Skin ageing is an area of particular importance, not only because it is the most obvious sign of the ageing process, but also because it represents a visual indication for one’s overall health.
Ageing of the skin is not solely dependent on ‘age’, for example, your skin age can differ considerably to your actual age and this is because there are several other factors which contribute to skin ageing. These factors fall into either intrinsic or extrinsic categories.
Intrinsic ageing explained
Intrinsic ageing is an inevitable, genetically determined process that occurs naturally and is affected by the degenerative effects of free radicals, hormonal shifts and the body’s inability to perfectly repair skin damage1. Extrinsic ageing, on the other hand, is a result of lifestyle and environmental factors1. Signs of intrinsic ageing include skin sagging, thinning and cracking, and the appearance of fine wrinkles2.
The rate of intrinsic skin ageing can, however, still be dramatically influenced by personal and environmental factors such as diet and UV light exposure3. Other factors that affect the rate of intrinsic ageing include oxidative stress, glycation, inflammation and genetic mutations4.
What is oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to detoxify their harmful effects through the production of neutralising antioxidants. Oxidative stress in skin plays a major role in the ageing process5. This is true for intrinsic ageing and even more so for extrinsic ageing.
When oxidative stress occurs, free radicals can cause premature signs of ageing, uneven skin tone and texture, and can even break down the essential proteins that support the skin, causing sagging and laxity. Antioxidants in topical products are effective at limiting oxidative damage and slowing skin degradation5.
Through extensive research and development, SkinCeuticals has worked to incorporate antioxidants across our range of products to help combat the harmful effects of oxidative stress5,6.
Whilst the glucose we get from consuming sugars in our diet are a vital source of fuel for the body, as we age and our metabolism slows, excess glucose begins to have a negative effect on the skin7. Excess glucose begins to stick to the collagen and elastin that makes up the skin, in a chemical process called glycation. The result of this process is the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in the skin.
These AGEs are fibres in the cellular make-up of the skin. They are rigid and lack the elasticity of regular skin fibres, leading to laxity, thinning and cracking. As skin ages, the fibres responsible for the appearance and texture of the skin also begin to glycate.
SkinCeuticals’ A.G.E Eye Complex and A.G.E Interrupter are enriched with blueberry extract along with Proxylane™ and are specifically formulated to target the visible signs of ageing skin caused by A.G.Es such as fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness.
Inflammation is the skin’s first line of defence against foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Inflammation also initiates the tissue’s healing processes and limits the damage to skin cells caused by everyday chemicals and pollutants. However, excessive inflammation is linked to many skin diseases and conditions and is a catalyst for the visible skin ageing process8. Oxidative stress, glycation and the formation of A.G.E.s can cause chronic or excessive inflammation.
When this type of inflammation occurs, it damages the body and thus, the skin. The inflammatory reaction to the production of free radicals can lead to chronic inflammation where the immune system mistakenly attacks normal skin tissue and results in a deterioration of the collagen fibres that keep the skin firm and smooth.
What is the impact of DNA in skin ageing?
Skin cells and proteins are created through a process of DNA sequencing. The expression and role of these skin cells can be influenced by a genetic predisposition or mutation occurring in the sequencing process. This is true for the skin and reflects the age-related degradation of the body as a whole.
This article is intended as general information only. You should seek advice from a professional before altering you diet, changing your exercise regimen or starting any new course of conduct.
1 Farage M, Miller K, Elsner P, Maibach H. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors in skin ageing: a review. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2008; 30: 87-95.
2 Sjerobabski-Masnec I, Situm M. Skin aging. Acta Clin Croat. 2010; 49:515-519.
3 Zouboulis CC, Makrantonaki E. Clinical aspects and molecular diagnostics of skin aging. Clin Dermatol. 2011 Jan-Feb; 29(1): 3-14.
4 Bergfeld, W.F. The aging skin. Int. J. Fertil. Womens Med. 1997; 42: 57–66 .
5 Farris P, Krol Y. Under persistent assault: understanding the factors that deteriorate human skin and clinical efficacy of topical antioxidants in treating aging skin. Cosmetics. 2015; 2: 355-367.
6 Geronemus R, Du A, Yatskayer M, Lynch S, Krol Y, Oresajo C. Enhanced efficacy of a topical antioxidants regimen in conjunction with a home-use non-ablative fractional diode laser in photodamaged facial skin. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2016; 18:3; 154-161.
7 Gkogkolou P, Bohm M. Advanced glycation end products: Key players in skin aging? Dermatoendocrinology. 2012; 4(3): 259-270.
8 Thornfeldt C. Chronic inflammation is etiology of extrinsic aging. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2008; 7: 78-82.