Change My Face
Ageing and Lifestyle Software: Visualising your future face for health and wealth.

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Lockdown Face

👤 🕔 April 27, 2020 Comments Off on Lockdown Face

Our lives have been turned upside down as the world fights to find ways to protect us from Covid-19. To stay safe, and not to overwhelm our amazing health services, we are urged to remain at home. 

 

During lockdown we must continue to care for our physical health, mental wellbeing and our immune systems. It’s key that we do everything we can to keep them in good shape. But, are we?

 

If we were to see the future effects of our new habits on our faces, would that make a difference to the way we behave during lockdown? Probably.

 

For many people, workloads have increased, and they are faced with having to work from home while simultaneously trying their best to home-school. For employees who have been furloughed, they may be worrying about money and their jobs and find that they are struggling to think of ways to fill their days – maybe they’ve been able to start a new fitness regime or learn a new skill.  

 

For those on the front-line, their shifts have been stretched, their homelife limited and their energy levels have been tested to the limit.

 

All these adversities coupled with the daily news detailing Covid-19 deaths is causing high levels of pressure and stress, more so for those with underlying health conditions. These added pressures can be obstacles blocking us from looking after ourselves as well as we would normally. 

 

This unprecedented quarantine has seen lots of people more readily reaching for the high sugar, high salt snacks and drinking more alcohol. The signs are there – you just have to look at social media posts to see that gin o’clock is getting earlier every day!

 

On the other hand, being able to spend time with family and enjoying a special walk with a son, daughter, husband or wife can mean so much and bring moments of joy. The surge of online exercise classes, cookery tips and DIY hacks have been a welcome distraction from the news and have motivated a few to make the most of their time and helped to promote a healthy mindset. 

 

Do you have a lockdown face?

Your face will show the effects of stress, poor diet and a lack of exercise – there’s no hiding from our change of lifestyle. Here’s what to expect if you don’t make small changes:

Pre Lockdown

Post Lockdown (combined snacking, stress, lack of exercise and earlier gin O’Clock

STRESS: Stressing over money, your job, the effectiveness of your home schooling, the health of your older relatives, the future, and the all-encompassing fear surrounding coronavirus is bound to take its toll.  

Lockdown stress face: Stress causes us to frown repeatedly resulting in deeper frown lines, lack lustre skin, inflammation and breakouts. High levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) are released when we feel stressed, which interrupts the production of collagen and elastin, speeding up the ageing process. 

Small changes: Look online (trusted sources only) or reach out for help or information. Try to form a healthy sleep routine. Don’t expect too much of yourself or your family. Focus on the things you CAN control. Eat well to keep yourself nourished. And, remember, there will be an end to all of this.

 

DIET: Spending all day at home, every day, means that we’re tempted to make frequent trips to the kitchen. When we’re feeling bored it’s easy to comfort eat and gorge on crisps, biscuits, fried food, chocolate and whatever else we find in our fridges.  

Lockdown diet face:  Signs that we are ‘treating’ ourselves to unhealthy snacks too often are weight gain, breakouts, dry flaky skin, a lack of energy and deeper wrinkles.

Small changes: Commit to buy healthier snacks and fruit so there’s plenty of healthy options to choose from. Stick to eating three good meals a day and drink lots of water. 

 

EXERCISE: With children at home, and easy access to the box sets you’ve been meaning to get around to watching, we have to be extremely disciplined not to have the television on more than usual. Occupying ourselves, and other household members, with this form of entertainment can be an easy choice. If you’re not making the most out of your permitted one-a-day outdoor exercise time and the online classes, it’s amazing how quickly our body shape changes. 

Lockdown exercise face: With minimum movement we will experience quick weight gain, develop a grey pallor to the skin and be at a greater risk of chronic disease.

Small changes: Walk a little bit further each day and up your pace. Get on your bike for a great cardiac workout. Try one of the many free online fitness classes. Feel your heart pumping and your breath quicken – a great sign that you’re boosting your physical fitness.  

