Staying young is not just a matter of finding the right anti-ageing cream for your skin. It’s about a healthy lifestyle and investing in your overall well-being rather than a pretty face. According to Dr Anadela Serra Visconti, one of the top Italian Aesthetic Medicine experts, author of the bestseller ‘Resto giovane, se voglio. Come sentirsi bene ed essere in forma ad ogni età‘ (I’ll stay young, if I want. How to feel good and keep fit at any age): “the quality of our life depends on genetics, but we can partly change our destiny through our choices and behaviour”.
Dr Visconti, you often reiterate that staying young is a deliberate choice: if we train our mind, the body will follow. Could you clarify this connection?
Research has shown that important paradoxes exist regarding how we think about old age and how we actually age. When our mind makes positive decisions, our body reacts by producing anti-ageing substances such as serotonin, endorphins and anti-inflammatory cytokines. All of these substances also act on our genes, improving our life and longevity.
You state that one of the first secrets to staying young is having a good relationship with time and knowing how to use it. Yet many women are suffocated by family and professional chores and just can’t find a moment for themselves. What do you suggest in these cases?
Certainly we, women are penalized in this sense. But we must also try to help ourselves and stop always saying, “it’s all right” forcing ourselves to race around and wearing ourselves out. We must also learn to be able to say “No” to certain commitments without feeling guilty, allowing us to follow our biological rhythms rather than social pressure. Instead of exhausting ourselves, we should educate those around us to be independent. Taking some time off for ourselves will not only make us more pleasant to be with but also improve our mood. Dedicating one or two hours daily to ourselves will make us and those around us happier.
In your latest book, ‘Resto giovane, se voglio‘, you stress that beauty can be expressed in all stages of life. Indeed, over time we can learn to manage our image better and overcome many of those insecurities we had when we were younger. How can we achieve that?
With maturity comes wisdom. We better understand the strengths of our body, our personality and our way of dealing with others. We’ve learnt how to be more spontaneous, relaxed and less critical towards ourselves. With age, we’ve learnt how to make the best out of what we have and who we want to be: in other words, we acquire a real winning confidence that doesn’t depend on our years. We can be great at any time.
What are the causes that accelerate skin ageing? And what can we do to improve our relationship with the mirror after the age of 50?
Sun exposure is one of the main causes. I would advise applying factor 50 sunscreen cream every morning, all year round. Regarding our relationship with the mirror, I think a consultation with an aesthetic doctor can certainly improve it. The key is to using age-appropriate cosmetic hygiene and suggesting preventive treatments to keep us looking good for as long as possible. Prevention is essential!
What is the treatment that is most requested by middle-aged women?
Above all, it’s to rejuvenate the face and neck. Most of my patients have the impression that: “Everything’s falling down!”. It’s usually not as bad as they think but, we all tend to exaggerate our defects. In this case, however, I often suggest the Hidden Filler Technique, a sort of lifting without surgery, based on hyaluronic acid that lifts the whole face invisibly. The effect is immediate, it leaves no marks, takes 10 years away and you can go to a party the same evening.
Belly fat is one of the main concerns for women. Any suggestions on how to get rid of that?
Paying attention to nutrition and weight is a must: you need to diet a little for a flat stomach! But we can also help with localized infiltrative lipolytic technique: small injections in the adipose areas of the abdomen which in 1-2 sessions reduce the adipose volume. They are drugs that destroy adipocytes in about 2-3 weeks. The result is very nice, but you have to plan well ahead.
What do you suggest to those women who cannot afford aesthetic medicine sessions but still want to improve their look?
First of all, I would suggest looking after the quality of their lifestyle: whether choosing the right food, cosmetics or practising a regular physical activity. Above all, I would recommend not to let yourself go because this is the most important type of prevention whatever your financial situation.
We often hear about successful ageing. How would you define it, according to your personal and professional experience?
It’s that time of our life in which we don’t regret a thing because we have been able to get older remaining in good health, with a pleasant appearance and an active mind. Staying young is a life project we should embrace and stick to no matter what the circumstances. That’s the reason why I wrote my book: successful ageing means being productive, physically healthy, mentally fit, and, most importantly, being able to lead a meaningful life.
And finally, in your opinion, what is the ideal of beauty to which we should aspire? And does this still exist?
There are no set rules for beauty or age: never follow the current trends. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, we must develop the ability to recognize it in ourselves and then be able to radiate it without feeling we’re too old.