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Ageing appearance in China: biophysical profile of facial skin and its relationship to perceived age

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mike Catt


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Background Perceived age is important to women and is a primary driver for topical product use and facial cosmetic surgery. Changes in facial features and biophysical skin parameters with chronological age and their associations with perceived age have not been described in Asian populations. Objective To investigate the relationship between biophysical properties of the skin, visual features of skin ageing and perceived facial age in Chinese women. Methods Facial photographs were collected of 250 Chinese women, aged 25-70 years in Shanghai, China. The perceived facial age was determined and related to the chronological age for each participant and to a range of visual assessments of skin appearance and objective biophysical measurements of the skin. The profile of changes in these parameters with age was investigated together with the differences in those parameters for women judged to look younger than their chronological age and those judged to look older than their chronological age. Results Large discrepancies in perceived age (up to 29 years) were found in women of the same chronological age. Each objective skin measure and visual assessment parameter had a stronger correlation with perceived age than with chronological age. The strongest relationships to perceived age were for wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Skin colour, hydration and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) had weaker associations with perceived age. Women judged to look older than their chronological age had significantly higher scores than those judged to look younger for coarse wrinkles and hyperpigmentation across all age groups. The appearance differences between these groups were evident in composite facial images of the same average chronological age. Conclusions We have identified the skin attributes which differ with perceived age in Chinese women. Perceived age is a better measure of the biological age of facial skin than is chronological age in this population.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mayes A, Murray P, Gunn D, Tomlin C, Catt S, Wen Y, Zhou L, Wang H, Catt M, Granger S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

Year: 2010

Volume: 24

Issue: 3

Pages: 341-348

ISSN (print): 0926-9959

ISSN (electronic): 1468-3083

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03418.x


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