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November 2002

Relative Contribution of Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Factors to Skin Aging as Determined by a Validated Skin Age Score

Author Affiliations

From the C.E.R.I.E.S. (Skin research center funded by CHANEL), Neuilly-sur-Seine, France (Drs Guinot, Morizot, Le Fur, and Tschachler and Mss Ambroisine, Latreille, Mauger, and Lopez); INSERM U330 and Centre René Labusquière, ISPED, University Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France (Dr Malvy); the Department SIAD, HEC Graduate School of Management–Paris, Jouy-en-Josas, France (Dr Tenenhaus); and the Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria (Dr Tschachler).

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(11):1454-1460. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.11.1454

Objective  To assess the relative contribution of intrinsic aging vs lifestyle factors to facial skin age.

Design  Prospective analysis of a cohort.

Setting  Skin research institute.

Study Subjects  A cohort of 361 white women (age range, 18-80 years) with apparently healthy skin.

Measurements  Visual and tactile assessment of facial skin features.

Results  Twenty-four skin characteristics were used to build a skin age score (SAS). The relationship between the SAS and chronological age followed a linear model with 2 plateaus—1 before age 30 years and 1 after age 71 years. An analysis was performed to determine whether certain lifestyle habits known to have effects on skin aging were related to the discrepancies between chronological age and the SAS. Significant effects were identified for phototype, body mass index, menopausal status, degree of lifetime sun exposure, and number of years of cigarette smoking. However, these factors accounted for only 10% of the discrepancies. Moreover, most skin characteristics used reflected changes understood to represent intrinsic aging rather than photodamage or other extrinsic factors.

Conclusions  An SAS can be generated from multiple discrete signs evaluated on facial skin and is an informative tool for quantifying skin aging. The SAS is influenced by factors already recognized to affect the aging phenotypes; however, factors related to the rate of intrinsic aging, presumably genetic in character, seem to play a larger role than previously suspected.

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