Researchers at Harvard Medical School paired with DNA analysis company 23andMe have been able to scientifically prove what some people had always known – that the ageing process in black people is slower than that of white people.
According to Harpers Bazaar, the research was carried out to figure out why some people seem to never age.
They studied genetic data from 350 women from a variety of ages and ethnic groups. They then isolated people they deemed “exceptional skin agers:” people who were perceived to look younger than they actually were, but didn’t have cosmetic surgery. Though they plan on studying more ethnicities, their first study focused on Caucasian and African-American women.
They found that genes have a lot to do with looking young. There are thousands of genes in everyone’s DNA that focus on cell energy, skin formation, and antioxidant production, but “ageless” people express them differently, and often for longer while others peter out as they age. And that expression differs by race; the study found that women of African descent had skin that aged 10 years slower than Caucasian women.
The study was sponsored by Olay, and it’s the longest-ever study the beauty brand has conducted. They plan to use this research to develop new anti-aging products that help “activate” these genes for those without the genetic prize. The findings will be presented at the annual World Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver.