Although there are many things you can do in daily life to keep your skin looking youthful, from making sure to wear sunscreen to drinking enough water to keep your skin hydrated, a recent study has found that some people's skin may look younger than others' for genetic reasons. The study, conducted by skincare company Olay in cooperation with Harvard Medical School, found that there is a small group of women whose skin ages particularly slowly, and they all seem to share a genetic "fingerprint."
The research involved 350 women from four ethnic groups with ages ranging from 20 to 70. To start off, the researchers visually ranked the women as either "exceptional skin agers," whose skin appeared to be much younger than their biological age, or normal agers, who looked their age. They then conducted genetic analyses and determined that the exceptional skin agers all seemed to share a certain set of about 2,000 genes.
"When we compared the exceptional skin agers and the average women, we saw there was a fingerprint of around about 2,000 genes that were being differently expressed, or that were differently active in a significant way from the average women," said principal scientist Dr. Frauke Neuser in a statement.
The genes that differed in the exceptional ager group were involved in maintaining the skin's antioxidant levels and moisture barriers. Although for most women, these processes start to decline around the mid-30s, the exceptional agers didn't experience this decline. Ethnicity may have played a part in determining whether the women were exceptional agers or not: Overall, African-American women's skin aged about ten years slower than that of the Caucasian women in the study.
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