As the human being ages, it is natural for physical changes to occur with his body. And the skin is no different.
According to the dermatologist Dr. Thais Sakuma of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, the aging of the skin is due to the decrease in the production and degradation of collagen and elastin, two proteins responsible for its firmness and elasticity.
Those responsible for this degradation, as the professional explains, are free radicals, toxic substances that attack the region. They, besides being produced naturally by our organism, during cellular functioning, for example, are also the result of exposure to radiation and pollution, smoking and the ingestion of some foods.
“You can not point out just one cause for skin aging. There is always the genetic factor, but the external factors also influence. It is the result of a combination of the two, “explains the specialist.
That is exactly what the Natura research shows. Made in two phases with more than 2,500 volunteers, she showed that the characteristics that lead a person to appear to have an older skin is the degree of hydration and elasticity and the amount of wrinkles around the eyes.
According to the study, the hydration of a person’s skin is 60% determined by genetics and the other 40% by the environment in which it is inserted. In terms of elasticity, the numbers invert: 60% is determined by behavioral and environmental factors and 40% by genes.
To reach this result, among other phases, a blind test was performed. Dermatologists were asked to analyze the faces of a group of people and, from the characteristics of the skin – coloring, signs and blemishes – indicate how many years each person appeared to have. From the results, the researchers plotted the life habits of each of the participants.
In addition to the genetic factor, as major influencers of facial skin degradation the researchers listed overweight, sun exposure and smoking.
With this, it was concluded that the habits and environments in which a person lives greatly affect the health of their skin, as much or even more than genetics in some cases.
And, for those who care and want to avoid premature aging, the sooner habits change, the better. Although this concern grows after the age of 40, it is best to start caring early in adulthood.
This is because, as the dermatologist explains, while the aging of the male skin is late and abrupt, that of the woman happens gradually from 20 to 80 years and in a period of 10 years, it is possible to notice the consequences of the care or the lack of them . “Year after year these substances [the free radicals] that affect the skin are being deposited. So in 10 years it is possible to see the impact, “he warns.
Causes of premature aging: external factors
Among the external factors, those that stand out most are the diet and daily behaviors.
Feeding can affect the health of the skin exactly because some foods contribute to the destruction of the supporting proteins. “When a carbohydrate binds to a protein, they form a complex that deposits in the skin and attacks the elastin and collagen,” she says.
Naturally, our organism already produces these complexes. Some foods, however, contribute to the increase of this production. Among them, Dr. Thais lists:
Sweets rich in refined sugar
Simple carbohydrates (white rice, noodles)
Refined foods (white bread, cakes, biscuits)
Foods rich in saturated fat (lard of pork, bacon, meat with lots of fat)
In addition to the ingredients, the way food is prepared can also contribute to premature aging. “When the meat passes from the point, that burned crust that forms has these complexes. When a person consumes this part, 10% to 30% of the free radicals are absorbed and they begin to accumulate affecting collagen and elastin, “explains the professional.
Dr. Thais further comments that while not conclusive, some studies show that foods with refined carbohydrates and milk derivatives can increase skin oiliness. “Some research indicates that there may be an increase in sebaceous secretion after eating this type of food. So when we talk about chocolate from the spine, it’s not the chocolate itself, but its ingredients, like milk and sugar, “he says.
According to Natura’s research, up to 80% of the skin’s oil level may be a consequence of the individual’s eating routine.
Habits and behaviors
In addition to feeding, the dermatologist comments that many practices also interfere with the skin, destroying collagen and elastin, altering the concentration of water and, consequently, moisturizing and causing stains. These include:
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation
Presence in air-conditioned environments
Exposure in polluted environments
Lack of basic care such as hydration and sun protection
Wrinkles x foot of chicken
Although the appearance of wrinkles and the infamous “crow’s feet” can be intensified by eating and behavioral habits, the signs have different causes.
“Chicken feet are lines of expression generated by the contraction of muscles. Over time, these lines that are seen only when the movements are made, start to be marked even with the face at rest, “explains the doctor. People who have lower amounts of collagen, elastin and water, for example, have harder and less resistant skin to muscle movement.
Already “wrinkles” is a generic term. “It can be the expression mark or it can be caused by the lack of volume, be it fat, common bone remodeling during aging, or collagen,” says the dermatologist.
Both appear first in the eye area. “It’s the region that ages the face, the first signs of aging are noticed around the eyes. The skin is thin, naturally it has less collagen and people usually apply little sunscreen, “explains Dr. Thais.
When and how much is normal to grow old?
There is no way to measure what “normal” or “expected” aging is for each person. This is because, as the dermatologist explains, everything is very variable because it depends, in addition to genetic factors, such as skin color, habits. “People who have taken a lot of sunshine over the years grow older. People with black or Asian skin already have wrinkles later. There is no way to quantify this, “he says.
What can be done to prevent premature aging, therefore, is to pay attention to daily care. In the study, people who used sunscreen and moisturizers had more elasticity and wrinkles were less apparent, giving the impression of younger skin.
For the professional, the correct application of sunscreen for at least twice a day, the use of vitamin C, which is antioxidant and neutralizes free radicals, and the application of an acid, which stimulates cell renewal every night Is a good ritual for healthy skin. “And there’s no secret. Anyone can start from the age of 20, “he says