Exposure to ultraviolet light, UVA or UVB, from sunlight accounts for 90% of the symptoms of early skin aging. The majority of the photoaging effects happen by age 20. The amount of damage to the skin due to the sun is set by the total lifetime amount of radiation exposure and the person’s pigment protection.
Changes in the skin caused by the sun include thinning of the epidermis and the growth of skin sores like actinic keratosis , fundamental cell carcinomas, and squamous cell carcinomas.
Sunlight Effects on the Dermis
In the dermis, sun effects cause collagen to break down at a more significant rate than with just chronologic aging. Sunlight damages collagen fibers and causes the accumulation of unnatural elastin. When this sun-induced elastin amasses, enzymes called metalloproteinases are produced in large quantities. Typically, metalloproteinases rework sun-injured skin by producing and reforming collagen. But this process does not always work well and some of the metalloproteinases really break down collagen. This ends in the formation of disorganized collagen fibers known as solar scars. When the skin repeats this imperfect reconstructing process time after time wrinkles develop.
Oxidising Agents and Wrinkles
Oxidising compounds are unstable oxygen molecules that have just one electron rather than 2. Because electrons are found in pairs the molecule must scavenge other molecules for another electron. When the second molecule looses its electron to the first molecule, it must then find another electron repeating the method. This process can damage cell function and alter genetic material. Free radical damage causes wrinkles by turning on the “metalloproteinases” that break down collagen. There are many factors that start this cascading process including exposure to even small quantities of UV radiation in sunlight, smoking, and exposure to air pollution.
Hormone Effects and Wrinkles
It's probable that there are skin changes as a result of the hormonal effects of menopause or decreased estrogen production. But studies in humans have not documented which skin changes are peculiar to decreased estrogen and which skin changes are a result of sun exposure or just normal chronological aging. In animal experiments absence of estrogen could cause a lowering in collagen levels of 2% each year and a decrease in skin thickness of 1% a year.
Muscle Use and Wrinkles
Habitual expressions cause the skin to wrinkle as it looses pliability. Scowl lines between the eyebrows and crows feet radiating from the corners of the eyes develop as the miniscule muscles in those areas permanently contract.
Gravity and Wrinkles
The results of gravity make the loosening of the skin more obvious as skin sags more. This causes jowls and bending eyelids.
The explanation of why most wrinkle creams don't work may very well come from understanding the skin matrix is responsible for the skin’s mechanical properties, including firmness, strength, suppleness, and pliancy. Wrinkles are tiny furrows, ridges, or creases on a usually smooth surface, caused by crumpling, folding, or shrinking in a skin matrix influenced by atrophy, a condition characterized by precisely the opposite of those just discussed before: firmness, strength, suppleness, and flexibility.
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