The Secrets of Wrinkles Revealed?
Researchers are looking at the human genome to discover what genes cause wrinkles and therefore help them develop more effective lotions and creams to help stop the ageing process in the future.
Using data from the human genome project, a team of scientists led by Procter & Gamble have found approximately 1,500 genes that govern wrinkles. The team also believe that they have pinpointed either major causes of aging skin.
The best anti-ageing products currently on the market tend to do little to actually stop or reverse the anti-ageing process. Instead, they tend to plump up the skin or help smooth the appearance of wrinkles. However with the discovery of the genes that help control how soon people will get wrinkles it is hoped that ageing itself will soon be tackled head on.
It appears that some of the ‘well known’ beauty secrets hold true: Wrinkles and ageing is partly down to environment and partly down to genes. The key factors that the team have identified are:
- Hydration: The research team believe that the way that the skin collects and holds on to water is one of the key ageing processes. As the skin ages, the genes that control this process may become less active. The skin will then retain less moisture and this leads to wrinkles.
- Collagen: As we get older, the genes that degrade collagen may become more active and this may cause more wrinkles in the skin. There are currently thought to be about 40 genes involved in the lessening of collagen over time.
- Inflammation: There are around 400 genes that have been identified with inflammation in the skin. These tend to become more active with age, thus creating more wrinkles.
- Antioxidants: Around 200 genes are thought to help control the skin’s defence against free radicals. Age weakens these defences and this can help cause wrinkles.
- Photo-Ageing: Sunlight speeds up the natural ageing process. Sunlight may also damage the genes involved in keeping the skin healthy and this may help cause wrinkles.
By identifying some of the genes that cause ageing – more specifically wrinkles – researchers hope that they will be able to create drugs that will be able to stimulate helpful genes are suppress others to help stop the ageing process or even help restore more youthful skin.