost used up my 10 minutes. I was crying."

    Most of the runners had a set time in which to finish each race in order to pace themselves for all seven. Smith had allotted herself seven hours to finish the race in Cairo, but because of the delay, Hibbs told the group to finish in six. Smith was worried about finishing in time, so Hibbs suggested she run the half-marathon instead.

    She finished the full marathon in five hours and 51 minutes.

    "From that day on, they never asked me about thinking about running a half-marathon again," Smith said.

    A lifetime of adventure

    Although Smith didn't tell many people about the Triple 7 Quest challenge beforehand, it wasn't her first extreme physical undertaking. A year earlier, she ran a marathon in Tanzania and then hiked Mount Kilimanjaro the next day.

    "All my life ... I always did crazy things," Smith said. "When I was young in Vietnam, I was a stubborn kid. My family always never knew what I was going to do. I always showed them I can do it, just like boys."

    Smith started running marathons in Missouri but quickly sought out races in other states and countries. She ran the Boston Marathon in 2013 but was unable to finish the race because of the bombing. She ran it the next two years.

    Last year, Smith ran four marathons in five weeks. She traveled to Southeast Asia for a month and ran a marathon in Myanmar. Six days later, she ran a marathon in New Zealand and then a few days after that in Tanzania.

    "We never go someplace without looking for the race," Smith said.

    Born in Vietnam, Smith came to the United States in 1972. She owns and operates an alteration and dry-cleaning business in Independence, Missouri. Even though she works long days, running always makes her feel better.

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    "I live a stressful life. Every day, I work 10 hours a day ... but I always feel better," Smith said. "How I feel after I put in my running, I think that's important. It makes you feel good. I can't really put it into words."

    Smith often runs with her husband, who has also been running for most of his life. When she brought up the idea of completing the Triple 7 Quest, he was supportive, but worried about her health. Her two adult daughters expressed similar concerns.

    "When I told my husband, he said, 'Well, I support you, and I'm always behind you, but the only thing I worry, you get hurt,' " Smith said.

    Smith told all three that if she anything happens to her while she's doing something she loves, it would be worth it.

    Hibbs has organized only two Triple 7 Quest trips, and he's planning a Triple 8 Quest for the upcoming year involving Zealandia, a microcontinent. He believes these longer challenges can test all aspects of a person's being.

    "It's really about challenging both the body and the mind's upper limits," he said. "What can you handle? What upper threshold can you push past?"

    For Smith, it seems no challenge is too small. When she retires, she'd like to hike the Appalachian Trail. For now, she's interested in the Triple 8 Quest.

    Lonely Clothing Hires Gorgeous 56-Year-Old Lingerie Model Because Screw Ageism

    New Zealand’s Lonely clothing brand has a new ad campaign that’s turning heads. Fifty-six-year-old Mercy Brewer is the star of the brand’s SS17 lingerie presentation, making ageism the latest taboo for the indie label to break. Lonely is known for its inclusive marketing, from its retouch-free autumn/winter 2016 campaign to its Instagram feed of customers wearing their lingerie in everyday life.

    Co-founder and designer Helene Morris said, “The beauty and fashion industries are so obsessed with youth, but the reality is we are all aging, and there are so many wonderful things about growing older. So often the primary message around age is intervention, which is a frustrating response to such a natural, inevitable process.”

    Brewer, a former punk rocker who modeled alongside Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, added, “I believe we are in a moment in time where older women’s beauty has been a startling revelation. If we don’t recognize it, we, every one of us, deny ourselves a future to look forward to.”

    Or, as Brewer simply told i-D, “Forget stereotypes, if someone looks good in your gear, shine a light on them.” NYMAG

    Already a Favorite of Teens, Snapchat Is Gaining Popularity With Their Parents

    Teenagers love donning digitized puppy ears, flower crowns, and funky sunglasses. So do their parents.

    Snapchat, the photo-sharing mobile app known for these filters, is gaining older users.

    Market research firm eMarketer projects that 70.4 million Americans will use Snapchat in 2017, up from its June prediction of 66.6 million users, in a report on the app's U.S. user base released on Tuesday. The largest user base is aged from 18 to 24, but eMarketer estimates that 6.4% of users will be from 45 to 54 years old, over 2 percentage points more than previously projected. The research firm defined users as those who check the app at least once a month.

    Close to 8 million Snapchatters will be over the age of 45, according to the research, just over 11% of the total U.S. user base. Those older than 45 are projected to make up 12.2% of the app's users in 2018 and 13.3% by 2019.

    Last year, about 9% of Snapchat's American users were over the age of 45, and in 2015 it was just 5.6%.

    Snapchat's parent company, Snap Inc., recently filed to make an initial public offering of shares. Snap is aiming to raise as much as $3.2 billion in its IPO, which would give it a market value of as much as $18.5 billion. The company is scheduled to price its shares on Wednesday and begin trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. A spokesman for Snapchat declined to comment on the EMarketer report, citing quiet period restrictions.

