I have recently read an interesting article in New Scientist suggesting, there is more emerging evidence that wrinkles may be driving ageing in our body and brain via senescent cells.
Scientists say that as our skin ages, it releases a toxic cocktail around the body that could drive premature ageing of our organs.
Young, healthy skin contains an abundance of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin which are one of the factors that keep skin looking smooth and supple. Time, sunlight, and other factors diminish these, causing skin to lose its structure and volume, producing unwelcome wrinkles and sagging.
In addition, more cells enter a zombie-like state called senescence. These cells sustained irreversible damage and need to be eliminated, but, in the meantime, remain alive and metabolically active, though they no longer can divide. Senescence, which occurs throughout the body, is initially protective because it prevents DNA-damaged cells from becoming cancerous. But with time, the mechanisms for clearing senescent cells out start to decline and they build up in tissue.
Senescent cells produce inflammatory proteins that damage surrounding cells and connective tissue (cause of cancer, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and many others). The build-up of senescent cells also correlates with defective elastin.
This problem is an inevitable result of the ageing process, but in the skin, they are exacerbated by smoking, pollution, poor lifestyle and particularly sun exposure.
UV adiation causes skin photo aging (which accelerates the ageing processes) and DNA damage to skin cells of all types, which accelerates their progression towards senescence.
Skin protection using sunblock is crucial and this isn’t just because it prevents accelerated photo aging and the risk of skin cancer, but also because evidence is building that “skin age” is correlated with general health, longevity, and risk of death.
Remember, it is never too soon (or too late) to start 😊
As always, more research is needed but, meanwhile, I will watch this space and continue to be religious with my sunblock, skin care… and a bit of anti-wrinkle injections 😊
I think wrinkle treatment should no longer be seen as a vanity project, but as a vital part of staying biologically young and healthy. Everyone should pay attention to that because we all have skin in this game.