Serving many functions including temperature regulation, protection, sensation and support, the skin is our body’s largest organ. Our supportive networks of fibres are found in the dermis layer of the skin. These fibres are abundant and flexible in our youth, but diminish and stiffen with aging. Skin aging leads to laxity and thinning.
As collagen and elastin fibres degrade our skin becomes lax and static wrinkles appear as crosshatches in the skin. Expression lines and wrinkles such as nasolabial folds and forehead lines become more pronounced. The muscle and adipose tissues that are normally supported by these fibres begin to descend under the pressure of gravity, causing sagging and bulging. Skin laxity can affect numerous areas of our body, most visibly our face.
It is believed that 90 per cent of the visible signs of aging are due to accumulative sun exposure. In the case of lax skin, UVA rays penetrate into the dermal layer causing cell damage, thereby producing denaturing of collagen and elastin fibres. Oxidative stress is another aging factor contributing to lax skin. In our youth, our body’s ability to combat free radicals and produce new collagen is at its best. The natural aging process reduces our body’s ability to combat oxidative stress from pollution, lifestyle choices, poor nutrition and ultraviolet light. Additionally, cell regeneration slows, meaning fewer collagen fibres are produced.