    "The usage trends are largely the result of a shift in the primary use case of Snapchat," eMarketer analyst Jaimie Chung said in a statement. The app now offers daily news coverage and original content in its Discover section, along with text messaging and the ephemeral picture messaging it's known for.

    "Older groups are now more likely to tune in for content. The platform has multiple partnerships with television networks for mini episodes," Ms. Chung said. "Meanwhile, the younger groups are less likely to add Snapchat when Instagram Stories," Instagram's version of disappearing-picture messaging, "can fulfill their broadcasting needs."

    Instagram, owned by Facebook Inc., released Instagram Stories in August and has since amassed 150 million daily active users, according to the platform. Snapchat in early February said its daily user count is 158 million. Both platforms have advertisements sandwiched between user posts.

    Appealing to older people is a good thing for a digital product aimed at the young if it helps boost the total number of users, as long as the thing doesn't develop a reputation as an app for Mom and Dad.

    "I think to some extent usage among older adults is driven by parents who want to check up on their kids. But we do feel that Snapchat will gradually broaden its appeal beyond the youth demographic, just as Facebook did," Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, said in an email. eMarketer estimates that more than 80 percent of Snapchat's U.S. users were under 35 last year, compared with about 70 percent of Instagram's U.S. users.

    While older users might gravitate toward Snapchat's original content, younger users are known to go streaking. Teenagers obsess over sending friends Snaps every day to keep a "streak," delineated in the app through an emoji.

    "Sometimes I'll end up going through a streak in the middle of class," 15-year-old Abby Rogers told Bloomberg in January. "I'll just leave the phone face up and take a picture of the ceiling."

    RBG's Badass Work Out

    In the early hours of Nov. 9, as stock markets began to rally on the news of Donald Trump’s upset win, there was another dramatic spike afoot. Interest in the bone density and cholesterol levels of an 83-year-old woman from Flatbush, New York, was also soaring.

    Many people wanted to know whether two-time cancer survivor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest and perhaps the most liberal justice on the Supreme Court, had enough gas in the tank to outlast the Trump presidency, or whether Trump would get a chance to fundamentally alter the balance of the court by replacing her, a possibility he dangled successfully to entice wary Republicans to vote him.


    When Retirement Comes With a Daily Dose of Cannabis

    Ruth Brunn finally said yes to marijuana. She is 98.

    She pops a green pill filled with cannabis oil into her mouth with a sip of vitamin water. Then Ms. Brunn, who has neuropathy, settles back in her wheelchair and waits for the jabbing pain in her shoulders, arms and hands to ebb.

    “I don’t feel high or stoned,” she said. “All I know is I feel better when I take this.”

    Ms. Brunn will soon have company. The nursing home in New York City where she lives, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is taking the unusual step of helping its residents use medical marijuana under a new program to treat various illnesses with an alternative to prescription drugs. While the staff will not store or administer pot, residents are allowed to buy it from a dispensary, keep it in locked boxes in their rooms and take it on their own.

    From retirement communities to nursing homes, older Americans are increasingly turning to marijuana for relief from aches and pains. Many have embraced it as an alternative to powerful drugs like morphine, saying that marijuana is less addictive, with fewer side effects.

    For some people, it is a last resort when nothing else helps.

    Marijuana, which is banned by federal law, has been approved for medical use in 29 states, including New York, and the District of Columbia. Accumulating scientific evidence has shown its effectiveness in treating certain medical conditions. Among them: neuropathic pain, severe muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosisunintentional weight loss, and vomiting and nausea from chemotherapy. There have also been reports that pot has helped people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia as well as Parkinson’s disease.

    The New York Times.

    More Women in Their 60s and 70s Are Having ‘Way Too Much Fun’ to Retire



    Kay Abramowitz has been working, with a few breaks, since she was 14. Now 76, she is a partner in a law firm in Portland, Ore. — with no intention of stopping anytime soon. “Retirement or death is always on the horizon, but I have no plans,” she said. “I’m actually having way too much fun.”

    The arc of women’s working lives is changing — reaching higher levels when they’re younger and stretching out much longer — according to two newanalyses of census, earnings and retirement data that provide the most comprehensive look yet at women’s career paths.

    Over all, the paths look much more like men’s careers than they used to. Women are more likely than in previous generations to work at almost every point in their lives, including in their 20s and 30s when they often used to be home with children. Now, if mothers take breaks at all, it’s often not until their late 30s or early 40s — and those who leave are likely to return to the labor force.

    Most striking, women have become significantly more likely to work into their 60s and even 70s, often full time, according to the analyses. And many of these women report that they do it because they enjoy it.

    The data adds a bright chapter to the narrative of women’s progress in the world of work. Even though their participation in the labor force in the United States has flattened in recent years, and as mothers especially face serious challenges, women are working more than ever and getting fulfillment, not just income, from their jobs.

    Nearly 30 percent of women 65 to 69 are working, up from 15 percent in the late 1980s, one of the analyses, by the Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, found. Eighteen percent of women 70 to 74 work, up from 8 percent.

