We all age differently. While genetic aging is inevitable, some of us help signs of skin aging along with environmental factors. That’s no clearer than when looking at twins with different habits.
The Case Western Reserve School of Medicine did exactly that, visiting the Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg Ohio in 2002 and publishing their findings earlier this month.
“The Twins Days Festival provides a rare opportunity to study a large number of twin pairs to control for genetic susceptibility,” explained the study authors, who had set out to identify the main environmental factors in skin aging.
The researchers assigned each twin a skin damage score, based on properties like wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. They found that smoking, being overweight and having a history of skin cancer were linked to more photodamage; whereas, interestingly, drinking alcohol was linked to less photodamage.
“Among the most important results is that a history of skin cancer and photodamage are highly associated in a population that shares genetic commonalities,” the researchers wrote. “The relationships found between smoking, weight, sunscreen use, skin cancer and photodamage in these twin pairs may help to motivate the reduction of risky behaviors.”
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