How Lucky Will You Be With Aging?

You Beauty
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Ever wished you could look into a crystal ball to see what you’ll look like in 10 or 20 years? Our friends at You Beauty shared these seven features that may indicate just how gracefully you might age.

We’ve all witnessed the phenomenon: that radiant older woman whose cherub skin seems to (unfairly!) defy the hands of time, and the thirty-something who appears haggard and worn beyond her years. What gives, Mother Nature?

While environmental and lifestyle factors no doubt play a major role in how you age, experts say that pure genetic luck is the foundation of the equation. A 2009 study of twins published in the Archives of Dermatology revealed that up to 60 percent of skin aging is due to genetics, says Dr. Heidi Waldorf, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Measure Telomeres to Measure Your Life Span

But be forewarned–this fact could work against you if the assumption that you have “good” genetic odds leads you to not care for your skin. “You can have the best genes in the world, but if you smoke or bake in the sun, you’ll look 10 to 15 years older,” says Los Angeles dermatologist, Dr. Ava Shamban. “Moral of the story: Don’t count on your genes to save you from a poor lifestyle. It’s genetics and environmental damage to genetic code that determines the speed you age.”

We asked leading derms to decipher those genetic jackpot clues. If you’re lucky enough to have one or more of the below characteristics and mind your sunscreen and skincare, it’s a good bet you’ll cash in those youthful chips later in life.

Your folks have aged well.
That’s right, check out mom and pop. First degree relatives can give you the strongest sense of how you’ll age, since genes direct the cellular functions that have an enormous impact on appearance. “We inherit the rate at which our cells turn over, how quickly damage is repaired, and how much collagen is produced,” says Shamban. More specifically, the sequences of DNA attached to the ends of chromosomes known as telomeres–which allow cells to divide without losing genetic coding–are thought to be inherited. “Recent genetic studies suggest that those with longer telomere sequences live an average of five years longer with healthier-looking skin than those with shorter sequences,” says Shamban. Though take note: Environmental factors like smoking, sun and lack of exercise are thought to be among the biggest threats to the breakdown of telomere coding overtime, no matter what your genetic background.

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