    This rejection of retirement is more common among women with higher education and savings, though not confined to them. Those who are not working are more likely to have poor health and low savings, and to be dependent on Social Security and sometimes disability benefits, Ms. Goldin said.

    Of those still working, Ms. Goldin said, “They’re in occupations in which they really have an identity.” She added, “Women have more education, they’re in jobs that are more fulfilling, and they stay with them.” (Ms. Goldin happens to be an example of the phenomenon, as a 70-year-old professor and researcher.)

    Men’s employment after age 60 has also risen, since about 1994, but not as steeply as women’s. About 60 percent of men 60 to 64 work, and just over half of women in that age range do.

    Read more here:

    Aubrey de Grey: scientist who says humans can live for 1,000 years

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    When it comes to business projections, Silicon Valley is the home of the tall story. Unbridled ambitions, unfettered thinking and a belief in the boundless potential of technology produce a steady crop of outlandish expectations. Yet even by Silicon Valley standards the prediction that there are people alive today who will live for 1,000 years is extreme. It conjures less the bold pronouncement of a leading biotech pioneer than the ramblings of a mad professor.

    At the end of a winding dirt track off Bear Creek Road, a few miles from Los Gatos in California’s Santa Cruz mountains is the home of Aubrey de Grey, the 53-year-old English research scientist from whom the claim originates. It looks exactly like the place you would expect a mad professor to live. The house is faded, to say the least. In a ramshackle kitchen an unwashed frying pan sits on an ancient-looking electric hob; empty beer bottles are clustered by the sink in which is stacked a heap of saucepans and utensils. Next door is one of several sitting rooms: a wall of windows facing the front drive and the thick-forested canyon beyond; a double mattress on a stained carpet; a bed sheet pinned up to block some of the morning light. The space opens into the largest room in the house — a long cavernous hall with high vaulted ceilings — designed, my host says, by the architect of San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. At one end is a huge open stone-and-brick fireplace; at the other a 4ft pile of rubbish — floorboards, pulled-up carpet, panelling and electrical wire. De Grey is gradually renovating the place, he says. He is at an early stage. He wears a green hoodie over an olive shirt, jeans and worn black trainers. His long greying hair is tied in a ponytail and an expansive dark brown beard reaches almost to his stomach. He beckons me through to the “sun room”, his favourite spot — two wicker armchairs either side of a glass-top table on which sits his laptop and an open bottle of IPA beer. It is 11.30am on a crisp Saturday morning. As we start to talk, I can see my breath forming clouds in the air in front of me.

    Fifteen years ago, de Grey was lead author of a paper in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences which claimed the “indefinite postponement of aging . . . may be within sight”. Since then, he says, his position among gerontologists — the scientists of ageing and its related ills — has changed from sidelined dilettante to one of the discipline’s most influential and public voices. Most approaches aimed at combating ageing focus on arresting the harmful byproducts of metabolism, he says. These cause cellular damage and decay, which, in turn, accumulate to trigger the age-related disorders, such as cancer or dementia, that tend to finish us off.

    Read more here:

    The Fashion Models Who Are Transcending Ageism

    Image via Ashley Britton

    Image via Ashley Britton

    It seems that the merciless, late-20s expiration date of most models might be a thing of the past. Countless models, over the course of the last couple years, have proven that a model’s appeal, like a fine wine, might actually get better with age. Thanks to the below, older-than-average models, a model at his or her thinnest does not amount to a model being in his or her prime. Rather, these models’ markers of success is their undying sophistication and poise. Proving that age is nothing but a number, meet the models over the age of 45 who are dominating the industry. 

    1. Lyn Slater, 63

    Slater went from giving lectures about social justice in NYC to gaining international recognition for her photos and blog posts as the Accidental Icon. Shattering age and gender stereotypes, Slater allows her unique, personal style—androgynous, irreverent, and whimsical—shine through day-to-day. Keep in mind that, after only two years of running Accidental Icon, Slater has already partnered with UNIQLO. And if you quickly browse through her website, it’s easy to see why; the woman is teeming with words of wisdom that we’d definitely choose to live by.

    2. Nicola Griffin, 56

    We’re all about ladies and gents making moves and breaking boundaries especially in the beauty and fashion realms. Griffin is another such woman who has broken boundaries in the beauty and fashion industry, and has captured the attention of publications and fashion bigwigs as a result. Discovered while waiting in line at the bank, Griffin—who’s also a mother of two—landed a modeling gig at the age of 53 for White Hot Hair products. And then, three years later, she was featured in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue. That is all. 

    3. Yazemeenah Rossi, 60

    A quadruple threat, Yazemeenah Rossi not only has more Instagram followers than you, but she also a (swimsuit) model, a photographer, actress, and even a visual artist. Her svelte figure coupled with her cascading white hair is both visually appealing and reassuring for us young folk. Most recently, she starred in an exquisite, and notably airbrush-free swimsuit campaign for a collaboration between The Dreslyn and NYC lingerie brand Land of Women. 

