Not that we had any doubts, but a recent study confirms the honest to goodness aging effects caused by smoking.
In a twin study conducted in Twinsburg, Ohio, researchers verified that smokers show more premature aging, including wrinkles, nasolabial folds, and sagging upper eyelids. The study appears in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
The study began with the researchers visiting the annual Twin Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. There, they identified 79 pairs of identical twins who had different smoking histories—either one twin smoked and the other didn’t, or one twin smoked at least 5 years longer. The twin’s average age was 48 years and 57 of the 79 pairs studied were women.
The goal of the study was to identify “specific components of facial aging: that were affected by smoking, according to the report published by ASPS Member Surgeon Bahman Guyuron, MD, professor and chairman, Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital and Case School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio.
Using close-up photographs, plastic surgeons analyzed the twins’ facial features, including grading of wrinkles, redundant skin around the eyes, and general sagging.
The study results showed that the effects of smoothing are most apparent in the lower two-thirds of the face. Smoking twins compared with their nonsmoking counterparts had worse scores for upper eyelid skin redundancy, lower lid bags, malar bags, nasolabial folds, upper lip wrinkles, lower lip vermillion wrinkles, and jowls. Smokers exhibited greater loss of elasticity in their skin, which accounts for the more pronounced wrinkles and sagging. The overall thickness of skin was greater in nonsmokers.
In nearly all cases, the evaluators were able to identify the smoking twin from the non-smoker from the photographs. While age related changes in the middle and lower face were worse in the smoking twins, there were fewer difference in the upper face, such as forehead wrinkles or crow’s feet.
”It is noteworthy that even among sets of twins where both are smokers, a difference in 5 years or more of smoking duration can cause visibly identifiable changes in facial aging,” wrote Dr. Guyron and his coauthors.
Today the choices facing women with a diagnosis of breast cancer are numerous, however, not all women are being made aware of their options by their physicians. Major strides in breast reconstruction techniques have been made over the past decade so many women can be spared the long scars, prolonged recovery, staged procedures, and impact on their self esteem.
The two main considerations women have regarding breast reconstruction are when to have surgery (immediate or delayed) and what surgery to have done (autologous flap, fat grafting, tissue expander and/or shaped or round implants). One of the biggest advances has been the increase in the nipple sparing mastectomy technique.
In May 2013, the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act of 2013 (S. 931) was advanced to raise awareness and to educate breast cancer patients anticipating surgery about the availability and coverage of breast reconstruction and other options.
According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) president Gregory R.D. Evans, MD, “I’m happy to report that last year more than 100 plastic surgeons and breast cancer awareness supporters held BRA Day events around the country. The response was greater than we expected, and that was just the beginning. This year we hope to double the number of events in our effort to ensure every woman is made aware of her breast reconstruction options.”
He continues, “We recognize that in order for every woman to have the most comprehensive breast cancer care plan tailored to her needs, all breast cancer care physicians must come together as a team. That’s why this year’s BRA Day theme is the ‘Team Approach.’ Our hope is that plastic surgeons will collaborate with oncologists, breast surgeons, radiologists, and OB/GYN’s–a powerful team!”
‘Thanks to efforts like the recently introduced Breast Cancer Patient Education Act, which would require that women are informed of all their breast reconstruction options, we can only hope that in the near future many more women are informed of their breast cancer care options.”
To determine the best plan for every patient, plastic surgeons may look at many factors, including the patient’s age, body type, surgical history, tumor size, stage of cancer, and previous treatment with radiation. The other important consideration is each patient’s preferences and expectations, which can vary significantly. Today, both patients and surgeons have a wide range of new and improved treatment options that begins with an emphasis on education, informed consent, a team approach, and a more open dialogue between the patient and their team of specialists.
Who could have foreseen almost three decades years ago that a woman could go from diagnosis to surgery and actually wake up with a breast? There is no question that breast reconstruction is light years ahead of where it once was.
Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day
Taking place on October 16, 2013, for the second year in a row, singer/songwriter Jewel serves as the BRA Day spokesperson and has written the song Flower in honor of breast cancer patients; all song proceeds benefit the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fund of The Plastic Surgery Foundation. The song can be purchased through iTunes and Amazon. www.BRAdayUSA.org
Cleanses and fasts are hot these days, with many A-listers leading the charge and touting the health benefits of detoxing. There seems to be a new “it” cleanse weekly. In New York City and other urban areas, there are detox depots popping up everywhere that offer and deliver a host of pre-mixed cleanse tinctures right to your door.
This concept may sound familiar to many Jewish folks. Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people and it is traditionally marked with a 25 hour fast. The idea, of course, is to repent, not detox, but perhaps some of the health and beauty benefits are the same, regardless of whether you are cleansing your body, your soul or both,
“Fasting has been shown to turn on longevity genes, known as sirtuins, which in turn may help your skin look younger,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist in New York City.
What you eat after the shofar blows and the holiday draws to an end also plays a role in just how healthful your Yom Kippur fast and break-fast is.
Take the bounty of appetizing offered at many a break-fast table—salmon, smoked salmon, sable, Nova Scotia, pickled herring, whitefish, and even gefilte fish are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. “These are good for the skin. The omega-3s serve as building blocks for healthy skin cell membranes. So when you break the fast, consider a food like salmon,” Zeichner says. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least twice a week because of the health benefits associated with omega-3s. Skin health is just one of them!
Authors of the forthcoming book Naked Calories Jayson Calton, PhD, and nutritionist and chef and Mira Calton, CN agree: “We love the lox—but forgo the traditional bagels,” the duo tells Beauty in the Bag. “Lox is smoked salmon and after fasting your body can really feast on the micronutrients in this food,” they say. “It’s best to whet your appetite with wild varieties like sockeye and coho for more than three times the recommended minimum daily dose of omega-3.”
Pick a Bagel
The problem with bagels is that most are considered refined carbs because they are made with white flour. These foods spike blood sugar, and can cause weight gain and acne. Choose whole wheat or whole grain bagels instead, and consider scooping out the inside. You will hardly notice and it adds some extra room to pile on your omega-3s. Whole grains are also rich in fiber ,which aids digestion and helps lower risk for heart disease. They also make you feel fuller for longer, which can help enhance weight loss efforts.
And don’t forget to hydrate! Most people start to feel cloudy and tired while fasting, and this is largely due to dehydration, says Miriam Wiener, a weight loss coach in Los Angeles, Calif. and the CEO of Kosher for Life International, LLC. Drinking water is also good for skin health. Hydrated skin is supple and radiant, while dry skin is well… dry. “For beauty—and for breaking the fast—you’ll want to focus on three things: hydration; healthy essential fats; and detoxifying fiber,” she says. “With this in mind, I always break the fast with a superfood smoothie. Smoothies are extremely filling, and when prepared properly, they can replenish and beautify your body from the inside out. Most importantly, smoothies are very easy to digest,” she says. Proper digestion is the key to a smooth, clear complexion and an energized body. “The very worst thing you can do after a fast—or anytime—s to bombard your body with an improperly combined heavy meal, or with inflammation-triggers such as white flour, sugar, and trans-fats.”
Wiener suggests this Vegetable Smoothie as a post-Fast mocktail.
8 ounces water, cranberry juice (no sugar added) or 4 ounces almond milk
2 heaping scoops raw sprouted rice protein powder
1 teaspoon raw coconut oil or coconut butter
2 tablespoons sprouted chia seed powder
1 green apple, cut in pieces
1 stalk celery, cut in pieces
1 handful fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth, adding more liquid as desired.
Here’s to an easy fast!