Updated 7/29/20. When it comes to how your skin will age, I have learned there are three facial features that can guarantee a more youthful appearance well into your later years.
There is a lot of discussion about how big a role genetics play into your skin’s appearance. What I know for sure is that genetics are certainly helpful when it comes to aging well, but they’re not everything. In this post, I’ll share the genetic traits that can help you age gracefully. I’ll also talk about the limitation of genetics and the ways in which you have control over how you visibly age.
Which Facial Features Will Make My Skin Look Younger?
There are three main genetic features that contribute to a youthful face.
1. A Full Face With Natural Volume
If you are someone who quickly shows weight gain in your face (like me!), this means you have an increased number of fat cells (pads) in your skin. While a fuller face may have been frustrating in your younger years (I know it was for me), consider yourself lucky since it’s very beneficial for having a youthful look. As we age, especially starting in our forties when the estrogen hormone starts to decline, we lose that natural plumpness in our face. To counteract this, people will start having fat or cosmetic dermal filler injections to prevent a hollow, sunken-in look.
When people ask me what they can do to help them look younger, one of my tips is to eat ice cream like I talk about in this Instagram video. However, I realize that this may not be ideal, since gaining weight will also add volume elsewhere, which you might not want! Regardless, volume in the face = a younger look. This is a fact.
Did you know that adding volume (naturally or through fillers) can make large pores, indented acne scars, lines, and wrinkles less noticeable? Any indent in the skin can be plumped out when there is something underneath that helps fill them out. This is why fillers are a treatment sometimes recommended for severe, indented acne scarring. But of course, there are other less invasive ways to shrink your pores.
2. A Strong, Firm Neckline
This is also known to be essential to a youthful-looking face since this is often the first area to lose its tone and show signs of sagging. A key component in a facelift and certainly a neck lift is to tighten that skin back up to get rid of what is known as a “turkey neck.” A tighter, firmer neck = a younger look.
Make sure you’re not neglecting your neck. I can’t stress enough the importance of making it a priority to care for the skin on your neck as diligently as you care for the skin on your face. Read tips for how to repair the skin on your neck and chest.
3. High Cheekbones
Of the three, if you’re blessed with nice, high prominent cheekbones, you definitely hit the jackpot. Regardless of the quality of your skin’s texture (a lot of sun damage vs a little), it will not lose as much tone since it essentially gets ‘hung up’ on the cheekbones and doesn’t drop as quickly. People pay a lot of money to have cheek implants put in since this is known to be the key to a young-looking face. Simply put, prominent cheekbones + fewer sagging jowls = a younger look.
As you can see in the photo above, I chose my long-time client and friend, Tina Craig (@bagsnob), founder of UBeauty, as an example of someone who has all three genetic features—and hasn’t had any cosmetic surgery. I know this because Tina has been my client since 1999, so I’m very familiar with how she treats her skin.
As you can see in the above photo, Tina has great volume in her skin as well as high cheekbones that support her skin nicely. As for her neck and jawline, which you can’t see very well in the picture, it’s all really nicely tight and defined and holding up very well.
I’m sure you’re wondering what her age is, right? Well, I’ll let you ask Tina that but let me just say, this is someone who is aging incredibly well. I can confidently say that it’s due to her discipline when it comes to staying out of the sun and making her skin a top priority with good skincare habits. The key to “good skin” is simply to put in the work, and Tina is a perfect example of someone who does this—and it shows! Adore you, Tina!
What else can I do to have a younger-looking appearance?
Anyone who tells you that genetics is everything, and that you don’t have much of a say in how your skin ages, is misinformed. While we are genetically programmed from birth to age a certain way (called intrinsic aging), genetics are now only thought to be responsible for 20-30 percent of aging. The other 70-80 percent of how you’ll visibly age depends on extrinsic aging.
This comes from your environment and lifestyle choices—both things that you can have some control over. This is great news because this confirms that how your care for your skin far outweighs your genetic predisposition. If you want to retain your youthful self from the inside out, you need to focus on what you can control. You can control what you eat, how much time you spend in the sun or daylight, whether or not you smoke, how diligent you are about your routine, and various other lifestyle factors.
Read my beginner’s guide to healthy aging and these 7 secrets to looking younger without cosmetic surgery. As for me, here’s what I do to look (and feel) younger.
Lastly, be sure to use a skincare routine formulated exclusively for the needs of your skin type every morning and evening. Take my Skin Type Quiz or schedule a virtual consultation to get personalized advice. After all, beautiful, healthy-looking, youthful skin requires a commitment, not a miracle.
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.”