 

How Change My Face can help

 

Our innovative ageing software enables people to visualise how they could look like in the future based on their lifestyle. Visualising our future selves is a strong trigger for many of us to actively make positive changes. Contact us about using our aging API for your health campaigns to promote your services and deliver powerful messages that really resonate. 

Together we can improve lives.

info@changemyface.com

Ageing and Lifestyle Software

👤 🕔 December 5, 2019 Comments Off on Ageing and Lifestyle Software

Visualise your future face with Health, Wealth and Beauty. Change My Face offers a flexible and well priced API service that allows companies to access our ageing and lifestyle effects including ageing, with drinking, smoking, stress, diet, exercise and drugs. Contact us for bespoke apps, standalone software for events or just test our API with your app or campaign.

SCREEN SAVER : From tech neck to blue-light eye bags

👤 🕔 June 10, 2020 Comments Off on SCREEN SAVER : From tech neck to blue-light eye bags

From tech neck to blue-light eyebags what being glued to technology does to your skin

    

Total internet hits have surged 70 per cent since lockdown began, says research firm Informa Tech. And it’s not just grey roots that could be ageing you, but screen time too.

So just what can we do to avoid tech neck and blue-light eyebags?

Yasmin Harisha asks Dr Jonquille Chantrey, an aesthetic skin surgeon, and dermatologist RGN Emma Coleman about screen-time skin and how we can combat it.

Plus, with the help of experts at Change My Face, we show you here how screen-time damage might alter Yasmin’s face. The artists use their extensive anatomical knowledge and special software to digitally add filters and layers.

Squint hint

Staring at the screen can cause us to squint resulting in fine lines, or crow’s feet, which can become ­permanent.

Dr Chantrey recommends an eye test, to see if there is a root cause to your squinting.

Staring at the screen can cause us to squint resulting in fine lines

Staring at the screen can cause us to squint resulting in fine linesCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Emma says: “The skin around the eyes is very thin. Avoid dark circles by putting your phone away before bed.

“Use a good eye product like Clinique Moisture Surge Eye (£27.50, clinique.co.uk) to keep skin conditioned. I recommend eye gels for saggy skin and creams for hollow under-eyes.”

Selfie shielding

Similar to the sun’s UV rays, blue light is emitted from our technology devices.

Dr Chantrey says: “Blue light can cause spots of age around the face as it can affect melanogenesis, the production of pigment in skin cells. The area mostly exposed to blue light can develop fine lines.”

Blue light emitted from our technology can cause spots of age around the face

Blue light emitted from our technology can cause spots of age around the faceCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Emma says: “Signs may include sagging and formation of creases under the eyes.

“Wearing sunscreen daily is the best way to prevent wrinkles and helps to protect against UV rays and blue light.”

Spot the phone addict

If you have tried every remedy under the sun and are still getting spots, it could be caused by your mobile phone.

Dr Chantrey says: “Often I see areas of acne exactly where my patients hold their phone to their faces as phones accumulate significant amounts of bacteria.”

Emma says: “I recommend using products with AHA or BHA acids. The ­Ordinary lactic acid 5% + HA 2% (£5.50, ­theordinary.deciem.com) helps keep pores clear and helps spots come to a head.”

Ear-ring aid

Listening through headphones at high volumes can damage the ears and cause inflammation around them or on the neck.

Dr Chantrey says: “Some patients may develop contact dermatitis from some components such as nickel, which can cause inflammation around the ear and neck area.

Listening through headphones at high volumes can damage the ears

Listening through headphones at high volumes can damage the earsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

“If you have found inflammation, or redness, contact your GP to get a full diagnosis. We must clean our ear pieces as invisible bacteria can build up, which causes skin reactions.”

Resting light face

The light from phone screens at night can delay your body’s ­internal clock, ­making it more difficult to fall asleep.

Dr Chantrey says: “The bright artificial light can supress sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. I would recommend changing the settings to a night cycle.”

Emma says: “Lack of sleep can cause lacklustre skin. I recommend the Inkey list retinol serum 30ml (£9.99, lookfantastic.com) which will gently exfoliate away pigmentation as you sleep.”

