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6 reasons aging isn’t as awful as the cosmetics industry claims

Meryl Streep

By Alexandra Spunt for

Aging sucks, right? Gray hairs, wrinkles, sagging skin, and all the gifts of girlhood gone in the blink of a birthday candle. Certainly according to the beauty business, it’s enemy number one. Flip through a magazine and you’ll see just how much money goes into researching—or is that branding?—the latest and greatest anti-aging ingredients. And while few turn up sound science, and others are downright sketchy, women pay out the nose for these products because we seem to have accepted that this is our fate: to fight aging, well, until the death.

Obviously, we all want to look our best. But on a recent drive back from Vegas—a strange place indeed—I got to thinking about aging, and why it is that I’m not really buying how bad it is anymore for our looks. And it’s not for lack of vanity: I can obsess over five pounds and that cyst on my chin with the best of them. But in my twenties, it was this idea of aging that really got to me: Every tiny new crease came under the looking glass, every new hair in an unwanted place was bemoaned. And it’s not that any of this has magically stopped, but I definitely don’t dramatize these changes like before.

Then, it clicked. The reason I don’t obsess about aging with the same fervor as I once did is because I don’t buy, or buy into, the anti-aging products. My word…natural beauty, you really are the gift that keeps on giving!

So I slather on the best creams and oils I can find, say a few prayers to the skin gods, try to stress less, eat sardines, and hope for the best knowing that I’m doing my best. And it turns out, if you’re not too worried about wrinkles and gray hair (I’m still a little worried obvs) getting older is kind of awesome. Here are six things I like about it. (Siobhan will do a similar list some time soon!)

And we would love to hear yours! (Note when I say aging, that may mean changes you’ve noticed from 20 to 25 or the things that you’ve learned now that you’re 60.)

1. Your skin is more consistent. Except in more extreme cases like the one I described here, according to our experience and the testimonials of other women, your skin does balance out with time.

2. You’re more comfortable in your body. Putting aside those five pounds or the cellulite on your thigh, living longer in our bodies often helps make us more at ease in them too. We realize sometimes the weird quirks make us interesting; we finally understand that the stuff we’re so unhappy with are things the lovers in our lives rarely notice.

3. You dress your body better too. And luckily these days fashion is all about dressing to the beat of your own drum anyways. Don’t look great in skinny jeans? Me neither! As we get older we’re more inclined to find the uniform that makes us happy, rather than trying to mold our bodies to the latest trends.

Keep reading for three more reasons…

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