Health News

What's Your Real Skin Age?

Birthdays are only part of the equation. The fact is, how you treat yourself can keep your complexion baby-soft – or leave it looking older than its years. Take our test to see how your skin fares.

1. How does your Mum look for her age?

a. Pretty damn amazing
b. Not bad – she actually looks younger than her age
c. Basically, she looks about her age
d. She looks older than her age”’

a -2
b -1
c 0
d +1

Your mum’s appearance can give you a clue about how genetics will affect your skin over time.

2. Describe your natural skin colour

a. Paler than skim milk
b. Somewhere between a flat white and latte
c. A shade of mocha
d. Rich and dark, like espresso

a +1
b 0
c -1
d -2

The pigment in naturally darker skin offers some UV protection that can slow the ageing process.

3. How has your weight changed since high school?

a. I can still get into my Year 12 formal dress
b. I’ve shrunk from my high school size
c. I’ve gained a few kilos
d. Like hemlines, my weight goes up and down over the seasons

a 0
b +1
c 0
d +2

Weight changes stress your skin, but as you get older, some fat on your face will keep it looking fuller and younger.

4. Where in the country have you lived the longest?

a. South
b. North
c. South east
d. West or north west

a -1
b +2
c 0
d +1

It’s no coincidence that Queensland, Australia’s sunniest state, has the country’s highest rate of skin cancer.

5. Describe your level of activity:

a. Filling out this quiz is a workout
b. I work out when I can fit it into my schedule, but I’m not a fanatic about it
c. I have a regular spot in Spin class
d. I spend more hours at the gym than the trainers do

a +2
b 0
c -1

Exercise improves circulation, reduces stress, and lowers blood pressure – all help preserve your skin’s health. But too much activity can counteract all the good you’re doing.

6. Pinch the fleshy part of your hand between your thumb and index finger. How many seconds does it take for the skin to bounce back?

a. Less than a second
b. 2 to 3 seconds
c. 4 to 5 seconds
d. More than 5 seconds

a -1
b 0
c +1
d +2

The faster the rebound, the stronger your skin’s collagen and elastin, both firming proteins.

7. Which of the following statements best describes your sunning habits?

a. I’ve never burned or had a serious suntan
b. I haven’t been sunbaking since I was a teenager – and now I’m vigilant about using daily sun protection
c. OK, I admit it: I’ve ducked into a solarium during the off-season
d. Can you say “tanorexic”? Hey, I like having some colour

a -2
b -1
c +1
d +2

Damage from UV rays is the biggest threat to your skin. The more unprotected exposure you’ve had, the older you’re likely to look.

8. Which term best describes your skin type?

a. Oily
b. Normal or combination
c. Dry
d. Dry, sensitive and flushes easily”’

a -1
b 0
c +1
d +2

Oily skin is rich in natural moisturisers believed to keep skin supple. Dryness and irritation cause damage below the surface that adds up over time.

9. Tick each product below that is part of your regular skin-care routine:

Sunscreen or moisturiser with sunscreen
Antioxidant cream or cleanser with exfoliants
Retinoid cream (prescription or over-the-counter

Subtract two points for each product ticked.

Using each of these products has proven anti-ageing, skin-preserving benefits.

10. We all have them, so ‘fess up. What are your bad habits? (You can select more than one answer)

Eating more junk food than fresh produce
Smoking (any amount, ever)
Drinking (more than 3 drinks at a time, more than 3 days of the week)
Bad bedtime routine (regularly going to bed without washing your face or getting less than six hours of sleep at night)

Add a point for each habit you ticked.

Smoking and drinking expose healthy cells to damaging toxins. And without enough sleep and nutrients, your skin can’t repair the damage.

Your score :

Add or subtract your total to your age. The result is your skin’s actual age.

If your skin is…

Clearly you’ve been doing all the right things. But you may also want to give a big kiss to your mum and dad, because you seriously got lucky in the gene pool.

Not bad, but why settle? Remember, heredity aside, your actions play a big part in how good your skin looks. So step up the program. And if you’re not using an AHA or retinoid cream, start now!

It’s not too late to turn back the clock. Start a daily skin-care regimen ( you’ll need all four anti-agers from question 9), hit the gym, and unload the bad habits. (We don’t have to tell you how lethal those after-work merlots are, do we?)

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