Skin aging is a physiological process caused by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic aging is related to the passing of time: the activity of our skin stem cells slows down and their rate of renewal diminishes, and likewise their structure suffers a deterioration leading to chronic skin aging.
Extrinsic elements, such as environmental stress factors and sun exposure accelerate cellular deterioration, causing extrinsic or photoaging.
This multifactorial process causes visible alterations in the skin, decreasing its firmness and elasticity. Wrinkles, lines and spots tend to appear, with a reduction in skin’s brightness.
Skin firmness and elasticity are mainly determined within the dermis, where support elements like collagen and elastin can be found, amongst other components like hyaluronic acid which provides volume and density.
As skin ages or is damaged by UV radiation, its renewal capacity reduces. Stem cells, responsible for new cell production, decrease and their activity slows down. Fibroblasts, in charge of synthesizing the fundamental components of the dermis are similarly affected and thus will have less dermic support structures available in maintaining firmness and elasticity in the skin.
When thickness and resistance in the dermis decrease, expression lines and wrinkles on the skin’s surface appear.
Expression lines and wrinkles are also caused by skin alterations where keratinocyte renewal slows down and the skin’s barrier function decreases. Skin becomes rougher, dryer and more sensitive. Stem cells also play an important role in good quality young cell production.
Skin firmness and elasticity is determined mainly by the dermis, where support structures such as collagen and elastin can be found, as well as other components such as hyaluronic acid which provide volume and density.
As skin ages, or is damaged by UV radiation, its ability to renew itself decreases. Stem cells, which are responsible for producing new skin cells, decrease and their activity slows, as does that of fibroblasts, which synthesize the main components of the dermis.
Fewer dermal support structures are thus available to maintain skin firmness and elasticity, and skin progressively loses tone.
Hyperpigmentation or spots are caused by the excessive melanin production in the skin.
Melanin is important because it helps to protect skin from UVA / UVB damage. However sun exposure, free radicals and skin sensitivity and inflammation can lead to excess melanin production and, over time, the appearance of spots and dull, uneven complexion.
Sun protection, anti-oxidants and epidermal renewal can help fade hyperpigmentation and prevent its formation.
As the thickness and resilience of the dermis decreases, lines and wrinkles begin to appear on the surface of the skin.
Lines and wrinkles are also caused by alterations to the epidermis where the renewal of keratinocytes slows and the skin barrier function is diminished, leading to surface roughness, dryness and increased sensitivity.
Here again stem cells play an important role in determining the production of young, healthy cells, and delicate exfoliation can promote cell turnover and restoration of natural physiological conditions.