Policy & Issues

Unhealthy lifestyle makes women look '4 years older'

Healthy lifestyle, drinking lots of water and eating berries helps women stay young. File Photo: AP  

Many of us crave to look 10 years younger. However, a new research has revealed that we are not helping ourselves to stay youthful. The study has revealed that unhealthy lifestyles are fuelling a premature ageing epidemic with the average woman looking more than four years older than their actual age, reports the Daily Mail. According to a poll of 8,000 British women aged over 25, unhealthy habits, including smoking, drinking, eating junk food, using sun beds and not looking after skin, are making women look old.

The results indicated that modern lifestyles are having a detrimental effect on looks, making women look 4.25 years older than they actually were. In this image-conscious age, the survey also uncovered that a quarter of women spend 10 minutes a day worrying about their ageing, adding up to two and half days every year.

Women in the North East are ageing the fastest, feeling that they look an average of six years older than their years, which is no surprise considering they also smoke and drink the most, use sun beds and a third regularly go out in the sun without wearing any protection.

While scientists did not analyse participants’ skin, the group were asked what age they felt they looked. The questions revealed that one in five don’t use moisturiser, 40 per cent regularly go out in the sun without any SPF protection, a quarter eat junk food two to three times a week and the average woman drinks 448 units of alcohol and smokes 894 cigarettes a year. Dr. Ravi Jain, from the Riverbanks Clinic, in Bedfordshire, said his mantra was to stub out the cigarettes and wear sun protection every day. He also encouraged drinking lots of water and eating berries to stop going over the hill prematurely.

"Collagen production in our skin naturally slows as we age, with a loss of about a third of collagen normal by the age of 45 causing a reduction of facial volume and the appearance of wrinkles and folds,” he said.

"However, smoking, alcohol consumption, sun damage, poor diet and even a lack of exercise can accelerate collagen breakdown and cause us to age prematurely,” Dr. Jain added.

For a third of the women who took part in the poll, by collagen replenishment treatment Sculptra, the biggest concern was looking less attractive, while one in 10 people aged 25 to 30 were anxious their partner would leave them. One in ten women aged 51 to 55 said they agonised about looking like their mother. Around one in ten women, who were aged between 25 and 66, said they would have an injection to look young, while nine per cent would opt for plastic surgery and 66 per cent would fancy a makeover to help them shave off the years.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 3:21:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/policy-and-issues/Unhealthy-lifestyle-makes-women-look-4-years-older/article15604123.ece

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