Who Knows the Most Important Causes of Aging Skin?

One of my favorite parts of the C&T website is their “Biology Research” section. Here you’ll find science based articles that illuminate the latest understandings of basic human hair and skin biology.

An article that caught my interest was a summary of twins skin research published in the Archives of Dermatology. I was more of a hair care cosmetic chemist so I always find skin articles interesting.

Some facts I found most interesting.

It’s in your genes

Genetics is responsible for 60% of all aging. This will be noticed as fine wrinkles and skin growths. So, no matter what kind of special anti-aging cream a cosmetic formulator can create, it’s only going to affect 40% of the consumer’s problem. No wonder cosmetic chemists have such a hard time.

Smoking and eating

Smoking, being over-weight, and previous history of skin cancer were all correlated with higher levels of photodamage. Looks like more evidence that you should wear a UV protector.

Alcohol benefits

Drinking was correlated with lower photodamage scores. So, people who drink alcohol have better looking skin? I saw it hypothesized in a different article about this research that the alcohol may have come in the form of wine and the anti-oxidants in it could explain this result. The researchers didn’t separate out what type of alcoholic drinks subjects had so this remains a mystery.

How to have great skin

So, the advice I get from this research is as follows.

If you want great looking skin…

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Don’t become overweight
  3. Wear a sunscreen
  4. Drink alcohol
  5. Hope that you inherited youthful looking skin genes

Unfortunately, there is nothing in this research that indicates using anti-aging skin creams will give much benefit at all. Looks like the cosmetic chemists who work on these products still have more work to do.

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