Ep 209 - The Longest Running Study on Aging

woman looking at her face in the mirror

When you think about the word aging, many thoughts and theories may come to mind, including how the esthetics industry is built upon fighting it. The Harvard study of adult development, often referred to as the Grant Study, is one of the longest-running studies on adult development and aging and provides some very insightful correlations. In this episode of ASCP Esty Talk, Maggie and Ella discuss the Grant Study and share their thoughts on lifestyle and relationships connected to aging.

ASCP Esty Talk with hosts Ella Cressman and Maggie Staszcuk  

Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast, hosted by licensed estheticians, Ella Cressman, ASCP Skin Deep Magazine contributor and Maggie Staszcuk, ASCP Education Program Manager. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.


About Ella Cressman:

Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, ingredient junkie and esthetic cheerleader! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.

In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several successful skin care brands.

Connect with Ella Cressman:

Website: www.hhpcollective.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ella-cressman-62aa46a


About Maggie Staszcuk:

Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry, and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Education Program Manager. 

Connect with Maggie Staszcuk:

P 800.789.0411 EXT 1636



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About Rhonda Allison:

Rhonda Allison Skincare recognizes that every person’s skin is unique—we have beautiful skin down to a science.

For more than 30 years, we’ve looked to nature for inspiration, blending the best active, quality-driven, natural ingredients with highly beneficial, scientifically developed compounds to create superior products.

CEO Shannon Esau and world-class biochemists are in constant research to uncover the latest scientific advancements and next-generation ingredients to give you time-tested, proven ingredients that will transform the condition of your skin.

No matter what your skin care needs may be, we have a skin care line that will meet those needs with quality products proudly free of synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfates, and parabens. Everything you want in skin care.

Connect with Rhonda Allison:

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blog: https://ra.skin/blogs/news


About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.

Connect with ASCP:

Website: www.ascpskincare.com

Email: getconnected@ascpskincare.com

Phone: 800-789-0411

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ASCPskincare

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ascpskincare

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0:02:02.9 Speaker 3: Hello and welcome to ASCP Esty Talk. I'm Ella Cressman, licensed esthetician, certified organic skincare formulator, international educator, and content contributor for associated skincare professionals. 


0:02:14.0 Speaker 4: I am Maggie Stasek, licensed esthetician and ASCP's education program manager. And we have a shout out to Evergreen Beauty College in Washington. Hello to all the instructors and hello to all the students. We appreciate you listening and we know you're going to like this episode. Maggie, well, also to you guys at Evergreen Beauty College, what do you think about when you hear the word aging? When I hear the word aging, I am thinking fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, creeping, Wicked Witch of the West. Eww. Like if society has ingrained this in my head, that aging is a terrible thing. 


0:03:01.2 S3: Yeah, like aging is a couple things. It's inevitable, but it's something we're... We're anti-ing it. 


0:03:07.2 S4: We're anti-ing it. 


0:03:08.8 S3: We're anti-aging it. But there's this whole bunch of different industries designed around fighting it. And if you were to Google what is aging, because I did this recently, it brings up all of these thoughts and theories that there's nine of this and seven of that and three of those. And then there's stages. And there's causes. And there's prospects. 


0:03:31.6 S3: And there's processes and aspects. And honestly, after I was just kind of searching, just not even clicking on anything, just reading some soap and whatever the search engine brought up, it could be depressing. Yet our business is built on fighting it. So what happened was recently, just the esthetician, she also is a listener. She's been shout out before too. And she did a post a few weeks back and it got me thinking. She was like, she was basically talking about, it's so funny, like my thoughts start here and end here and there's a lot that happens in between. Do you have that happen to you too?  


0:04:05.3 S4: I do, yeah. 


0:04:06.5 S3: This is one of them. So she had a post that was talking about basically how she was comparing her fluff facials to the people who said they only do corrective. And it made me think, oh, well, of course there's correction in those fluff facials, absolutely. Then I thought about all the other benefits in those that we've talked about before, but it got me thinking. And then I found this really cool thing that I want to share with you. We have already talked about aging a lot. In episode 195, we discuss inflammaging. In episode 104, we point out anti-aging as a four letter word. Ben Fuchs has addressed many contributing factors and the influence of diet on his Rogue Pharmacist podcast. 


