You may think you’re doomed to lines, wrinkles, dark spots and saggy skin as you get older, but science says that’s not the case for everyone. Don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to look 25 forever, but you can be an “exceptional skin ager,” according to the Multi-Decade and Ethnicity study. This project, conducted by Olay, 23andMe and Harvard researchers, set out to determine the secret to younger-looking skin. Is it genes or lifestyle choices?
Well, the short answer is both.
After studying the skin of women between 20 to 74 years old, researchers found some very interesting results.
First, 10% of the participants were “exceptional skin agers,” women who looked 10 or more years younger than they actually were. They shared a total of about 2000 different gene expressions that allowed their skin to age slower than the average woman’s.
We all have these genes, but how strongly they express themselves vary from person to person. And as we age, these genes slow down, but for exceptional skin agers, they never seem to quit. In other words, the genes related to collagen production, response to oxidative stress and other factors that affect skin aging behave just as they did when the exceptional skin agers were in their 20s.