[noun] Like every organ in the human body, the skin is subject to a natural and inevitable ageing process. The lifespan of the keratinocyte, an epidermal cell, is around 28 days. This cellular-renewal cycle slows with age, causing an accumulation of older cells, which can lead to skin dryness. Other visible effects of skin ageing are a duller complexion, reduced elasticity, the appearance of dark spots, etc.
Chronological ageing also affects the dermis: it becomes thinner and its mechanical properties are altered. The skin begins to sag and wrinkles deepen.
Other factors are also involved in skin ageing:
- Hormones: keratinocytes (which form the majority of the epidermis) and fibroblasts (responsible for collagen production) are impacted during menopause with a reduction in their metabolic capacities. Skin becomes less firm, less taut.
- Living environment: our living environment influences skin ageing just as much as our physiology does. An adverse environment (pollution, tobacco, stress, etc.) modifies the genetic strength of skin cells, making them less efficient and causing irregular cell reproduction. The sun is truly the skin’s worst enemy, as UV rays weaken skin cells and can alter their structure, which is called photoageing.