Why some women look young for their age

David A Gunn, Helle Rexbye, Christopher E M Griffiths, Peter G Murray, Amelia Fereday, Sharon D Catt, Cyrena C Tomlin, Barbara H Strongitharm, Dave I Perrett, Michael Catt, Andrew E Mayes, Andrew G Messenger, Martin R Green, Frans van der Ouderaa, James W Vaupel, Kaare Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The desire of many to look young for their age has led to the establishment of a large cosmetics industry. However, the features of appearance that primarily determine how old women look for their age and whether genetic or environmental factors predominately influence such features are largely unknown. We studied the facial appearance of 102 pairs of female Danish twins aged 59 to 81 as well as 162 British females aged 45 to 75. Skin wrinkling, hair graying and lip height were significantly and independently associated with how old the women looked for their age. The appearance of facial sun-damage was also found to be significantly correlated to how old women look for their age and was primarily due to its commonality with the appearance of skin wrinkles. There was also considerable variation in the perceived age data that was unaccounted for. Composite facial images created from women who looked young or old for their age indicated that the structure of subcutaneous tissue was partly responsible. Heritability analyses of the appearance features revealed that perceived age, pigmented age spots, skin wrinkles and the appearance of sun-damage were influenced more or less equally by genetic and environmental factors. Hair graying, recession of hair from the forehead and lip height were influenced mainly by genetic factors whereas environmental factors influenced hair thinning. These findings indicate that women who look young for their age have large lips, avoid sun-exposure and possess genetic factors that protect against the development of gray hair and skin wrinkles. The findings also demonstrate that perceived age is a better biomarker of skin, hair and facial aging than chronological age.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume4
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)e8021
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jan 2009

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Hair
Skin
Sun
hairs
skin (animal)
lips
Cosmetics
Skin Aging
Biomarkers
Forehead
Subcutaneous Tissue
environmental factors
Aging of materials
Tissue
Composite materials
cosmetics
age structure
Industry
biomarkers
heritability

Cite this

Gunn, D. A., Rexbye, H., Griffiths, C. E. M., Murray, P. G., Fereday, A., Catt, S. D., ... Christensen, K. (2009). Why some women look young for their age. PLoS ONE, 4(12), e8021. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008021
Gunn, David A ; Rexbye, Helle ; Griffiths, Christopher E M ; Murray, Peter G ; Fereday, Amelia ; Catt, Sharon D ; Tomlin, Cyrena C ; Strongitharm, Barbara H ; Perrett, Dave I ; Catt, Michael ; Mayes, Andrew E ; Messenger, Andrew G ; Green, Martin R ; van der Ouderaa, Frans ; Vaupel, James W ; Christensen, Kaare. / Why some women look young for their age. In: PLoS ONE. 2009 ; Vol. 4, No. 12. pp. e8021.
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abstract = "The desire of many to look young for their age has led to the establishment of a large cosmetics industry. However, the features of appearance that primarily determine how old women look for their age and whether genetic or environmental factors predominately influence such features are largely unknown. We studied the facial appearance of 102 pairs of female Danish twins aged 59 to 81 as well as 162 British females aged 45 to 75. Skin wrinkling, hair graying and lip height were significantly and independently associated with how old the women looked for their age. The appearance of facial sun-damage was also found to be significantly correlated to how old women look for their age and was primarily due to its commonality with the appearance of skin wrinkles. There was also considerable variation in the perceived age data that was unaccounted for. Composite facial images created from women who looked young or old for their age indicated that the structure of subcutaneous tissue was partly responsible. Heritability analyses of the appearance features revealed that perceived age, pigmented age spots, skin wrinkles and the appearance of sun-damage were influenced more or less equally by genetic and environmental factors. Hair graying, recession of hair from the forehead and lip height were influenced mainly by genetic factors whereas environmental factors influenced hair thinning. These findings indicate that women who look young for their age have large lips, avoid sun-exposure and possess genetic factors that protect against the development of gray hair and skin wrinkles. The findings also demonstrate that perceived age is a better biomarker of skin, hair and facial aging than chronological age.",
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Gunn, DA, Rexbye, H, Griffiths, CEM, Murray, PG, Fereday, A, Catt, SD, Tomlin, CC, Strongitharm, BH, Perrett, DI, Catt, M, Mayes, AE, Messenger, AG, Green, MR, van der Ouderaa, F, Vaupel, JW & Christensen, K 2009, 'Why some women look young for their age', PLoS ONE, vol. 4, no. 12, pp. e8021. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008021

