According to a recent study, women who seemed younger typically had lower blood pressure.
Results from the study
Industry scientists from Unilever teamed up with researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. They observed over 250 women, with an average age of 63 years. They divided the participants into two groups based on whether they had a high or low risk of heart disease. The researchers also assessed the youthfulness of the participants by analyzing facial appearances and evaluating their inner arms' wrinkles.
The results showed that:
- Women in the lowest heart disease risk group appeared two years younger than those with high risk, based on photos of their faces.
- The facial feature associated with high blood pressure was not wrinkles, but sagging of the skin.
- Blood pressure is the link between cardiovascular risk and perceived age.
- This is the first study that has proven a correlation between low blood pressure and youthful appearance.
- Participants with an extended life expectancy seemed younger and had less skin wrinkling compared to another group of the same age.
How high blood pressure may affect the skin
Blood pressure is the force of blood flow against the walls of the blood vessels with each heartbeat. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it leads to:
- Overstretched blood vessels, making them more prone to rupture. This can lead to strokes.
- Tiny tears that leave scar tissue, which trap debris like cholesterol, leading to plaque buildup and increasing the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
These injuries can impair blood flow to the skin, which leads to faster aging.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is also linked with stress, sleep deficiency, high triglyceride levels, and increased blood sugar levels—all of which can cause skin damage.
Natural ways to lower blood pressure
The main conclusion from this study is that making healthy lifestyle changes will make you feel and look better.
If you'd like to keep your blood pressure low for your health and youthful appearance, follow these tips:
- Eat healthy: Consume more fruits and vegetables and reduce your intake of fatty and sugary foods. Also, watch your sodium intake.
- Test: Go for a blood pressure test at least once a year. The normal level is 120/80 or less.
- Reduce stress: Do activities that help you stay relaxed, such as tai chi, meditation, yoga, daily walks, journaling, music therapy, etc.
- Vitamins: Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are essential in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. These vitamins help reduce high blood pressure, but if you're taking supplements, do it under the guidance of a qualified physician.
- Exercise: Working out regularly helps lower high blood pressure. It also enables you to maintain a healthy weight, which is vital in managing blood pressure.
- Quit smoking: Tobacco contributes to raising blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
- Limit alcohol: Excess drinking can raise your blood pressure levels.
- Reduce caffeine consumption: Caffeinated drinks can cause a spike in your blood pressure. Scientists aren't yet sure if it's only temporary or long-lasting. Try testing yourself about 30 minutes after drinking coffee. If your blood pressure increases by 5-10 points, you may need to go easy on the caffeine.
- CoQ10: Some studies show that CoQ10 supplements may help reduce high blood pressure. Take 100 mg per day and monitor the changes in your body.
- Herbs & spices: some studies indicate that hawthorn, cinnamon, and garlic aid in reducing blood pressure. Consult your holistic practitioner to check out your tests and give you the right formula.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team