How Skin Ageing Happens? And How You Can Keep Your Skin Young

research in progress 

anti-aging antioxidants
We are often times told that the skin is the body’s protective layer but many times, we do not really understand to what extent this is true nor how to effectively take care of our skin. Ageing is inevitable. It is a process we cannot eradicate. However, we can significantly slow down the visible effects that ageing has on our skin.


Our skin, just like the rest of our bodies, suffers natural wear and tear. Our skin has an underlying network of proteins (collagen and elastin) which helps it snap back into place when stretched. However, as we age, our skin loses fat, becomes thinner, rougher, fragile, it develops skin lesions, it becomes less elastic and is more easily bruised.

The single biggest culprit contributing to skin damage is the sun. The more time you spend out in direct sunlight over the course of your life, the more likely you are to suffer from sun damage effects. UV rays from the sun penetrate the skin, damaging its elastic fibres and causing wrinkles to develop. No, we cannot go back in time to prevent this, but we can prevent further damage by:
Always wearing sunscreen. Include sunscreen in your daily skin care regimen.
Wear a hat with a brim
Avoid going out in the sun when it is strongest (10 a.m – 3 p.m)

Development of wrinkles also has a hereditary aspect which we cannot avoid. However, we can reduce the effect of the sun on our skin. There are two main groups of agents that can be used as anti-aging cream components, the antioxidants and the cell regulators. The antioxidants, such as vitamins, polyphenols and flavonoids, reduce collagen degradation by reducing the concentration of FR in the tissues. The cell regulators, such as retinols, peptides and growth factors (GF), have direct effects on collagen metabolism and influence collagen production.

Clinical researches and studies have proven that the antioxidative protection is higher with the combination of vitamins C and E than with the vitamin C or E alone. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) regulates cell metabolism and regeneration, and it is used in 5% concentration as an anti-aging agent. In some studies, improvement of skin elasticity, erythema and pigmentations after 3 mo of topical treatment has been observed. Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) used as a component of skin products has anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effects in concentrations between 2 and 20%. It acts by smoothing the skin and increasing the ability of the stratum corneum to maintain its humidity, to accelerate the epithelialization, and contribute to photoprotection of the skin. The effects are not as strong as with vitamins C and B3. (source)

Antioxidants for skin aging care (anti-aging)

  • Vitamin E for skin aging

    Vitamin E (tocopherol) is an antioxidant that is present in the skin and found in various foods, such as vegetables, seeds and meat.  It helps the skin look younger by boosting collagen production and in turn reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

  • Lycopene for skin aging

    Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, is a carotenoid found in red fruits and vegetables.  It is, in fact, responsible for their red color. In addition to being a healthy choice for your diet, it’s a great choice for improving skin texture because it promotes collagen production and reduces the DNA damage that leads to wrinkles.  To get the most benefit from this powerful antioxidant, you can either take a daily supplement or look for skin care products that contain it in topical formulas (lycopene is easily absorbed by the skin).

  • Green Tea for skin aging

  • Green Tea has become one of the new age food heroes — a helpful ally in preventing everything from heart disease and cancer to skin aging and weight gain. The full range of heath benefits may take decades to define, but research on its impact on human skin is reasonably well developed. The secret ingredients are chemicals called catechins, which are antioxidants that can clear cell damage on the skin and repair wrinkles, blemishes or other impurities. When applied to the skin, green tea can reduce sun damage by reducing inflammation and tackling free radicals.
  • Coffee Berry for skin aging 

    As an ingredient in anti-aging formulas, coffee berry prevents collagen damage, reduces wrinkles and protects the skin against damage.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties , which can lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leading to more youthful looking skin.

  • Grape Seed for skin aging

    Grape seed is extracted from vitis vinifera and is rich in proanthocyanidins, which belong to the flavonoid family. Proanthocyanidins are potent antioxidants with strong free radical scavenging activities.  Grape seed extract has been shown to be an even stronger scavenger of free radicals than vitamins C and E.

  • Vitamin C or skin aging

    Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient that can only come from the healthy fruits and vegetables that contain it. Vitamin C is usually touted for its cold-fighting power, but it’s also under study for its impact on preventing and reversing aging skin.

  • Selenium for skin aging:

  • It acts as an antioxidant itself and speeds up your body’s natural antioxidant-making process. In a study at Cornell University and the University of Arizona of 1,312 patients with skin cancer, those who got 200 micrograms of selenium daily for 10 years reduced their risk of dying from any cancer — not just skin cancer — by 18 percent, compared with those who took a placebo.
  • B Vitamins for Your Skin

    The B vitamins are essential for cells throughout the body, including skin cells. It’s important to get enough of foods rich in B vitamins, such as chicken, eggs

The skin is the body’s largest organ and just like the others, it needs proper nutrition to function properly. The skin constantly regenerates to repair itself from damage. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, as well as vitamin A and biotin, are especially important for the skin Omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in chia seeds, sardines and walnuts) are also important for strengthening the skin. As you have guessed, to get a proper dose of these antioxidants, you need to include a substantial amount of fruits and vegetables in every meal. The more colourful your vegetable plate, the better.

