The Best and Worst States for Youthful Skin | Where to Age Gracefully

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The Best and Worst States for Youthful Skin

Want to Look Younger Longer? Here Are America’s Best and Worst States for Aging

Drop the needle. You won’t need Botox if you live in one of America’s best states for aging. We researched air quality, stress levels, the average amount of sleep people get, and the humidity in each state to determine which areas of the country help you defy age. Age is just a number anyway, right? See how your state stacks up and how soon you’ll look like your mother. Check out the full list.

Best States to Live in to Look Younger Longer

  1. North Dakota
    Crows feet, crepey skin, and fine lines have met their match in North Dakota. This state has the sixth best air quality in the nation and the most well-rested residents. Catching sufficient zzz’s is key to looking younger and so is breathing clean, healthy air. Now if this state could only do something about the bitter cold...
  2. Oregon
    The rainy Pacific Northwest is great for keeping skin hydrated. Its laid back West Coast style is also paying off. People in Oregon are the fourth most relaxed and fourth most rested in the country. If only we could bottle that and sell it at a drugstore.
  3. Alaska
    The Last Frontier also has some of the last people to age—according to our study anyways. The gorgeous Alaskan air is the second best in America and the state has the third highest humidity in the country. That doesn’t help with Alaska’s dog-sized mosquitos, but it does aid in maintaining youthful appearances.
  4. Idaho
    Idaho residents lead a pretty restful life. The state ranks fifth in the nation for getting enough sleep. Idaho also has high humidity and mild stress levels. However, Idaho is in the middle of the pack for air quality. It’s something we’ll keep an eye on as that could affect how people live, breathe, and age in the Gem State.
  5. Washington
    Take a deep breath, Washingtonians. Your state will preserve your youth skin like an Egyptian mummy thanks to your air. Washington has the third best air quality in the country. No wonder there are so many refreshed, beautiful people living there.
  6. Nebraska
    The Cornhusker State grows young looking people alongside its golden fields of corn. Nebraska is sixth in the nation for three of our four ranking categories: stress, air quality, and sleep. Coincidentally, Nebraska is also the sixth best state in America for aging.
  7. Iowa
    While 82 percent humidity might feel oppressive, it helps Iowans stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Combine that with its third lowest stress levels and eighth best air quality in the country and you have a recipe for impossibly young looking people.
  8. Maine
    The people of Maine sure look spry. Some might even say youth is in the air. They’d be right. Maine ranks fifth in the nation for having the best air quality and fourth for humidity.
  9. New Hampshire
    Live Free or Die has been the motto of New Hampshire since John Stark wrote these words in 1809. Maybe it’s this unstoppable attitude that has helped New Hampshire natives say no to aging. The state has the perfect storm of anti-aging properties; it’s the second most humid in the nation, seventh least stressed, and 11th best for air quality.
  10. Hawaii
    As if Hawaii didn’t already have it all—beautiful beaches, hot bods, and perma-tans. Hawaii also is the 10th best state in America for aging. A lot of this has to do with having the cleanest air in the whole country. As long as people don’t bake themselves in the sun, Hawaiians have ideal conditions for aging gracefully.

