How Aging Effects the Structure of Our Skin “Age related skin changes are the result of either intrinsic factors, or genetically programmed changes, and extrinsic influence which includes the environmental wear and tear on the skin. ” Some estimates state that from 80-99% of what we see on our skin as adults is the result of these environmental influences, in particular exposure to the sun.
Some of the visible differences of aged skin are the exaggerated expression lines (wrinkles), a sallow skin colour, freckles, lentigines, areas of hyper – and hypo pigmentation, loss of tone and elasticity and increased fragility. These differences are not only visible to the human eye but when looked at through a microscope, changes are evident in the collagen and elastin structure. Our face, hands and chest, show signs of premature aging as a result of environmental influences.
The main antagonist in prematurely aging skin is exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which results in a condition known as photo damaged skin. This is evident when you compare the skin or the face, neck and hands to the skin or the buttocks or the inner thigh. Although the sun is not the only cause of skin aging it is a major contributor to photoaging. Aged skin has a slightly yellow tinge to it; this is often followed by increase in broken veins. The more developed condition is referred to as Telangiectasis.
The overall collagen content per unit area of skin surface decreases approximately 1% per year after we reach 30 years. Despite the loss of collagen as we age, the network appears more dense due its organization. Luckily now their are many ingredients that help with the signs of ageing. Including : Retinol or vitamin A and its derivatives (retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate), Ascorbic Acid and its derivatives, Tocopherol and its derivatives, Antioxidants, Bioflavonoids, Hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs), Hyaluronic acid, Pigment Brighteners and Sunscreens.
Our skin will age no matter what we do but thanks to science and the beauty industry there are always tricks or the trade and the “miracle” creams to help us along. http://www. dermalinstitute. com/idi/newIDIhome/txtonly_NEW/aging. htm – How Aging Affects the Structure of Our Skin by Diana L. Howard Ph. D. Vice President Technical Development The International Dermal Institute Published in Dermascope July 2003