Cutting out processed sugar from your diet will also go a long way to making your skin look younger for longer. Studies have shown that low-glycemic diets are beneficial to acne-prone skin. Some people experience rashes and pimples on their skin after consuming a lot of sugar.

Wrinkle fighting agents: Antioxidants

Wrinkle fighter: Antioxidants — vitamins A and C and CoQ10 in particular — erase those fine lines that freak us out more than a bad hair day. But in skin care, when it comes to antioxidants, the more the merrier. “Multiple antioxidants have been shown in studies to be more effective than single antioxidants,” says Great Neck, New York, dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D., author of Stop Aging, Start Living. For example, vitamin C kicks vitamin E into a higher gear, so the two are more powerful together.

Our bodies are primarily made up of water. Including sufficient water in your diet will go a long way in helping your skin look younger and more radiant. Also, you will less likely experience dryness of the skin and lips which bring about chaffing and itching

Avoid smoking for healthier skin. When you smoke, blood flow to your face is decreased, causing sunken eyes and wrinkles. Excessive drinking also deprives the skin of the nutrients it needs to stay young and healthy.

Your face is the first thing people notice about you. The skin is very important and therefore you have to do your best to keep it looking smooth, soft and supple.

useful links on skin aging

References and good sources on skin aging

1. Nachbar F, Korting HC. The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin. J Mol Med 73(1):7-17 (1995 Jan).

2. Mayer P. The effects of vitamin E on the skin. Cosmet Toiletries 108:99 (1993).

3. Chung JH, Seo JY, Lee MK, et al. Ultraviolet Modulation of Human Macrophage Metalloelastase in Human Skin In Vivo. J Invest Dermatol 119(2):507-12 (2002 Aug).

4. Britton G. Structure and properties of carotenoids in relation to function. FASEB J 9(15):1551-8 (1995 Dec).

5. Daniells, Stephen. “Lycopene Supplement Boosts Skin Carotenoid Levels.” 28 Jan, 2010. Web
6. Ehrlich, Steven D. “Green Tea.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Web.

7. Elmets CA, Singh D, Tubesing K, et al. Cutaneous photoprotection from ultraviolet injury by green tea polyphenols. J Am Acad Dermatol 44(3):425-32 (2001 Mar).

8. Lu QY, Jin YS, Pantuck A, Zhang ZF, Heber D, Belldegrun A, Brooks M, Figlin R, Rao J. Green tea extract modulates actin remodeling via Rho activity in an in vitro multistep carcinogenic model. Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Feb 15;11(4):1675-83. (2005.)

9. Einstein, Elizabeth. “Skin Buzz.” Web.

10. Farris P. Idebenone, green tea, and CoffeeBerry41. ® extract: new and innovative antioxidants. Dermatol Ther 20(5):322-9 (2007 Sep-Oct).

11. Afaq F, Adhami VM, Ahmad N. Prevention of short-term ultraviolet B radiation-mediated damages by resveratrol in SKH-1 hairless mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 186(1):28-37 (2003 Jan).

12. Aziz MH, Afaq F, Ahmad N. Prevention of ultraviolet-B radiation damage by resveratrol in mouse skin is mediated via modulation in survivin. Photochem Photobiol 81(1):25-31 (2005 Jan-Feb).

13. Aziz MH, Reagan-Shaw S, Wu J, et al. Chemoprevention of skin cancer by grape constituent resveratrol: relevance to human disease? FASEB J 19(9):1193-5 (2005 Jul).

14. Adhami VM, Afaq F, Ahmad N. Suppression of ultraviolet B exposure-mediated activation of NF-kappaB in normal human keratinocytes by resveratrol. Neoplasia 5(1):74-82 (2003 Jan-Feb)

15. Vinson JA, Dabbagh YA, Serry MM, et al. Plant flavonoids, especially tea flavonols, are powerful antioxidants using an in-vitro oxidation model for heart disease. J Agric Food Chem 43:2800-2 (1995).

16. Bagchi D, Bagchi M, Stohs SJ, et al. Free radicals and grape seed proanthocyanidin extract: importance in human health and disease prevention. Toxicology 148(2-3):187-97 (2000 Aug).

17. Wei H, Cai Q, Rahn RO. Inhibition of UV light- and Fenton reaction-induced oxidative DNA damage by the soybean isoflavone genistein. Carcinogenesis 17:73-7 (1996).

18. Bissett DL, Oblong JE, Berge CA. Niacinamide: a B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatol Surg 31(7 Pt 2):860-5 (2005 Jul).

19. Burke KE. Interaction of vitamins C and E as Better Cosmeceuticals. Dermatol Ther 20(5):314-21 (2007 Sep-Oct).

20. Traikovich SS. Use of topical ascorbic acid and its effects on photodamaged skin topography. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 125(10):1091-8 (1999 Oct).

21. Geesin JC, Darr D, Kaufman R, et al. Ascorbic acid specifically increases type I and type III procollagen messenger RNA levels in human skin fibroblast. J Invest Dermatol 90(4):420-4 (1988 Apr).