    4. Naomi Campbell, 46

    It almost feels wrong to include Naomi Campbell on this list; the perennial supermodel not only still has “it,” but she’s practically more in demand than her much younger counterparts today. She began modeling at the age of 15 and has since become one of the most sought-after supermodels in the industry. Campbell has covered the pages of Harper’s BazaarVogueEssence, among myriad others—and that’s not even including the infinite number of ads she’s starred in and runways she’s graced. As if all of that weren’t already, enough, Campbell has also recently ventured into acting—and unsurprisingly, is killing it at that too.

    5. Maye Musk, 68

    Musk has been modeling since she was 15 (that’s over 50 years, mind you) By the time she turned 50, she moved to NYC and took on major campaigns for Revlon and Clinique. Musk celebrated her 60th birthday by abandoning the hair dye and chopping off her locks. And, as she wrote on her website, “the new look brought a major campaign for Virgin America, billboards in Times Square, covers of Elle Quebec, New York Magazine and Zoomer Magazine, even music videos and commercials.” Because…naturally. Speaking of music videos, she was even tapped by Queen Bey herself to appear in the 2013 music video for “Haunted.” (Again…naturally.) This is #goals, at its finest. 

    6. Iman, 61

    Hailing from Somalia, Iman is not only one of the world’s most iconic supermodels, but, launching Iman Cosmetics in 1994, she’s also been a pioneer for the beauty industry’s offerings for women of color. Iman was discovered while in college by photographer Peter Beard, and soon after was invited to the States by Wilhelmina Models. And the rest, as they say, is history. Iman’s modeling career is about as prodigious and illustrious as it gets—and though she technically retired from modeling in 1989, she invariably still pops up on the occasional magazine cover.

    7. Daphne Selfe, 88

    Daphne Selfe, who began modeling in 1949, has managed to not only land a Vogue spread after turning 70, but she’s also went on to pose for Dolce & Gabbana, Nivea, and Olay. Two years ago, Selfe was coined as the world’s oldest professional fashion model by The Guinness Book of World Records. She’s spent a lifetime in front of the camera, and apparently owes it all to good genes—no Botox—and “a bit of Boots [moisturizer].” Goddess.

    - Gabrielle Nicole Pharms via Milk

    The Truth Behind Marijuana And Older Adults

    As of May 2016, twenty-four states have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana, and four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use(1).  In a recent Gallup poll, 58% of surveyed American adults indicated that marijuana use should be legal, more than double the percentage who did so (25%) in 1995 (2).  As acceptance of cannabis use is on the increase across the country, it is important to consider the implications for the fastest growing segment of the population, older adults(3).

    How Many Older Adults Use Marijuana?

    Research indicates that cannabis use by older adults is on the rise.  According to data from the annual National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), from 2002-2014 the proportion of adults aged 50 to 64 who reported cannabis use in the past year more than tripled from 2.9% to 9.0%.  Among adults aged 65 or older, the proportion increased more than tenfold from 0.2% to 2.1%.  As the baby boom generation has only recently begun to reach senior citizen status and as medical and recreational marijuana use is increasingly decriminalized across the country, the proportion of older adults using cannabis could continue to grow and approach rates currently observed in younger age groups, which as of the NSDUH of 2014, were 11.6% of those aged 35 to 49, 20.0% of those aged 26-34, and 31.9% of those aged 18-25.

    What Are Some Concerns About Older Adults and Cannabis Use?

    Along with aging come physical changes, including hearing impairment, vision changes, slowed reaction time, susceptibility to falls, and cognitive decline.  Aging also entails the development of age-related health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer.  Two out of three older Americans have multiple chronic health conditions, which generally require multiple prescription medications, increasing the risk of adverse drug effects, which can further endanger their health(4).   As cannabis is increasingly seen as benign and a safe adjunct or alternative treatment for age-related health problems, a rising number of older adults may be expected to turn to marijuana for medical in addition to recreational purposes.

    Concerns about Health Harms

    Cannabis consumption has a number of acute physiological effects that may be more hazardous or concerning for older adults. 

    • Smoking marijuana results in a substantially greater respiratory burden of carbon monoxide and tar than smoking a similar quantity of tobacco(5).   Habitual marijuana smoking has been linked to airway injury and chronic bronchitis(6).
    • Cannabis consumption causes an increase in heart rate, lesser increases in cardiac output and supine blood pressure, and frequent occurrence of postural hypotension.  While little is known about the effect of cannabis use on cardiovascular disease outcomes, it is believed that cannabis use can result in inadequate blood flow to the heart (i.e., ischemia) in susceptible individuals(7).

    Concerns about Drug Interactions

    According to the Mayo Clinic, cannabis may interact, sometimes dangerously so, with several medications that are commonly prescribed to older adults(8).   Cannabis affects the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system (CYP450), which determines how certain drugs, herbs, and supplements are metabolized.   Those who take medications, herbs, or supplements that are metabolized by CYP450 could have increased blood levels of their active ingredients, which could cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions.   Some specific concerns are listed below.

