We have all heard that you are the master of your own destiny, but do you also have power over how quickly you age? A recent study on identical twins revealed that environmental and social factors play a vital role in the aging process. You may not be able to choose your genes, but you do have control over life choices that affect your overall health and the appearance of your skin.
Scientists recruited 186 pairs of identical twins attending an annual twin festival in Twinsburg, Ohio to help uncover the mysteries of aging. According to Dr. Bahman Guyuron, chairman of the department of plastic surgery at the University of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University, twins are “genetically programmed” to age in the same exact manner. This predisposition allows researchers to investigate what factors may have caused one twin to age more so than the other. “We wanted to look at the factors that may accelerate aging” said Dr. Guyuron. “What are the things that we can control? By changing our behaviors, can you control part of aging that would otherwise be sped up?”
Researchers asked members of independent control groups to rate pictures of identical twins on their appearance and approximate age. The twins were also given a comprehensive questionnaire that assessed their lifestyle choices and various environmental factors in their life. The results concluded that among other factors, sun exposure and smoking were the leading causes of aging.
The study proved that if an individual were to live two independent lives, with the same genetic makeup, your life choices drastically alter your aging process. A clean, healthy, happy life with plenty of sunscreen will wield a much prettier face in your not so distant future. Whereas people who prefer to live life in the fast lane, blowing caution and sunscreen to the wind, may see wrinkles and age spots creep up sooner than their kin.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, Photoaging is a long-term result of sun exposure. Excessive unprotected time in the sun leads to premature wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, sagging, and a leathery texture of the skin. To avoid premature aging look for sunscreens with a ‘sun protection factor’ (SPF) of 30 or more. The higher the SPF number, the better the sun protection. Also, look for broad spectrum protection to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. We recommend La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, it is a fabulous product that goes on light and provides excellent protection without feeling greasy or heavy.
Tips for Applying Sunscreen:
- Apply evenly to all uncovered skin. Pay close attention to your lips, nose, ears, neck, hands, and feet.
- Check the label for the correct amount of time to apply before going out.
- If you do not have much hair, apply sunscreen to the top of your head, or wear a hat.
- Reapply at least every two hours, check the label to see how often to reapply.
- Water resistant sunscreen stays on your skin longer, but does not mean water proof. Water resistant sunscreens also need to be reapplied as directed on the label.
Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Skin Cancer Foundation
New York Times
Product featured in this article: La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid