Lifestyle matters more than genetics in latest ageing report

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 26-Jan-2017

Olay conducts research with genetics company 23andMe to unearth key factors contributing to the youthful appearance of skin

Sunscreen and a positive attitude is the key to younger-looking skin, according to research by P&G brand Olay and 23andMe.

Over 155,000 participants took part in the study, which revealed that external factors had a larger effect on youthful skin appearance than genetics.

The two companies found that 10,839 of the participants claimed they were often told that their skin looked ten or more years younger than their biological age, and most of these women were over 60.

These younger looking women almost always used sunscreen while women who reported they had a positive attitude towards themselves were 30% more likely to have youthful-looking skin.

Additional positive predictors included: activity and energy levels, living in an urban area, regular exercise, eight or more hours of sleep a night, multi-vitamin usage and high self-rated health.

However women who sunbathed were 35% less likely to have ‘exceptional’ skin and women who frequently or always suffered from dry skin, were 30% less likely to be an ‘exceptional skin ager.’

Traditional vices such as smoking cigarettes and a body mass index of over 25 were confirmed to have a negative impact on the skin.

“These findings are incredibly exciting because they show that women can actively take beauty into their own hands,” said Dr Frauke Neuser, Principal Scientist, Olay Skin Care, P&G.

“In this study, having skin that looks exceptionally young – ageless – was not down to luck; genetics plays some role, but factors within women's control have larger effects.

“Future genomics and genetics research might enable us to provide increasingly personalized services and product solutions for women around the world.”

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