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Does running give you wrinkles/make your face sag?
26

Merse · 01/06/2015 10:29

Have heard that it does. And I suppose thinking about it - it would be logical to assume that it does. Need to shift some weight and was thinking about running as does burn lots of calories fast, but as an -ahem - mature lady…. I was wondering whether it would be a bad idea from the wrinkle/sagging POV.

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DarylDixonsDarlin · 01/06/2015 10:36

Have you googled it? And do you have wrinkles already? I think wrinkles become more prominent as you lose weight from your face, even in younger women (around say 30yo). I had a few appear last time I lost a fair bit of weight, and I'm.not generally prone to wrinkles. I lost the weight by running mostly, but I think they would have appeared regardless of how I lost it.

Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to facial wrinkles, I've heard. That and sun exposure! Balance it out in your mind - the appearance of wrinkles can be improved with lotions and potions, but there is no equally easy fix for being overweight. I'd trade a few face wrinkles for being overweight, but everyone's different! Smile

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InstitutionCode · 01/06/2015 10:36

I don't think the running itself does TBH but women who have run all their lives tend to be very lean and definitely, after a certain age, your face benefits from a bit of fat!

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sebsmummy1 · 01/06/2015 10:38

I heard the same and it really put me off. If you're concerned how about vigorous walking instead? It's meant to be as beneficial if not more so.

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Merse · 01/06/2015 10:44

Yes - I have been doing vigorous walking on an incline so you can get heart rate quite high anyway. Was just wondering as it is such a quick fix on the calorie burning front - plus can give you quite an adrenalin high once you are fit enough to not think you are about to have a heart attack with the exertion …. I think I might stick to current regime on balance. My Googling did seem to suggest it's true.

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Coastingit · 01/06/2015 10:44

Surely it's a combo of being thin and also being outside a lot, that makes regular runners perhaps a bit more wrinkly?

Wear an SPF and eat well, take omega oil supplements, and good skincare regime - I think running can only be good for your circulation and therefore your skin.

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FannyFernackapan · 01/06/2015 10:46

Grin I really wouldn't worry about this too much if you're just planning a sedate 5k a couple of times a week round the block.

If you're a long term runner then yes, being outside in all weathers and being lean will more than likely result in a few more wrinkles

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bikeandrun · 01/06/2015 10:48

I run a lot and I am very lean, I have also spent a lot of time in the sun ( doing sport rather than sunbathing but results the same) I am early 40s not very wrinkly but face might be seen as a bit drawn. Bit of foundation and blusher seems to work wonders when I can be bothered. The main thing i love what my body can do, ie beat male and female whipper snappers in races, keep up with my speedy kids, jog up three flights of stairs at work etc. My 60 year old friend is in much the same position yes she is a bit wrinkly but her posture and figure make her look 15 years younger. Interesting would a man ever ask if sport effected his facial appearance?

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Merse · 01/06/2015 11:00

Totally agree Bikeandrun that it is a fabulous feeling when one's body is strong and capable. I am into yoga and all sorts of other sport so am with you on that 100%. And also agree that it is unlikely men would worry about these things which is wrong etc. But ignoring the feminist angle (which I do share, as it happens), just wondering what the physical answer is rather than whether I should care or not. And actually was imagining it was more to do with the constant force of body hitting the ground (which is why boobs sag without a serious sports bra) rather than the outdoor elements/UV angle. If boobs sag without something to stop them moving then surely the face would do the sam - that's just my thinking.

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Merse · 01/06/2015 11:01

Did anyone else watch Ally McBeal (showing my age here!) when they had a woman on the show who developed a hilarious 'face bra' for running? Have been wondering about it on and off ever since!!

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bikeandrun · 01/06/2015 11:11

Interesting, glad we are in agreement, I don't think the forces on your face can be that great to be honest, gravity is constantly again us whether we are walking, running or just sitting about. No scientific knowledge on this though! I think being healthy would generally improve the elasticity of the skin thus preventing sagging but obviously any sensible exercise regime would help with this. Finally on a different subject did read somewhere ( cant think where) that wearing a bra has no effect on stopping breasts sagging but not sure if this is true. I always wear a bra because it would be very uncomfortable not to and this might be completely wrong!

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InstitutionCode · 01/06/2015 11:18

I agree Bikeandrun. The forces acting on our face must be significantly less than those on our breasts when we run.

Also, the Bra industry has done a great job of persuading us that their bras will prevent sagging but they won't. What they are good for is hoiking them up after they've sagged and stopping them bouncing uncomfortably.

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donemekmelarf · 01/06/2015 11:23

It's not a myth. There is such a thing as Runners Face^

Runner’s face generally occurs in both men and women ages 40+ who exercise to improve their body, and in doing so end up with a skeletal and bony face. When exercising, an athlete burns off fat beneath the layers of his/her skin. The marked loss of fatty tissue results in a loss of volume which leads to a prominent appearance of the bones, accelerated
development of skin laxity and deepening of wrinkles.
Though you may look like a 20-year-old from the neck down—your face will easily give away your age. If your skin has taken a beating from pounding the pavement, there are ways to chase those wrinkles away. Runners often have wrinkles for reasons other than running itself. Many runners spend long hours outdoors without proper sun protection, so the wrinkles are a result of sun exposure. Runners are also often people who have lost a lot of weight, so the wrinkles are from the skin that was previously filled with fat.

