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Factors That Accelerate Skin Ageing: What The Twin Study Reveals
Factors That Accelerate Skin Ageing: What The Twin Study Reveals


Sep 21, 2023

Published By:

Este Medical Group

For women and men interested in how their lifestyle can impact skin ageing The Twin Study is an amazing scientific source of data that reveals what factors affect the ageing of the skin.  

The Twin Study, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery by Guyuron et al. (2009), does much to confirm that our lifestyles and environmental factors (e.g., sun exposure) have an impact on how our skin ages. 

To help you better protect and repair your skin from the signs of ageing and premature ageing skin, we have pulled the most relevant information from this study for you to more fully understand what happens to your skin as you age. 

Study Reveals Secrets To Younger Looking Skin 

It’s true, your lifestyle is probably having a negative effect on your skin ageing, specifically your behaviours and the environment. 

Using findings from The Twin Study, we will share with you how certain choices you make in your day to day life can have either a positive or negative affect on your skin ageing. 

Plus, provide you with professional skincare treatments that target ageing skin problems. 

Let’s first go over the signs of ageing skin, so you can identify your aged skin issues; additionally, it is helpful during a skincare consultation to specify what your main ageing skin concerns are to a skincare expert. 

Signs Of Skin Ageing 

If you are already experiencing some of these age-related skin issues there are effective skincare treatments available for the face and body that will help to improve or eliminate them. If you are younger and would like to prevent these issues in the future, there are several skincare treatments (e.g., Botox) you can start now as part of a preventative anti-ageing wellness plan.  

Here are some key factors that The Twin Study showed accelerated skin ageing. As each one is revealed we’ll  share which professional anti-ageing skincare procedures are effective treatments. 

Sun Exposure & Sun Damage Twin Study Findings 

Does the sun age your skin? The study provides strong evidence that supports previous scientific findings that in fact UV rays are harmful and damaging to our skin; environmental sun exposure can cause age spots on skin and skin wrinkles. When it comes to many other environmental factors, sun exposure is the most impactful when it comes to skin ageing. 

In The Twin Study, twins revealed how much time they had spent in the sun since childhood. Not surprisingly, the twin who spent more time in the sun had deeper wrinkles, more skin spots, and skin discolouration. Those who reported using sunscreen minimised damage to their skin and skin collagen. In summary, the twin who had the most sun exposure looked older.

Photo Credit: ASPS, Vol 123 number 4 The panel determined that Twin B (right) looks 11.25 years older than Twin A (left). They are both 61 years old here. Twin B had approximately 10 hours more per week of sun exposure than Twin A. Additionally; Twin B weighs fifteen pounds less than Twin A. (Continue reading to learn how weight impacts the appearance of age.)
Photo Credit: ASPS, Vol 123 number 4. These twins are 69 years old. The perceived age difference between them was 3.375 years. Twin A (left) had about 19 hours per week more sun exposure than Twin B.

The debate over sunscreen vs no sunscreen is clearer than ever: if you want to avoid fine lines and wrinkles and prevent sunspots as you age, then you need to be using sunscreen on a daily basis — sun protection and sunscreen is not just for the beach. 

Another side effect of too much sun exposure or sun damage is old age skin pigmentation. Hyperpigmentation, liver spots, age spots, sunspots, uneven skin tone, and dark patches of skin can be the results of too much sun exposure over time. One of the most effective treatments to eliminate and reduce the look of skin pigmentation is the cosmelan peel.    

Este Medical offers cosmelan peel treatments for this type of skin ageing. We recommend you book a free skincare consultation to determine if this depigmentation treatment is suitable for you. 

Skin a​geing can occur prematurely with exposure to damaging ​UV rays, as well as air pollution and climate issues like temperature and humidity. 

Smoking & Alcohol: Lifestyle Factors That Accelerate Skin Ageing

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that regular smoking and alcohol use has a negative impact on skin health. The Twin Study did find that both smoking and drinking alcohol caused accelerated skin ageing. Let’s look at what the study revealed. 

Does smoking age your skin? Smoking is not good news for your skin as you age. It has been well documented that smoking reduces skin circulation, skin elasticity, and skin thickness. As a result, your skin will not have a youthful rosy glow because of decreased oxygen to the skin, and thinner skin is more vulnerable to dullness, dryness, and wrinkles

The Twin Study found that twins with a history of smoking looked older. Twins who smoked 5 years or more looked older than their non-smoking twin. The bottom line, smoking will age your skin. 

Photo credit: ASPS, Vol. 123 number 4.  52 years old twins: Twin A (left) smoked for 20 years longer than Twin B (right). The perceived age difference here was 6.25 years. Dr. Guyuron explains that the bags under Twin A's eyes are due to her long-term smoking habit. Twin A also reported seven times the sun exposure of her twin sister and weighed less as well. (Data for weight difference unavailable.)
Photo credit: ASPS, Vol. 123 number 4. These twins are 57 years old. Their perceived age difference is 8.25 years. Twin B (right) looks older because she smoked for 40 years (Twin A on the left is a non-smoker). Also, Twin A had four years of hormone replacement therapy. (Continue reading to find out how hormone replacement impacts perceived age.)

The best way to combat the negative effects of smoking is to help the skin build back natural collagen and elastin, which will help the skin to be stronger and look more vibrant again. An effective way to improve skin circulation is by having monthly HydraFacials.    

Does alcohol age your skin? Yes, and there is already a lot of science on how alcohol contributes to premature skin ageing. Excessive boozing can deplete your body’s vitamins, this can then impact your skin’s collagen levels in a bad way (see skin laxity). Alcohol is also dehydrating (see wrinkles) and may cause skin inflammation and skin redness. 

The Twin Study verdict on alcohol and skin ageing: twins who had greater alcohol intake looked older than their twin.

Effective Skincare Treatments for Smokers and Drinkers

Individuals who grew up smoking or drinking still want to look young and have attractive skin. The best way to combat premature skin ageing is to be proactive. 

How to reverse ageing skin? At Este Medical we recommend a skin assessment to measure the real age of your skin and get you on the right course of treatment to improve skin circulation, boost skin collagen and elastin, and increase skin hydration. Here are several anti-ageing skincare treatments for you to consider: 

A free Este Medical skin consultation will be the best way to determine which treatment is best suited to you.

Skin Changes With Age, Change You Skin For The Better With Este

Skin changes with age are normal, but as we learned from The Twin Study, there are factors like sun exposure, smoking, and drinking alcohol that can cause premature skin ageing and skin damage. 

Which brings us to the most important point of the study, how you nurture your skin health is vital to a healthy complexion and younger-looking skin in your older years. 

As you age, it is important to be able to identify what your skin issues are: depleted collagen, poor skin elasticity, sagging or loose skin, dehydration, discoloured skin….? Once you are able to pinpoint your ageing skin issue, you will be in a much better position to be proactive about cosmetic treatment. 

We hope that you will choose Este Medical for all your anti-ageing skincare needs. Send us a message through our website to book a free skincare consultation today!

Last Updated:

September 21, 2023

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