The Role of Genetics in Skin Aging

Today, more than ever, the beauty industry is booming. Most people are interested in retaining a youthful look and are ready to invest in beauty creams, lotions, serums, Botox, and fillers.

But did you know that genetics are actively responsible for skin aging? Read this guide for more. And if you’d like to show off an attractive, perfect jawline, check out

The Link between Population Genetics and Skin Aging

Population genetics is the scientific study of genetic differences in a population. Different ethnic groups and races age differently due to their genetic composition.

For instance, African-American and Asian skin has thick dermis that contains high levels of collagen and melanin to protect them from developing early facial wrinkles. Caucasian skin, however, develops wrinkles as early as 20 years, which is attributed to low melanin levels. This is despite having moisturized skin than Asians and African-Americans.

Regarding gender and skin aging, men in specific populations age faster than women, and vice versa. Korean women, for instance, are more prone to wrinkles than men. And this is after eliminating external factors such as smoking, sun exposure, and age. The Japanese are the opposite, with men having more wrinkles than women in the same age group.

The aging process has also been compared between populations; in this case, it was between Chinese and French women. Researchers found that French women slowly develop wrinkles from 20 to 60 years. But it is only after 40 years that Chinese women undergo rapid aging, with some having pigmented spots.

What genetic composition causes aging across all these populations? Read on.

Phenotypes Responsible for Aging

The human body contains different phenotypes (observable characteristics) that change differently through the years. But it is genetics that controls the aging process.

The eyes are the first part that undergoes skin aging, usually between 19 and 32 years before the process slows down. The corners of the mouth and cheeks follow as the aging process peaks at 30 to 58 years. The forehead wrinkles become prominent at 40 years, with the neck aging at 50.

But what genes are involved in aging? Experts have identified that chromosome 16 holds a region of high pleiotropic genes, with some of these genes associated with skin color and aging. These pleiotropic genes undergo downregulation with age, hence skin aging.

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes have also been linked to skin aging. Experts have identified specific SNPs associated with skin elasticity, hydration, and oxidative stress. Since these SNPs differ among people in different populations, their progressive changes over time can cause decreased activity in certain biological responses.

What to Do about Genetics and Skin Aging

Unfortunately, you cannot do much to alter skin aging genes. But you still have options.

You see, aging is a result of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Although you cannot change your internal makeup, you can surely find ways to limit extrinsic aging brought about by sun exposure and lifestyle choices. Here is what you can do:

  • Wear Sunscreen: It feels good basking in the sun’s rays. However, do so while wearing sunscreen with a 30+ Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Also, wear sunglasses, protective hats, or long-sleeve pants.
  • Eat Healthy: Foods high in fiber and antioxidants, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, can combat premature aging. Also, avoid meals with high levels of hydrogenated oils and saturated fat.
  • Get Enough Rest: Aim for at least seven hours of sleep.
  • Stop Smoking: Cigarette smoke speeds up aging, and it would be best for your skin if you quit smoking.

Final Thoughts

Your genetic composition determines how soon or progressive your skin aging will be. Although it is impossible to alter your genetic matter, you can slow the signs of aging by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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