    • Cannabis may further increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, including aspirin, anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin®), antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®), and herbs or supplements such as ginkgo biloba.
    • Because cannabis use may affect blood sugar levels, medication adjustments may be necessary for those taking oral or injectable drugs for diabetes, such as metformin or insulin, or herbs and supplements that also affect blood sugar.
    • Because cannabis use may affect blood pressure, caution is warranted among those who take blood pressure medications or herbs or supplements that affect blood pressure.
    • Cannabis may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol, which could increase the risk of fall and injuries among older adults.

    Concerns about Memory Problems

    Age-associated cognitive decline is common in older adults.  Research suggests that more than 10% of older adults aged 60-64 show some age-associated cognitive decline, and the proportion of individuals with cognitive decline increases with age(9).  This is important to consider because cannabis often has cognitive effects, and it is largely unknown how cannabis-related cognitive effects interact with age-related cognitive decline.  Studies on the cognitive effects of cannabis, conducted with younger adults, indicate that the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), impairs attention, executive cognitive function, and short-term memory(10, 11).  Such effects could be magnified among older adults who consume cannabis and become problematic, for example, if they interfere with optimal adherence to medication regimens, increase the risk of accidents in the home, or affect decision-making around driving under the influence of cannabis, which could be more hazardous among older adults with subtle or obvious cognitive decline.  Research has found, in young adults, residual cognitive effects of cannabis persist for 12 to 24 hours after smoking.  Residual effects have not been studied in older adults, but it might be expected that residual effects would even last longer in those with age-related cognitive decline.

    Concerns about Cannabis Misuse

    Generally speaking, older adults are less likely to exhibit substance use disorders than younger adults(12).  However, as cannabis use becomes more widespread among older adults, cannabis misuse, abuse, or dependence would also be expected to rise.  One study indicated that the number of adults aged 50 or older with substance use disorder is projected to double from an average of 2.8 million per year 2002–2006 to 5.7 million in the year 2020(13).  Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that rates of cannabis abuse and dependence increased modestly but significantly among those aged 45 to 64 from 1991-1992 to 2001-2002 (14) and again from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013(15).

    While there is no research to suggest whether older adults are any more or less susceptible to the development of substance use disorders than younger adults, aging is associated with a number of psychosocial problems that serve as risk factors for substance misuse, including bereavement, social isolation, loneliness, lack of social support, depression, and anxiety.  Although most older adults have regular contact with health professionals for a variety of reasons, relatively few with substance use problems seek professional help(16).   This may be particularly true for cannabis, given the widespread belief that cannabis is not addictive(17).  While treatments designed specifically for older adults are few and have rarely been tested, response to treatment for substance use disorders appears to be at least as good among older adults as among younger adults(18). 

    - via University of Washington

    What We Can Learn From Japan's Population Over Age 80, And How We Can Be Happy Like Them

    Click to play video.

    Click to play video.

    (Click image to play video)

    For many older people in Japan work isn’t just a way to keep busy but also a source of happiness and wellbeing. From a 71-year-old barber to a 100-year-old café owner, Monocle visits Japan’s elderly who are showing little sign of letting up.

    Video via Monocle

    The Complete Guide To Exercising In Winter

    Photo by Michaela Rehle

    Photo by Michaela Rehle

    Exercise can be hard in the northern hemisphere in winter, and perhaps especially so in cities bereft of the birdsong or starry skies that make the countryside joyous in any season. But identifying what stops us, planning well, and creating the right conditions can make winter work-outs some of the most rewarding of the year.

    Good news: Research from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands suggests that once you’ve acclimatized, exercising in the cold burns fat quicker than more comfortable temperatures, because deposits of so-called “brown fat” are activated as the body learns to get warmer, faster. So winter might even be better for weight management than those jogs in more pleasant weather.

    Secondly, exercise is a great way to beat winter blues. Studies link increased exercise to better moods for people with depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you’re able exercise outside during daylight hours (think running at lunchtime), you’ll get more of that elusive vitamin D from sunlight which is good for bones, teeth, and muscles.

    For many, the rush of endorphins we get from exercise is reason enough to prove it’s good for us. But how do you translate that knowledge into action?

    Prepare well

    Planning and writing down exercise sessions ahead of time makes it more likely you’ll do them, and if you’re exercising before work, smooth the transition out of bed as much as possible. Lay out exercise clothes and shoes the night before, pack your work bag, and plan both your outfit for the day, and your post work-out breakfast.

    For outdoor winter exercise, the right clothing will make a huge difference to your experience. Jackie Newton, an endurance coach, suggests layering up for warmth, with exercise-specific fabrics that dry quicker than cotton. Plan on:

    • A lightweight top made of technical fabric
    • Lightweight fleece for dry weather
    • Breathable, light waterproof for rain
    • Leggings, running tights, tracksuit trousers or shorts
    • A beanie hat
    • Gloves

    Most experts suggest that if it’s really icy out, reschedule outdoor exercise—injuries take a long time to heal and it’s not worth the risk. Some cyclists prefer mountain-biking in winter, and trail-running is less ice-prone than street running, if those are options. If you need music or a podcast, turn the volume low and just listen with one ear-bud, staying aware of what’s going on around you.

