We live in a world obsessed with aging (or rather, not aging), and there are a slew of products out there all promising to make your skin look more youthful. But all may be for naught, as new research suggests that all the expensive serum in the world might be fruitless against the one thing we can't control: genetics. New research from Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands has discovered a gene—MC1R—that is the culprit behind an older looking appearance. Part of the study required participants to look at images of people and guess their age. Study participants rated those who had the MC1R gene present as older than they were—but only two years older, so no need for a full-on freakout.
The MC1R gene controls melanin production and skin pigment, and scientists believe that a variation in the gene disrupts DNA repair, meaning some people are less equipped to recover from environmental factors like sun damage or smoking—all things that can contribute to accelerated aging in the skin.
Another thing to note: The study only involved several thousand people of European descent, so is by no means an end-all, be-all declaration of one gene being responsible for premature aging. Still, we’re endlessly fascinated by the research being done that explains aging from the inside out. Now where’s our brightening serum?
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