Facial Massage
Keeping the blood pressure low may help look younger and live longer, new research shows.Collin Parker/Flickr

Low blood pressure may help one look younger and live longer, a new research shows.

Researchers from Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, while analysing the factors that influenced ageing and appearance, found that women who looked younger than their actual age had lower blood pressure. These women also had lower risk of developing different types of cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke.

The study included 514 people aged around 63, Daily Mail reported. The participants were divided into different groups, according to the age they appeared, actual age and risk of cardiovascular diseases.  Interestingly, women who had lower heart risks looked two years younger than their actual age.

"We identified that blood pressure was driving the link between cardiovascular disease risk and perceived age. It is the first time a link between low blood pressure and youthful looks has been proven. This finding gives rise to new ways to communicate the significant additional benefits of a healthy lifestyle," Dr David Gunn, Unilever Senior Scientist said, in a news release. 

"Not only this, but we also found that the feature in the face that blood pressure was linked to was not skin wrinkles but likely what we term as the 'sag' in the face. The exciting thing is further investigations will enable exact pin-pointing of the feature in the face that signposts an individual's blood pressure."

Researchers also noticed that participants from a family with an extended life expectancy looked younger with less skin wrinkling on upper arm compared to another group with the same age. This made them to conclude that life expectancy can be predicted by just observing the ageing process of the skin. Their findings also found a strong link between familial longevity and youthful appearance. "Our initial findings suggest that families who age healthily are also endowed with slower skin ageing and, for males, a more youthful face. The next stage is to understand what is happening inside the skin of these youthful individuals to find out more about their ageing secrets," Gunn, explained.

Researchers expect that their findings would encourage people to follow a healthy lifestyle. "It is hoped the results of the study will encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to regularly monitor important health parameters such as blood pressure as the study shows that these factors not only impact health, but can also affect physical appearance," Dr Diana Van-Heemst from Leiden University Medical Center, said.

The study has been published in the Journals of Gerontology.

Blood pressure is a term used to measure the force of the blood flow against the walls of the blood vessels, each time the heart beats. Blood pressure readings that shows systolic pressure and diastolic pressure at or below 120 over 80 (120/80 mmHG) is considered to be normal, above 140/90 mmHG indicates high blood pressure, while readings below 90/60 mmHG is considered to be low BP.  

It is mandatory to keep blood pressure under control to ward off deadly diseases like heart attack, strokes, aneurysm, metabolic syndrome, aneurysm (swelling of blood vessels), kidney problems, memory problems, vision loss and heart failure.