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InstitutionCode · 01/06/2015 11:25

Yes, the sun and the lack of fat can lead to a wrinkled appearance, not the actual running though.

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donemekmelarf · 01/06/2015 11:27

This is very interesting: (taken from The Guardian).


This is why the whole concept of "runner's face" is so insidious. It threatens to take us away from the joys of running and right back into prescriptive ideas about how women should look, act and perform. It's all very well to want to run a marathon – but just think of what might happen to your face! This kind of policing happens too frequently in sports – strong, muscular, fit athletes are castigated for failures of femininity, rather than celebrated for their achievements.

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bikeandrun · 01/06/2015 11:29

institutioncode glad the bra thing wasn't completely in my head! The runners face is probably lack of fat rather than gravity related sag!

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Merse · 01/06/2015 11:54

This is all rather interesting…. So if it's to do with lack of fat rather than any gravity effect from pounding up and down then it shouldn't be called 'runner's face' but 'fitness' face?! Anyone who keeps fit and slim will get it? When you look at dancers and/or yoga types they don't look drawn and old before their time and they are generally v. slim and fit. And agree with Guardian take on it too. Constantly torn between feeling angry about the way women are made to feel about their bodies/appearance and caring nonetheless and then feeling like a crap feminist as a result. That's before you get on to how to explain why you are putting on make up to a daughter….. Oh God!!

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InstitutionCode · 01/06/2015 12:00

I don't think you're comparing like with like. Runners often carry on training seriously/regularly into old age. How many dancers do you know who are training hard after, say 40? Yoga doesn't destroy fat (or involve being outdoors) like running does. Most of the famous dancers you're thinking of have had a lot of "work" done.

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InstitutionCode · 01/06/2015 12:05

Also, I think often, when you look at a runner you think they're younger than they actually are. There's a woman of 65 at my running club who looks amazing in her tiny running pants. Her face looks old in comparison to her body, but it doesn't look older than 65. So, if you're assuming she must be 50 max (actually from behind you'd think 40) then you probably would assume her face is prematurely old, but it's not IYSWIM

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Merse · 01/06/2015 12:13

Hmmm - that is an interesting point Institutioncode.

Also, and I realise this is going back to (my) assumption that gravity must play some part in the process, I imagine if you run on machines in the gym it must be better as they are v. springy so presumably absorb quite a bit of the impact. Dull vs. running outside of course, but just from POV of the impact element.

Not sure if I am trying to talk myself into or out of getting on the running machine in the gym tonight!!!

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donemekmelarf · 01/06/2015 12:19

An advert for face fillers just popped up on the screen Hmm

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bikeandrun · 01/06/2015 12:23

Yoga and dance generally done inside, running outside( less uv) interesting as i keep straying into feminist discussion points dance and yoga are seen as more feminine ( ridiculous as both are very physically demanding when done to a high standard) whilst running we are entering into male space and hence the more generally critical view?

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Merse · 01/06/2015 12:38

I think it is more to do with the marketing/media portray of dance/yoga vs. running. As you say, bikeandrun, when done to a high standard they are crazy hard and bodies reflect that. Ballet dancers, for instance, are insanely fit. I saw some show in which they pitted a marine against a male ballet dancer and the dancer was WAY stronger than the marine.

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Coastingit · 01/06/2015 13:43

There was a discussion recently on Style and Beauty about Liz Hurley and how amazing she looks at the moment. Apparently she does Pilates as running feels too harsh on her body. I don't enjoy running anyway but I don't like the stress on my knees, or the muscly calves it gives me. If I enjoyed it enough I'd probably do it anyway, and if I did it enough my whole body would benefit.

But that is being an even worse feminist I know! Grin I am going to start Pilates as it is good for the soul as well as the body, maybe that's sort of a female thing too. I need some 'me time' and pushing myself strenuously like running just doesn't feel like being kind to myself iyswim.

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bikeandrun · 01/06/2015 13:49

So many interesting issues here, if anyone out there is interested in funding phds I would love to do one on male and female attitudes to sport/ fitness beauty / ageing. I am a feminist and I like to think I do sport for all the positive reasons mentioned up thread, but having a small bum and toned stomach is also important to me. I am talking about myself here rather than about other women's bodies but I really wouldn't like it if I had a roll of fat around my middle( even if I was a healthy bmi) is this any different than getting fillers and Botox when it comes to having a distorted body image?

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Merse · 01/06/2015 14:03

That would be a really interesting study and I wish I was in a position to offer funding. I think the tension between one's feminist beliefs and a desire to look good is almost inevitable given the society we live in. And maybe by blaming ourselves for having (for want of a better word) 'vain' feelings we are just making things worse and beating ourselves up unnecessarily - thus contributing even further to the general shaming of all it is to be female! I am not sure, but certainly find myself tussling with this stuff a great deal…. This may be interesting for your PHD if you ever do it (in terms of challenging attitudes towards age/beauty/fitness etc):

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11584417/Royal-Ballets-leading-lady-returns-at-52.html

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