The West Coast may be where it's at when it comes to looking and feeling young, according to findings from RealSelf - a leading online community for savvy health and beauty consumers.
In the past year, RealSelf saw nearly 50 million online consumer searches for ways to reduce the visible signs of aging. To take a deeper look at the trend, major US cities were ranked based on more than a dozen of the major factors cited by RealSelf doctors to impact the aging process of the body and skin-including sun exposure, smoking, stress, access to dermatologists and fitness centers, and more.
Known for being wellness-obsessed, San Francisco tops the list, with high scores for having residents who eat healthfully, are physically fit and hyper-concerned with their skin's appearance.
Coming in second is Seattle, where the city's active inhabitants aren't as likely to spend on anti-aging products at the beauty counter, but interest per capita in Botox exceeds Los Angeles. Rounding out the top 5 are Washington DC, Minneapolis and Denver, with the nation's capital boasting the highest marks for physical fitness. Denver residents' healthy habits were enough to outweigh the fact that the city has nearly 13 tanning salons per 100,000 people.
- San Francisco
- Washington DC
- Portland, OR
- San Diego
- New York City
Just making the list at number 10, New Yorkers are the most stressed out - which has been shown to accelerate aging - but they are willing to invest the most money in ways to counteract the visible signs of it. Sunny San Diego has high rates of melanoma (29 cases per 100,000 people each year), but the city also benefits from having a high concentration of dermatologists per capita (4 per 100,000 people). Similarly, the walkable, bike-friendly city of Portland, OR, is home to a high number of fitness centers per capita, but also ranks highly for bars.
To compile the list, RealSelf measured a number of factors directly correlated with looking and feeling youthful, weighted by impact on aging and overall physical health. Criteria included:
- Sun exposure and skin cancer rates
- Physical fitness, disease rates and access to fresh, nutritious food
- Stress, smoking and sleep
- Gyms and athletic clubs (per capita)
- Bars (per capita)
- Tanning salons (per capita)
- Spending on anti-aging
- Interest in Botox (searches on RealSelf)
- Board certified dermatologists (per capita)
The list doesn't name the city that will age you the fastest, but it's worth noting that state capital Charleston, WV has the most tanning salons per capita, residents get the least amount of sleep and the city ranks 4th for smoking the most cigarettes.