These days, more and more celebrities seem to age gracefully. Recently, I read that Jennifer Aniston just turned forty-three! I’m sure most of us would agree that she looks great for her age (she’s more fit than I am). For the most part, genetics plays a large role in how well we age. However, without taking care of your health (including the health of your largest organ—skin!), genetics matter less, and you will look old for your age.

So how do you know if you are going to age well (or not)? Here are some ways to look into your future!

Did your parents age well? This is your first clue as to how you will age. If both your mom and dad look young, then you are in luck with great genes! Make sure you still take care of yourself and stay away from environmental factors such as too much sun exposure without protection, smoking and second-hand smoke, lack of exercise, and poor diet. Always wear your sunscreen!

Do you have high cheekbones? Great bone structure always helps. Just ask any runway model! High cheekbones actually make us look younger, because our cheek fat pads haven’t been dragged down by gravity yet. The same applies to our jawlines, which are well defined when we are young, but lose definition as jowling occurs (the cheeks drop down, and facial skin sags, obscuring the jawline). So if you are blessed with high cheekbones, this will help mask some of the signs of aging. Your cheeks won’t be able to droop as much. If you don’t have high cheekbones, you can read this article for how to create the illusion of higher cheeks or see your facial plastic surgeon to ask about Radiesse, a minimally invasive “instant fix.”

Is your face symmetrical? Facial symmetry is recognized as one of the key standards of beauty. The greater the symmetry in your face, the more beautiful it appears. Even facial proportions are more often seen in younger folks, because wrinkles, skin changes, and sagging often appear asymmetrically. For example, when you drive, the left side of your face is often exposed to more sun (leading to pigmentation changes, wrinkles, and sun damage) than the right side. Presto—asymmetry in your face.

In general, to age gracefully, we should all do our utmost to maintain excellent health. Be certain to use proper skin care, eat right, and exercise regularly. When time takes its toll and a healthy lifestyle alone isn’t enough, Dr. Chow can help. Schedule a consultation to learn more about simple but effective preventative or corrective treatments.