Is Your Face Older Than You Are? - GREAT archived article by Redbook Magazine

(Read the full article HERE)

Yes, we know, wrinkles make you look old and a fresh, rosy glow makes you look young. But there are other, more surprising ways your appearance can age you (or shave a few years off!). Here's what might get you called miss...and what might get you called ma'am.

By Cheryl Kramer Kaye / Re-posted by
Kona Tanning Company

What makes you look older?

Large pores: +3 YEARS
Accumulated sun damage can cause the support structure of the pores to sag, making them look wider. Pores are also more noticeable when they're clogged.

Have them? How to get rid of them: "Imagine that each pore is in the shape of a V — wider at the surface," explains Amy Wechsler, M.D., whose board certifications in dermatology and psychiatry put her in a unique position to assess both the mechanical aspects of aging and the mental facets of perceived age. In-office treatments, like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, will remove the top layer of skin, eliminating the widest part of the pore and making the opening seem smaller.

Avoid them! "Anything that exfoliates will help keep pores clear and looking smaller," says Wechsler. Try topical retinoids (like prescription Renova or Atralin) and salicylic acid products (like Peter Thomas Roth Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Acne Wash, $35). And of course, always wear sunscreen to prevent sun damage and sagging.

Chest freckles: +10 YEARS
"These are what our grandparents called liver spots and some people call age spots," Wechsler says. But even though they're associated with aging, "they're absolutely a result of sun damage. I've seen 20-year-olds with chests so mottled that they shocked me!"

Have them? How to get rid of them: Retin-A or hydroquinone, a melanin-inhibiting agent, can help lighten the brown areas. In-office chemical peels and a new Fraxel laser for pigmentation problems can make a big dent in the dark spots.

Avoid them! "Averting chest freckles is more than just a matter of applying sunscreen when you go outside," Wechsler says. You'll want to wear clothing that covers your chest, and reapply your sunscreen throughout the day."
(Kona Tanning Company recommends airbrush spray tanning to blend a freckled chest! Age spots? No problem! Just let us know, so we can devote a little more time to your tanning session. We have tricks that can cover even the roughest of age spots!)

Thick, yellow fingernails: +5 YEARS
A study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery compared bare fingers to ones that were "dressed up" with nail polish and jewelry, and found that naked nails were perceived as older. That could be because the polish disguised thickness and yellowing, which are "associated with illness, and hence aging," Wechsler explains.

Have them? How to get rid of them: Vitamin and moisture deficiencies make nails look lousy. Wechsler suggests Carmol cream to hydrate, plus a biotin supplement for strength.

Avoid them! "The effect of a bad diet shows up in your nails," Wechsler says. Keep your hands off the junk food and junk food off your hands!

Receding gums: +10 YEARS
"Everybody's gums recede," says Michael Apa, D.D.S., an expert in aesthetic dentistry. "But when gums recede significantly before your late 30s, it can be very aging. Think of it like an 18-year-old guy with a baby face and a receding hairline; it just doesn't look right."

Have them? How to get rid of them: Receding gums can be fixed, but it won't be that easy... or cheap. Your dentist can restore your gum line with AlloDerm grafts at a cost of about $2,000 to $3,000. Also, porcelain veneers applied over your teeth will cover up the receded area ($1,000 and up — per tooth).

Avoid them! "There's nothing like a professional cleaning to scrape the microbes out of the gum tissue and keep your gums in shape," Apa says. At home, Apa suggests microbe-killing the Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Mouth Rinse, $7.50.

Veiny hands: +7 YEARS
The same study that determined that nail polish makes hands look younger found that the number one thing that makes hands look older was the presence of prominent veins.

Have them? How to get rid of them: "The veiny appearance is due to a loss of tissue — bone loss, muscle atrophy, fat loss — so the injection of a dermal filler can plump them back up," says Wechsler, who uses Sculptra (off-label) for this purpose. "You can also use a squeezy ball to make the muscles stronger and less sunken-looking."
Avoid them! Staying fit and getting adequate calcium and vitamin A helps with muscle and bone loss.

