How to age gracefully for cheap

grandmother making faces
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We are living in times when people are scared of aging. In the 21st century, aging is viewed as a weakness rather than celebrated as an achievement of wisdom. That is why the “Youthful look forever promise” became a million dollar industry.

Most people (and especially women) want to look young forever or at least as long as possible. Yes, I am one of them. However, I find that there are two groups of “youth preservers”. The first group looks only for the magic pill which will instantly reverse the aging for whatever price and regardless of its long-term effects on their body and mind. The other group is willing to work on slowing the aging day by day without spending a fortune and without destroying their body. I believe I now belong to the other group. I eat very healthily, exercise daily and take care of my facial skin. Yes, facial skin is usually the first one to show the age of people.

colourful capsules
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The magic pill for the youthful facial skin

Multiple products claim to save your youthful look. I tried a fair share of them, creams, tinctures, masks, you name it. Their price ranged from affordable to super expensive. Those creams did not make my face better but rather worse (some creams dried my skin out, others made me break out). Also, my wallet was suffering.

Then I explored the possibilities of mechanical treatments. I made an appointment for facial micro needling. When I saw the pictures of bloody faces after the procedure I chickened out and canceled my appointment.


After that, I decided to go for a consultation to a renowned botox clinic. Lady with a frozen face of a porcelain doll was my consultant. She looked at my facial skin and said that she can delete my four forehead fine lines for $400 while also pulling my eyebrows up. She also said that such a procedure would have to be repeated every 3 months. I raised my forehead and deepened my fine lines on the idea of spending $1200 a year on putting hardcore poison in my skin. I asked her if there were any side effects and she said no. I excused myself and went home to do an extensive research on botox myself. I found a lot of articles about botox, most of them written by a plastic surgeon and/or dermatologist. These articles all said that there are no long-term effects to injecting botox in the face. No wonder they said so when the botox industry revenue almost doubled from 2015 to 2017. Nobody wants to lose such a profitable business.

However, there are multiple studies showing that botox actually has long-term effects on animals (which it is tested on) as well as on people who pay to have it injected into their faces. One study suggests that frozen forehead causes frozen heart and lack of empathy towards others. Another study says that frozen face which does not allow smiling blocks neurotransmitters to the brain which would otherwise release happy endorphins following a smile. That is a perfect way to get depressed and start spending money on antidepressants. Lucky pharma! But probably the most interesting research is the one which shows that paralyzing forehead with botox can rearrange the brain sensory map of hands which would mean that hand skills would decrease in people who look young thanks to botox.

After reading all these studies I decided that I will stop looking for the magic pill and try to find a way how to age gracefully.

Aging slowly and for less money

First of all, I started to observe women in public to find out which type of skin seems to be more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. I found out that women with oily skin and women who trained themselves to use their facial muscles less have a much smaller amount of fine lines and wrinkles. Therefore, I switched my “anti-wrinkles not working creams” for organic avocado oil which I apply multiple times a day. I had a laser eye surgery done which, among seeing well long distance, prevents squinting. I also make sure to use sunglasses as much as possible which prevents me from squinting. On top of it, I use an organic sunscreen to protect my facial skin from the sun and unwanted chemicals in regular sunscreen.

Sanford Bennett

Aaaaaand…I started to do facial exercises. Again, I researched all different options. From Sanford Bennett who supposedly looked 40 in his 70s in 1912, to modern facial exercises. I was interested in facial yoga which took over the Facebook but decided against it. It is taught by an Asian woman and, as we all know, Asian skin seems to look young and wrinkle-free for a very long time. Therefore I was looking for facial exercises taught by a Caucasian woman and I found one – Carolyn’s facial fitness.

Carolyn is based in Seattle and has been working on improving her and other people’s faces for a long time. I ordered set of exercises from her website for USD 40. I started to exercise beginning February 2018 every other day. At first, I did not see any changes, some of the lines felt even bigger. But I kept going and now I feel like these exercises are good for my face. On the days I exercise, my face is less puffy and fine lines are smaller than on the days I don’t exercise. I have also noticed that my face looks more radiant and less tired. I do understand that doing these exercises is going to be now a lifelong project. But that’s ok.

Thanks to the exercises I also became more aware of all my facial muscles. That way I can train myself to use them less and prevent wrinkles in my face naturally.

Me without make up after doing my facial exercises
My face after doing my facial exercises and before make-up

My dear reader, thank you that you made it to the end and hopefully enjoyed my article which is the first one of many describing my journey to saving and investing money in one of the most expensive city on the planet to reach my dream of retiring earlier than at 65, staying healthy and youthful as long as possible, living in Nicaragua in winter and up here on the West Coast in summer, spending more time with my family in Europe, traveling more and making more people smile. Feel free to share it with your friends. Thank you, I like you already!

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