Why some women look young for their age. / Gunn, David A; Rexbye, Helle; Griffiths, Christopher E M; Murray, Peter G; Fereday, Amelia; Catt, Sharon D; Tomlin, Cyrena C; Strongitharm, Barbara H; Perrett, Dave I; Catt, Michael; Mayes, Andrew E; Messenger, Andrew G; Green, Martin R; van der Ouderaa, Frans; Vaupel, James W; Christensen, Kaare.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 4, No. 12, 01.01.2009, p. e8021.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Why some women look young for their age

AU - Gunn, David A

AU - Rexbye, Helle

AU - Griffiths, Christopher E M

AU - Murray, Peter G

AU - Fereday, Amelia

AU - Catt, Sharon D

AU - Tomlin, Cyrena C

AU - Strongitharm, Barbara H

AU - Perrett, Dave I

AU - Catt, Michael

AU - Mayes, Andrew E

AU - Messenger, Andrew G

AU - Green, Martin R

AU - van der Ouderaa, Frans

AU - Vaupel, James W

AU - Christensen, Kaare

PY - 2009/1/1

Y1 - 2009/1/1

N2 - The desire of many to look young for their age has led to the establishment of a large cosmetics industry. However, the features of appearance that primarily determine how old women look for their age and whether genetic or environmental factors predominately influence such features are largely unknown. We studied the facial appearance of 102 pairs of female Danish twins aged 59 to 81 as well as 162 British females aged 45 to 75. Skin wrinkling, hair graying and lip height were significantly and independently associated with how old the women looked for their age. The appearance of facial sun-damage was also found to be significantly correlated to how old women look for their age and was primarily due to its commonality with the appearance of skin wrinkles. There was also considerable variation in the perceived age data that was unaccounted for. Composite facial images created from women who looked young or old for their age indicated that the structure of subcutaneous tissue was partly responsible. Heritability analyses of the appearance features revealed that perceived age, pigmented age spots, skin wrinkles and the appearance of sun-damage were influenced more or less equally by genetic and environmental factors. Hair graying, recession of hair from the forehead and lip height were influenced mainly by genetic factors whereas environmental factors influenced hair thinning. These findings indicate that women who look young for their age have large lips, avoid sun-exposure and possess genetic factors that protect against the development of gray hair and skin wrinkles. The findings also demonstrate that perceived age is a better biomarker of skin, hair and facial aging than chronological age.

AB - The desire of many to look young for their age has led to the establishment of a large cosmetics industry. However, the features of appearance that primarily determine how old women look for their age and whether genetic or environmental factors predominately influence such features are largely unknown. We studied the facial appearance of 102 pairs of female Danish twins aged 59 to 81 as well as 162 British females aged 45 to 75. Skin wrinkling, hair graying and lip height were significantly and independently associated with how old the women looked for their age. The appearance of facial sun-damage was also found to be significantly correlated to how old women look for their age and was primarily due to its commonality with the appearance of skin wrinkles. There was also considerable variation in the perceived age data that was unaccounted for. Composite facial images created from women who looked young or old for their age indicated that the structure of subcutaneous tissue was partly responsible. Heritability analyses of the appearance features revealed that perceived age, pigmented age spots, skin wrinkles and the appearance of sun-damage were influenced more or less equally by genetic and environmental factors. Hair graying, recession of hair from the forehead and lip height were influenced mainly by genetic factors whereas environmental factors influenced hair thinning. These findings indicate that women who look young for their age have large lips, avoid sun-exposure and possess genetic factors that protect against the development of gray hair and skin wrinkles. The findings also demonstrate that perceived age is a better biomarker of skin, hair and facial aging than chronological age.

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0008021

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0008021

M3 - Journal article

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SP - e8021

JO - P L o S One

JF - P L o S One

SN - 1932-6203

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Gunn DA, Rexbye H, Griffiths CEM, Murray PG, Fereday A, Catt SD et al. Why some women look young for their age. PLoS ONE. 2009 Jan 1;4(12):e8021. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008021