Look Good For Life: The Science Behind Maintaining Youthful Skin

Aging is an inevitable part of life, and while it brings wisdom and experience, it also entails changes to our skin that many of us would
rather avoid. However, there’s more to maintaining youthful skin than just serums and anti-aging creams. To fully understand the aging process, it is important to look beyond the visual aesthetics and understand the science behind it all.

The Skin: The Body’s Largest Organ

Before exploring the science behind aging, it’s important to appreciate the complexity of the skin. Comprising three main layers – the
epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis – the skin is more elaborate than you may initially think! The epidermis is the outermost layer of our skin and acts as a protective layer against the environment, often battling harmful elements likeUV rays and pollution.


The epidermis is also responsible for retaining moisture and hydration. Beneath the epidermis lies the dermis, where collagen production
takes place. The dermis contains cells known as fibroblasts, which are in charge of producing elastic fibers and collagen. Also within the dermis lies the extracellular matrix, which is made up of collagens and other proteins that keep your skin supple and plump.

Collagen and Elastin: The Youthful Elixirs

At the core of youthful skin lies collagen, an important protein responsible for your skin’s strength and firmness. When you’re young,
collagen production is at its peak, keeping your skin smooth and supple. Similar in importance is the protein elastin, which gives your
skin its structure, elasticity, and bounce. Unfortunately, as time goes on, collagen production after age 30 drops staggeringly without
stimulation and our elastin levels decrease. (Enter: dreaded wrinkles and sagging skin.)

The Aging Process: A Scientific Perspective

Now that you know more about the skin’s anatomy, let’s delve into the aging process itself. Aging occurs due to a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic aging is genetically determined and begins in our mid-20s. Variations in genetic background account for the different rates at which individuals age, including aspects such as cellular turnover rate. Extrinsic factors accelerate aging of the skin, these include UV exposure, pollution, poor nutrition, lack of hydration, smoking, and stress. Over time, exposure to these environmental elements and lifestyle choices ultimately damage collagen and elastin

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Maintaining Youthful Skin: A Science-Based Approach

While aging is unavoidable and impossible to fully stop, there are steps you can take to slow down the signs of skin aging and maintain a more youthful appearance.

Sun Protection: As expected, the most potent anti-aging tool is sunscreen. While everyone arguably looks better with a bronze glow,
it’s best to opt for sunless tanning options. UV rays break down collagen and elastin fibers and are the number one contributor to skin aging. So, go for a sun shirt over a bikini next time you’re at the beach!

Topical Skincare: A comprehensive skincare regimen is key in maintaining youthful skin. There are two essential types of skincare products: preventative and corrective.

Preventative Skincare: Preventative skincare is focused on – you guessed it -preventing skin damage! This includes any SPF products, antioxidants, and all retinoids. We already delved into sun protection, but great examples of antioxidants include niacinamide and vitamin C, both of which help protect skin cells from damage and fight off free radicals. Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives and may be prescribed to you by your dermatologist or obtained over-the-counter. Common types of retinoids include retinol, adapalene, and tretinoin, all of which encourage cell turnover rate and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Corrective Skincare: Corrective skincare focuses on treating conditions that are already present. This includes damaged, aging, blemished, or hyperpigmented skin. Corrective skincare includes peptides and growth factors. Peptides are amino acids that penetrate the outer layer of the skin and can aid in building a stronger skin barrier. Growth factors occur in abundance throughout the body, and are produced by skin cells. Skincare products containing growth factors are the newest to be studied scientifically but are thought to be very effective at helping fade concerns like fine lines and pigmentation.

Healthy Lifestyle: Though often overlooked, lifestyle choices have a major impact on skin appearance. To best avoid dull and blemish-prone skin, try to eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and avoid smoking or excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Collagen Boosting Treatments: One of the best ways to target skin aging is by undergoing treatments that are proven to stimulate collagen production. Thanks to advancements in aesthetic technology, microneedling and laser therapy are great options to counteract the natural decline in skin’s collagen as we age. Both microneedling and laser therapy are non-invasive and require little downtime.

Overall, maintaining your youthful looks isn’t just about how you appear on the outside -it’s about taking care of a remarkable organ (your skin!) that does so much for you throughout your life. Now that you understand the science of skin aging a bit more, we hope you will be empowered to make informed choices so you can slow down the clock and ensure you look and feel your best at all stages of life.