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Facial aging

a-What is Facial Aging?

The skin is composed of two main layers, the epidermis and the dermis. The Epidermis is subdivided into 5 very fine layers: Extratum Corneum, Lucidun, Granulosum, Spinosum and Basale and the Dermis in 2 thicker layers:  Papillary and Reticular. Between the two layers, we have the basal membrane, responsible for the regeneration of the skin. The basal membrane extends over the annexes of the skin, as the pilous follicle and glands. It is this basal membrane that is responsible for the regeneration of the skin after the deeper peelings. Under the skin there is a layer of fat tissue, the muscles and the bone layer. Everything is intermixed by vessels, nerves and tendons, and the organs of the senses. The harmony of all theses complex tissues is what leads to the youth and the facial beauty.

Aging is a dynamic process. While we age a lot of changes occur in our skin. These changes are caused not only by the inevitable fact of getting older, but also by external factors that accelerate the process. If we cannot avoid the progress of the years, at least we can act on some of these external factors.


The Skin Aging Process

•          The Action of Time

•          The Genetic Factors

•          The Action of the Sun

•          The Other factors for aging

b-The Action of Time

All of us know that the time acts on the aging of the skin. The most acceptable theory is that a progressive fall of the tissues occurs by the action of gravity, however, more recent evidences show that a remodelation of the deepest tissues occurs, which disappear from some deposit places and appear in others, and in this process, the modification of fat on the face plays an important role. To that condition, the actinic damage is associated, (the action of the sun and the light).



At the age of 30, a certain laxity of the skin is already noticed. If there is a genetic predisposition and environmental exposition, even a 30 year old woman can already show signs of facial aging, what coincides with the fall of the estrogenic hormones that begins to occur in the third decade.  Mainly if this woman was exposed to tobacco and she didn’t protect herself from the sunlight during his youth. The dermis begins to lose collagen and elastin, and the first sign of aging can be present. In a general way, clearer skins, fine and dry skin tend to present rugosity and roughness, while darker, thick and oily skins tend to present laxity. The eyelid becomes flaccid, noticing a fold that increases gradually and it’s possible to notice the deepening of the nasolabial furrow, which extends from the nose to the corner of the mouth. The formation of a sacculation in the lateral area of the jaw is also noticed.


In the second half of the fourth decade of life, the cellular renewal becomes slower. The epidermis becomes slacker, and wrinkles and furrows begin to appear, perpendicular to the muscular action lines. They are the so called "wrinkles”.

Weight changes, gestations and the gravity modify the form of deeper fat deposits, and a trend towards modifying the place of facial fat deposits really seem to occur as time passes by at about 40 years, wrinkles in the forehead and the crow’s feet appear and the loss of the jaw definition begin to occur. The jaw, well defined in youth begins getting confused with the neck in the course of time. An impairment of the fat tissue that it is under the skin and in some cases its deposition in other places it begins to occur.

40 /50-year-old

At the age of 50 years old the corner of the lips begins to fall and also the tip of the nose. There is a sensation of skin surplus on the face. At the age of 60 years old there is an impression that the eyes decreased caused by the laxity of the eyelids. The skin is finer and with evident laxity.


60 /70-year-old

At the 70 years old, all these alterations are more evident and a progressive impairment of the deepest tissues occurs. If the patient hasn’t taken care of the skin, the whole process is installed, hardly observing normal skin. Wrinkles, folds, furrows, spots and laxity will be present, becoming more visible on the face.


Natural Facial Aging Alterations

•          Loss of Elasticity

•          Loss of Muscle Tonus

•          Laxity

•          Roughness

•          Wrinkles

•          Furrows

·              Spots




·                    Discreet laxity of the skin

·                    Eyelid laxity

·                    Beginning of the evidence of nasolabial furrows


·                    Forehead Wrinkles

·                    Crow’s feet

·                    Extra tissue below the jaw line   - Jowls

·                    Loss of jaw outline


·                    Increase of laxity

·                    Increase of wrinkles

·                    Mouth Wrinkles

·                    Extra tissue below the jaw line   - Jowls

·                    Loss of jaw outline

·                    Inframandibular fat – double chin

·                    Infralabial folds

·                    Fall of mouth corner

·                    Fall of the nose tip

·                    Decrease of deep tissues

·                    Decrease of molar region (cheek)

·                    Deepening of nasolabial folds

·                    Photoaging

·                    Spots


·                    Sensation of Decreasing of the eye aperture

·                    Thinner skin   

·                    Evident laxity

·                    Spots

·                    Photoaging


·                    All the alterations become more visible


c-The Genetic Factors

It is known that some people age faster than others, a genetic action that means family predisposition also seems to act on the process. Some protective genetic factors are well known, for instance the color or the thickness of the skin, but it seems that there is also a genetic predisposition to age more or less quickly. It is due that some people age more quickly and others more slowly.

d-The Action of the Sunlight

But, by far, the most important external factor responsible for the skin aging is the sunlight. For this action we determined the term Photoaging. Photoaging is, therefore, the aging of the skin caused by the exposition to light and the sunlight during the life. It is possible to notice the effects of the sunlight in the aging of the skin, when we observe, in women that have sunbathed a lot, the skin of the lap area that is more exposed and we compare it with the skin of the breast area that is more protected. The lap area is much more wrinkled with a spotted aspect and with presence of wrinkles and sagging than the breast area that was protected by the clothes. It is very clear that the action of the sunlight along the time causes the emergence of alterations in the intimacy of the skin, which accelerates the aging.

The ultra-violet radiation, that it is part of the sunshine is the responsible for what we called photoaging, that are the alterations in the skin provoked by the sunshine. The ultra-violet of short wavelength, UVB, causes alterations in the most external layer of the Skin, a epidermis and the UVA, or ultraviolet of longer wavelength causes alterations to the deepest layers, the dermis.


The Action of the Sun

  • Alterations of the pigmentation:  actinic melanosis and keratose
  • Degeneration of the dermis elastic fibers and collagen
  • Important accentuation of the process of natural aging

Alterations of the pigmentation:  actinic melanosis and keratose

•          Degeneration of the dermis elastic fibers and collagen

•          Important accentuation of the process of natural aging

•          Hyperpigmented  Stains (dark)

•          Hypopigmented  Stains (clear)

•          Fine wrinkles

•          Laxity

•          hypopigmentation

•          Changes of the skin  texture (roughness)

•          thinning skin

•          Dehydration

•          Vessels


e-Other factors for aging

The smoking habit, the exposition to climatic alterations, wind, dust, etc, also increase the aging of the skin. People who smoke have more wrinkles than people that don't smoke and the color of the skin is more yellowish. The hormonal alterations, a result of the aging process, the radical ones liberate and other chemical alterations of the body contribute to the process.



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