As we age, we gain a deeper appreciation for the skin we live in and find new ways to help our skin feel its healthiest, best self. We’ve come a long way from skincare formulations of the past (great skincare is way more than slapping on any ol’ moisturizer), and the modern-day ingredients we use now are to be super effective with preventing or smoothing out existing fine lines and wrinkles (think: vitamin C, retinol, and niacinamide).
But even with the best of the best skin care routines, there are a lot of factors that affect the way our skin looks as we age, from genetics to diet to the environment we live in — particularly if you live in a major city. Though there’s plenty to love about the convenience of living in a metropolis (a breadth of activities, public transportation, and always someplace to grab a late-night burger, for starters), the not-so-great part about living in a fast-paced city is that environmental pollution and stress can contribute to premature aging. That’s unless you live in one of the cities on our list that are great when it comes to prioritizing healthy-looking skin. Below, we give you insight into some of the best places to live across the country if you’re after ageless skin.
For this study, we ranked the top 50 most populous U.S. cities based on eight factors that both affect skin health and help achieve youthful-looking skin, which we weighted based on how much they affect the appearance of ageless skin overall.
The eight ranking factors are listed below with their respective weights and source data:
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Number of Med Spas Per 100,000 People
Source: Yellow Pages
Number of Dermatologists Per 100,000 People
Source: Yellow Pages
Percentage of People Who Wear Sunscreen
Average Cigarette Usage
Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
Google Search Volume of “Retinoid” Over the Past 12 Months
Source: Google Trends
Google Search Volume of “Hyaluronic Acid” Over the Past 12 Months
Source: Google Trends
Google Search Volume of “Botox Near Me” Over the Past 12 Months
Source: Google Trends
From there, we crunched the numbers and assigned each city with a score of 0 to 5 for each ranking factor, with 5 representing the best and 0 representing the worst environment for ageless skin. We determined each city’s score from the total of its weighted, individual factor scores. The highest possible city score is 50.
Here’s how things shook out:
The Best U.S. Cities for Ageless Skin
Nailing the top spot on our list, Seattle scored 41.25. Boston came in second with 37.57, and Louisville was the third best city for healthy skin with 34.71.
You might be surprised to find sunny spots like Miami, Atlanta, San Diego, and Orlando make a list. After all, we all know that sun damage and exposure to UV rays is the most common cause of wrinkles. This representation may point to a trend of sunnier locations having more medspas and more residents who are more diligent about wearing sunscreen than other places, leading to healthier, less wrinkled skin. The great news is that these findings prove you can have ageless skin in different geographical locations despite the climate.
Seattle is famous for the Space Needle, Starbucks, Seahawks, and they also add great skin. With an average UV index of 2, even though Seattle doesn’t experience a lot of intense UV rays, 43% of their residents still regularly wear sunscreen anyway, which could be a significant reason why they soared to the top of our list of cities with younger-looking skin.
Another factor that Seattle fared well in was how little of its residents smoked. Only 12% of adults smoke cigarettes, which is less than the national average. Additionally, according to Google Trends data, a lot more people than average search for nearby botox providers so they can appear wrinkle-free for longer.
Boston is our second-place city for younger-looking skin. Not only does it have a UV index of 2, the city has 30 medspas per 100,000 people, indicating that it makes it convenient for residents to take care of their skin. Google Trends search volume for the search terms “botox near me” is 82 out of 100 — well over the national average of 49.9. Additionally, only 13% of its residents smoke cigarettes, which is the culprit for deep wrinkles, dry skin, and uneven skin tone.
Louisville nabs the third spot with an average UV index of 1. Notably, the city contains 154 dermatologists per 100,000 people, which blows the national average of 62.9 out of the water. And, despite the low UV index, 42% of its residents wear sunscreen regularly, which helps protect their skin even further. Louisvillians are also very interested in educating themselves about retinoids — they Google it much more than the national average.
Some other interesting factoids from our search: Riverside, CA, can possibly attribute their glowy skin to the city’s 184 medspas (the most per 100,000 people). Next, it appears that dermatologists flock to Hartford, CT, because there are 167 of them per 100,000 people in this capital city. According to our findings, only 9% of adults smoke in Salt Lake City, well under the national average of 15.6%.
Over the past 12 months, it seems as though people have been Googling skincare quite a bit. According to Google Trends, Richmond, VA residents Googled “retinoid” the most (79), people who live in Los Angeles search “hyaluronic acid” the most (79), and Phoenix residents look up the keywords “botox near me” most frequently (100).
Get Ageless Skin with Sunday Riley
Sometimes you can’t help where you live, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Sunday Riley’s high-tech, potent formulas help you achieve great skin no matter your location — or age. We’re here to help you create a regimen that’s tailored to your skin to bring out your inner confidence and glow. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a little 101:
- Cleanse off the day: Find one that’s best for your skin type. If you’re concerned about fine lines and wrinkles, choose a cleansing balm like Sunday Riley Blue Moon Clean-Rinse Cleansing Balm or oil that’s best suited for dry/mature skin since they offer more hydration.
- Slather on a serum: Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum boosts collagen production and adds a high dose of moisture.
- Use an eye cream: Whether you have eye puffiness, fine wrinkles, or dark circles, Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum smooths and nurtures them overnight.
- Exfoliate regularly: Include an acid-based treatment like an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) found in Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment. If you have mature as well as acneic skin, you’ll benefit from a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) like the salicylic acid found in Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil.
- Be religious about SPF: Sunscreen is your first line of defense from UV rays — the key to keeping skin looking young and healthy. Sunday Riley Light Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen is both a mineral and chemical SPF great for all skin types and tones.
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