    “It’s so much easier to have a training partner,” she said. “If [people] have someone else who they’ve made a promise to…then they find it easier to get their ass out of bed. And also it’s nicer because you can chat to each other, or you can push each other in the moment.” If you can’t cajole a buddy into ensemble exercise, joining a running club, bootcamp, or group swim session could keep you on track.

    Setting a goal is another great way to stay motivated; just make sure its achievable. Sign up for an organized run in three months time, and then follow a training program to get you there (like this one for five kilometers, complete with podcasts.) You don’t have to work out every day: Thirty minutes of cardio exercise three times a week is much better than nothing.

    Winter can also be a time for indoor activities you might not get around to otherwise. Dance, squash, hot or regular yoga, circuit training, and swimming, are all great ways to spend an hour in a long evening that might otherwise be spent eating, drinking, and looking at screens.

    Finally, winter is a beautiful time to do one of the most-overlooked forms of exercise: walking. Try this on a weekend: Get up early and take a train out of the city. Plan a walk that lasts from 11 until 3, ending at a pub or café, so you can eat and get warm before jumping on a train home.

    There’s a debate about the rewards-after-exercise question. Some suggest a small food reward is a good motivation. On the other side, those who think connecting exercise with snacks is a mistake.

    The ideal is probably to try and frame exercise as a pleasure, not a punishment—think of it as personal time, or a time to think, or listen to podcasts.

    Likewise, food ideally shouldn’t be a reward. Whatever you eat, make sure it’s delicious and that you take time over it, which will make it feel more satisfying. If you’re working out, you need to eat some energy-rich carbohydrates—like whole grains and potatoes with the skins on—and some protein, which helps build and repair muscle: oily fish, eggs, and beans all count. Add vegetables and salads, too.

    If it helps motivate you to exercise and form a habit, small food rewards—like a square or two of chocolate—can work. But research also shows that people who exercise can undo a lot of the work making themselves healthier because they feel entitled to eat more. Here are some non-food-based rewards, especially for winter:

    • Join a pool or gym with a sauna, and end your workout with a welcome blast of heat,
    • Soak after a run in a warm bath,
    • Book yourself a massage at the end of a month of wintery work-outs,
    • Think about what you’d find most relaxing (sleep, TV, reading recipe books) and let yourself do it for a chunk of time once you’ve exercised,
    • Take rest days: They’re important for allowing muscles to recover, and they feel all the sweeter when you’ve been out in the cold on the other days of the week.

    - Cassie Werber via Quartz

    Scientists to 'reset' blood proteins in attempt to slow ageing process

    Photo via Ikon Images

    Photo via Ikon Images

    In what could be a fresh chapter in the never-ending story of the search for eternal youth, scientists are to tinker with people’s blood in the hope of slowing down the ageing process and preventing age-related diseases.

    Researchers in California plan to launch a clinical trial of the radical – and highly experimental – approach in the next six months, after a small study in mice found the treatment had promise. 

    People who take part in the trial will have their blood passed through a machine that resets abnormal levels of proteins seen in older blood. The scientists believe these high levels of certain proteins can hamper the growth and maintenance of healthy body tissues, and so contribute to their deterioration in old age.

    Plans for the trial emerged as scientists announced the results of the animal study, which was part-funded by Calico, Google’s life extension company. The study showed that infusions of old blood reduced the growth of fresh liver and brain cells in young mice and impaired their performance in a strength test.

    The same series of experiments found evidence that infusions of young blood could speed up muscle repair in older animals. But Irina Conboy, who led the work at the University of California, Berkeley, said the improvement could be due the dilution of old blood in the animals, rather than the young blood having rejuvenating properties itself.

    The work is the latest in a string of studies to show that molecules in blood may shift the apparent pace of ageing in various bodily tissues. But while much of the previous work has focused on the rejuvenating effects of proteins lurking in young blood, the Berkeley team conclude that abnormal levels of proteins in old blood are more important.

    “These proteins are made by all the tissues in your body every day,” Conboy told the Guardian. “When they are present at low levels, they are important, and you cannot live without them. But with ageing their levels become skewed. Some of them go up, and some go down. So the rational approach is not to give people young blood, but to normalise the levels of these key molecules.”

    The Berkeley team is now working on a device that can filter out high levels of proteins from old human blood and so reset them to more youthful levels. “If you can remove key inhibitor molecules from the blood of an old person and then return that blood into them, that could be immediately therapeutic,” Conboy said.

    “We are developing ideas for clinical trials to see what happens if you normalise levels of one key protein we think is inhibitory,” she added. “We hope to start in six months and have results in three years.

    “Right now our health declines after about seven decades. We are pretty much hoping to extend the productive plateau, where you’re not necessarily the world champion in swimming or running marathons, but you can continue for a few more decades without any critical illnesses.”

