[By Anna Lee]
When Ian Fleming first created the fictional character James Bond 60 years ago in 1952, I’m sure he didn’t expect agent 007 to become one of the biggest movie franchise character in Hollywood history. Apart from his cool gadgets, fast cars and bevy of beautiful Bond girls; part of our fascination with Bond lie in how he seems to defy Mother Nature and cheat Father Time. As the rest of the world start worrying about thinning hair and sagging skin, Bond appears to improve with age like a good bottle of Chiraz. Apart from possible genetics blessing, why not consider the very viable fact that “The Spy Who Loves Me” is actually “The Spy Who Loves Grooming“? To help channel the inner debonair gentleman in you; here are my 7 top secret tips to bulletproof you from premature aging.
1. EXERCISE REGULARLY
Partaking in physically- taxing activities such as bullet dodging, car chasing and jumping off buildings help to keep Bond smart and shredded. Although it may take a little more than a jog on the treadmill to achieve the enviable physique of Daniel Craig; staying in shape is the key to maintaining health in the long run. In order to keep weight off, it is recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Regular exercise can also help prevent high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. Apart from the physical well- being; exercise can bring about increased levels of serotonin to the brain which help to relieve stress and improve focus, attention span and mental clarity.
2. EAT HEALTHY
We are what we eat so I’m sure Bond is not all kidney pies and baked beans. Any nutritionist will be able to tell you that in the quest to stay in fighting-fit shape, a good diet is half the battle won. The worse habit we can be caught guilty of is to fool ourselves with faulty logic in order to give in to cravings. That hour long body combat class does not warrant you the right to indulge in a post workout meal of cheeseburger and fries. A well balanced diet will help maintain a trim figure that keeps people guessing by shaving years off your actual age.
3. DRINK MODERATELY
Copious amount of alcohol has both short and long-term side effects on your appearance. It is probably wiser to say the line, “shaken, not stirred” once and not five times at the cocktail bar. Besides appearing a tad over-trying; bingeing on alcohol, even on one night, will make fine lines appear much more pronounced the following day. What’s more, downing a couple of dirty martinis every evening is the equivalent of adding several hundred calories to your daily energy intake. Soon, your waistline will be threatening you with a “License To Spill”, not a “Licence To Kill”!
4. CROWNING GLORY
Studies show that up to 40% of men experience some hair loss by the age of 35. However, this certainly does not mean that you allow your looks (and perceived virility) to go down the drain with your shedding strands. Currently, there are two FDA approved medications for the treatment of hair loss. Firstly, we have Finasteride or Propecia for male pattern baldness. Although highly effective, a small number of men were reported to experience the very ‘un-Bond- liked’ sexual side effects of decreased libido and erectile dysfunction with Propecia. Fortunately, these are reversible once the drug is discontinued. The other medication, Minoxidil, works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles to help promote hair growth. It can be gently massaged into the scalp once or twice daily and can be found in products such as Rogaine (boots.com) and Hair Rejuvenator (sloaneshop.com). Cropping your coif into something more flattering is another sure way to win. Even if you have a cheque book to match, avoid a Donald Trump-esque comb over at all cost.
5. BE SHADY
The sun is probably the “Dr.No” against graceful ageing. Although outdoors living may be a big part of the glamorous Bond life, we can do much better with adequate sun protection. Up to 80% of skin changes associated with ageing such as wrinkles, pigmentation, uneven skin tone and broken capillaries are all the result of years spent in the sun. The only leathery thing hanging on any aspiring Bond girl should be an alligator Birkin and not your arm!
6. SKIN DEEP
Great hair and dapper duds aren’t enough to hide problem skin. To improve your overall appearance, it is no longer enough to grab that nearest bar of soap or stick to that one for all cleanser you have been using since 19. Skin care can be more baffling than rocket science that requires cryptic deciphering with the onslaught of products in the market. Like the Saville Row tux that fits Bond to a T, a routine will only work if it’s designed to meet the basic needs of your skin. A daily face wash, a twice-a-week exfoliating scrub, a sunblock and a moisturizer for the night should form the foundation of your regimen. Anti- oxidants are the latest rage in defying ageing. Nothing short of the best, a super-potent example is Astaxanthin extracted from red algae and nicknamed Vitamin X or Supervitamin as it was found to be 6000 times stronger than Vitamin C and 550 times stronger than Vitamin E in providing antioxidant protection and anti-aging support. Astaxanthin is the active ingredient found in Skin Superfood (sloaneshop.com), an effective, fuss free product just right for the active gentleman living life in the fast lane.
7. M KNOWS BEST
With every conniving villainess that breaks his heart, Bond can always depend on M to fish out good sound advice. Similarly, we can always learn a thing or two about anti- ageing from our female companions. One of those gems is getting to know the doctor giving her the helping hand.
“There’s a growing trend for male patients to seek out treatments to spruce up their appearance in recent years; both with their partners and on their own accord,” says Dr. Toby Hui of The Sloane Clinic. “As there are obvious differences not only in skin composition but actual needs between the sexes; it is also important for the modern Adonis to check the doctor’s credentials and his or her experience in male aesthetics.”