It’s said that if you want to know what you’ll look like in 20 years, look at your mother. That might make you feel very positive – or send you running to the nearest shop for the most powerful anti-wrinkle cream you can find!

Skin type, bone structure and hair type can all be inherited from our mothers. If we have a strong facial resemblance, we may also have a similar ageing pattern. ‘High, prominent cheekbones with a good fat covering are such an important asset – and if your mother had them, you’ll be lucky if you inherited them,’ says aesthetic medicine expert Dr Mervyn Patterson. ‘They support much of the lower face, helping to keep the canvas of the face pulled backwards and upwards.’ On the other hand, if your family cheekbones are not strong, you may start to see your mother’s marionette lines appear as the cheeks lose their volume and the skin creeps downwards.

‘Several factors of ageing, such as the risk of hyperpigmentation and the level of skin sagging, are related to our genes,’ says oculoplastic surgeon Sabrina Shah-Desai, who specialises in eye rejuvenation. One study showed a 61% heritability factor for droopy eyelids, for example. The good news is there is much we can control – and we have access to far more sophisticated skincare and ‘tweakments’ than the generation before us did. So, we took five gripes to some of our favourite experts and asked whether we’re at the mercy of our genes, and found out how we can intervene.

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