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Aging is the result of a complex, natural process. Appearance is a key factor to gauge age, health and even emotional well-being. Studies suggest that an attractive appearance may reflect health and a longer lifespan. Additionally, fine lines, wrinkles and skin tone may affect the perception of age. Although considerable research has been conducted on the role of UV radiation in producing free radicals, there are still many unknown factors that explain why humans age and why they age differently. An area of great interest is the biological or intrinsic processes that affect appearance over time. The present study examines factors known to produce an aged appearance in skin, and provides evidence of a potential source of the aged appearance.
Appearance and Aging
The notion that an attractive and youthful appearance is not just about vanity, but also reflects an individual’s overall health has been strengthened by an increasing number of scientific publications demonstrating that appearance may be linked to health¹ and even life expectancy. In one study investigating more than 350 sets of twins, assessments were made as to which twin appeared older and the twins were followed for two years. By 2003, 49 deaths were reported and of these deaths, the twin who “looked older” had an increased risk of mortality.²
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