May 24, 2017: Harvard dermatology professor Alexa Kimball who headed the team of researchers said the “genetic recipe” for youthful skin can be found in this gene. The study was conducted on one million people through the help of a private genetic database named 23andMe.
The researchers found that the younger gene is present in around 10% of white Americans and 20% of black Americans. The team believes that this gene has helped make these individuals look 10 years younger than they actually were.
According to the findings, the genes can be grouped into seven categories that correspond to various functions in the body. These include repairing the DNA, maintaining the junctions between cells of the skin and protecting the skin from the harmful effects of environmental factors.
A category of the gene that produces lamellar bodies in the skin produce waxes, lipids, fat-containing molecules and other nutrients that help maintain the moisture of the skin.
“Many of us felt that people with darker skin aged better because of more pigment and better photo [sunlight] protection, but we have found there is much more to it than that,” Kimball said. “They have other characteristics in their skin which confer good ageing, which until now we had no idea about.”
The results of the Harvard Medical School study are being presented at the World Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver, Canada. They will appear in several series of publications later in the year, including the International Journal of Dermatology.