Tech neck

Always looking down at your phone to text or scroll through social media? You could be causing extra ­wrinkles on your neck.

Dr Chantrey says: “Certain types of neck movement can drag the jawline down quick­er and create vertical bands on the neck.”

Emma adds: “Try to stretch and strengthen muscles in the neck regularly through the day.

“You can also apply Epionce shield lotion (£32.40, skinstore.com). It will have a tightening and brightening effect.”

Emma Coleman has her own skincare brand at www.emmacolemanskin.com

 

👤 🕔 April 28, 2020 Comments Off on

Change My Face: What we do

 

Interactive marketing campaigns perform significantly better than those that simply use images and the written word. Change My Face’s aging and lifestyle software brings campaigns to life and places your customers directly into the center of them.

 

Our software allows the user to simply upload a selfie, respond to questions on their current lifestyle choices and be presented with an image of their future self based on their answers. Visualizing the effects of our lifestyle choices on our faces is a powerful trigger to influence behavioral changes and habits.

 

So, what kind of lifestyle choices take their toll on our faces? It could be smoking and drinking habits, drug use, using inferior skincare and beauty products, a lack of exercise, too much sun, or not saving wisely resulting in feelings of stress and anxiety. Poor lifestyles choice are truthfully revealed in the lines, color and shape of our future faces – making small changes can have a big impact on the way we look – and ultimately the way we feel about ourselves!

 

Why use our Change My Face innovative software?

 

Great question – what’s in it for you? Why would you want your customers to see the effects of aging and lifestyle on their faces? 

 

If you were to use our software in your next health campaign, you’ll create an engaging and entertaining marketing initiative that truly resonates with your target audience – you’re putting them into the heart of it and talking directly to them.

 

As we age, we also become stuck in our ways with regards to how we manage our finances, what skin creams we use and how we care for our health. In order to change our habits and behaviors we need to learn something new and positive that triggers us to want to change. 

 

And what better way to spark such a change than to experience a visual jolt. Seeing our future self look back at us on the screen of our phones based on our current habits is likely to be the catalyst to make that change. Depending on your business sector you may want to ask a few questions on health or finances too to accurately determine the image that the customer sees. 

Here’s who has used our software already

 

We’ve been number 1 app in 16 countries across the world and achieved 1million downloads. Clients such as the NHS, British Heart Foundation, Compare the Market, Cancer Research UK and Connexion Asia have improved the lives of their customers with their products or services. 

 

All of the organisations we have worked with benefit from being able to converse with their hard to reach customers too.

 

In addition, Change My Face offers an API service as well as building bespoke apps and games for science museums and organisations in both the private and public sector.  

 

Let’s take a more detailed look into the value that the Change My Face aging software brings to the health & wellness, finance and beauty sectors.

 

 

  • Helping health insurance companies 

 

 

By using Change My Face software you can communicate effectively with your customer base and help reduce the number of unhealthy individuals making claims. You can also save your customers money by improving their long-term health by illustrating positive aging and the promotion of better and healthier lifestyles. 

 

It gives your organisation the ability to promote and sell your services by demonstrating the following on a personalized level:

  • the effects of smoking on faces to encourage habit change.
  • the effects of poor diet and a lack of exercise to encourage behaviour change.

 

 

  • Helping finance & pensions companies

 

 

Individuals who aren’t on top of their finances feel incredible stress. Continually frowning results in frown lines (often referred to as worry lines) speeding up the aging process. Stress also accelerates the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) which interrupts the production of elastin and collagen – the natural good stuff needed to keep our faces looking youthful!

 

Allowing your customers to see the effects of poor financial choices on their faces coupled with the opportunity to engage with them about their lifestyle and current finances helps to generate more savings and investments. These interactive communications encourage individuals to make improvements to their finances.

 

Plus, your campaign will stand out against your competitors as it invites your customers to feel empathy with their future selves instead of just living in the moment.

 

 

  • Helping beauty and skincare companies

 

 

The reason why customers choose your products over other brands is because they believe that they will work – they believe that they will reduce wrinkles and fine lines, improve their muscle tone, boost the skin’s radiance and help to retain their youthful look.

