"My work is all about restoring the face to the way it looked 10 years ago."
- Sergio Vendetti, MD, DMD
Regardless of our age, we each desire a glowing complexion. Radiant and healthy skin are beautiful at any age. However, as our skin naturally changes overtime, it is important to understand the reasons why.
Three Crucial Components of Aging Skin
Once resilient, as the skin ages, it loses its once youthful suppleness. Responsible for much of our changing appearance are three components: collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans. Plentiful in our youth, overtime, our body’s natural production of the three decreases resulting in a gradual loss of each collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans. But why are they so important? Let us explain:
Collagen: As the most abundant protein, collagen makes up for 75 percent of our skin’s dry weight and a third of our overall body weight. A structural and fibrous protein, collagen is tough—providing our skin with a strong foundation. By the age of 40, our body’s natural collagen production has greatly decreased. Collagen loss accounts for sagging skin and can cause wrinkles to form.
Elastin: Also a protein, elastin differs from collagen in that elastin is quite pliable. Making up for about only two percent of skin’s make up, elastin helps maintain shape and fullness—and, is what gives our skin it’s a youthful buoyancy.
Glycosaminoglycans: Glycosaminoglycans is a polysaccharide (also known as amino sugars, they are made up of a sugar linked with a protein). Attracting water, they form a gel-like fluid that fills the space in between the collagen and elastin. Acting both as a lubricant as a sort of shock absorber, glycosaminoglycans help the skin to appear supple. Also acting like a sponge, they retain water, hydrating and replenishing water that is constantly lost from the skin. For most, the loss of glycosaminoglycans is most noticeable after the age of 50.
Without these three components, our skin sags, fine line and wrinkles form, and deep folds develop. Many also notice various color and texture irregularities such as age spots and enlarged pores.