0:04:46.9 S3: But the one thing we don't talk about a lot is aging beyond physical. So you said fine lines and wrinkles and crepey skin and the wicked rich of the West. Those are all physical attributes, right? I think of, I mean, at 45, I think about all my aches and pains that I'm having now and the stuff I never thought I would get. So there's this one study that Harvard put out and it is the longest running study on aging. And it started back in 1938 and it's called the Grant Study. Basically, it followed 724 men, including a lot of Harvard sophomores. Guess who was one of them?  


0:05:25.0 S4: Who?  


0:05:27.0 S3: JFK. 


0:05:27.6 S4: Oh my God. 


0:05:28.8 S3: John F. Kennedy. So he was part of the study. So it follows them over the course of their life. Most of them were men at the time because women were not allowed to attend Harvard. So interesting. Now they are. But so they aim to understand like different factors that contribute to a fulfilling and healthy life, which is part of this aging. So Maggie, just offhand, when you think of factors that contribute to a fulfilling and healthy life, what are they?  


0:05:56.9 S4: I would say this is going to be your social connection. 


0:05:58.8 S3: A hundred percent. 


0:06:00.2 S4: Yeah. So for me, it's peace of mind. 


0:06:03.7 S3: For me, it would be feeling good and I guess being happy. 


0:06:09.5 S4: Yeah. Low stress. Yeah. 


0:06:10.0 S3: Easy breezy. Clean house. Dogs who behave. Husband who listens and communicates. 


0:06:19.3 S4: I was going to say happy dogs. Dogs who behave. Same thing. 


0:06:25.8 S3: All of those things. Kids who aren't too bad. Parents who aren't sick, because we're at that age that this is what we're dealing with. So the study tracked various aspects of participants' lives, including physical health, mental well-being, relationships, career trajectories, and overall life satisfaction. And what they found is there were some people that excelled, JFK, for example, and then there was other, like there was the gamut of people that they tracked all throughout. Some ended up, some ended up very successful, some ended up schizophrenic. 


0:07:00.2 S4: Interesting. 


0:07:02.8 S3: And having a lot of mental illness. So they collected data through surveys, medical exams, interviews, and then different types of assessments. And eventually, they started studying their offspring and their wives. And then they combined these studies. So there was the Grant study and then the Gluick study from the 1970s. Same thing. And that's when they started expanding into other parts like triumphs and failures, and careers, and marriage, and how that had an effect on their aging, which I can relate to. Recently married, and I've realized a lot, like all of you married people, why did you keep it a secret? You're like, there's a lot to these relationships. It's not happily ever after. There are a lot of work, but they don't talk about that. So we're good. Trust, we're really good, but it's definitely an adjustment. One of the key findings, one of the key findings from the study is that the quality of the participants' relationships was consistently correlated with their overall life satisfaction and well-being. 


0:08:08.6 S3: So how deep, how close, and where they were with their family and their relatives. Was it a positive relationship with their spouses in their work environment? And those who had that tended to lead happier and healthier lives as they age. These social connections, these were more influential, than factors like socioeconomic status or even genetic predisposition in predicting long-term well-being. Isn't that nuts?  


0:08:35.9 S4: That's crazy. Yeah, it's so interesting. 


0:08:38.7 S3: So one of the doctors that was part of the study, Dr. Robert Waldinger, well, he was the director of the study, and he was a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. So he says, the surprising finding is that a relationships and how happy we are in a relationships has a powerful influence, on our health. Hold that thought. We'll be right back. 


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0:10:04.9 S3: Okay, here we go. Let's get back to the podcast. So have you noticed a correlation between physical health and like your work environment or your home environment?  


0:10:13.6 S4: Yeah, entirely. And one of the things that you're pointing out there is when we talk about self-care, automatically the mind might go to, that means me putting me first. Maybe that's going to the spa or I'm going to go have a workout. Or even it's just vegging on the couch. But there's a lot to be said about nurturing your relationships and that is also about you. And it doesn't even have to be relationships with your direct relatives. You know, think about relationships with the random stranger on the street. You can get a lot of satisfaction from that if you're helping somebody in need who you don't even know. 


