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It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but delayed aging is now a reality, thanks to new advances in science and research.

Americans are staying younger longer, found a recent study from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. "We measured people's biological age through different markers of good health and found that the pace of aging has slowed over the past 20 years," explains researcher Eileen M. Crimmins, Ph.D. People are not just living longer but also enjoying more years of prime mental and physical vitality, she says.

While genetics plays a role in how fast we age, new research shows behavioral changes also make an impact. "There's a lot we can control through diet, exercise, and lifestyle," says S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and chief scientist at Lapetus Solutions. (These all-star retinol skin-care products can't hurt, either.)