PHOTOS: Twins show how smoking speeds up aging

The proof is in the pudding: A study in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed that people who smoke look older than their nonsmoking identical twins.

A photographer took pictures of twins at the Twin Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, choosing pairs who differed in smoking history. Researchers chose twins in which one twin smoked and one did not, or sets in which one twin smoked at least five years longer than the other twin.

Doctors with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons then evaluated the photos without prior knowledge about the subjects’ smoking history. The purpose of the study was to pinpoint which parts of smokers’ faces are affected the most. Doctors determined that smokers had more sagging of the upper eyelids, bags under the eyes, more general facial wrinkles, more pronounced creasing between the nose and mouth, wrinkling of the lips and sagging jowls. In short, most of the aging showed up on the lower part of the face: Smoking did not seem to affect forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet as much.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


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