A more detailed look on how the skin changes over time…
We previously mentioned that proper enzymatic cross-linking (by lysyl oxidase) is required for collagen fibrils in the dermis in order for the fibres to be properly organized in the skin, giving it a firm appearance. However, extensive non-enzymatic cross-linking occurs when AGEs accumulate and can cause the skin to appear stiff. AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) are proteins that have sugar molecules associated with them after being exposed to sugars. Because collagen has a low biological turnover, it is more susceptible to the glycation process over time. Research has shown that the more AGEs present, the more stiff the skin appears, which is likely due to AGEs ability to form cross links with other proteins.
The production of AGEs also stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species, and inflammation.
Reactive oxygen species are a topic that is familiar to most of us. They can react with proteins and other substances causing damage, and have even been shown to activate MMPs that degrade collagen and elastin. This is called oxidative stress, and requires the help of antioxidants to prevent resultant damage to cellular substances. Antioxidants help protect the skin from accumulating damage, and can help reduce the signs of aging
The triggered inflammation, known as “inflammaging” also contributes to the premature aging of the skin. When inflammation is triggered, inflammatory cells infiltrate the tissue, and breakdown the extracellular matrix in the skin. With chronic inflammation the collagen and elastin that gives our skin its texture, breaks down faster than it can be rebuilt and maintained.
The processes explained above are stimulated by UV exposure, which emphasizes the importance to protect our skin as much as possible to prevent premature aging.
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Skin Management System by Dr. Strauss
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