With the baby boomers aging, interest in skin care that defies the clock is growing. But wanting to stop aging isn’t just a baby boomer phenomenon. In fact, interest in maintaining youthful skin is starting earlier and earlier.
It’s true that we age from the moment we are born. The speed at which age leaves signs on our face is influenced not only through chronological time, but also by genetic and environmental effects.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AGING SKIN
Young skin is supple and smooth, firmly draper over the underlying structures of the face. Aging or sun-damaged skin is different from youthful, healthy skin. The differences are appreciable in moisture content, in the appearance of fine and deep lines, an in the thinning of the epidermis. One of the most important and visible aspects of older skin is the color and texture difference, because desquamation becomes irregular.
Skin is a composite tissue, consisting of a fibrous matrix containing elastin and collagen. Collagen provides strength to the skin structure, and elastin provides the snap of resiliency, allowing the skin to move about and assume conformational changes as required. When the elastin fibers undergo changes that cause them to lose their resiliency, the skin is no longer able to return to its original state.
As a result, sagging and crinkling occur in a pattern that manifests as wrinkles.
The skin is an excellent record keeper. Every moment we spend in the sun adds up like credit card debt. Ultraviolet rays generate free radicals that wreak havoc on cellular material. They are capable of altering DNA and may also affect membranes surrounding the skin cells – destroying or altering enzymes and proteins required for cellular metabolism and affecting amino acids. With age and increased accumulation of UV radiation, the dermal matrix becomes damaged and disorganized. The mount of collagen decreases, elasticity is compromised, and the skin becomes thin and less firm, allowing wrinkles to develop.
When sunlight strikes the skin, some are the rays are reflected, some are scattered, and others are absorbed. Absorption of UV and visible light occurs due the melanin granules in the epidermal cells. Melanin is present o protect the skin from the damaging effects of sunlight. Exposure to sun light, especially UVA ad UVB radiation, stimulates the production of melanin, resulting in a pigmentation increase.
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