What makes you look younger?

Voluminous hair: -3 YEARS
Have you ever seen a woman from behind with long, thick hair, then been surprised to see an older face when she turns around? Subconsciously, we think of thick hair as a "young" trait.

Have it? How to keep it: "Eating a diet rich in folate and iron can help nourish hair's roots," Wechsler says. Also, she notes, "avoid overstressing your hair repeatedly with tight ponytails or braids, which can cause permanent hair loss."

Get it! There are a slew of hair-volumizing products to make your hair appear thicker. One to try: Living Proof Full Thickening Cream, $14, which bulks up individual strands so hair also feels thicker. If your hair is thinning noticeably and quickly and there isn't an obvious reason for it (like you recently had a baby, or just stopped breast-feeding), see your doctor to have your thyroid checked.

Lush eyelashes: -3 YEARS
Think of the ingenue who bats her long, fluttery lashes. In general, "we associate full hair, anywhere on the body, with youth," says Wechsler.

Have them? How to keep them: "It's hard to mess up your eyelashes," Wechsler says, "but you should still treat them gently." Use a makeup remover designed to take off mascara (try Bioré Make-Up Removing Towelettes, $8) — and no rubbing!
Get them! Wechsler has been seeing results with Latisse, the FDA-approved lash grower. Or try over-the-counter lash conditioners, which make lashes look thicker. Try L'Oréal Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum, $15.

Thick eyebrows: -5 YEARS
While testosterone causes men's eyebrows to grow wild as they get older, women's brows thin out after years of waxing and tweezing.

Have them? How to keep them: "Don't overwax or overpluck," Wechsler advises. "You can damage the follicles to the point where the hairs won't grow back." To shape brows without follicle damage, try the Christi Harris Precision Brow Planing System, $40, which trims brow hairs at the surface rather than removing them at the root.
Get them! Wechsler recommends taking a 5mg oral biotin supplement to make hair stronger. French brand Talika has two cult brow products worth trying: Eyebrow Lipocils, $40, to promote growth, and Eyebrow Extender, $35, to fill in. (Kona Tanning Company recommends the LA-based brow guru TONYA CROOKS for shaping, in charge of such flawlessly-framed faces as Fergie, Megan Fox, Chelsea Handler, Molly Sims, and more!)

Full lips: -5 YEARS
A study by David Gunn, a research scientist at Unilever (makers of Dove, Vaseline, and more), found that women who look young for their age have fuller lips.

Have them? How to keep them: Keep lip lines at bay by wearing an SPF lip balm daily, like Softlips Lip Protectant Sunscreen SPF 20, $4.

Get them! Wechsler plumps her patients' lips with fillers but is careful to maintain the natural upper-to-lower lip ratio of 1/3 to 2/3. "Angelina Jolie has a one-to-one ratio, but that looks fake on most people," Wechsler says. A full-lip makeup tip: Apply a nude liner just to the outer corners of your lips. "By shading the outside, the center of the lips moves forward," Nigara says. Then apply your lip color, and a dab of clear gloss to the center of your lips.

Plump cheeks: -4 YEARS
Women 40 and older who have a slightly higher body mass index look younger than their skinnier counterparts, according to a study out of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Why? "When you lose weight, you lose fat in your face, making cheeks look hollow and aged," Wechsler explains.

Have them? How to keep them: Avoid yo-yo dieting, which will max out your skin's elasticity and make it sag.

Get them! Dermatologists are using facial fillers such as Restylane, Juvéderm, and Sculptra to fill out cheeks. Mathew Nigara, an NYC New York Color Makeup Artist, suggests making cheeks appear fuller by bringing focus to the roundest part: "Apply a cream highlighter to the apples of the cheeks, then a bronzer under the cheekbones."

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