Although men and women share many similarities there are some things that are undeniably different and one of these things is how well we age. Aside from some of the physical changes that happen to our bodies as we get older, differences in the way the skin is made up mean that men and women age differently – there is no getting around this. Ladies, the bad news is that when it comes to the appearance of our skin, it is women whose skin ages faster than men’s.
New research looking at differences in how men and women age
The University of Vienna has been conducting an in-depth study focussed on evaluating the ageing process of men and women. They have found that “there is a noticeable acceleration of the appearance of wrinkles and sagging around the age of 50” and not only that, “they discovered that eyes appear smaller, nose and ears lengthen and faces become flatter due to loss of fat and thinning of the skin”. The factor that researchers feel is most likely to be contributing to this is the menopause, which typically begins around this age.
One of the hormonal changes that take places when the menopause begins is the reduction of oestrogen in the body. This hormone is important as it is responsible for helping the skin create collagen, which is a clever component within the skin that gives it its natural elasticity. Oestrogen reduces significantly during the first five years or so of the menopause, which can leave skin looking saggy, wrinkled and dull.
At the same time as this, the cheekbones begin to become less defined. It is believed that the bones actually begin to be re-absorbed by the body. Although this bone re-absorption affects both sexes, when it is coupled with the effects of the menopause the net effect is that women begin to age faster than men once they get to around 50 years old.
This research is supported by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, which reports that up until around age 50, men and women typically age at a very similar rate. They concur that once the menopause kicks in the ageing process is accelerated for women.
Help is on hand
There are a variety of cosmetic surgery procedures that can help women who feel they have been unfairly aged by the menopause. Procedures such as a facelift are designed to work with the facial features, tightening the skin around the cheekbones which can help restore some of the diminishing structure and prominence of these features. A facelift will also help smooth out wrinkles and improve the appearance of excess facial skin.