We already know that an unhealthy lifestyle contributes to skin aging. But sometimes, for us to really believe it, we need to be faced with the cold harsh evidence. What can be more blatant than seeing one identical twin look five years older than the other because he is a smoker and his twin isn’t?
Dr. Bahman Guyuron, et al., of the Case Western Reserve University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, published a study early this year called Factors Contributing to the Facial Aging of Identical Twins. In it, almost 200 twins are analyzed and here the dramatic results:
• A four-point higher body mass index makes someone younger than 40 look older while it makes someone older than 40 look younger. An eight-point higher BMI is attributed to rapid skin aging in people under age 55, but actually slows it down after that. Skin discoloration is less visible among those with a higher BMI. Their hair quality is also better.
• A minimum of five years of cigarette smoking causes perceivable skin aging effects. It is conclusive that for every 10 years of smoking, there is a visible two-and-a-half years older appearance. Skin discoloration is higher among those with a history of smoking.
• Increased sun exposure, usually involving outdoor hobbies, is associated to skin aging and skin discoloration.
• The study shows that the effect of sun damage, however, is slowed down by kin protection (such as sunscreen).
• Rhytids are more visible on those with a history of skin cancer, which is possibly related to excessive sun exposure. The study also says that they have worse hair quality.
• Hormones also contribute to skin aging. Estrogen and progesterone replacement is associated with younger-looking skin and better hair quality. The study also suggests that the loner history of hormone replacement therapy, the younger one looks like.
• A significantly younger appearance is noted among respondents who don’t consume alcohol.
• Divorced women look older than married and single ones. There is no proof, however, that the number of divorces has involvement in skin aging. The study only reports that a divorced will look 1.7 years older than the one who is either still married or never been married.
• Interestingly, a widowed twin looks two years younger than the twin who isn’t.
• Using anti-depressants (current or history) is also reported to be a factor in skin aging. –Ed Biado, Manila Standard Today