    - Ian Sample via The Guardian

    How Age Affects Your Definition Of Happiness

    Photo via Los Angeles Times

    Photo via Los Angeles Times

    Chade-Meng Tan, a former engineer, joined Google in 2000 as employee number 107. Though he played an instrumental role in building Google’s mobile search function, among other technological feats, he’s better known for the mindfulness classes he later led for employees. The role earned him the job title of Jolly Good Fellow (Which Nobody Can Deny), which he parlayed into a mindfulness institute geared toward corporate types.

    In his latest book, Joy on Demand, the Google veteran describes his path from someone who was “constantly miserable” to a much happier guy. How did he get there? Sometime in his mid-20s, he discovered that he wasn’t stuck with self-loathing; temperament, he found, is malleable.

    Successfully reshaping your mindset, he argues, has less to do with hours of therapy and more to do with mental exercises, including one that helps you recognize “thin slices of joy.”

    “Right now, I’m a little thirsty, so I will drink a bit of water. And when I do that, I experience a thin slice of joy both in space and time,” he told CBC News. “It’s not like ‘Yay!”” he notes in Joy on Demand. “It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s kind of nice.’”

    Usually these events are unremarkable: a bite of food, the sensation of stepping from a hot room to an air-conditioned room, the moment of connection in receiving a text from an old friend. Although they last two or three seconds, the moments add up, and the more you notice joy, the more you will experience joy, Tan argues. “Thin slices of joy occur in life everywhere… and once you start noticing it, something happens, you find it’s always there. Joy becomes something you can count on.” That’s because you’re familiarizing the mind with joy, he explains.

    Tan bases this idea on neurological research about how we form habits. Habitual behaviors are controlled by the basal ganglia region of the brain, which also plays a role in the the development of memories and emotions. The better we become at something, the easier it becomes to repeat that behavior without much cognitive effort.

    Tan’s “thin slice” exercise contains a trigger, a routine, and a reward—the three parts necessary to build a habit. The trigger, he says, is the pleasant moment, the routine is the noticing of it, and the reward is the feeling of joy itself.

    The exercise sets the brain up well to slip easily into more formal meditation practices. “Noticing sounds trivial, but it is an important meditative practice in its own right,” writes Tan, adding that “noticing is the prerequisite of seeing. What we do not notice, we cannot see.”

    Other scientific evidence aligns with Tan’s theory. A small study by psychologists from Loyola University published last month in the journal Agingfor instance, showed that among adults over age 55, those who reported a better ability to savor life were more likely to report higher life satisfaction, regardless of ill health. For those less able to relish small events, poor health made all of life seem drearier.

    People seem to get better at savoring the moment as they age. A small 2014 study by marketing professors at Dartmouth College, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, found that older people are more likely to define who they are by naming everyday positive moments. Those in their teens and twenties cited extraordinary moments, such as graduation or a first car, as defining. “Ordinary moments that make up everyday life tend to be overlooked when the future seems boundless,” the authors wrote. “However, these ordinary experiences increasingly contribute to happiness as people come to realize their days are numbered.”

    - Lila MacLellan via Quartz

    Why You're Not Aging Like Celebrities

    Photo by Mario Sorrenti

    Photo by Mario Sorrenti

    I’m holding up pretty well. I’ve earned plenty of Amex points from my skincare habits, which include the occasional micro-current facial, intense pulsed-light treatment, and prescription cream. People regularly look surprised when I reveal my age—though they could just be in shock that I divulge it so freely. But I’d be lying if I didn’t cop to wondering (sometimes aloud, in front of the mirror), Why am I not aging like J. Lo, or Gwyneth, or Sandra, or…(insert the name of your favorite celeb here)?

    “I have this conversation 10 times a day with patients,” the Manhattan dermatologic surgeon Dendy Engelman declares. “They’ll say, ‘I work out. I’m vegan. I don’t drink alcohol. I drink lots of water. Why do these actresses still look so much better than I do?’ And I can tell you, because I treat a lot of them: Anyone who looks like that and says she hasn’t done any kind of enhancement isn’t telling the truth.”

    That’s not really news, but in the last decade, the “enhancement” game has changed. A 40-something actress might not be going under the knife for a major overhaul, but chances are she is doling out for frequent minor tune-ups, which can be even more effective at stopping the clock. So when Lopez took to Twitter last year to denounce claims that she’s “had plastic surgery of any kind,” she might well have been telling the truth. The fact is, with the nonsurgical treatments available now, she hasn’t had to.

    Still, that’s not to say that the quest to remain 33 forever is a walk in the park; it’s more like a marathon. To “mature” like a celebrity—say the dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons who treat them—requires a degree of commitment, in terms of both money and time, that mere mortals might find unreasonable, if not insane. “One patient who is an on-air personality spends $6,000 every two weeks,” Engelman confides, adding that it’s not unusual for patients to cough up $25,000 to $50,000 annually, not on a full swanlike transformation, but just to look like the best version of themselves.

    For some perspective on how our perception of aging has changed, consider the following: Sandra Bullock, 50, has never looked better. Conversely, Ann B. Davis, the recently deceased actress who played Alice, the matronly housekeeper, on The Brady Bunch, was just 42 when she was cast on the show. Jean Stapleton was roughly the same age as Julia Roberts is now (47) during the first season of All in the Family, and Sally Field was 42 when she played Roberts’s mother in Steel Magnolias.