 

Allowing your customers to engage in conversation and to visualize the positive effects of using your skincare products is a strong marketing tool. It allows you to communicate messages concerning optimum skin care routines and to educate what can cause damage to the skin, in particular UV rays to promote SPF products positively.

 

By putting your customers into the heart of your campaigns you are creating an exceptional personal experience, and one that will be remembered for a long time. 

 

Our software will show sun-spots and wrinkles as well as inform your customers how their choices today can keep them looking confident and healthy with age!

 

Get in contact today

 

We’d love to hear about your next marketing campaign. Please get in touch today – together we can improve lives.

 

Your Biological Age: Small Steps Will Make A Big Difference

👤 🕔 March 26, 2020 Comments Off on Your Biological Age: Small Steps Will Make A Big Difference

 

We only have to glance at our phones or listen to the news to hear stories telling us what is bad for our health and that if we keep certain habits, we’re likely to experience life-threatening diseases. The team here at Change Your Face believe that this ‘doom and gloom’ approach doesn’t inspire positive change, in fact, it can be harmful to our mental health too.

 

Being told the facts on how we can reduce our biological age and get into shape in a positive way will result in more people listening and actually taking action for themselves to improve their fitness. Once individuals start to feel and look better in a relatively short space of time they’ll be encouraged to continue with their new regimes. These positive preventative messages give hope. They save lives and save money.

 

Change My Face’s unique application program interface (API) can be used to share positive messages to a targeted audience while directing them to sources of information and services. Via an app the user can see their future selves based on their current lifestyle habits; this powerful visualization tool is often the incentive most people need to trigger life changing decisions.

 

It’s time for individuals to embrace the truth, look into their future, turn back their biological clock and fulfil their health potential!

 

Let’s look at what’s happening now

 

There’s lots of data available to prove that waistlines and bad habits continue to grow. The statistics show that unhealthy lifestyle patterns increase year on year with no indication of slowing down. Here are just some figures to demonstrate how alarming the figures are.

 

  • In the UK, the NHS report that over 60% of adults are classed as overweight or obese. A higher percentage of women than men fall into the obese category, however being overweight is more common among men. And around 30% of children aged between 2 and 15 years of age are either overweight or obese.

 

  • Studies from the State of Childhood Obesity reveal that in the US the adult obesity rate exceeds 35% in 9 states, 30% in 31 states and 25% in 48 states. Approximately 4.8m US children aged between 10 and 17 are obese. The cost of US childhood obesity alone costs around $14 billion every year in direct health expenses.

 

  • In addition to these figures, the World Health Organization reported on a study performed by the International Agency For Research On Cancer (IARC) in 2018 giving evidence that there is a link between obesity and smoking. Dr Christopher Wild, the IARC Director says: “Prevention of smoking is key to reducing the global burden of cancer and other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Obesity is also among the most important preventable causes of the same diseases. These new results provide intriguing insights into the potential benefits of jointly addressing these risk factors with public health measures that combine weight control and tobacco control strategies.”

 

It’s time to turn back our biological age

 

Research has also proven that obese parents are more likely to bring up obese children. This is a dangerous cycle and it must stop. There are both tangible and intangible costs associated with overweight societies: poor health, a drain on health services, lower productivity and a risk to economies.

 

But the high cost of obesity on society goes much deeper – there is the emotional cost. The reality is that the overweight members of society face discrimination, are more likely to take home a lower salary, experience a lower quality of life and susceptible to anxiety, stress and depression.

 

Biological age vs actual age

 

Your actual age is how many years you have spent on this earth. Your biological age is how your body has aged. If your body not been treated with the respect it deserves your biological age is likely to be significantly higher than it should be.

 

A recent medical trial in the UK for a Channel 4 program witnessed these results:

  • A male reduced his biological age by 20 years by embarking on a new fitness regime which involved walking 10,000 steps a day and drinking less alcohol.
  • A male (actual age 31) reduced his biological age by 7 years by incorporating sit-ups and running into his fitness routine.
  • A female with a biological age of 67, reduced this to 51 by increasing her walking pace.

