What if exercise was the key to wrinkle-free skin?

Excercise is great for our health, bodies and figures. But according to a recent Canadian study, it can drastically slow down the skin ageing process! Here's the lowdown...

The signs of ageing skin

Over time our skin begins to sag and becomes thinner and drier. Wrinkles settle in and liver spots appear. Unavoidable signs that our skin's growing old! There are plenty of anti-ageing treatments on the market - anti-wrinkle, anti-blemish, anti-fatigue, brightening, nourishing etc. But what if exercise could turn back the clock?  This was the questioned posed by a team of Canadian researchers. They called on a group of volunteers (male and female) aged between 20 and 84 years old. Half were told to do moderate or intense excercise for at least three hours a week, whilst the other half were told to do nothing. The researchers took biopsies from the upper layers of particpants' buttock skin - this being a part of the body that ages at a slower rate because it's rarely exposed to the sun.

Exercise does slow down the ageing process

The results were astounding: participants over 40 who exercised had skin that was 10 to 20 years younger than the sedentary participants of the same age! Dryness and loss of elasticity in the epidermis (the uppermost layer) and dermis (the collagen-containing second layer) were markedly less than the sedentary group. What's more their skin was denser. According to the researchers, this 'sporty' group had skin similar to 20 to 30 year olds, unlike their corresponding sedentary colleagues - and this even applied to participants who were over 65.  The study also showed that the 65+ group who followed a moderate exercise routine over the course of 3 months had an epidermis akin to someone aged between 20 and 40 years old! How sport exactly alters our skin's mechanisms is still a bit unclear, but one thing's for sure: sport and flawless skin go hand in hand!