To understand skin aging, we must first understand our skin.
The skin is our biggest organ and performs several important roles. From defending the organism against external aggressions to vitamin D synthesis, while also controlling body temperature.
Physiologically, the skin is divided into three main layers: Epidermis, Dermis, and Hypodermis. Each of these main layers is made up of many other tiers. Here are some characteristics of each one of these layers
- The most superficial layer, it’s what you can actually see when you look at the skin;
- It’s constantly being renewed due to steady cell production on the inner layers and shedding of the outer layers;
- This tier is what makes the skin a chemical and physical barrier of our organism. Its integrity is essential to limit transepidermal water loss (losing water through the skin).
- The deepest layer that provides structural strength to the skin, as it is where the extracellular matrix (ECM) lays;
- The ECM consists of various components such as collagen and elastin fibers and glucosaminoglycans (like hyaluronic acid) which can absorb water. This thereby maintains the hydration levels and elasticity of the skin.
- Is the deepest layer and connects the skin to the underlying tissues like muscles and bones;
- It contains a lipid layer that works to protect the body from mechanical trauma and heat loss.
In the last few decades, there has been an increased search for products and ways to prevent, slow down and/or reverse skin aging. This inevitable and complex process of progressive degradation is different in everyone and affects all tissues, including the skin. There are two different types of aging, that you can check out below:
Often referred to as chronological aging, this is a naturally occurring process that begins immediately after birth. It includes both genetic and biochemical factors, as well as effects resulting from hormonal changes during the several years that have passed. These changes make the skin thinner, paler and increase the chances of dehydration, as the skin loses its elasticity and firmness.
Given that the skin is a protective organ that is in constant contact with the external environment, it suffers aggressions that result in changes in its normal function. Therefore, it is subjected to various processes that induce premature aging of the skin. There are several factors responsible for this process, such as pollution, and lifestyle habits like smoking, eating an excessive amount of sugar and sun exposure. The latter is responsible for the well-known phenomenon of photo-aging, an aging process caused by the effects of radiation (UV, IV and visible radiation) on the skin.
Modern life & skin aging
Modern life forces people to be in close contact with new sources of premature aging, such as digital devices. The blue light emitted by them, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, leads to premature skin aging. Together with other factors, HEV light seems to trigger collagen fiber degradation processes and DNA damage. Thus, it leads to what is referred to as digital aging and has also been proven to increase the melanogenesis process, leading to an increase in dark spots.
- Stimulation of collagen and elastin fibers production, inhibiting their degradation;
- Reducing the oxidative stress that damages the skin
In conclusion, as you can see, there are several ways that your skin can get older. On the other hand, there’s always the possibility to counteract this by using the right products.