Family Encyclopedia >> Beauty & Style

What is the secret to flawless skin?

Vitamin C serum, revitalizing moisturizer, acne therapy mask… there are endless products on the market that promise to remove wrinkles, shrink pores, lighten scars… and give you perfect, glowing skin. Great skin in a jar? Could be. But there are other important factors that affect how our skin looks and behaves. Like genetics.

Genetics play an important, but not the only, role in the appearance of our skin. Human bodies have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes made up of DNA. These genes determine everything about us, including the skin. Genetics determine skin type (dry, normal or oily), many skin conditions and even wrinkles.

When it comes to getting older, there are two main factors that come into play. First, the genes you are born with affect how you age. And also which genes turn on and off over time. Second, what you are exposed to and what you do also affects your skin.

Sun damage, pollution, drinking, smoking and lack of sleep can add years to the face. That also applies to stress. One study found that divorced women are 1.7 years older than their twins. In addition to lines and wrinkles, stress can also cause acne and psoriasis that affect the appearance of the skin.

So, is there a secret to youthful, healthy skin? One study found that certain proteins found in women who appear younger than their chronological age were comparable to those found in women who were actually younger. In women who appeared younger than their age, the researcher saw increased activity in genes associated with cell repair and reversal, response to environmental damage, and those important to skin's fundamental components, all of which can influence appearance.

While we can't control genetics, we do have control over the choices we can make, such as sunscreen, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy diet, reducing sugar, exercising, and quitting smoking. Topical retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids promote cell turnover and can fight acne and signs of aging. In short:a good skin care regime together with a healthy lifestyle is the best way to get beautiful skin.