A controversial video in which an American plastic surgeon claims that intense running causes the skin to age faster has nearly 3 million views on TikTok. But is it true that running leads to an older appearance?
Gerald Imber is an American plastic surgeon with over 50 thousand followers on TikTok. In a video that currently has 2.9 million views, Imber expresses a somewhat controversial opinion: that running can cause the skin to age faster.
“A gaunt old face”
Imber says that it is indeed “perfectly okay” to run a little every day or a few “miles” (the English “mile” corresponds to about 1.6 km) a week – but that he does not recommend continuous long-distance running.
“Have you ever seen a person who has been running long distances for a long time who does not have a gaunt, old face?” asks Imber in the video. “That’s what happens.”
“In addition to an old face, your knees, your ankles, and your back are damaged. It’s pretty stupid.”
Imber summarizes by saying that a little running is “great”, but that low-intensity aerobics is the best type of exercise.
@geraldimbermd Did you know there are exercises that can accelerate your wrinkles? #skincareover50 #skincareover40 #plasticsurgery #plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #nycdoctor #manhattan #nyc ♬ original sound – Gerald Imber, MD
How to protect your face during running
The phenomenon that Imber talks about has become known as “runner’s face” (“löparansikte” in Swedish). According to Dr. However, according to Kiya Movassaghi – a dedicated runner and plastic surgeon – running makes you look older.
He tells the Healthline that it is rather the combination of being thin in general and often exposing the skin to sunshine that causes some runners to have this characteristic appearance.
“People simply confuse correlation and causation,” says Movassaghi. “While what we call ‘runner’s face’ often correlates with a runner’s body type and lifestyle, running itself does not cause a skinny face.”
The article gives the following advice to those who want to protect their face while running:
- Always apply sunscreen before running.
- Always moisturize the skin properly with a day cream after training.
- Drink plenty of water – dehydration is behind the majority of skin-related ailments.
- Protect your face with, for example, a cap during the run.