Divorce can put years on your face

Cheat the biological clock by avoiding marriage breakdown and stress

It might be time to, in the time-honoured words of Dolly Parton, Stand by Your Man, and avoid ever having to say D.I.V.O.R.C.E if only for the sake of your face.

A recent survey seems to have put to rest the common myth that how old, or otherwise, you look is chiefly determined by the luck of good genes.

The results of a recent study of 186 pairs of identical female twins found that divorce, prescription drug use and stress were the key age accelerants or, in layperson speak, the things that really put the lines on your face.

It seems you might be able to return to the beaches, the sun beds, the cigarettes and the booze cabinets — all the traditional no-nos of the dermatologist — as long as you stay calm, married, off anti-depressants and thin.

The research, published in the medical journal of the American Society Of Plastic Surgeons, showed that divorced twins looked almost two years older than twins who were unmarried, still married or widowed.

Another discovery was that use of antidepressants also resulted in a “significantly older” appearance. The report says that this is probably the result of the muscle relaxant component of the drugs which allow facial muscles to relax to such an extent that they start to droop.

The report’s lead author Dr Bahman Guyuron said in the Telegraph that his research was carried out using digital images of the subjects, which were assessed by an independent panel.

‘A person’s heritage may initially dictate how they age”, Dr Guyuron added. “But if you introduce certain factors into your life, you will certainly age faster. Likewise, if you avoid those factors you can slow down the hands of time.’

Weight was another factor. In twins under the age of 40, the overweight sibling was perceived as looking older. But in the 40-plus age group, the sisters with a higher BMI were deemed to look younger in appearance.

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