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PLoS One. 2010 Dec 13;5(12):e15270. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015270.

Environmental and lifestyle factors associated with perceived facial age in Chinese women.

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Unilever Discover, Colworth Science Park, Sharnbrook, United Kingdom.


Perceived facial age has been proposed as a biomarker of ageing with 'looking young for one's age' linked to physical and cognitive functioning and to increased survival for Caucasians. We have investigated the environmental and lifestyle factors associated with perceived facial ageing in Chinese women. Facial photographs were collected from 250 Chinese women, aged 25-70 years in Shanghai, China. Perceived facial age was determined and related to chronological age for each participant. Lifestyle and health information was collected by questionnaire. Bivariate analyses (controlling for chronological age) identified and quantified lifestyle variables associated with perceived facial age. Independent predictors of perceived age were identified by multivariate modelling. Factors which significantly associated with looking younger for one's chronological age included greater years of education (p<0.001), fewer household members (p=0.027), menopausal status (p=0.020), frequency of visiting one's doctor (p=0.013), working indoors (p<0.001), spending less time in the sun (p=0.015), moderate levels of physical activity (p=0.004), higher frequency of teeth cleaning (p<0.001) and more frequent use of facial care products: cleanser (p<0.001); moisturiser (p=0.016) or night cream (p=0.016). Overall, 36.5% of the variation in the difference between perceived and chronological age could be explained by a combination of chronological age and 6 independent lifestyle variables. We have thus identified and quantified a number of factors associated with younger appearance in Chinese women. Presentation of these factors in the context of facial appearance could provide significant motivation for the adoption of a range of healthy behaviours at the level of both individuals and populations.

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