Skin appeal – Deal with skin

The search for a cream, elixir or pill which can reverse, or at least  wipe away, the effects of ageing from the skin is something which has kept scientists and researchers busy for many years. Kavitha S Danielmeets an expert who believes there could be light at the end of the tunnel.

If you thought nothing was more inevitable than ageing, you may be wrong. Scientists are busy tinkering with the DNA matrix striving to close in on the elusive factor responsible for ageing.
With each new day, the scientific world seems to be inching closer towards discovering a way to halt – and maybe even reverse – the unerring process of old age.

In man’s battle against time, in this Dorian grey quest for the perfect picture of youth, the sun and other sources of UV radiation have emerged as the no.1 enemy of youthful skin. The sun is primarily responsible for triggering off ageing – wrinkles, roughness, laxity and mottled pigmentation; all these are the fruits of staing far too long outdoors. But, to what extent do genes play a role in this? Why does deterioration of the skin differ from person to person?

Under attack – internally and externally

Ageing occurs in two ways – intrinsic and extrinsic, says Lange. Intrinsic ageing, based on hormonal, genetic and chronological factors, might be inevitable but can be influence to an extent.  Extrinsic ageing, however, is based on external factors such as ultraviolet rays from the sun, air conditioning, stress, smoking, alcohol, airborne pollutance, chemical irritants and lack of a vitamin, protein and minerals diet. These factors are entirely in one’s control.

All the above factors, be it from within or without, says Lange, stimulate, directly or indirectly, the production of excess free radicals in the body.  Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons found inside our body. Electrons typically need to exist in pair and molecules lacking one electron are highly reactive and can damage other cells as well. Free radicals are impossible to avoid. Created mainly by UV radiation in daylight, free radicals are also.

How does the sun damage the skin – sun dealing with skin?

When we talk of the sun, we are actually focusing on the ultraviolet (UV) light. It comprises three bands differentiated by their energy levels. The UVC, which has the highest energy level and is usually absorbed by the ozone layer, is potentially the most damaging. The medium energy range, or the UVB, which can easily penetrate the surface of the skin, can cause serious damage. UVB, radiation cause sunburn, suntan, dark spots, irregular pigmentation patches and increased cell division, leading to skin cancer. The UVB radiation is most intense between 11 am and 3 pm.
Structure of the skin
The UVA has the lowest energy level but is, however, far from harmless. It penetrates the deeper part of the skin destroying its healthy, supportive layer – causing a dry, prematurely aged look with lines and wrinkles. The UVA interestingly, is always present in the daylight even during cloudy days and it is estimated that it accounts for 95 per cents of the total UV radiation.
With its ability to penetrate glass, the chances of exposures to UVA are always presents. Due to its harmful effects on a daily basis, the UVA is the single most deteriorating factor for skin ageing. Hence, the sun is something to worry about in this region. 

Should men also take care of their skin – Deal with men’s skin?

Beauty skin
However wrinkles and furrows on the face of a man seem to be more attractive that on the face of a woman. Just think of Sean cannery, Clint East Wood, Harrison Ford and Bruce wills. All still considered attractive, whereas woman such as Demy Moor, Madonna and Joan Collins are praised for their ability to look younger and wrinkle-free. I guess this explains why there is no scientific research in the area of men’s skincare. However, I have had many men asking about imedeem here in the Middle East, so maybe men here care more about their skin.