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Do my genes control how fast my skin ages?

While environmental and lifestyle factors no doubt play a major role in how you age, experts say that pure genetic luck is the foundation of the equation. A 2009 study of twins published in the Archives of Dermatology revealed that up to 60 percent of skin aging is due to genetics, Dr. Heidi Waldorf, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, told us.

But be forewarned—this fact could work against you if the assumption that you have “good” genetic odds leads you to not care for your skin. “You can have the best genes in the world, but if you smoke or bake in the sun, you’ll look 10 to 15 years older,” says Los Angeles dermatologist, Dr. Ava Shamban. “Moral of the story: Don’t count on your genes to save you from a poor lifestyle. It’s genetics and environmental damage to genetic code that determines the speed you age.“

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.