Is your city aging you? #bestplacetolive

New York City is one of the worst cities for premature aging. So, what am I laughing about?
Oh yeah: I don´t live there! ;-)

I just stumbled across this study conducted by Sperling´s Best Places and Roc SkinCare about the Cities Most At Risk From Premature Aging. Wow, this is actually very interesting! Could it be that you and me are aging faster, simply because of where we live? Obviously the sun is our skins biggest enemy- so lot´s of sun rays cause premature aging. The study includes climate risk factors and also pollution- but it goes further and includes lifestyle, occupational and environmental risk factors and  stress levels, traffic commutes and diet.

Of course I had to immediately check, how the future of my skin is ranking! And it turns out I chose my recent move NOT in favor of my skin´s needs... Atlanta ranks on place 4 of the most at risk for wrinkles! Ouch! Now I really am not happy about this.

But if you see the traffic in Atlanta, it immediately makes sense. Atlanta earned high scores for both its commute (30.0 minutes one-way, 10% higher than average) and the number of hours worked per week (34.9 hrs) and hot summer temperatures (89.0 degrees average high for July). But Atlanta is the fifth-largest metro area in the U.S., which means that living there is anything but “laid-back” with high scores for stress (unemployment rate of 8.6%, average is 7.5%, and a higher than average property crime rate) and sleepless nights (8.1 restless nights per month, average is 7.7).

Then I checked my hometown in Florida- where I lived 9 years before my move to Atlanta and that was on place 13. So turns out, I fell with my move 9 spots behind. Geez...kinda scary! Sarasota scored best in the Lifestyle category, with the second-lowest lever of particulate pollution and mild climate (not sure why they call the weather mild! It is freaking HOT year-through!!!).

It has lower than average scores for commute (25.9 minutes one-way, 5% less than average) and a shorter-than-average work-week of 34.3 hours.  The Lifestyle category is where it fell down, with a skin cancer rate 44% above average (3.9 deaths per 100,000 residents), and high number of smokers (18.2% of the population, average is 15.1%).  It also had the highest stress score in the study, with a suicide rate 53% above average, alcohol use 22% greater than normal, and depression (residents report 4.3 days per month of poor mental health, average is 3.5). Wow! That is so weird? How can a city rank high for lifestyle but than have such a high suicide rate and alcohol use and depression? Weird much? But the skin cancer rate above 44% is really scary!

So, what is the best metro area to avoid premature aging in the U.S.? It is...drum roll please...

The best city to live if you don´t want to age prematurely is
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California!

I could have guessed that lol! I absolutely love San Diego. If only it would not be that dam expensive to live there lol! But the funny thing is that the worst place for premature aging is not too far from there:

The worst city to live if you don´t want to age prematurely is
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California!

Riverside scored one of the worst scores for the Environment category, combining sunny weather (27% more sunny days than average) with hot summers (14% higher average July temperature), pollution, and dryness (20% lower humidity than average). Riverside residents also score in the top ten for the time spent commuting (31.2 minutes one-way, 14% higher than average), plus the 35.9 hours spent on the job weekly when they finally arrive at work (3% higher than our study’s average). The Lifestyle category was also above average, with the third-highest stress score in the study (Riverside has the second-highest unemployment rate of 11.0%).

But it´s only a 2 hour drive from the best place to the worst! Now that is funny. Riverside was placed first for having an above average number of hot, dry, sunny days with a lengthy commute, while San Diego offers a mild Pacific climate year-through.

New York City is the second worst place in this study- no wonder. New Yorkers have the longest commute (37.1 minutes each way, 35% higher than average), exposing their skin to sun (27% more sun than average annually), weather (winter temps are 25% colder than average and summer temps are 14% warmer), and air and traffic pollutants (ozone and particulate scores are both in the study’s top third) . New York is also windy (6% more than average). The stress of living in America’s largest city may show up for the lack of restful sleep, which New York posting the study’s third-highest score (8.4 nights per month with poor sleep).

I mean, I can have fun for 3 days in New York City but then I am more than happy to leave all the traffic, noise and stress behind! And the constant ambulances? Do people get heart attacks round the clock there or what?

Now go ahead and check if this list has good or bad news for you and your skin! Remember, this list is sorted with the worst cities first! ;-)

Full Ranking of All Metro Areas in the RoC Skincare Wrinkle Ranking Study
50 Largest U.S. Metro Areas, Ranked by Wrinkle Risk

1.            Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California

2.            New York, New York

3.            Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

4.            Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia

5.            Baltimore-Towson, Maryland

6.            Denver-Aurora, Colorado

7.            Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Illinois

8.            Newark, New Jersey-Pennsylvania

9.            St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois

10.          Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida

11.          Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, District of Columbia-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia

12.          Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee

13.          Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida

14.          Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida

15.          Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas

16.          Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California

17.          Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, North Carolina-South Carolina

18.          Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas

19.          Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona

20.          Warren, Michigan

21.          Edison, New Jersey

22.          Indianapolis-Carmel, Indiana

23.          Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

24.          Boston-Quincy, Massachusetts

25.          Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, California

26.          Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada

27.          Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York

28.          Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Michigan

29.          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

30.          Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana

31.          Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Florida

32.          Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, Rhode Island-Massachusetts

33.          Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Massachusetts

34.          Jacksonville, Florida

35.          Austin-Round Rock, Texas

36.          Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, California

37.          Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington

38.          Kansas City, Missouri-Kansas

39.          Columbus, Ohio

40.          Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin

41.          San Antonio, Texas

42.          Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia-North Carolina

43.          San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California

44.          Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio

45.          Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Oregon-Washington

46.          West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Florida

47.          San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California

48.          Santa Ana, California

49.          Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin

50.          San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California

Did you find your city? Happy about the result, or sad (like me?)

While the study includes really a lot of risk factors for premature aging, I find that it does not include at all humidity. And I mean in this case that humidity is a good thing. Because - while humidity can feel exhausting (trust me I lived 12 years in Florida lol), it is actually very good for our skin! Whenever I am in California or Arizona, I notice that my skin- especially my lips and hands- is immediately getting super dry and feeling tight! And the study does not say anything about that at all!

I believe that dry air can also cause premature aging of our skin and that humid air is good for our skin. I look like 10 years older in California! LOL! But hey: I am not a scientist! ;-)