 

A report published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine proved that adopting a higher than usual walking speed resulted in a significant reduction in biological age. 50,225 British walkers were involved in the trial.

  • Those with an actual age of over 60 who walk briskly have a 53% lower risk of death from cardiovascular illnesses compared to slower walkers.
  • This same range of individuals have a 24% reduction in the risk of death from any cause.

 

Not one of the people involved in these trials ran marathons or took part in any activity deemed to be Olympic level. They simply increased their activity by a relatively small amount and were careful with their diet.

 

How we look has never been so important

 

Over 95 million photos and videos are posted on Instagram every day. People share selfies constantly.

 

Just on this one social media platform there are over one billion active monthly users. This shows that sharing our faces is an important part of modern life – as is being influenced by what we see on our phones.

 

The Change My Face technology allows individuals to load a photo of themselves and select answers from a pre-set range of questions concerning their lifestyle. In seconds they see their face 10 years on if they continue to life the way they do now. The user can redo the test and alter their answers to see the significant change in their looks if they were to take simple steps to improve their health.

 

Our API can be licenced by businesses globally and used in campaigns to encourage positive behaviour changes. To date Change My Face apps have been number 1 in 16 countries achieving over 1 million downloads with many organisations, including health insurance companies, already making a big differences to people’s lives.

 

  • Toyota utilized the software to create the first app of its kind called ‘Fumeface’. Their marketing department encouraged the use of cleaner vehicles by showing that living in a polluted environment can speed up the aging process.
  • The British Heart Foundation created the ‘Smoking Time Machine’; a powerful tool to promote their ‘No Smoking Day’ campaign. Free downloads were available for the STM iOS app.
  • Connexion Asia used the software to ask employees what their current lifestyle was. When faced with the future many took the decision to make changes to their lifestyle.

 

Anti-aging at a cellular level

 

Healthy bodies and minds start with healthy cells. They really are the foundations for great health.

 

Telomeres are the cap-ends found on every strand of DNA protecting our chromosomes, as we age they naturally shorten. Their length affects aging and can bring on age-associated diseases and cancers. If everyone knew the truth about their future health and learned what steps to take now to alter the rate at which their telomeres shorten, they’d be more people living healthily, happily, and for longer.

 

In addition to the length of our telomeres our biological age can be determined by other markers from our blood pressure to our lung capacity.

 

Good news is that every individual on the planet has the power to slow down, or even reverse their ticking biological clocks.

 

Preventive measures to influence our health and longevity

 

In collaboration with organizations across the globe Change My Face’s mission is to empower people, to teach them about their own health and to tell them in simple terms how to reverse their biological clock. It’s not expensive, it won’t take up too much time and it’s achievable.

 

  • Walk at a faster pace than usual
  • Increase usual daily step count
  • Start some resistance exercises
  • Whilst watching TV or sat at a desk make sure to stand up every half an hour
  • Eat more fruit and veg
  • Cut down on alcohol consumption
  • Don’t eat as many processed foods
  • Nurture a good sleeping pattern
  • Stop smoking

 

Simple exercises and activities as well as a good diet can slow down the speed of the shortening of telomere length reducing the risk of serious illnesses and the size of our waists.

 

How to get your positive messages out there

 

If your organization would benefit from utilizing the Change My Face lifestyle software we’re here to help. Together we can be the change.

 

 

 

Lockdown Face

👤 🕔 March 26, 2020 Comments Off on Lockdown Face

At Change My Face,  we illustrate the effects of lifestyle on the face. In normal times, this may be showing how you could age as a smoker, drinker, with exercise, diet or stress, because we all know that lifestyle has a massive impact on the way the age.

But these are not normal times for any of us.

The new Coronavirus has turned each and everyone’s lifestyle on its head. Even though all of us our affected around the world, these effects are very different depending on each person’s situation, whether you have the virus, are working in healthcare, at home stressed about jobs and money, or just staying at home and keeping fit and healthy.

