How much of skin ageing is genetic? Our skin expert at BASE SKNCARE, Amy, answers the big question.

How much of skin ageing is genetic? This may surprise you!


One of the biggest questions I hear when it comes to skin ageing is how much of it is genetic? Will we end up looking like our mothers no matter what, or does the destiny of our face lie in our hands?

For many years it was thought that approximately 75% of skin ageing was genetic and the rest was due to our lifestyle choices. In the past decade however, these numbers have been flipped on their head.

Due to updated research and clinical trials there’s been data to suggest that as little as 10% of skin ageing is written in our DNA.

So if it’s not genetics ageing our skin, then what is it?

To prove the effects our lifestyle has on our skin, a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery by Guyuron et al looked at almost 200 sets of identical twins to analyse their complexions. As they have identical DNA, if lifestyle played no part in skin ageing at all, they’d also have identical skin…Let’s look at the results.

How much is skin ageing genetics?
The first set of twins are 61 years old. Twin B has approximately 10 more hours of sun exposure a week than Twin A which is why her pigmentation is much deeper and her wrinkles are more pronounced.
How much of skin ageing is genetics? Answered by a skin expert at baseskncare
The second set of twins are 52 years old. This time, Twin A has 7x the amount of sun exposure and has also smoked for 20 years longer. As both the sun and smoking cause dramatic collagen breakdown, the difference in their skin is undeniable.
Is skin ageing genetics? BASE SKNCARE
Lastly, the third set of twins are 54 years old. Twin B had a difficult divorce after 27 years of marriage whereas Twin A has been happily married for 30. The increased stress has again accelerated the ageing process causing more pronounced lines and darker circles.
Although there is still much more research to be done on this topic, the majority of evidence proves that our lifestyle choices are hugely responsible for how our skin ages. We can literally determine the faces we have in our 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. Which in my opinion, is absolutely incredible!

To do this, we need a thorough skincare routine like the Proactive Age Kit to help treat, reverse and protect against all aspects of skin ageing. This will keep your skin in the best shape possible through every stage of life.

It’s also important to make healthy lifestyle choices and we can do this by simply watching out for the 4 S’s…

Let’s start with the big one. The Sun has been proven to cause up to 90% of skin ageing. This means you need to apply your BASE Protection – SPF 50 every single morning as the last step in your morning routine, come rain or shine.

Smoking isn’t good for any area of the body, including your skin. The toxins in cigarettes cause collagen and elastin breakdown leading to deeper wrinkles and premature ageing. I know telling anyone to just ‘stop smoking’ is unhelpful, but if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Sugar causes a process called glycation in the body. The excess glucose binds to collagen and elastin fibres causing them to become brittle and snap. Again this leads to the accelerated formation of lines and wrinkles. I’m certainly guilty of overindulging my sweet tooth, but the more we can keep it in check, the better!

This last one, we’re all susceptible to. Stress spikes our cortisol levels which also breaks down collagen and elastin and causes inflammation too. This means not only do lines and wrinkles form quicker, but breakouts can occur and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can intensify too.

To restore balance, dedicate yourself some 'me' time every single day. Whether it's yoga, meditation or a warm bath, do the one thing that makes you feel good and calms your nerves. Selfcare is of paramount importance so never feel guilty for it 🥰
Woman in her 40s using the Proactive Age Kit from baseskncare
I think this blog might divide the group. Some of you may be delighted that the power is in your hands and others might be a little gutted if your Mum (or Dad!) has beautiful, radiant skin.

If that’s the case though, chances are she followed her skincare routine religiously and took good care of herself. Just follow her example and you won’t go far wrong!

Amy x

Amy x

Amy is a qualified skin expert and founder of BASE. When she’s not writing about skincare, you’ll find her applying it, developing it or daydreaming about it instead!