In 2009, a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons from Case Western University in Cleveland led by Dr. Bahman Guyuron conducted a study examining the factors which contribute to the facial aging of identical twins. It was a simple enough idea. They got 186 pairs of identical twins together and asked them to complete a comprehensive questionnaire about their lifestyle choices. Afterwards digital photos were taken of each respective twin. The results were extremely strong in validating the role of some of the known factors that govern how old we look.
Every woman wants to look young, fresh and maintain a positive attitude in life even when age is not her ally. Although younger women generally have less difficulties in maintaining a fresh and healthy physical appearance, they sometimes lack the time or the experience to apply a few simple rules to make it last longer. Below are some secrets which may help you look younger, including the ones from Dr. Guyuron's team.
REDUCE YOUR STRESS LEVEL
In the Case Western study, stress was a big factor in aging. The more stress, the faster one ages. Divorced twins appeared at least two years older than twins who were married. Remove the unproductive and unnecessary stress and worries from your life. A stressful life leads to chronically elevated levels of cortisol, one of the stress hormones produced by the adrenal glands. While cortisol is beneficial in the short term because it mobilizes the reserve resources of the body for an adequate stress response, in the long run it lowers the immunity and slows down collagen production, which is a protein that is responsible for skin smoothness and elasticity. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, make sure you consult with a medical expert and have those treated effectively, otherwise it will have a negative impact on your physical looks, your health and even on your skin.
CAREFUL WITH THE MEDICATIONS YOU TAKE
As we get older, we seem to collect medications like memories. People between the ages of 55 and 65 are prescribed an average of eight different prescriptions per year. In Dr. Guyuron's study they found that twins who took antidepressants were on average looking older than their counterparts who were never on antidepressants. Not surprisingly our aesthetic appeal is not studied when looking at the long term effects of the medications we take. So be cautious, only take what is necessary.
Unprotected sun exposure has been known to produce wrinkly, leathery looking skin. Of course some sun exposure is necessary to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D, but it is more the prolonged sunbathing and repeated stints of unprotected exposure which can really wear the skin. In the study, sun exposure demonstrated an increased appearance of aging between twins. The results were not surprising.
EAT A HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS DIET
Eat a healthy and nutritious diet. Although this may sound a bit trivial, a healthy diet is more effective and powerful than even the most expensive skin care products and medical procedures. This is because eating healthy is a great way to prevent a variety of diseases, including skin diseases, which will always affect the way you feel, look and work. In a simplified manner, the skin can be viewed as a demonstration panel of your internal diseases. Don't let poor nutrition ruin your healthy looks, and start developing a healthy eating habit that will not fail to produce results in your productivity, energy levels and physical appearance. Reduce the amounts of fat, processed sugar and caffeine in your diet, and start eating more vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products and sea food.
CHOOSE YOUR SKIN PRODUCTS WISELY
Choose your skin care products carefully and avoid trying to save money with cheap products at the expense of your skin. It is very important to know which chemicals you are applying to your skin. A cheap and low-quality skin care product may contain irritating substances that will negatively impact the way your skin looks. The truth is that any moisturizing cream can make you feel good for a few hours, but try to think about what you'll look like in a few years!
Last but not least, maintain a positive and optimistic attitude. Being joyful and confident is the best way to look younger. The way you feel on the inside is the way you will look on the outside. Don't forget to smile.
- Guyuron B Facial Aging In Identical twins. PRS 2009; 123:1321-1331
- “How Aging Affects the Body’s Response to Drugs: Johns Hopkins doctors explain age-related physiological changes that can affect the way our bodies react to medications", http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/alerts/prescription_drugs/