In this article, we see the importance of skincare in combating facial aging, primarily due to ultraviolet rays, along with practical remedies to address wrinkles.
Why do facial wrinkles form and how to combat them in 6 easy steps, to be implemented immediately.
The importance of skincare
The skin is the largest organ in our body, covering approximately two square meters and representing 16% of our total body weight. It is the first line of defense against pathogenic organisms and toxic agents.
However, it's not a passive barrier but plays an active role in protecting the body. Here's how:
The skin serves as a defense against mechanical damage, ultraviolet radiation (UV), microbial agents, and environmental contaminants, including oxidation. It regulates body temperature, houses tactile receptors, and plays an active role in vitamin D biosynthesis. It is actively involved in the immune system, protecting the body from diseases.
Through the secretion of sweat and sebum, the skin functions as an excretory organ, eliminating harmful substances resulting from metabolic activities. In addition, its numerous nerve endings make it sensitive to touch and capable of receiving sensory information such as cold, heat, pressure, pleasure, and pain. To perform all these functions (protective, metabolic, sensory, and immunological), the skin must maintain its self-repair and integrity capabilities.
What is the structure of the skin?
The skin consists of 3 layers.
From the outside to the inside, we have:
- The epidermis is a very thin layer consisting of various types of cells with different functions.
- Deeper down, the dermis is a highly vascularized and innervated connective tissue. It connects to the epidermis through the dermoepidermal junction, ensuring anchoring with numerous filaments and elasticity. The dermis provides the skin with its consistency and resistance, thanks to abundant collagen fibers. Unlike the epidermis, it is vascularized. The dermis contains cutaneous appendages such as hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands.
Like all connective tissues, the dermis consists of a cellular component and a vast extracellular matrix. This matrix is highly complex, composed of an amorphous substance (a colloid gel made up of glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, water, hyaluronic acid, plasma proteins, and glucose), within which collagen and elastic fibers are embedded. The former are flexible but non-extensible, resistant to tension, while the latter have the ability to stretch under the influence of force.
In the dermis, two layers can be distinguished:
I. the superficial dermis is responsible for nourishing the epidermis due to a dense network of cutaneous capillaries and nerve endings; it is rich in collagen and elastic fibers.
II. the deep dermis is the innermost layer, consisting of interwoven bundles of collagen fibers, with intersecting networks of elastic fibers that provide elasticity to the skin.
- The hypodermis is the deepest and thickest layer, where hair follicles and sweat glands originate. It mainly consists of adipose and connective tissue, housing large blood vessels and nerves. It is crucial for regulating body temperature.
How does the skin change over the years?
Over time, the skin undergoes biochemical, structural, and physiological changes that result in loss of firmness and elasticity, leading to the appearance of wrinkles.
This applies naturally to all genders.
What accelerates the formation of wrinkles?
Exposure to the sun without protection (not only at the beach!) dramatically accelerates wrinkle formation. Sun exposure is a great pleasure for many people; it has positive effects on mood and provides a beautiful complexion. However, it carries risks that need to be known and prevented with proper protection.
When did tanning become fashionable?
It was Coco Chanel (1883-1971) who revolutionized the relationship with the sun after World War II. Previously, a tan from working in the fields was avoided as much as possible. With the decline of the nobility and the spread of factory work, tanning became a symbol of good health, success, and wealth.
The message became: "I'm going to the French Riviera!" 😃
How does UV radiation degrade the skin?
Exposure to sunlight without using protective creams leads to significant skin damage, including premature skin aging (wrinkles) and skin cancer. About 91% of melanomas are caused by UV radiation exposure (research conducted in the United States).
The defense of our skin relies on protective proteins and the melanocytes that produce melanin, which is also protective, although the UV-filtering abilities of melanin are not as strong as previously believed. Melanin, when it absorbs high-energy radiation, can produce free radicals capable of causing DNA damage in cells. This is why it is crucial to always provide skin protection with specific creams.
The main way in which UV radiation accelerates skin aging is through the formation of oxygen-free radicals, which initiate a chain reaction of biological molecule oxidation, causing genetic mutations, immune response alterations, inflammatory events, and cell death.
As a result, early-stage erythema and skin roughness occur, which can lead to early wrinkles, spots, and, in more severe cases,