Stress can manifest itself in terms of skin breakouts, deeper wrinkles from frowning or bags under the eyes. A diet full of fat and sugar can lead to weight gain and sluggish grey skin and increased alcohol consumption, which is keeping our spirits up (literally) can lead to poorer sleep patterns, dilated blood vessels and a bloated appearance.

For others…taking advantage of the many exercise channels on YouTube, cycling on car free roads with less pollution ,and more home cooking can increase your quality of family life and decrease stress levels.

Whichever way you are coping, we are amazed at the way the world is pulling together to fight for lives and freedom to live normally again. Those working on the front line at the NHS and hospitals around the world, those who have already lost family and friends, and those who are now working and home schooling children.

We have seen lots of faces of Coronavirus. The healthcare workers whose masks have wounded their faces, those who are tired, stressed, sad.

Thanks to all those who are on the front line and stay well everyone!

Change My Face Case Study

👤 🕔 May 29, 2019 Comments Off on Change My Face Case Study

Helping the Mexicans save for retirement

Client: Mexican Government / Ideas42

Duration of pilot scheme: August 2018

Change My Face collaborated with Ideas 42, a New York based company who applies cutting-edge behavioral insights to the world’s toughest social problems and the Mexican Government to deliver a pilot scheme to encourage Mexicans to save towards their retirement. This work was supported by the MetLife Foundation.

To comfortably retire Mexicans need to contribute voluntarily to their retirement accounts.  Less than 0.5% of the nearly 40.5 million registered account holders make at least one contribution each year resulting in approximately 41% of elderly Mexicans living in poverty.  A lack of awareness towards the benefits of saving is having a serious effect on their lives and their health.

The Change My Face software raised awareness through messages and through the use of a visual example.  The software used for the pilot scheme featured an aging photo filter software allowing the user to download a current photo of themselves to see an image of their future self together with savings messages.  The messages highlighted the need to make larger and more regular contributions.

The aging software created by Change My Face had an immediate impact.  During August 2018 the number of Mexicans making a one-time contribution towards their retirement increased by 13% and raised the average amount contributed in that month by 1,327 MXN.  This equates to an increase in the total amount saved among account holders in the treatment group by 54%.

Auriole Prince, Founder and Director of Change My Face said: “The aging software developed by Change My Face is hugely connected to behavioral change. Visualizing your future self is so powerful, when we see our future selves we make a connection to them and feel empathy; this helps people make better choices, whether that’s to do with their health and wellness, financial health or just making small changes to feel better. Making favorable changes to our lifestyle choices can transform our futures and improve our physical and emotional wellbeing.  We are incredibly proud to have been involved in this project and to see first-hand how our software can make such an immediate and positive impact.”

This pilot scheme stemmed from the research undertaken from Hal Hershfield, an Associate Professor of Marketing, proving that when an individual visualizes their future self they are more likely to make plans for later life. In Hal’s words: “My research asks, ‘How can we help move people from who they are now to who they’ll be in the future in a way that maximizes wellbeing?’”

Hal Hershfield’s Research Into Emotional Responses Influencing Decisions

Giving people vivid examples heightens their emotional responses. Two strong examples to demonstrate this are: 1) when donors hear direct from a victim they are more likely to give more to charity and 2) the fact that pulmonologists smoke less than doctors who specialize in other areas as they see the effects of unhealthy lungs on a daily basis.  

Hal partnered with Daniel Goldstein of Microsoft Research, Jeremy Bailenson of Stanford and other Stanford researchers with the aim to prove that individuals would change their spending and saving preferences when given a vivid example.  

The exercise:  During this research photographs were taken of the participants and used in a controlled exercise.  Using virtual reality technology all participants entered a virtual environment where they saw a reflection of themselves in a mirror: 50% of the participants saw themselves as they are now and 50% saw their future self with jowls, bags under the eyes and gray hair.  

Following the exercise all participants were asked to allocate $1,000 among four options: to buy something nice now, to invest in a retirement fund, plan something fun or put money into a checking account.  

