Skin aging is something that happens to everyone eventually, but you may be feeling like you got dealt a bad hand if you’re already looking older than your friends of a similar age. While there is a lot of truth to the effect that lifestyle has on aging, there’s more to it than how many antioxidant-rich foods you managed to add to your diet–there’s also a genetic component. How fast you age has a lot to do with what’s in your DNA, so keep that in mind when you’re eyeing your crows’ feet in the mirror.
The Effects of Genetics
Genetics have a major influence on all of our physical traits, so it only makes sense that this would carry over to aging. Take a look at your parents, your aunts, uncles and grandparents—do they look older than they actually are? You may have inherited those wrinkles and aging tendencies, which means you’ll have to fight off the effects of getting older a bit harder.
The genetics of looking young has recently been brought into the spotlight due to a new study on why and how some women just seem to be timeless when it comes to skin aging. Harvard University researchers, led by dermatology professor Dr. Alexa Kimball, recently isolated one type of gene in particular that keeps some people looking young well past when most people start showing signs of aging. The study looked at 231 women of different ethnicities and used various sophisticated technologies including hormone mapping, 3D imaging, and more to try to pinpoint what makes some women stay youthful. The so-called “Methuselah” genes (around 2000 different genes) isolated during the study are found in abundance in one-fifth of black Americans and one-tenth of white Americans. These genes help the skin repair and refresh itself, keeping it healthier and more beautiful over time.
While genetics do play a big part in the aging process, you can only sit around and blame your family tree for so long. It’s time to start taking action—immediately, by taking care of your skin the right way. Here are some ways to help offset genetic setbacks and unlock your skin’s potential:
Save it from the sun
The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are your skin’s worst enemy. Follow the advice you get ad nauseum and just use sunscreen when you’re going to be outdoors, whether it’s sunny or not. Is that tan worth sagging, wrinkled, and discoloration early in life? Nope.
Take care of it
If you haven’t started a skincare routine by now, then it’s time to put it into your daily routine. Gentle cleansing, moisturization, and regular exfoliation are key to youthful, glowing skin. Don’t forget your neck!
Live your life healthfully
Your skin is influenced by both internal and external factors, so do your skin (and your body!) a favor by living healthfully. Eat a healthy diet full of antioxidant-rich foods, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and don’t forget—sleep is key to your skin health. Avoiding habits like smoking and drinking heavily will pay off greatly in the long run as these bad habits can greatly accelerate aging and sabotage your efforts.
At a certain point, prevention just isn’t enough anymore. Fortunately, advances in cosmetic dermatology have made it possible for patients to more youthful, rejuvenated skin with very little time commitment, downtime, or discomfort. Professional skin treatments can address a number of concerns, including sun damage and discoloration, wrinkles, sagging skin, dull complexion, and more. There are solutions to suit almost every need and budget, including:
- Soft Tissue Fillers
- Laser Resurfacing
- Chemical Peels
- Laser Genesis®
If you’re overwhelmed by the options, never fear: a qualified cosmetic dermatologist can help you make sense of the options and steer you in the direction that is likely to give you the results you want.
Finding a Qualified Dermatologist
To get the best advice, of course, you’ll need the best dermatologist. You should only choose a board certified, experienced specialist like Dr. Diane Walder, a Miami skin expert with a distinguished clientele and frequent source for national publications like Elle, Vogue and Cosmopolitan. Dr. Walder offers personal skincare advice and powerful solutions for keeping skin healthy and beautiful. For more information and to schedule your appointment, call Dr. Walder’s office at 305-866-2177 today.