The Science Behind Aging and Damaged Skin

In order to understand how we can maintain the beauty of our skin or reverse some of the damage done to the skin already, it is useful to know the science behind the problems of skin aging and possible treatments.

Of course, the most obvious area of concern is the face, the first place people will look with human interactions. Facial aging is a complex issue involving multiple factors – loss of volume, skin surface changes associated with aging and sun/environmental damage, gravity effect in facial descent, and formation of lines and wrinkles. While cases of severe changes require medical or surgical intervention, some of these changes can be prevented or treated with anti-aging products, which we will specifically discuss in this section.

  • Skin surface changes associated with aging and sun/environmental damages:

This would include color and texture irregularities, loss of youthful skin brightness, sun spots, age spots, and unsightly blood vessels. A major source of skin damage is from exposure to sunlight. The ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight generates Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in the skin, which causes oxidative damage to the skin cells manifested as the aging skin changes stated. The aging and sun damaged skin can also be related to changes in the collagen and elastin material in and under the skin, causing thinning or thickening of the skin tissues with negative effects in appearance and skin texture. The pigment cells in the skin, with aging and damage, add to the problem of color irregularity of the skin.

  • Formation of lines and wrinkles:

There are two different kinds of lines and wrinkles – dynamic lines and static lines. The dynamic lines are caused by the actions of the facial muscles. For example, smiling causes crows-feet lines around the eyes, and frowning causes lines at the brow. The dynamic lines disappear with the relaxation of the facial muscles. However, if the dynamic lines are repeated over time, such as squinting under long term sun exposure, the lines will become static lines. Static lines are permanent and do not go away even with the relaxation of the facial expression. These static lines and wrinkles in the skin are further caused by aging and sun damage, which harm the collagen, elastin, and hyaluronan – the tissue texture and supportive elements.

  • Loss of volume and facial descent:

The aging and sun damage processes affect the collagen, elastin, and hyaluronan in the skin and deeper tissue. Collagen is the building and supportive tissue for the skin and deeper tissues. Elastin provides the elastic property of the skin and tissues. Hyaluroan molecules provide the fluid support between the cells and the hydration of the tissue. Aging and environmental injuries damage the production of and the proper repair for these elements so important in holding the shape, form, position and texture of the skin and deeper facial tissues. These negative effects then manifest as a loss of volume, and sagging and drooping skin and facial tissue.