Smoking causes premature facial aging, reveals a study on ‘identical twins’

Medical professionals have long since stated the smoking speeds up the aging process. However, a new study conducted with twins reveals that the one who have smoked for 5 years or more show premature facial aging compared to those who don’t.

Published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the researchers explained the purpose and results of this study, in saying, “This study details the specifics of facial aging brought on by smoking, which primarily affects the middle and lower thirds of the face. It also demonstrates that a 5-year difference in smoking history can cause noticeable differences in facial aging in twins.”

For the study, researchers picked 79 pairs of identical twins of which 57 of them were women with an average age of 48.

Apart from answering questionnaires about their medical history and lifestyle, these twins had to take professional close-up photographs of their face. Judges, who were experts at determining facial signs of aging, were asked to review the photographs. They were given any information regarding the smoking history of these twins.

When asked which of twins looked older, they picked the smoking twin 57% of the time while for those twins who both smoked, they picked the twin who smoked longer 63.7% of the time.

The twins who smoked scored much higher on most of the measures for facial aging which were indicated by facial wrinkles, sagging of the upper eyelids, bags under the eyes and lower eyelids, sagging jowls as well as wrinkling of the lower and upper lips.

Alternatively, signs of aging on the upper part of the face was minimal and researchers that aging in that area of the face was determined by a change in activity of facial muscles rather than smoking.