Rejuvenating and anti-wrinkle treatments are increasingly in demand. However, going deeper than just aesthetics, have you ever stopped to think about the real origin of early aging marks?
According to the plastic surgeon Dr. Beatriz Lassance, certain areas of the face are positioned on the muscles, which makes the tissue accompany the musculature when it is contracted, forming curves and folds that give expression to the face.
“Due to the collagen and elastin fibers, the skin has the elastic capacity to return to its original state after muscle movement. However, with aging, the quantity and quality of these fibers change and the skin is unable to return to its original state. So, even without contracting the muscles, the wrinkles are noticeable”, explains the doctor.
The main cause of the appearance of these wrinkles is the quality of the skin, which is mainly determined by genetics. Dr.Marcelo Sady explains that genetics have a direct influence on the skin, as it affects its quality, speed of regeneration and resistance to the sun, how quickly collagen and elastin are broken and stop being produced.
In 2013 a study was published in the journal Nature found that the mitochondrial DNA transmitted from a mother to a child directly influences the speed of the aging process, which means that if your mother had suffered from premature aging, the chances of you getting wrinkles early are big ones.
“This is because the mitochondria, responsible for generating energy for the proper functioning of cells, undergo mutations when they suffer damage, such as those caused by sun exposure, and lose their ability to produce energy, resulting in the degradation of cells and collagen fibers and elastin, with the consequent appearance of signs of aging”, - comments the geneticist.
The aging process can also be accelerated for reasons such as smoking, sugar intake, lack of sleep, stress and, mainly, excessive sun exposure without protection. “The sun exposure without photoprotection is the most important aggressor of the skin, as it leads to cumulative damage, thus generating changes in DNA that cause cell mutation reactions, with consequent premature aging, since the sun exposure is linked to inflammation, damage oxidative and the production of enzymes that degrade collagen, resulting in a more flaccid skin, with wrinkles and spots”, says dermatologist Dr. Claudia Marçal. But what few know is that genetics has an influence even on the severity of skin damage caused by solar radiation. “The sun is responsible for about 80 to 90% of skin aging. However, some individuals are even more susceptible to photoaging, such as those who have a variant of the MMP1 gene, which promotes collagen degradation eight times greater than normal after the sun exposure” , highlights Dr. Marcelo Sady.
It is possible to slow down the aging process by carrying out a daily skin care routine, which should focus mainly on hydration and photoprotection.
“In hydration, one of the most important elements is the use of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, which can be enriched with sugars that help to hold water in the skin. In addition, it is also important to invest in antioxidants, such as resveratrol, alistin, vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid, which will help combat oxidative stress and the damage caused by solar radiation”, advises Dr. Claudia Marçal. “Daily photoprotection is also essential. For this, the ideal is to opt for a product that contains at least SPF 30, which must be reapplied every two hours”, adds the dermatologist.
"There are also substances that complement sun protection and can be found even in foods, such as lycopene, astaxanthin and lutein", advises the dermatologist. However, those who want maximum effectiveness in combating the signs of aging can choose to personalize the anti-aging treatment through a genetic examination. “Through genetic examination, it is possible to identify whether the patient has genes that favor the appearance of wrinkles, spots, flaccidity and dryness. With that, it is possible to choose the ideal active ingredients to treat these changes ”, says Dr. Marcelo Sady.
However, for those who already suffer from signs of age, the treatment depends on the cause and depth of the wrinkles. According to Dr. Beatriz Lassance, expression lines and superficial wrinkles, for example, can be treated with the application of botulinum toxin, which paralyzes the muscle under the skin, preventing its contraction and, consequently, reducing the signs of aging. Deeper wrinkles need to be combated with peels, lasers and hyaluronic acid fillers.
"In addition, collagen stimulators or biostimulators can also be used”, explains Dr. Beatriz Lassance. However, when the aging of the skin is also associated with the sagging of deeper tissues, such as muscles and ligaments, the elimination of wrinkles is not enough, so surgical intervention is necessary. "In these cases, the facelift, also known as rhytidoplasty, is an excellent option, since, through the repositioning of facial tissues, it gives the face a youthful appearance and free from the signs of aging", completes the plastic surgeon.
Therefore, before opting for any procedure, the most important thing is that you consult a specialized doctor, as only he will be able to carry out an assessment of the characteristics and needs of your skin to indicate the most appropriate treatment for each case.