Saturday, October 17, 2009

What keeps some women looking young ( and men, too)? Study of identical twins.

17 October 2009

Hi there! It's me Svetlana.

I found this article recently in one of the woman magazines I periodically read. It's written by Joan Kron, one of the magazine's contributing writers. It's called "Living young" and talks about why some women look younger than their actual age, analyzing the results of a stufy of identical twins.

This research was published in Plastic and Reconstrctive Surgery by Bahman Guyuron, a prominent plastic surgeon in Cleveland, and his colleagues at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University. They have noticed that many identical twins as years go by, start looking more and more different.
 And the difference is not merely in hair color, way of dressing or using makeup, but in the fact that one twin may start looking significantly older than the other. The scientists tried to find an answer to an odd question: why two people with the same DNA (genetic structure) could look so different. The pictures I provide come from the actual study and can be found on the Internet together with the study results.



The researchers found that contrasting everyday behaviors and habits can cause subtle differences in appearance that eventually become big differences over years, and make one of the twins look older than the other. Meaning, genetic factors did not play any role in the differences, only the external factors. And this fact suggests that all of us - twins or not- may have more influence on the way we age than we think by having certain habits.

This i the list of the factors that lead to looking older:

1. Smoking.
2. Sun exposure (sunscreen decresed or minimized this effect).
3. Too low body weight if you are older than 40+ years old (yes, yes, for women after 40+ being a little havier makes them look younger, as oppose to women under 40 when the opposite happens). Additional weight in older women fills and softens wrinkles. In women under 40 extra pounds obscure youthful features like a smooth jawline and cause facial skin to sag. The twin on the left had dramatic weight loss after gastric bypass.


4.  Lack of estrogen (premature and normal menopause, ovaries removal in early age, etc). In fact, the longer women tales birth control pills or hormone-replacement therapy after menopause, and the higher the dose, the more likely she is to look younger. In no way I am advocating to start taking hormones for achieving younger looks only: not only it's not an approveduse, but it may cause harm. However, if you are olready on the hormone therapy and take it for other medical reasons, there is a good chance you will end up looking younger than other women of your age who are not on it.
5. Depression (sadder facial expressions add to older appearances) and use of antidepressants (they may weaken eye muscles, causing the eye area to look more droopy).
6. Heavy drinking (excess alcohol damages blood vessels in the skin and affects the liver which plays a major role in the skin collagen's amount and quality). Heavy drinking harm the liver and cause wrinkles.
7. Divorce (stress and depression).

This is all for now. So long!

Svetlana

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