The Surprising Thing That Affects How Your Skin Ages (Other Than SPF)


Free People

It's no secret: If there's one thing you can do to improve your chances of aging gracefully, it's wearing sunscreen. Diligently. Dermatologists can't stress enough the importance of SPF and blocking out the damaging effects of the sun's rays on our skin. While this golden rule is well known, there seems to be another factor that contributes to skin aging and having fewer wrinkles.

Olay teamed up with Harvard to investigate what causes skin aging in women and determine how to best combat it. Dr. Frauke Neuser, Olay's principal scientist and Dr. Alexa Kimball, professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, recently shared their findings with us, naming a surprising factor that affects how our skin ages—and it isn't what you'd think. They found that the number two lifestyle factor—second only to wearing sunscreen—that impacts how well women's skin ages is having a positive attitude. Women considered to be "exceptional skin agers" were 30% more likely to agree with the statement I have a positive attitude toward myself.

While there are several explanations one could consider to understand these findings, what's clear is the correlation. Whether this means that women aging gracefully tend to feel better about themselves or women who feel good about themselves take better care of their skin, it's safe to say that adopting a healthy attitude and taking better care of yourself will yield positive results.

Lifestyle choices that surprisingly showed no association with increased wrinkles and accelerated skin aging were quality of sleep, caffeine consumption, and eating fast food. So while it's still important to take care of yourself from the inside out if you want beautiful skin that ages well over time, having a positive attitude is the best thing you can do (after regularly applying sunscreen, of course).

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