    Part of this shift is due to the fact that our culture is allowing women to be sexy and youthful into their 40s, 50s, and 60s without judgment. But, according to Harold Lancer, the Beverly Hills dermatologist who treats Beyoncé and Scarlett Johansson, the seismic change in how women in the spotlight age has less to do with society than it does skincare: Actresses in their 40s today were part of the first generation to commit to sunscreen and Retin-A in their 20s. Apparently, if you want to look good when you are 44, you need to start working at it when you are 24—or younger.

    Dakota Fanning was 9 when she first walked into my office,” Lancer says. “I make sure my patients of any age understand the value of exercise, avoiding carbohydrates, salt, and dairy. Then I start them on a skincare routine. After two weeks, we reevaluate, and they’ll have microdermabrasion. At six weeks, we’ll try ultrasound or radiofrequency to lift the neck, cheekbones, and brows. Needles are considered at about three months in. My clients aren’t just in it for a quick fix. They understand that they’re starting a cycle of chronic and expensive maintenance. There’s no such thing as planting agarden that doesn’t need weeding.”

    Among the more effective weed killers available is Botox, the neurotoxin that some derms are now injecting well before deep wrinkles show up. “I use it in the whole face, and do it lightly, so you retain expressions but don’t have lines at rest,” says Santa Monica dermatologist Karyn Grossman. “If the lines are still deeper than what patients want, I’ll inject a bit of the fine-line filler Belotero Balance.” As for undereye filler, she says, “actors don’t wait until the hollows are bad to fix them. Normally, their director of photography will say something about it sooner rather than later.”

    njectables are still the dermatologic indulgence that everyone likes to deny. Over-filled lips, a puffed-out “monkey mouth,” and inflated cheekbones are so stigmatized that we only see them on Bravo. But the truth is that A-listers are still filling up, and doing so frequently. It’s just harder to discern because fillers such as Belotero, which many celebrity dermatologists seem to favor, can be administered in microdroplets with a tiny needle, resulting in a more natural look. Perhaps that’s why they’re being used to restore volume in areas that were rarely considered before, like around the temples. Grossman even injects earlobes that have been overstretched by years of heavy Harry Winstons. “And I’ll inject filler into the hands and forearms of patients who are very thin, because that can make a person look much older,” she adds.

    Some of the most dramatic advancements in skincare, however, have been in the realm of tightening and firming. Ultrasound treatments (like Ultherapy), radiofrequency therapy (like Thermage), and gentler lasers (like Clear & Brilliant) are making it possible to restore texture and tone quickly and with minimal recovery time. Lancer says that the most “social downtime” any of his Hollywood patients can tolerate is about three days, so they opt for less-ablative lasers with shorter gaps between sessions. Radiofrequency, meanwhile, requires little to no time away from the spotlight, making it an attractive choice for red carpet regulars. “Gwyneth is very open about how much she loves Thermage,” Grossman says. “It keeps the skin thick, and I like to keep my patients’ skin thick as long as possible.”

    When stars aren’t at the dermatologist’s, chances are they’re getting facials—very high-tech facials. Microcurrent machines that temporarily stimulate muscle tone are now as common as steamers among top aestheticians, as are light-emitting diode (LED) treatments, which speed regeneration and impart a multi-day glow in just 20 minutes. “I use LED lights, ultrasound, microdermabrasion, and oxygen,” says the Los Angeles facialist Cristina Radu, who treats Cindy Crawford, among others. “I tell new clients that if we do a ‘boot camp’ of four facials in a row, three weeks apart, we’ll see big changes.”

    New York microcurrent pioneer Joanna Vargas’s Triple Crown facials cost $400 a pop, and her regulars come in weekly. The lifted look that results lasts several days, and the idea is to “wake up” the muscles continually so they tighten—like Pilates for the face. “I do my best work when I can treat people over a period of time,” says Vargas, who boasts Rachel Weisz, Julianne Moore, and Naomi Watts as devotees.

    It’s an intensive regimen by any definition: If you start weekly LED treatments, biweekly facials, and quarterly Botox in your early 30s and then build up to biannual Thermage or Ultherapy, biannual filler, and the occasional laser treatment, you have a chance of looking like J. Lo at 45. And the results will be so gradual that nobody will raise an eyebrow—important now that an alleged eyelift is considered headline news by CNN (our condolences, Renée). But, perhaps in the name of sisterhood, some stars are starting to admit that looking like a million bucks costs about that much too.

    Sofia Vergara, 42, has been comically open about the time she clocks at Engelman’s and Lancer’s offices. Gwyneth Paltrow’s candidness about going in for “little things, like lasers” is a breath of fresh air. And just when you thought Robin Wright couldn’t be more likable, she admitted in an interview last year to a twice-annual “sprinkle of Botox,” adding, “Everybody f***ing does it.”

    - Christine Lennon via W Magazine