Worst States to Live in to Look Younger Longer

  1. Tennessee
    While Tennessee is home to the country music capital of the world, it’s also the capital for premature aging. In all four categories (air quality, humidity, stress, and sleep), Tennessee ranks in the top 10 worst. At least the Honky Tonks are dimly lit...
  2. Georgia
    Georgia has the second worst air quality in America—probably no thanks to emissions-happy Atlanta. While Georgia may be known for its gorgeous peaches, complexions of the people looking there aren’t so peachy keen.
  3. Utah
    Utah has been shamed for having the worst air quality in the country—often looking like Hong Kong on winter inversion days. While the nearby mountains, ski resorts, and bevvy of natural surrounding help counteract this health hazard, its extremely low humidity doesn’t. On the upside, Utah is ranked in the top 10 for the least stressed and least sleep deprived people. That counts for something.
  4. Delaware
    You might not be aware, but Delaware has the 11th worst air quality in America. This tiny state pumps a lot of bad stuff into its air—landing it on our list as the fourth worst state for aging in the country. There is one silver lining. Delaware has the 22nd least stressed-out residents in the U.S..
  5. Alabama
    You wouldn’t guess that a slow-paced, Southern state like Alabama would be in a tizzy. Alas, its people are the third most stressed out in the country. Maybe it’s because they live in the ninth worst state for air quality? We’ll stop speculating, but we do know bad air and high stress isn’t great for aging.
  6. Kentucky
    People in Kentucky may look relaxed and refined at the horse race track, but the people here are actually some of the most sleep deprived and stressed in America. Take it easy, Kentucky! You southern belles and gentlemen need to take care of yourselves.
  7. Maryland
    If the cesspool that is the Inner Harbor of Baltimore is an indicator, Maryland’s air isn’t so great either. This state has the seventh worst air in the nation—something we know is bad for lungs, skin, and premature signs of aging. However, Maryanders are the 18th most well rested and relaxed in America, so that helps.
  8. Indiana
    We’re sorry to say it, but Indiana isn’t a great place to live if you want to retain your youthful glow. It has the fifth worst air quality in America and the 19th worst levels of stress. Like Rudy, we’d like to see Indiana make a comeback on this one!
  9. Oklahoma
    Maybe it’s the wind whipping down the plains that ages people in Oklahoma. Or maybe it’s the fact that this state has the third worst air quality, third worst sleep averages, and 16th highest levels of stress? Not something you’d want to write a musical about.
  10. West Virginia
    West Virginia may be Wild and Wonderful, but not so much in the aging department. This coal mining state is the third worst for both sleep and air quality. It might take its toll on the people living there, so watch out if you want to look like Jane Fonda at age 79.

How We Ranked Each State

Air quality. The skin is a living, breathing organ—sucking in moisture, vitamins, and toxins in the air. That’s why we weighted air quality highest for our best states to age in ranking (60 percent). States with the worst air quality ranked poorly for helping people look younger longer because it harms the body both inside and out.

Stress. The phrase, “you’re giving me gray hairs” wasn’t invented for nothing. Stress ages you by exhausting the mind and body and opening the door for germs to attack. The calmer and more relaxed you are, the better you’ll look and feel; you won’t have the dark circles, stress breakouts, and frown lines of a chronically stressed out person. We weighted stress levels by 20 percent in this study to account for this major aging contributor.

Sleep. We’ve all heard the term, “beauty sleep.” That’s because cells regenerate while we sleep and help us look and feel better. Sleeping not only helps cognitive function, but the health of your dermis too. We weighted sleep 15 percent in this piece to account for its important in maintaining a youthful appearance.

Humidity. Water has been called “the elixir of life.” Many beauty experts tout the power of staying hydrated. Thus, states with more humidity were ranked higher for their anti-aging powers. This was the least consequential of our ranking data, weighted just five percent.

Genetics, diet, luck, and a number of other factors determine how and at what rate you age. However, the data we gathered above should paint a picture of what you might look like in the coming years depending on air quality, stress, sleep, and humidity. If you want to look like Cindy Crawford at age 60, perhaps relocate to one of America’s best states for aging. Or at the very least, drink lots of water, breathe clean air, get sufficient sleep, and keep your stress levels low.

The Full List

1. North Dakota

2. Oregon

3. Alaska

4. Idaho

5. Washington

6. Nebraska

7. Iowa

8. Maine

9. New Hampshire

10. Hawaii

11. Minnesota

12. South Dakota
13. Montana

14. Wisconsin

15. Wyoming

16. Colorado

17. New York

18. Arizona

19. Vermont

20. California

21. Rhode Island

22. Nevada

23. Pennsylvania

24. Virginia
25. Kansas

26. New Mexico

27. Louisiana

28. Michigan

29. Florida

30. Mississippi

31. Missouri

32. Arkansas

33. New Jersey

34. Massachusetts

35. Texas

36. Connecticut
37. Illinois

38. North Carolina

39. Ohio

40. South Carolina

41. West Virginia

42. Oklahoma

43. Indiana

44. Maryland

45. Kentucky

46. Alabama

47. Delaware

48. Utah

49. Georgia

50. Tennessee