0:10:55.3 S3: Or your clients for that matter. 


0:10:56.3 S4: Or your clients for that matter. Yeah. Entirely. Entirely. Yeah. So yeah, 100%. I notice a correlation between how I'm feeling and the environment and relationships around me. 


0:11:08.5 S3: I, you brought up something interesting because I noticed a correlation between how I feel and how I treat those random strangers. 


0:11:16.2 S4: Oh, yeah. It's two-way street, right?  


0:11:18.0 S3: Yeah. If I'm feeling, sometimes I have, I love to talk to people. So I'll mess with them or like joke around or something. And if I'm feeling good, it's even more fun. And even more, even better. And you, and I've had times where somebody has done that to me and it's changed my day. Like if you had that where you're like, wow, I was having a bad day till that happened. The study, it actually highlighted the important of physiological factors too. Like adaptability, resilience and coping strategies and promoting successful aging. 


0:11:49.7 S3: So I think it's so easy when you're going through times of change. Like maybe there's a shake up at your salon or spa that you're working at or the landlord is changing something where you have your suite or like we've talked about before the economic changes and how you approach that could have an influence on your health. What do you think about that?  


0:12:13.5 S4: Yeah, no, I think you're entirely right. You could have a negative change in your life and it's causing stress and that stress compounds and that impacts your health negatively. And that leads to aging. 


0:12:29.8 S3: So on a scale from one to 10, where do you rate your adaptability in life?  


0:12:34.6 S4: You know, I think it probably depends on what the issue is. If it's close to home, coping might be a little more difficult than something that is not so big a deal or maybe it's more work related. I probably cope with it a little easier. 


0:12:48.9 S3: I think sometimes they're all kind of related. So if I'm not, it's so weird because if I'm upset, I'm not feeling good. If I'm not feeling good. I'm upset. It's like this weird cycle. So I'll share that recently, I was having a tough time and I think it was just like some of the trauma from breaking my leg and just kind of getting back to work and everything. And there was like all of a sudden, one day the cloud just lifted and it was just changed my mindset, like, oh, whatever. And I started feeling better. 


0:13:17.4 S3: I started looking prettier. Most importantly, like everyone's like, you look brighter. And I'm like, I feel brighter. I feel lighter. And my relationship started changing. My interactions and such. So I would say 100% I'm with you that on a scale from one to 10, that gauge changes depending on. And I think my strive number is an eight or a nine to where I keep that consistently. And especially after reading this study, like, hey, I need to make sure I am rolling with it, rolling with life, with the things I don't have control of and being okay with some of the changes that bring about and try to be happier. I think what this could mean for a skincare pro, because this is obviously a skincare podcast, but what some things to think about is knowing this personally, I'm going to bring it into my shop because I'm being aware of how it's affected me. 


0:14:13.4 S3: I need to be aware of maybe how it's affecting my client's lifestyle. What's going on at work, their friend relationships, parental relationships, because these are all things that influence physiological, like their skin. So when we're talking about what are we going to do, being that sounding board, back to just the esthetician, being that sounding board for somebody, it's a lot of different correction we can offer our clients. It's not just popping a pimple or scraping something off. It's a lot. We, not to like put all this weight on our shoulders as practitioners, but our job is a really important one. We can be a lot for a lot of people. And I think also as a practitioner, a lot of solo entrepreneurs out there, make sure you're part of a community because professionally, it could feel very isolated if you rent a suite and you don't get to interact. 


0:15:08.7 S3: So are you going to different trade shows? Are you having, you know, different groups that you're a part of locally or otherwise just to keep that community so your doctor is going to help your health and your business. So my final thought is I agree with the study that good genes are nice, but joy is better. Because happiness makes you pretty. Harvard study is almost 85 years old and it has proved that embracing community helps us live longer and be happier, period. Now, listeners, we really want to hear from you. 


0:15:40.4 S3: What are your thoughts on lifestyle and relationships connection to aging? Be sure to let us know, comment on our social media posts or send us an email at getconnected@ASCPskincare.com. We want to know all the details. In the meantime, thank you for listening to ASCP Estee Talk. For more information on this, this episode or for ways to connect with Maggie or myself or to learn more about ASCP, check out the show notes.

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