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Poor Skin Tone Makes Skin Look Older

New research reveals wrinkles alone don't make a woman's face look older, uneven skin tone is also a major culprit. Poor skin tone can add as much as 12 years to a woman's perceived age.

One study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, found that faces with more even skin tone were judged by others to be younger while women with blotchier skin tones appeared older.

"This study points out that wrinkles aren't the only visual cue to a woman's age," said Karl Grammer of the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology at the University of Vienna in Austria.

Scientists led by Grammer took digital photos of 169 women between the ages of 10 and 70. They used specialized morphing software to "drape" each subject's facial skin over a standardized model, in effect, taking 169 different skin tones and applying them to a common facial canvas.

They removed other potential age-defining features such as facial furrows, lines and wrinkles. The scientists asked 430 observers to estimate each model's age and to gauge her health and attractiveness.

Models with the most even skin tone compared with blotchy-skin models received much higher ratings for health and attractiveness. The smoother-skin models were also judged to be younger.

Several factors could alter a person's skin tone, including cumulative UV damage that can lead to freckles, moles and age spots, and the number of blood vessels under the skin, which can create red areas. Natural aging can also cause a yellowing and dullness of skin color.

"We found that cumulative UV damage from too much sun dramatically influences skin tone, giving women yet another reason to prevent future UV-related skin damage or try to correct past sun damage," said study co-author Bernhard Fink of the University of Goettingen in Germany.

Next the scientists will partner with a skin-imaging expert to look at the distribution of three molecules found in the skin -- hemoglobin, melanin and collagen -- responsible for skin tone, which they suggest could directly affect the perception of attractiveness and youth.

The Spa at Stonecrest has many modalities that can help you with skin tone, texture, tightness, and color.