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Types of Skin Aging
By: Katerina Steventon, PhD, FaceWorkshops
Posted: May 2, 2013, from the May 2013 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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Extrinsic aging: Extrinsic aging, due to chronic exposure to solar ultraviolet irradiation (photoaging) and smoking, leads to deep and coarse wrinkles, mottled hyperpigmentation and reduced skin elasticity. Facial skin bears the accumulation of lifelong sun exposure, which is responsible for 80% of the effects of facial skin aging, i.e., premature skin aging and skin cancer. While photoaged epidermis shows atrophy and abnormal keratinocyte maturation, dermal changes entail accumulation of elastic material (solar elastosis) and loss of elastic fiber integrity. These changes lead to reduced skin elasticity and manifest as wrinkles.
Smoking also accelerates aging, causing the degradation of elastic fibers and a significant increase in facial wrinkles. The wrinkles of smokers are deep and narrow, compared to nonsmokers. This pattern of wrinkling is referred to as “smoker’s face” and often is accompanied by gaunt features and atrophic, gray, uneven skin color.5 Further, pursing the lips and squinting while inhaling smoke may lead to the formation of sharply contoured crow’s-feet and prominent peri-oral lines.
Hormonal and catabolic aging: The skin is a hormone-dependent organ, and the decline of hormonal secretions during menopause accelerates skin aging. Menopause appears as a turning point in life, with a decline in skin qualities.6 Estrogen in particular has a profound effect on skin, encouraging extracellular matrix production and preventing decreases in collagen, skin thickness, skin hydration and epidermal barrier function.7 Increased sagging, as opposed to coarse wrinkles, is the main symptom of postmenopausal aging.8 Catabolic aging compromises older skin further through the impact of a specific chronic disease, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, cancer or infection.
Anti-aging skin care technologies have become increasingly high-tech, targeting specific cellular phenomena. However, as illustrated above, skin aging is the sum of several concurrent aging processes, which differ in aging contribution among individuals. Photoaging has received more attention in research and the media but is only one aspect of the aging process. Although the rationale for sun protection is widely advocated, people still associate it with occasional holiday exposure.9
Photoaging affects people of the same age and photo-type differently,10 and might not become apparent for decades after the initial damage. To ensure good environmental protection, daily skin care products containing a combination of SPF 20+ and a spectrum of antioxidants should be used.
Secrets to staying young: Live honestly, avoid too much sun, and lie about your age.
Aging Skin: Current and Therapeutic Strategies, a reference book by Linda D. Rhein, PhD and Joachim W. Fluhr, MD is aimed at providing the latest information and directions of future strategies to treat and prevent skin aging.
Read Expert Reviews! Order Today at Alluredbooks-Research on Aging Skin!