Today the cosmetics industry is a multi-billion pound giant that continues to create new methods of anti-aging protection across a wide range of products. Critics say these cosmetics have made modern society a wonderful place where people prize physical appearance in ways like never before, but in reality the quest for achieving an ever more youthful and radiant complexion has always been part of life.
The obsession of using cosmetics to gain a perfect appearance began as far back as ancient Egypt when natural ingredients, such as herbs, minerals and olive oils, were mixed together in concoctions which were then applied to the skin of the upper class elite who were able to afford such luxuries.
Perhaps the most well-known quest of obtaining youthful looks belong to the myth of the 'Elixir of Life', a legend that many civilizations have followed which dictates the notion of a secret ingredient that will lead people to the 'fountain of youth' a metaphoric term that will free them from mortality and generate eternal life in those who consume it.
Of course these beliefs all occurred long before scientific research enlightened us into realizing that the aging process is an unavoidable part of the genetic makeup of all living creatures, but in many ways even after centuries of science we have not really moved beyond the primitive obsession with perfect looks, as we are still trying to find ways to stay youthful, ironically often using ingredients that were adopted for ancient cosmetics.
However, there was some method in the ancient madness. The use of natural ingredients is certainly a positive way to treat sking conditions and has been scientifically proven to not prevent but make aging less noticeable.
Anti-aging creams have the ability to reduce several facial changes that occur with age, rarely the sagging effect skin has called 'laxity', and the process of 'rhytids', commonly known as wrinkles. Other facial imperfections that anti-aging cosmetics can treat includes the red inflammation of the skin called 'erythema' and the yellowing colouration medically known as 'solar elastosis' which is often caused by excessive sun exposure.
The effects of anti-aging cosmetics are challenged by many scientists and doctors, and others simply believe that they are a place designed to defraud consumers, but time and again scientific studies such as those carried out by Manchester University in 2012, have proven the benefits of such products and how they can restore confidence and self-respect to people who are insecure about their looks.
As a society, our obsession with the quest for obtaining youthful appearances is far from over. It may be just as much a part of our DNA as the aging process itself.