Will you age more like your mother or father?
Surprisingly, reports show that approximately 30 percent of aging is genetic, and 70 percent is up to you – how you care for and protect your skin, your body, and the lifestyle you lead. This certainly may come as a surprise, because a lot of people are under the impression that genetics is the main indicator of how you age, but this is simply not the case. The good news is that you really do have a say in the matter of how your skin will age.
But certainly, genetics does play a part. While I’ve seen studies that indicate you’re more likely to age more like your mother than your father, upon a recent trip to my niece’s graduation, I took the opportunity to observe both my parents’ skin a little closer to see if I’m following in their footsteps.
My mother: My mother has beautiful skin. She is 100% Finnish, which is where I have inherited my fair, sunburn-prone skin. As she has gotten older, like many people will experience, her skin has gotten far more sensitive, as she has periods of redness and rosacea symptoms, such as blotchiness and dilated capillaries. (Read: How Do I Get Rid of Broken Capillaries?) She has relatively small pores in the t-zone, and for most of her life her skin was more normal to dry – which is not my skin, as even at age 42 my skin is still very oily. She also never had many breakouts growing up, which is due to the minimal amount of oil that she produces. She is 74, and looks very good for her age, so I can only hope that I pick up some of her genetics, but I do think I lean more towards my father’s side…
My father: My father is 50% French and 50% Norwegian. As far as looks are concerned, I do think I look more like my father, and therefore I would think if you look more like one parent, you’ll genetically inherit their skin traits more. My father has oily skin with large pores, and at 73, those pores are prominent. (Read: Are Your Pores Getting Larger With Age?) Large pores are certainly something that I struggle with, so I definitely think I take after him in this area. Despite being fair-skinned like my mother, my skin doesn’t appear red or act sensitive, so I think that would be the French side of my dad coming through. My dad got breakouts when he was younger, but not as an adult. I struggled with breakouts certainly in my teenage years, but even as an adult I still get them. (Did you know that a man is less likely to struggle with adult hormone-related acne, as women will?) What I also know I have inherited from my father is having a lot of fat cells in the face, resulting in fuller-cheeks. We will also show weight gain first in the face more so than other areas of the body. But believe it or not, I am very lucky to have inherited this trait from my dad, because even though growing up I didn’t like having chubby cheeks, I consider it a blessing now, because we lose fat in the face as we get older, and many people will have fat injections and fillers put into the face to try and recreate a fuller face, therefore a more youthful look. Read more about that here.
So despite women more often aging like their mothers, I definitely find that because my looks are more similar to my father’s, I am aging far more like him.
Who do you take after when it comes to your skin? Leave your comments below.
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Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”