Study: If you've got wrinkles, thank Mom

September 12, 2013

The genes you inherit from your mother have an impact on your skin quality.
The genes you inherit from your mother have an impact on your skin quality.

Have you ever wondered why some people get wrinkles at a young age and others don't? There are many answers to this question - smoking can cause wrinkles to form sooner, and if you don't wear sunscreen when you're young, you can expect signs of aging to surface earlier rather than later. But a new study finds another potential cause of early facial lines - the genes we get from our mothers.

What your mama gave you
For some time now, it's been known that the mitochondria, often referred to as the "powerhouses" of the cells that make up our bodies, have a lot to do with aging. As these mitochondria sustain damage, they mutate and lose their ability to produce energy, resulting in the breakdown of the cells that leads to signs of aging.

The new study, published in the journal Nature, finds that the mitochondrial DNA passed down to us from our mothers also influences our own rate of aging. In other words, if your mother had wrinkles at a young age, you might be more likely to see fine lines on your own face in your early years. On the flip side, if your mother had smooth, blemish-free skin well into her 40s or 50s, you could be in for the same luck.

Looking to the future
This study focused solely on cell aging and genetics, but researchers hope that it may help future development of therapeutic interventions that could focus on mitochondrial function, thus slowing the aging process. Unfortunately, such developments probably won't be available for some time until more research can be conducted.

However, there are certain cosmetic procedures available today that can help people who show signs of premature aging. No matter whether you want long-term results that target deep facial lines or something less invasive that treats fine lines, you can likely benefit from a visit to a board-certified plastic surgeon's office.

For example, Botox injections, which have become immensely popular over the past few years, offer results that last for several months. This means you won't have to make a big commitment like you would if you chose to undergo facelift surgery, but on the downside, you'll need to continue to get injections of the substance to keep wrinkles at bay.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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