We might live in a sunburnt country, but the fact that we’re ageing up to 20 years faster than our US counterparts because of it is startling.

A study published in the latest issue of The Australasian Journal of Dermatology found that Australian woman display more severe signs of facial ageing sooner than our European and North American counterparts.

Australian women had more severe facial lines and a higher rate of facial change with age than the women from the other countries, particularly those from the US. The study concluded that exposure to higher levels of UV radiation was to blame for the startlingly premature ageing gap.

1,472 women aged 18-75 (averaging late 40s) women were surveyed between December 2013 and February 2014 via an internet-based polling panel.

Each surveyee  compared their facial features to photographs illustrating increasing signs of ageing (from none to severe) for eight different characteristics.

These were static forehead lines, crow’s feet, glabellar (frown) lines, tear troughs (groove between lower eyelid and cheek), mid-face volume loss, nasolabial folds (the two skin folds that run from the nose to the corner of the mouth), oral commissures (the corners of the mouth) and perioral lines (wrinkles around the lips).

They were asked to choose one image out of four to six depending on the feature that most represented their current facial features.

Skin colour was categorised by its quintessential response to UV light – type one was very fair skin that always burns and never tans, while type six was dark brown that never burns and always tans. In this study, only women with skin types one to three were included.

Women with significant facial trauma such as burns and those who had any form of plastic surgery including Botox, fillers or laser treatments were excluded.

Beauty therapists devote plenty of time convincing clients to avoid harmful UV rays, however, the drastic results of this study might finally convince them that covering up, applying sun protection skincare daily and using an pigmentation preventing serum is essential.


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