Genes + Aging: What You Can Do Now To Look Better Later

When It Comes To Aging, Is It Nature Or Nurture?

When it comes to predicting how well you age, does it matter more how well your Mom aged or the products you use?

Turns out, Mom knows best (again). But she doesn’t know everything. Rather, your genes are largely responsible for your aging potential (a range, if you will), but it’s your lifestyle that determines where you fall within that range.

How do we know? Well, because, Olay recently conducted their biggest and most comprehensive research study to date, the Multi-Decade and Ethnicity study (MDE), which aimed to both understand the skin aging process and affect it in order to create skincare solutions to help us all look ageless, longer. Using cutting edge gene chip array technology to analyze thousands of genes at one time, Olay discovered exciting insights into the molecular pathways associated with skin aging.

Sure, lifestyle choices are important, but in analyzing the data researchers discovered “exceptional skin agers,” women who looked dramatically younger than others in the same age group because of their unique expression of hundreds of genes. And while all of us have those genes, Olay discovered the genes work more efficiently in these exceptional skin agers. This finding prompted Olay to dig deeper into what influences those genes and how these learnings can be applied to advancing personalized skincare technologies, so all women can look ageless.

In the long-term, Olay, in a first-of-its-kind partnership with personal genetics company 23andMe, hopes to better understand the roles of nature and nurture in relation to skin aging to help us achieve ageless skin. But, in the meantime, we had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Frauke Neuser, principal scientist for Olay Skin Care, about the things we can do today based on these findings to best support what our mamas gave us!

Here’s what we need to add to our skincare routines at every age…

In your 20s: it’s all about protecting and preventing aging. The key ingredients to look for in your skincare products are antioxidants, SPF (over SPF15!), and hydration (especially at night, even if your skin is on the oily side). Now would be a great time to start using Olay Regenerist Luminous.

In your 30s: Skin energy starts to drops so it’s important to add products and adopt habits that stimulate your skin’s metabolism. In your beauty products look for niacinamide and peptides, such as in the Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream. As for lifestyle habits, make sure you’re sleeping well, exercising regularly, and eating healthfully. The same things that support your body’s metabolism will help to support your skin’s metabolism too.

In your 40s: You skin starts to lose its ability to rejuvenate and renew itself (don’t worry, it’s not starting to fully deteriorate, but it is less able to repair damage). Your top priority here is to encourage your skin cells to stay at a healthy turnover level so look for beauty products that boost cell turnover, like retinols.

In your 50s: There are big changes taking place within your skin barrier, the part of your skin responsible for both keeping damaging environmental assailants out, and locking in moisture. As a result of a compromised skin barrier, your skin skin surface gets weaker, thinner, and drier, so it’s important to up the ante on your moisturizer. Look for heavier moisturizers and richer creams with oils (water or glycerin-based moisturizers will no longer cut it) as well as products with ingredients like niacinamide, which works to seal the skin and boost the skin barrier.

In your 60s+:  Post menopause, all of these processes that have already begun to decline start accelerating downhill so it’s essential to amp up all of the above.