For youthful appearance, snake oil or sex?
When I interviewed Michael Aziz for this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column about whether lack of sleep leads to obesity, he mentioned that having sex can help you sleep better. That better sleep might in turn help regulate key hormones that govern your weight, arming you against obesity.
Plus, as he writes in his book "The Perfect 10 Diet," "Research indicates that people who have sex regularly have increased sex hormones, have improved immunity, stay younger, feel happier, and live longer."
I was just sitting down to blog about that little nugget when I got a press release from Consumer Reports noting the publication this morning of its May issue, which features assessments of popular age-defying products such as anti-wrinkle serums and hair-growth drugs. Seems if we can't actually stay young, many of us are interested in buying stuff that might help us at least look younger.
Unfortunately, with the exception of hair dyes, which CR says do a fine job of masking gray hair, wrinkle-erasing serums and hair-growth formulas to combat baldness are pretty much a waste of money. And some of them cost lots of money indeed.
The magazine tested nine wrinkle serums (which, CR explains, are thinner and more fluid than creams and soak into the skin more readily) and found that none effectively improved the appearance of wrinkled skin. The magazine suggests that we use moisturizers and sunscreen to prevent wrinkling in the first place. Otherwise, CR says, see a dermatologist for a prescription retinoid topical treatment.
As for the baldness cures, CR looked into drug treatments such as Rogaine and Propecia and also at the pros and cons of hair-graft surgery. The drugs can have unpleasant side effects, including depression and impotence, and while some modestly improve hair growth, that ends when you go off the drug. Surgery received high marks as a baldness solution from nearly half of the CR readers the magazine surveyed, but it's really expensive -- in the neighborhood of $10,000 -- and can cause infection and scarring. Many readers who'd suffered hair loss opted to wear wigs. CR's tips for drawing attention away from a bald head include dressing better and getting in better physical shape.
For those of us whose remaining hair has gone gray, CR found that the 13 home hair dyes they tested did a fine job of reinstating brown color -- for as little as $13.
So, if you're feeling your age, you might want to skip the serums and baldness remedies. Go ahead and dye your hair. And, oh: Don't forget to have sex. (Bonus: It's free.)
Do you have little tricks for fighting the effects of aging? Or are you happy to let nature take its course and look your authentic age? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, and do take today's poll:
Too old to tweet? No way! Look for me and the other Local Living writers at @wposthome/local-living. And keep track of my "Me Minus 10" effort to lose 10 pounds before I turn 50 at twitter.com/jhuget.
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