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Do These Genes Make Me Look Old? The Role Genetics Play In Aging

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Do These Genes Make Me Look Old?

woman trying on jeans

And, we’re not referring to your favorite pair of Levis, here, we’re talking about the genes your parents gave you.   Truth is, your genes definitely play a role in how susceptible you are to developing the typical signs of aging:  wrinkles, grey hair and some illnesses and conditions (osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc).  However, there are lots of environmental factors in there that can really speed things up with the aging process, like smoking, poor diet, excess sun exposure, bad sleep habits, and so on.

Researchers are now studying the HAS2 gene, found inside our DNA, and it’s production of the enzyme that is a key element that makes up our skin and is vital in tissue and cellular skin repair and regeneration.  Though this is very exciting, you shouldn’t be taken in by companies claiming to be able to analyze your genes and how fast you are going to develop wrinkles and advise you on what products to use…technology isn’t quite there yet, but if you want to know more about your predisposition for wrinkles and grey hair, just take a look at your parents, grandparents and other close relatives.

Do I Have Bad Genes?

Take a closer look at your relatives, especially your parents and grandparents.  Notice how they look, as well as their particular lifestyle.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Skin type:  dry, oily, normal or combo
  • Skin tone:  people with darker skin can tolerate higher doses of sun
  • How much time do the spend in the sun and outdoors?
  • Do they smoke?
  • How much alcohol do they drink, if at all?
  • Do they live in stressful conditions?
  • Amount of skin wrinkling, sagging and drooping
  • Are they grey?
  • At what age did they first show signs of wrinkles and/or grey hair?

How To Reduce Wrinkles

  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
  • Healthy diet
  • Drink at least eight 8oz. glasses of filtered water each day
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night

What Causes Grey Hair?

woman with gray hair

For a long time it was believed that melanin, or lack of, was responsible for all those grey hairs and not that stress your kids put you through.  The thought was that each hair follicle has its own supply of melanin, made up of two shades, dark brown or black and yellow or red, that combine in different proportions to create your specific hair color.  As we age, melanin productions stops and the result is grey and then, white.  However, more recently it has been discovered that an excess of hydrogen peroxide is responsible for grey hair.  In 2009, a study was published in the FASEB that found that as we age, we build up hydrogen peroxide in our hair follicles because of the reduction of the enzyme catalase.  When we are younger, the enzyme catalase breaks down the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.  But, as we age, we lose some of this enzyme, so the hydrogen peroxide builds up and actually bleaches our hair from within.

What Can I Do For My Grey Hair?

If you’re like me and just not “feeling” the grey, there are some alternatives to going natural.  First, realize there is no such thing as organic hair dye.  There are, however, some natural things like henna and vegetable dyes that are safe, but don’t last as long as synthetic dyes and can have inconsistent results.

Synthetic, or conventional hair dyes, can contain a lot of chemical ingredients.  Here’s some of what should be avoided if you decide to go with a conventional hair dye:  ammonia, peroxide, PPDs (para-phenylenediamines), coal tar, lead, toluene and resorcinol.  Many of these ingredients have been determined to be carcinogenic.

Here’s a list of some pure hair dye and henna brands that you may want to try, they come in all kinds of colors:

Light Mountain Henna Colors

  • Herbatint
  • Light Mountain
  • Surya Henna
  • Rainbow Henna
  • Pure Henna Hair Dye Powder by Sahaja Life
  • The Henna Guys

You can find all of these at Amazon.com

 

I really hope you found this article to be of some use.  Please feel free to leave your comment below…maybe you have a product you’d like to recommend?

Thanks for visiting!  Be well!

 

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4 thoughts on “Do These Genes Make Me Look Old? The Role Genetics Play In Aging

  1. Hey barb! This is a great post aimed at a specific group! Although I’m not quite there yet, I can imagine there are a lot of women out there who will search for things like this and it may or may not be an issue for them. I love the links you have in your article, if people want more information about a specific thing mentioned you can go ahead and find more. Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks, Kimmy! It’s never to soon to start living healthier for your future self. Thanks so much for taking the time to look around and leave such a sweet comment. Come and visit again real soon!

  2. Very good choice for a post and tips everyone can use, I have often wondered if it is our genes or our bad health choices which ages us?

    I am used to my grey hair now, but when i first started getting those grey hairs they affected my very negatively.

    For a while I did use a hair dye to rid myself of those grey hairs, but I stopped using hair dye because I learned they are not healthy for you.

    The hair products you recommend sounds to be much more healthy than the hair dye products of the past, I am sure many people will benefit from these hair products you are sharing and rid them of their grey hairs.

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