Free shipping on all domestic orders over $39

In defense of anti-aging

August 22, 2017 Reviewed by Marta 3 Comments

Anti-aging is banned according to Allure magazine. As the founder of a website and community called Truth In Aging with a mission to find anti-aging products that work and do no harm, I am duty, if not honor, bound to comment. Allure says its decision to ban anti-aging is a positive reinforcement of aging. I say it is a step back.

The current issue of Allure with the ever-splendid Helen Mirren on the cover pledges to ban the term anti-aging because “we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle”. This pledge however well-intentioned will be virtually impossible to sustain since Allure is a magazine devoted to beauty products, many of which use the descriptor anti-aging. Yet it isn’t the impracticality of Allure’s initiative that bothers me, but the thinking behind it and the potential consequences.

Stepping back for a moment, I recall launching Truth In Aging and seeing quite a few raised eyebrows and some people suggested that calling my website Truth In Beauty would be more palatable. I did not choose the name lightly and its stark candor seemed to resonate with many women. Let’s face it we are aging. So why not call a spade a spade.

Now, Allure’s point is that the “anti” in “anti-aging” creates negative connotations and that, by accepting the term, we are denying the beauty in our aging selves. I could not agree less. I am closer to 60 than 50 and I love my age. With all that I have done and seen during my life and with my body and mind still functioning, I am an enriched and fortunate woman. But that doesn’t mean that I am not going to combat the ravages of aging with as much energy as I can muster.

And, yes, I did use the word combat. And, unlike Allure, I do see aging as something to battle with. I can embrace the aging me and still fight back at those uncooperative skin cells and stiffening muscles. Whether in the gym or at the vanity table, I am taking them on. Call me a wrinkle warrior!

Ban “anti-aging” and what you end up with is euphemism. An anti-aging serum becomes something for “hydration” or “preservation”. Allure hasn’t been able to come up with any credible alternatives in the magazine or the editor’s Twitter feed. Ten or so years ago, the beauty industry avoided the terms aging and anti-aging and hid behind platitudes and airbrushed models. When I started Truth In Aging a shift was discernible, boosted by the real women, real issues type of advertising campaigns trailblazed by brands such as Dove. Gradually Big Beauty started to use the A word.

Now aging and anti-aging are used in the cosmetic industry for what they are. The customers are aging women and the industry is making (or claiming to make) anti-aging technologies. This is all good. Allure’s word game is turning the clock back. How ironic.

  • August 23, 2017

    by Jennifer

    Unbelievable!! First of all I am sick of a person or group saying that they support all women when in truth they only support women who agree with them. If you support a woman's rights then you actually have to support their right to have an opinion that doesn't agree with you. Stop telling women that they are wrong just because you want to make yourself feel superior. A superior attitude is respecting other peoples rights, regardless.
    Anti-aging is a descriptive term. Passive not aggressive. Anti -age is an aggressive term. Quite often you will find this aggressive term in the form of pictures of women in their teens and 20's plastered throughout a magazine. A magazine like Allure.
    Personally I would subscribe to a magazine which featured women who have actually aged. Truth. Aging. Not words you think of when reading a magazine.
    I support healthy aging, I enjoy reading truth about products that I am considering. I am not anti-age. I am 54 years old.( Apologies to those persons offended by the word 'old') I grew up reading those same magazines that touted youth and beauty as synonymous.

    Allure made millions selling "anti-aging" plastered on their covers. This is just a new marketing idea, intended to make more money. I support their right to do it. I also support anti-aging for those who choose to use terms that actually aren't harmful.

  • August 22, 2017

    by Justin

    Yes! I read the article from Allure over the weekend regarding their new word choice and was so disappointed. I don't think they really thought this new point of view through. What's next? Can we not use the word diet? Or should we not tell people to lose weight because that doesn't have positive reinforcement? I could go on, but you get the point. This is beyond illogical..especially from a magazine as you pointed out that covers beauty products. Why not stop publishing the magazine if that's how they REALLY feel. *Sigh*

  • August 22, 2017

    by Minnie

    I see. Without the term "anti-aging," it becomes difficult to to target older women for marketing purposes. If, to quote you, an anti-aging serum becomes "hydration," or "preservation,"maybe that's all it is. A hydrating cream.
    You say you want women to be happy. Let's see it from their point of view, such as Helen Mirren's. Stop referring to age as something unattractive to be put off. Too bad for the cosmetic industry and the money to be made off women's expense.

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More