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A baby face
In a society where angular, chiseled features are often glamourized, experts say it’s actually the round-faced among us who will reap the richest anti-aging benefits. Scientists refer to a baby face as a “neotenous” facial structure, which is characterized by large round eyes, round cheeks, a large curved forehead, a small jaw, a small, short nose and features that are located lower down the face. When viewed next to peers in older age, the neotenous-faced will stand out with a fuller, angelic shape reminiscent of childhood. “Folks blessed with this facial type will keep looking young beyond their youth,” says Shamban.
There’s a reason great bone structure is beloved; it creates the shape of an upside-down “triangle of youth” that dermatologists often refer to as the greatest subconscious indicator that a person is young. With age, jowels and other features can droop, turning that triangle bottom-heavy and making you look old. However, with high cheekbones supporting your face, that triangle shape won’t droop as much, nor as soon. “Look at Sophia Loren, Eartha Kitt, Bo Derek, Linda Evans, Lena Horne and Raquel Welch,” says Montclair, New Jersey derm, Dr. Jeanine Downie. “They’re all great beauties with very high cheekbones who aged so gracefully.” And unlike poreless skin or a tight booty, those cheekbones will stay with you for a lifetime. Color us jealous!
Strong teeth and bones
In the same way that high cheekbones provide solid structure for your face, a set of full teeth and a strong bite can provide age-defying facial support by maintaining the upside-down “triangle of youth” into older age, says Waldorf. With the passage of time or less-than-auspicious genes, teeth can wear down to a shorter length and move inwards, resulting in a sunken look, thinner lips and more wrinkling around the mouth and cheek area. Straight, square-shaped teeth will maintain a sharper jawline as you age, providing uplifting support for facial features. Strong bones perform the same support structure for the body, with diseases like osteoporosis and anorexia rapidly accelerating age. “Keep your bones healthy with weight-bearing exercises and eat a calcium-rich diet to look younger longer,” advises Waldorf.
Flowing, thick locks of hair have long been an evolutionary signal of health, as a well-nourished body and diet rich in nutrients like biotin are necessary to grow a crowning head of hair. And as such, we subconsciously view hair as a signal of vitality, or lack thereof. “People with thinning hair look older than people of the same age who have thicker hair,” observes Downie. And if you look to politics, adds Downie, Americans haven’t voted for a bald candidate since incumbent Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, when he campaigned against fellow bald contender, Adlai Stevenson, perhaps suggesting that too much perceived age can render you unelectable. After all, it was John F. Kennedy– his youthful hairline and dashing tan symbolic of his progressive agenda–who arose from the first televised presidential debate against the more tenured Richard Nixon.