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About the Aging Process

No two people age the same way. Many factors in your life will shape the way you will age and the ways in which you might slow the aging process.

Factors that affect the aging process

  • The amount of sun damage you have had over the years
  • Genetic factors, such as a family predisposition to having early wrinkles or gray hair
  • Whether or not you smoke
  • Whether or not you have given birth
  • How much exercise you get
  • The quality of your diet

Changes in the body

Men and women will age in different ways, but all bodies have a few characteristics in common.

  • When you were a child, your skin was full of collagen and fat that kept it taut and firm. Over time, you will begin to lose that collagen. The skin thins, causing wrinkles.
  • You may find that you gain weight more easily—and in different places—than you used to.
  • Gravity causes your skin to sag.
  • You may find that your jawbones or chin become more pronounced.
  • Your lips aren't as full as they used to be.
  • Tiny blood vessels become apparent on the face and elsewhere on the body.

Ways to slow the aging process

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting adequate exercise
  • Not smoking or taking drugs
  • Cosmetic surgery is a more dramatic form of intervention. While cosmetic surgery cannot stop the aging process, it can slow its effects.
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