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What Adds Years to your Face?

We can tell a lot from a person’s face. Clean-shaven or bearded? Tanned, sunburnt, or pale in complexion? Nicely trimmed or plucked eyebrows, or a uni-brow and wild hairs? Bright-eyed and vibrant looking, or bags under the eyes and a double chin? Smooth skin, or pock marks and acne? The face shows our age and can defy it. Our smile and eyes communicate volumes about our lifestyle, our health, and our confidence.

Anyone who says that looks don’t matter most likely doesn’t care about how he or she looks. In a 2009 New York Times article entitled “Looks Do Matter,” the author quotes Princeton Professor Susan Fiske, who says, “Attractiveness is one thing that can make stereotypes self-fulfilling and reinforcing. Attractive people are ‘credited with being socially skilled,’ If you’re beautiful or handsome, people laugh at your jokes and interact with you in such a way that it’s easy to be socially skilled. If you’re unattractive, it’s harder to get all that stuff because people don’t seek you out.” Her commentary is not about what is morally or ethically right or kind, but observations based on her studies and experience in Western culture.

Professor Fiske goes on to say that age stereotypes are alive and well, with older people viewed as “harmless and useless.” Furthermore, she explains that research has shown that gender and age stereotypes are far harder to change than racial and ethnic stereotypes.

All to say that we all dream of staying as young as possible for as long as possible.

So, “what adds years to your face?” If it is possible to obtain this knowledge, then, perhaps, you can be more proactive when it comes avoiding those things that add years to your face.

Facial Expressions: All of your facial expressions contribute to wrinkles that eventually appear on your face, including:

Just try the sample expressions and view the type of wrinkles you see in the mirror. Yes, that’s what some of your wrinkles may look like in the next decade if you don’t take measures to prevent their formation. Don’t worry, unlike what Mother said to you as a child, contorting your face in weird expressions will not freeze it in place!

If grimaces are performed frequently however, lines will become etched in the specific locations being used. These can be prevented with a Botox treatment to the offending muscles that create those negative movements, i.e. frowning or mouth grimacing.

Facial Touching: Facial touching may also contribute to wrinkles on your face, according to one Old Wives Tale. So, it’s wise to stay away from this popular habit. In fact, in 2007, Berkley students were “surveillance” over a three-hour time period for eye, nose and lip touching to find the average of face touching to be thirty-six times. Face touching signs include:

Indeed, all of these face touching signals may impact the extent of wrinkling you have later on in life. On your time off, you may want to try some ways to reduce the times you touch your face, including:

So, it is also important to properly position your face with the use of a proper pillow while sleeping. Standard pillows may eventually contribute to wrinkles, such as frown lines, crow’s feet, between the brow lines, smile and mouth corner lines. Investigate memory foam pillows to add wrinkle-free years to your face. Try a night eye mask to maintain hydration in your eye area, particularly since the eye area does not contain oil glands.

Bone Changes: Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons completed a study following measurements of the T-zone area of 30 women and 30 men’s faces
in 2007. The results of the study documented bone structure changes. Such changes were remarkable. During the study, participants’ bone structures were remodeled to demonstrate differences over time through quantification of the data. The T-zone area measured included:

From younger to middle age, women appeared to have sagging eyebrows and loss of volume in the eyelid areas, showing as deflated eyelid skin.

In men, the same area had similar features but this did not occur until middle to senior age. Men also appear to lose support in the cheek area, making the cheek (malar) fat pad slide down the face to create a crease in the nose to mouth area (naso-labial fold area).

In both sexes, the opening of the nose appeared to increase in size, especially by senior age due to bone recession. This also lends the appearance of an elongated nose and droopiness in the nasal area.

Decreased Collagen Production and Skin Elasticity: Since collagen is the building block for skin firmness and tightness (elasticity), it is no surprise that the slowing of collagen production during aging causes loose, sagging skin. Add to this gravity, you’ve got skin sagginess and looseness. To prevent loss of skin elasticity, consider medical grade skincare that accelerates the skin exfoliation process and research cutting edge technology to help maintain adequate collagen production.

Rest: Proper rest helps to release the daily strains from life that can add years to your face, especially
if you take into consideration body positioning and pillow framework. First, six to eight hours of sound sleep is essential for anti-aging care. Second, the soldier body position in which you are lying on your back with arms at your sides would be ideal to prevent bed wrinkles. But, this is not likely. According to a study of 1,000 participants conducted by Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service in Britain, only 14% of the

Smoking: Cigarettes contains thousands of toxins that enter the bloodstream, limit oxygen to skin cells, cause dehydration and lead to skin death. The appearance of a smoker’s face over time, includes:

The best answer to prevent a smoker’s face is to quit smoking. Period.

There may be other factors that can add years to your face, such as diet and medication use. Though, now you have the basics.

David J. Bauder, PA-C David Bauder, PA-C, is a certified physician assistant and the medical director at Weight Loss and Vitality in Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, DC. He enjoys helping patients optimize their physical and mental health to improve their overall well-being. He earned his physician assistant degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Afterward, he gained admission into the reputable graduate program for physician assistant studies at the University of Nebraska Health Science Center in Omaha. David has over 25 years of experience working as a physician assistant. He’s practiced in podiatry, family medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, urgent care, and functional medicine.

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