How many times have you heard, "You look just like your mother?" Or, "You have your mother’s smile?" Some men even joke that if you want to know what a woman will look like in twenty years, just look at her mother!
At one time or another, just about every woman has scrutinized how her mom ages and wondered about her own genetic destiny. A recent exchange at my hair salon got me thinking when a hair stylist adamantly begged the aging gods (who apparently live in the ceiling of the salon) that she not inherit her mom’s skin. So, naturally, I began to wonder: Will I get my mother’s excessive age spots? Or her deep smile lines? That day, I sent a silent prayer of my own to the heavens that I not inherit her saggy eyelids. (I wonder how I can get on their short list?)
In my mind, I’ve always envisioned my aging process being similar to Sophia Loren’s. But when I look at my mother, my plans seem pretty far-fetched. So, is my aging process written in the proverbial stars? Is my genetic fate set in stone? Not entirely. Per my research, we have more control over our aging process than we realize. While you can’t avoid inheriting your mom’s nose or smile (or anal retentive nature), there are things you can do to control the biggies such skin texture and wrinkles. Read on…
Can You Blame Mom For Your Crows’ Feet?
There are a number of things we like to blame on our mothers (mine include over-indulgent spending and vanity). But can we really blame her for our crows’ feet or skin’s overall health? Yes…and no. According to science, genetics are responsible for roughly half your looks. The other fifty percent is all you. So, when you’re sunbathing with little to no SPF, going to bed without washing your face, or not religiously applying an eye cream, these all play into the fifty percent you control.
What Determines My Skin’s Aging Fate?
Collagen and hydration are two key factors. Collagen is what gives our skin its structure. Hydration is the process by which skin retains moisture. As we age, the genes that control these processes become less active, which (you guessed it) causes the skin to wrinkle.
So, Can I Outsmart My Genetic Destiny?
For the most part, yes! It all comes down to being proactive. This will allow you to take charge of your genetic destiny, and avoid inheriting those dreaded sags and wrinkles. Here are some tips:
Take preventative measures against wrinkles by adopting an aggressive skincare regimen based on your skin type, which will dramatically slow down the aging process.
If your mom passed down sensitive skin that is receptive to hyperpigmentation (a.k.a brown spots), you can easily avoid your fate by slathering on a strong SPF and avoiding the sun when possible.
And to keep sagging skin at bay, collagen-producing treatments and products are ultra-effective approaches (see your Dermatologist for a list of options).
Another beauty must is exfoliation. As we age, our skin’s cell turnover slows down, causing a dull-looking complexion. Regular exfoliation will get rid of that top layer of dead skin, giving you a natural looking glow.
So, while we can’t avoid inheriting our mother’s lack of patience, or her quick temper, the good news is we can control the fate of our skin and body. Here’s to aging like Sophia Loren - or to scientists discovering the fountain of youth. I’d be happy with either…
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