Saturday, 23 October 2010

Look Younger and Stay Thin? Find Out!

Yet another interesting article by the Cosmetic Cops which I would want to share with my readers.
I believe most of my readers are still below 40 years old, so it's still not too late to do some prevention now.

Image credited to

Look Younger and Stay Thin? Find Out!
By Bryan Barron,
Cosmetics Cop Team Contributor

The October issue of Women’s Health magazine featured an article that caught my attention. The crux of their article was examining whether or not women over age 40 can be slim and still maintain a youthful face. Can women be skinny (well, preferably maintain a healthy weight without looking emaciated) and avoid telltale signs of aging? The answer may surprise you.

According to dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann, the “old face young body contradiction” is a problem for those striving to look younger. Women are eating healthier and exercising more, which of course leads to a loss of body fat. But when a woman over 40 has low body fat she starts seeing loss of facial volume. Why? Because with less facial fat, facial skin has less support and the wrinkles become more apparent. It’s one of those cruel ironies of getting older—women (and men, too) lose the ability to keep the fat where it does our appearance the most good (in our face) and have trouble losing fat where it bothers us the most (our hips, thighs, and rear end).

You’ll recognize the signs of fat (volume) loss as it happens: eyes begin to look sunken and the skin beneath them forms pooches that don’t go away, smile lines become like vertical signposts, and cheeks lose their cherubic fullness. Couple these fat-related changes with sun damage, menopause, gravity, and other factors and you have the perfect storm for giving skin a deflated, sagging look.

Even more telling is when you compare the faces of women between the ages of 40 and 50 who are overweight to those who aren't. Chubby women have younger-looking faces (meaning less wrinkles and sagging) than women who are at normal or underweight. It’s true!

Here are the most intriguing facts I learned from the article:

* Fat is incredibly important for the face, at least if you want to look younger.
* The fat beneath the skin (known as subcutaneous fat) was once thought to consist as one mass. New research has shown that the face actually has 21 “fat compartments”—and each of them ages at a different pace!
* How a person’s face appears as they grow older is in large part related to how these fat compartments change over time—and women who stay too thin can have fat compartments that “sag like day-old party balloons,” even if the rest of their body is in top shape.

What’s the solution? Well, how do you feel about eating more food?

* If you want to maintain a healthy amount of facial fat to keep your face looking younger, longer, then you must maintain a 15% level of body fat—that’s if you have a naturally fuller or round face.
* Women with narrow, angular faces need—get this—at least 20–25% body fat to keep a youthful face after age 40.
* Still yo-yo dieting? Do whatever it takes to stop, because large increases in weight loss followed by weight gain and then more loss only exacerbates what can happen to our facial fat as we age.
* Women with a history of yo-yo dieting can begin to see signs of facial sagging in their early 30s!

What it comes down to is this: If you’re willing to carry an extra ten pounds of body weight (meaning you’ll be slightly overweight) your face will look younger and you won't look unhealthy. And it doesn’t mean you have to gain weight via junk food. Quite the contrary: Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids (think fish oil and you’re already on your way to looking younger) plays a pivotal role in how your skin ages. That doesn’t sound like such a bad trade-off to me; however, if you choose to stay thin, you may find with increasing age that you need to see a dermatologist for dermal fillers when your face begins showing telltale signs of fat loss.

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