The result:The participants who saw their aged avatars empathized with their future selves and allocated nearly twice as much money into their retirement fund as the other participants who did not see their future selves.  

After allocating the money the participants who saw only their current image were shown the aged avatars of the other participants. Seeing the aged images of others did not affect their choice of allocating money.  This clearly proves that only when we see our own future self are we likely to favor long-term rewards.

Behavioral Science Findings From Pilot Scheme

Using Change My Face’s software in this pilot scheme, Ideas 42 were able to further their studies into human behavior.  

Behavioral science is the study of how people make decisions and act in the real work.  This study draws from decades of social science research to create a realistic model of how to view people.  The standard approach to decision making is that people gather all the information, consider the pros and cons and make the best choice.  The behavioral approach teaches us that individuals do not always choose the option that is best for them and make decisions with imperfect information. 

Ideas 42 work to identify the subtle but important contextual details that can have a disproportionate impact on outcomes.  Behavioral science proves that context matters and that by asking the right questions is critical and that simple solutions are often available.  

In this pilot scheme Ideas 42 reported that empathizing with our future selves improves savings.  To make retirement feel more vivid there needs to be visualization exercises and goal-setting activities, including labeled accounts, personalized reminders and regular feedback.  Utilizing the software available from Change My Face to show digitally aged photos allowed account holders to see their future selves and prompted them to take immediate action and save for their retirement.

Encouraged by the results of the pilot scheme Ideas 42 adapted and customized a future visualization exercise for the account holders’ own smart phones that linked directly to the retirement savings app.    Exposing the user to an image of their future selves helped them connect with their future selves and overcome the tendency to only focus on the present.  These are the three components Ideas 42 took forward to the field:

  1. Users receive message inviting them to ‘meet their future self’ via a link.
  2. The link opens a web page with an aging filter.  The users are encouraged to take a selfie to see their future self.
  3. An empathetic message appears with the aged photo “How much would you like to save for him/her to live well?” together with a link to the savings page.

Understanding how people react when provided with vivid examples and targeted messages is key to the success of all future schemes helping to improve societies’ health, wealth and wellbeing.

Should chocolate be classed as a medicine?

👤 🕔 March 27, 2019 Comments Off on Should chocolate be classed as a medicine?

It’s not just the Easter bunny telling us to eat chocolate – Scientists are too. 

When you think of the Easter bunny what image does your mind conjure up? Thanks to a large chocolate brand you may think of a white bunny riding through gardens on a bicycle delivering delicious chocolate wrapped in shiny paper.

And why is our fluffy hero so keen to hand over all the chocolate? Is he keeping all the good stuff for himself, you know all that green tucker that oozes vitamins – the food that we know to be good for us?

According to science the busy bunnies should be keeping some of the chocolate for themselves too.  

Are You In A Good Mood?

If you’ve been eating chocolate, then you’re likely to answer ‘yes’.  You’d be right too as chocolate is a joy stimulant.  The Journal of Psychopharmacology revealed that someone who drinks a polyphenol-rich chocolate drink daily (this being the same as 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate) will feel relaxed and contented.  More so than someone who hasn’t been offered a comforting mug of the chocolatey drink.

It is a known fact that antidepressant’s enhance serotonin or keep this compound in our brains.  As cocoa boosts brain serotonin it’s no surprise that chocolate can lift our mood.  So, here’s another question for you to ponder over – ‘do you crave something sweet or are you simply wanting something to lift your spirits?

Better Health

So, we’ve been able to prove that chocolate can improve our mood, but what about our health? 

We age as a result of our bodies losing their ability to renew and repair themselves.  Chocolate has the unique super-power of activating stem cells allowing our cells to regenerate and heal.  

A clinical study in California gave patients with known heart disease two daily 8oz cups of hot chocolate, made with 70 per cent dark chocolate, for 30 days. The number of stem cells in their blood was measured before and after the trial. It was found that consumption of the hot dark chocolate doubled the stem cells in their circulation. No known medicine has the same effect [1].

