Beauty

Quiz: How old is your skin?

Author: Elle Canada

Beauty

Quiz: How old is your skin?

What's your skin's "real age"?
The reality is that skin does age. But what makes me extremely concerned is seeing how many people (especially women) speed up the process of skin aging by the lifestyle habits they engage in, such as suntanning, starving to be thin, getting little sleep, and smoking cigarettes. These habits damage the structure of the skin, and over time the ongoing deterioration worsens the skin's appearance. Collagen and elastin are lost from the dermis with normal aging, but when you add poor lifestyle habits, the aging process accelerates. The skin becomes thinner and more fragile, and eventually your body has trouble getting enough moisture to the epidermis, causing wrinkles and sagging skin. This may be quite pronounced in some women, especially if they are underweight, eat few fruits and vegetables, are smokers, and are constantly in the sun. Over time, the fat in the subcutaneous layer that gives younger skin its plump appearance also begins to disappear, causing the epidermis to sag, and fine lines and deep wrinkles to form. When you add years of unhealthy lifestyle habits to normal skin aging, you can count on looking a lot older than your chronological age.

Skin age quiz
Take the Skin Age Quiz to find out how old your skin looks. Check each of the following factors that may trigger premature skin aging. Give yourself 1 point if this describes you and 0 if it does not. Add up your score to determine your skin's age.

1. Mother had premature skin aging.
2. Chronic illness such as diabetes or hypothyroidism.
3. Osteopenia (early bone loss)
4. Long-term medication use (oral)
5. Normal menopause
6. Surgical menopause before age 40
7. History of poorly treated acne
8. History of poorly treated rosacea
9. Pale, freckled skin
10. Fair skin with tiny pores and/or moles
11. Noticeable fine lines and wrinkles before age 35
12. Obese (more than 10 percent over normal weight)
13. Underweight (10 or more pounds less than normal weight)
14. History of dieting deprivation (too few calories)
15. History of binge dieting (losing and gaining the same 10 to 20 pounds)
16. Diet high in processed foods with few fruits and vegetables
17. High-fat diet
18. Cigarette smoker
19. Secondhand smoke
20. Heavy alcohol use (more than five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of five or more days in the past 30 days)
21. History of excessive exercise
22. Sedentary lifestyle (little exercise)
23. High-stress lifestyle
24. Personal history of precancerous skin lesions and/or skin cancer
25. Less than six hours of sleep each night
26. History of excessive sun exposure, inability to tan, and sun-induced freckles
27. Blistering sunburns in the first two decades of life
28. Infrequent use of sunscreen during childhood and adult years
29. Use of tanning salons
30. Poor skin care hygiene and infrequent use of moisturizers

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Image courtesy imaxtree.com


Excerpted from Beyond Botox: 7 Strategies for Sexy, Ageless Skin without Needles or Surgery by Ben and Howard Kaminsky. Copyright 2006 by Ben Kaminsky and Howard Kaminsky. Used by permission of Springboard Press, and imprint of Warner Books, Inc.
Total your points:
21-30
Add 10 years to your real age to get your skin age. Your high score indicates your skin may be paying the price for years of neglect. Take advantage of the information in the seven Beyond Botox strategies (Part II of the book) to change your lifestyle habits and halt or even reverse some outward signs of skin aging.

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14-20
Add six years to your real age to get your skin age. Although you've led a fairly healthy life, there are some lifestyle habits that still need focus. Review the suggestions at the end of each strategy, particularly strategies 1 through 4, to see what else you can do to have younger-looking skin.

6-13
Add three years to your real age to get your skin age. While there is not a lot of disparity between your skin age and your real age, it doesn't hurt to focus on those healthy behaviours you might have ignored. Do you need to increase fruits and vegetables in your daily diet? Exercise regularly but not excessively? Perhaps you need to reduce stress before it "gets under your skin." Find helpful tips in the seven strategies and use these to your skin's advantage.

0-5
Your skin age is your real age. Congratulations! You have aged well, and your skin reflects the healthy lifestyle choices you have made over the past decades. Continue to make excellent choices in how you treat yourself and be sure to take time to pamper yourself and care for those skin problems that are common in women (strategies 6 and 7).

Image courtesy imaxtree.com


Excerpted from Beyond Botox: 7 Strategies for Sexy, Ageless Skin without Needles or Surgery by Ben and Howard Kaminsky. Copyright 2006 by Ben Kaminsky and Howard Kaminsky. Used by permission of Springboard Press, and imprint of Warner Books, Inc.
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Beauty

Quiz: How old is your skin?