The skin – a vital organ

Indispensable to life, the skin is the largest organ in the human body. Acting as an interface between our organism and the outside world, the skin plays a key role in maintaining body temperature and forming a physical barrier against external aggressions.

The skin – a sensory organ

As the main receptor organ for tactile sensation, the skin transmits vital information to the body about the outside environment.

The skin – a social organ

Captor, emitter and protector, the skin also plays an important social role as our mirror to the world. A real network of emotions, the skin enables the body to transmit information to the outside world about our general state of being – pallor, blushing, etc.

Skin Ageing

According to one’s age, the needs of the skin change and cell regeneration slows down. Both the environment and cell ageing are factors that interfere with the correct functioning of the skin’s self-defence and repair systems. The skin becomes thinner, dryer, finely lined and loses its elasticity.

There are two types of ageing involved in the process of cutaneous senescence:

Intrinsic chronological ageing

This is the natural ageing process linked to age. It is determined by genetic and hormonal factors. It brings about a progressive degeneration of skin function and structure.

Extrinsic ageing

This is ageing caused by:

  • repeated sun exposure which causes photo-ageing
  • an unhealthy lifestyle (tobacco, alcohol, etc.)

The visible effects of cutaneous ageing are shown by:

  • loss of radiance and luminosity
  • loss of cutaneous substance = loss of density
  • loss of volume (lipoatrophy) = sagging tissue due to lack of tonicity
  • cutaneous dryness
  • cutaneous hydration slows down due to a drop in the levels of dermal hyaluronic acid
  • irregular pigmentation = pigmentation marks

The volume and appearance of the face gradually changes as wrinkles become more pronounced. In time, fine lines turn into permanent wrinkles.

A later but more extreme ageing process occurs in men

Men’s skin generally ages later than women’s skin thanks to its dermis that is coarser and richer in collagen fibres than its female counterpart. Nevertheless once the ageing process does begin, more pronounced and deeper wrinkles can generally be observed.

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