The secret to dark chocolate is that it contains high amounts of cocoa solid and less of the unhealthy ingredients present in other types of chocolate.  

Let’s share the bunny’s diet

We have five health defence systems which help our bodies ward off illnesses.  These are:

  • Stems cells to repair and regenerate our organs
  • Healthy gut bacteria for healthy digestion and weight regulation
  • DNA which holds the blueprint of our development, growth, reproduction and function
  • Defence against environmental toxins
  • Immune system to fight disease and infection

Some foods benefit all five of these defence systems: blueberries, carrots, aubergines, coffee and dark chocolate. And the great news is, all of these foods are scrumptious.

Thinking of your future health

We’ve learnt that eating chocolate can reduce feelings of stress.  When stress is present for a period of time it can actually speed up the ageing process in our bodies as it ages the cells that make up our immune system, decreasing their ability to divide or replenish.  I don’t recommend that you solely rely on dark chocolate to reduce feelings of stress but a cup of hot dark chocolate every day will certainly pick you up. Having a positive attitude, socialising with others and plenty of outdoor exercise is the ultimate tonic.

We’ve also learnt that eating dark chocolate is extremely beneficial to our health and our ability to renew and repair. But, like everything in life, moderation is key and should be mixed with a balanced diet.

Happy Easter!

Source [1] The Times March 2019


Beauty, skin & ageing

👤 🕔 February 18, 2019 Comments Off on Beauty, skin & ageing

When to start a beauty regime for great skin What about yesterday? Skin is amazing, it has the most important job of acting as a barrier between our bodies and the environment. So, why is it we neglect our skin before it’s too late? Probably because we don’t have a connection to our future selves – the person who will look back at us in the mirror in years to come is a stranger to us. Let’s see what we should be doing and when. We’re exposed to the sun’s harmful rays from the moment that cosy, warm feeling hits our skin for the first time. We know that from birth we need to use protection against UVA and UVB rays but the lure of a bronzed instagrammable body often overtakes the need for healthy skin. As teenage skin can be a little chaotic, this is the time we should start to exfoliate to help reduce the onset of spots and minimise pores. It’s also a crucial time to start the daily routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising. Conveniently, social media filters can eliminate blemishes so maybe an outbreak will go unnoticed to their ‘followers’. In our 20s we should step up the beauty regime and focus on more than just our faces. Lifestyle can have a great impact on the skin, although we feel indestructible in our 20’s, smoking, drinking and diet can affect the skin by accelerating the ageing process, creating a lacklustre palor and deepened wrinkles.

How to boost employee engagement in your Corporate Wellbeing Scheme  

👤 🕔 December 18, 2018 Comments Off on How to boost employee engagement in your Corporate Wellbeing Scheme  

The Independent surveyed 2000 office workers from the UK during the summer of 2018 and discovered that on average an office worker will spend almost 1,700 hours a year in front of their screen and spend around six and a half hours sitting at their desk Monday to Friday.   This inactivity is no good for health and certainly no good for morale or productivity.

 To kickstart a healthy workforce many corporate agendas now include health and wellbeing packages to encourage active lifestyles; these wellness initiatives can include:

  • Discounts for local gyms
  • Walking groups – just 30 minutes spent walking around a business park during a lunch break can make a big difference
  • Group yoga sessions for mindfulness in the workplace
  • Collaborations with other corporate wellbeing providers to bring an array of interesting schemes
  • Healthy lunchtime options to make the workforce more resilient to illness and injury

 So, with all this support available at an employee’s fingertips why are so many not taking their employer up on these initiatives? It’s probably got something to do with the ‘I’ll start on Monday’ attitude.  But what if employees could see their future selves?

Reverse engineering definition [verb].  To examine the construction or composition of an object in order to recreate or improve it. 

Reverse engineering can hold the key to boost the numbers of individuals actively taking part in their organisation’s activities. The Change My Face age progression software when used alongside a wellness strategy will allow employees to see what their future holds for them if they don’t take action now to improve their health.  And if they don’t like what they see, they are likely to take positive steps to reverse the effects.