Why Australian Women Are Aging Up to 20 Years Faster than US Women
While many of us consider living near the ocean to be a luxury, there may be a price for that. Not only is the cost of living high, the price our skin pays may also be high. According to a study, those living in Australia may be experiencing the signs of skin aging at a higher rate than those in America and Europe. It may be aging the skin of Australians up to 20 years faster.
According to a study by dermatologists at Monash University, Australia’s closer location to the equator, higher elevation, and clearer skies presents higher levels of UV radiation exposure. Researchers state that the high UV levels put Australians at a higher risk of photoaging. This risk is prevalent due to the country’s outdoor, sun-seeking lifestyle, along with a predominantly fair-skinned population.
During the study, researchers could not define the extent of the risk, so they studied 1,472 women from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia to compare parts of their faces to images that showed various degrees of aging. Those in the study had not received plastic surgery, fillers or Botox, and were between 18 and 75. Study participants were either Asian or Caucasian. Other factors studied were height, weight, skin characteristics, sun exposure history, and alcohol and tobacco use. While smoking did prove to be a factor in facial aging, alcohol did not, nor was weight or BMI.
The most revealing factor was sun exposure. It was found that while most women in the study did spend a fair amount of time outdoors and had similar use of sunscreen and other such sun protection, Australian women reported “significantly more severe signs of aging at younger ages and a greater degree of change with age for most features than women from the other countries.”
Study lead author, Associate Professor Greg Goodman says, “The most significant part of this study for me was that, compared to the US, we seem to be losing weight in our face volume and face – which is a surrogate for aging – much quicker than they are.” He continues, “It was scary that the average Australian was at least 10 years and, in some cases, 20 years worse off volumetrically.”
The study points out that the rate of the use of sunscreen and sun protection and the length of time spent in the sun is relatively the same. There are some differences, such as the population being primarily fair-skinned and the overall longer cumulative exposure to the sun that can cause the advanced aging.
Says Dr. Thomas Wright of the St. Louis Liposuction Center, “This study highlights the overall importance of sun protection in order to reduce the signs of aging in the facial area.”
If you want to know more about how the sun can affect your skin and treatments that can help overcome some of those conditions such as photoaging and others, please call us to schedule a consultation.