This is what 63 looks like (hold the Botox please)

mellieb on 23 Mar 2010 at 2:27pm

Frequent visitors to our community have expressed a great appreciation for the access RealSelf offers to unbiased, real stories, opinions, and ratings of big personal care decisions like a Tummy Tuck, Mommy Makeover, or less invasive cosmetic procedures like Restylane or Botox.

But as a friend's wife said to me recently, "I'm not the cosmetic surgery type. I want to go all-natural as long as possible." She's not alone. I recall seeing a statement by the CEO of Allergan, the maker of Botox and Latisse, who reported that Botox had only achieved a 5% market penetration. For the millions of men and women have decided against getting Botox, it could be due to some common hurdles to making the purchase: fear, cost, social stigma, product alternatives, etc.

To tap into the information sought out by the non-Botox crowd we interviewed Karyn Calabrese, an entrepreneur, holistic health expert, former Oprah guest, and previously bestowed the title of "Raw Foodist of the Year". At 63 {editor note: sorry for shorting her of 2 years in prior version of this} she has become a role model to numerous women who want to fight aging from within, through lifestyle changes and diet.

RealSelf ("RS"): Can diet changes really slow down signs of aging? What have you personally experienced?

Karyn: Without a doubt. I changed my diet thirty years ago for health reasons transitioning gradually from a Standard American Diet (SAD) to vegetarian to vegan to an all raw vegan diet. I also detox my body regularly which I find just as important if not more important than the diet changes. Not only did I start feeling great but I stopped aging at the same rate as I would have on the SAD diet. I look 10-15 years younger than my biological age without surgery or botox. I feel younger now than I did in my 20’s.

Before I started taking care of myself, I had the worst PMS, terrible mood swings, I was tired and sick all the time. Now I have tons of energy, I feel great all the time, my skin glows. I don’t believe disease and illness happen for no reason. The clients who have done my detox program are a testament to this as well.

RS: What do you think about wrinkle treatments like Botox? Poison or potion?

Karyn: In my opinion, they’re poison. They terrify me. At this point, those treatments are still an experiment. People have no idea what we’re going to find out in 20-25 years. The scariest part is the regularity with which people get it done, and injecting mystery chemicals into healthy tissue seems dangerous to me. It may be fast and convenient now but the long term effect is too scary. I don’t judge the choices people make but if there’s another option, something natural, safe and time tested, why not try it?

RS: Then is it safe to assume you are against cosmetic surgery?

Karyn: People need to do makes them feel good so who am I to judge? I just don’t think surgery is something we should take so lightly. I don’t think cosmetic surgery is necessary- knowing there are other routes why put your body under that type of stress.

RS: Most of our readers don’t appear to believe marketing of products like wrinkle creams. What do you do to go beyond the marketing to get informed?

Karyn: I believe in learning as much about the body’s self-healing and self regeneration as possible. When you learn about your body internally, the answers come naturally, you get to know what works and what doesn’t.

There are so many great books and internet resources available these days. I think people need to devote a little time to educating themselves and rely less on marketing and advertising. Are major beauty companies really looking out for our best interests?