Air quality can play a significant role in your health and wellbeing, but those effects aren’t just limited to your lungs. The air that you breathe as well as the air around you can also affect the health and appearance of your skin, not to mention other factors like stress and sleep. The healthier your skin, the better it will look and age.
We know that it’s a fairly simple task to control the air quality in your home or business with a modern HEPA air purifier, but what about the air outside?
How We Ranked Each State for Skin Friendliness
Air quality: The skin is a living, breathing organ—drawing 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” exists for a reason. Stress ages you by exhausting the mind and body, as well as opening the door for microorganisms to attack, by weakening your immune system. 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 importance in maintaining your health and 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. It also helps to drink a lot of water.
Map of Best and Worst States for Youthful Skin
Every state offers a variety of pros and cons that can affect your skin. This can include natural factors like humidity or man-made hazards like air pollution. We collected data on those factors from every state and ranked them with a color scale:
Top 10 Worst States to Live in For Youthful Skin
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 they have Honky Tonks.
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 might not be so peachy keen.
Utah has been shamed for having the worst air quality in the country—often looking like Hong Kong on winter inversion days when pollution gets trapped around cities. While the nearby mountains, ski resorts, and bevvy of natural surroundings 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.
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.
You wouldn’t guess that a laid back, Southern state like Alabama would be stressed. 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.
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!.
If 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, Marylanders are the 18th most well rested and relaxed in America, so that helps.
We’re sorry to say it, but Indiana isn’t the best 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!
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.
What Can I Do to Improve My Skin Health?
Healthy Skin Tips
Do you live in one of these states? Don’t worry, you don’t have to move! While some of these factors are environmental, you can control some with some small, positive changes to your lifestyle. Check out our tips on how to mitigate the poor skin conditions of your state and how to cultivate happy, healthy skin with these helpful tips:
Top 10 Best States to Live in For Youthful Skin
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.
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.
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 mosquitoes, but it does aid in maintaining youthful appearances.
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.
Take a deep breath, Washingtonians! Washington has the third best air quality in the country. No wonder there are so many refreshed, beautiful people living there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Full List
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
- New York
- Rhode Island
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Treat Your Skin Right
Now that we better understand the factors that go into maintaining youthful, healthy skin and which US states offer the best skin health factors, we want to encourage you to start living a healthier happier lifestyle. Taking care of your body and mind won’t just result in more youthful skin, you will see those choices positively affect just about every aspect of your life!
If you want to take your skin care and wellbeing to the next level, Alen’s True HEPA H13 filters capture 99.99% of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns, including aerosolized viruses, bacteria, pollutants, and common triggers of asthma and allergy symptoms. Not only will our air purifiers directly affect the health and wellbeing of your skin, indirect effects like better sleep and less stress will help to keep your skin looking happy and healthy, well into your golden years!
Check out our line of True HEPA filters to start protecting your skin and health today!