Do people who look younger live longer? According to a recent study published in the Journals of Gerontology, women who have fewer wrinkles may well live to an older age.
The study found that women with a younger looking facial appearance had lower blood pressure, which can reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.
Researchers from Unilever, a company that produces food and personal care products, and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, set out to test whether a person’s perceived age has an effect on the health of their heart.
They examined 260 women divided into two groups based on high or low risk of cardiovascular disease and compared them to a group of similarly aged control participants with no reported disease history.
The appearance of the women’s skin was evaluated by comparing wrinkles on the skin of their inner arm, an area less affected by sun exposure, to the quality of the skin on their faces.
The women who had the lowest blood pressure and cardiac risk were found to appear over two years younger than those in the other group, reported a Unilever press release.
Dr. David Gunn, Unilever Senior Scientist, said in the press release, “We identified that blood pressure was driving the link between cardiovascular disease risk and perceived age. It is the first time a link between low blood pressure and youthful looks has been proven.”
To confirm that these findings were not just due to cosmetic or skin product use, a second part of the study measured the facial skin appearance of men from long-lived families to a similar aged control group. The long-lived males looked younger than the control males.
The researchers also evaluated the skin of the upper arms of a group of women and men from long-lived families and they too had less skin wrinkling on their upper arms compared to a control group of the same age.