NEWS, VIEWS, & REVIEWS: Memory Age: What It Is, Why It’s Important, and Practical Applications for Medical Aesthetics Practitioners

November 2017 | Volume 16 | Issue 11 | Feature | 1170 | Copyright © 2017

Lovely Laban MSN GNP-C

Skin by Lovely, Portland, OR; Santa Monica, CA

Abstract

A recent study by a leading medical aesthetics practice has revealed that women have a “Memory Age” that is about 10 years younger than their actual age. Skin by Lovely (Portland, OR; Santa Monica, CA) asked 350 women ages 30-70 to reveal their Memory Age. Participants were asked to close their eyes, conjure up a mental picture of themselves, and state what age they looked in their minds.

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A recent study by a leading medical aesthetics practice has revealed that women have a “Memory Age” that is about 10 years younger than their actual age. Skin by Lovely (Portland, OR; Santa Monica, CA) asked 350 women ages 30-70 to reveal their Memory Age. Participants were asked to close their eyes, conjure up a mental picture of themselves, and state what age they looked in their minds.

Key Findings: The Mind Is Playing Tricks on Us

Overwhelmingly, the respondents all stated that they are carrying around a “memory photo” of themselves, and she is younger than they are today. In fact, most women (62 percent) had a 1-10-year gap between their Memory Age and real age regardless of how old they are. And while the main characteristics of one’s younger self were no surprise (younger, fewer wrinkles, better skin, more rested), the survey included some unexpected findings. Almost 40 percent were surprised by how much younger their Memory Age is, even though we all look in the mirror every day.The difference between Memory Age and actual age did not vary by age group. Regardless of whether they are in their 30s, 40s, 50s, or 60s, the responses showed that nobody wants to be 21 again – even in their memories.Forty percent of women associate their Memory Age with a specific period in their lives – chief among them is not love and marriage, it’s their careers! Has it finally become more about climbing that ladder, than approaching that altar?Only 15 percent of respondents had tried injectables like Botox and fillers. But when this group is split by age, the numbers tell a different story: 30 percent of women 30 to 44 have tried injectables, while less than 6 percent of women 50-70 have tried injectables. Life and business is competitive and Gen X is working hard to keep its edge.

Memory Age in Clinical Practice

The findings of the study were interesting, but what do they mean for aesthetic medicine practitioners? One key point is that self-image is subjective. While most patients will agree that they want a younger, more refreshed look, they may not see the same things that medical professionals see. Selfimage is a loaded word and can be difficult for patients to describe. During consultation, it can be useful to ask patients to go through the Memory Age exercise in an effort to understand their desired outcome. This can be facilitated by asking them to bring a photo of their younger self to the appointment so you can identify areas to target and set goals together. This not only removes some of the subjectivity associated with aesthetic medicine, it also shifts the focus to an outcome rather than pinpointing problem areas, making the process more positive in nature.Another key takeaway from the survey is that restoring a patient’s Memory Age (1-10 years younger than they are now) is an achievable goal when considering the many non-surgical tools available today. Most women we surveyed cited youthfulness, fewer wrinkles, and better skin as the main differences between their actual age and their Memory Age and all can be addressed using today’s new and innovative products.

Targeting Smarter

Aesthetic medicine has grown exponentially over the last several decades. According to the American Society of Aesthetics Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) 2016 Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank Statistics, between 1997 and 2016, surgical procedures grew by 99 percent, compared to an incredible 650 percent surge in non-surgical procedures. The balance has clearly tipped, confirming that patients are looking for a more subtle, natural way to turn back time.Contributing to that growth is the fact that the treatments available have increased in number, improved and evolved. Since Botox first came to market in 1989, medical aesthetics have benefitted from the advent of dermal fillers, improved peels, and techniques like microneedling that allow practitioners to offer more subtle solutions to combat the appearance of aging. Most recently we were introduced to Kybella, which presents an alternative to chin liposuction never before available. The

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