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THE SCIENCE.

Healthy and functioning skin barrier is important protector against dehydration, penetration of various microorganisms, allergens, irritants, reactive oxygen species and radiation. The skin barrier may be specifically adjusted to allow penetration. For this reason daily skin care may increase skin regeneration, elasticity, smoothness, and thus temporarily change the skin condition.

Gradual loss of skin elasticity leads to the phenomenon of sagging. Slowing of the epidermal turnover rate and cell cycle lengthening coincides with a slower wound healing and less effective desquamation in older adults.

The Skin’s Proteins

  • Collagen: Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the skin, making up 75-80% of your skin. Collagen and elastin are responsible for warding off wrinkles and fine lines. Over time, the environment and aging reduce your body’s ability to produce collagen.

  • Elastin: Elastin is found with collagen in the dermis. It’s another protein, responsible for giving structure to your skin and organs. As with collagen, elastin is affected by time and the elements. Lower levels of this protein cause your skin to wrinkle and sag.

  • Keratin: Keratin is the main protein in your skin, and makes up hair, nails, and the surface layer of the skin. Keratin is what forms the rigidity of your skin and helps with the barrier protection that your skin offers.

The Importance of Collagen

Collagen is a protein produced in the human body and is found in the bones, tendons, muscles and skin, as well as the cornea of the eyes, blood vessels, gut lining, teeth, and nails. The body produces collagen naturally and it is in abundance when young, but production begins to decline at about age 25. As a result, the skin becomes thinner and more fragile with age. There is also diminished functioning of the sweat and oil glands, less elastin production, and less GAG formation and it decreases even more in women after menopause. Collagen also decreases with other factors such as smoking, sugar and ultraviolet rays.

It is very important to consume adequate amounts of protein so your body has the amino acids it needs to produce collagen. It’s also very important to consume a diet rich in antioxidants (Vitamins E, C and Beta-Carotene) B vitamins and minerals such as Magnesium and Zinc also play an important role. Foods like blueberries, dark leafy greens, mango, eggs, are also great collagen boosters.

The Importance of Elastin

Collagen and elastin are the structure of the skin that maintains both elasticity and firmness. Elastin enables your skin to stretch and bounce back and helps keeps skin tight.

Elastin is found in artery walls, in the lungs, in the intestines, and of course, in the skin. Ultraviolet rays in sunlight cause collagen to break down more rapidly, causing abnormal elastin to build up. It’s often compared to a rubber band.

REFERENCES

  1. Centre of Dermatovenereology; Vilnius University Hospital Santariskiu Klinikos; Vilnius, Lithuania, 2Departments of Dermatology, Venereology, Allergology and Immunology; Dessau Medical Center; Dessau Germany. Skin anti-aging strategies. U.S. National Library of Medicine.

  2. Suzan Obagi. Why does skin wrinkle with age? What is the best way to slow or prevent this process? Scientific America.

  3. Skin. The Cleveland Clinic.

  4. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine

  5. American Academy of Dermatology: How to create an anti-aging skin care plan

  6. National Cancer Institute: Layers of the skin