The Effects Of Clinical Skin Care On Ageing Biology Essay


The deepest layer of the epidermis is the Germinative layer and the top layer is the Stratum Corneum. The maintainance of a healthy epidermis depends on desquamation surface cells (korneocytes), effective keratinisation (cells being filled with keratin) of cells and continuous renewal of cells in the deeper layers to push the cells above them upwards (Ross and Wilson, 1996:360).

Collagen and elastin fibres that are interlaced are some of the substances that make up the dermis. Striae are formed when the skin is being stretched beyond its limit. Tensile strength is given by the collagen fibres in the skin that bind with water. Structures is the dermis include: blood vessels, lymph vessels, somatic nerve endings, sudoriforous glands and ducts, hair roots, hair follicles and hair, erector spinae muscles and sebaceous glands (Ross and Wilson, 1996:361).


The skin offers protection from harmful pathogens. It prevents pathogens from harming the skin. The Lagerhans cells are part of the adaptive immune system. The function of sensation because the skin contains various nerve endings that react to pain, pressure, touch, heat, cold and injury. The skin also controls heat. The control of energy loss that is caused by radiation, convection and conduction is also a function of the skin. Dilated blood vessels allow more heat to escape and constricted blood vessels keep heat inside. The skin controls the amount of water that evaporates from the surface of the skin. The skin acts as a storage space for lipids and water. Various substances can be absorbed by the skin through the semi-permeable barrier. The skin also functions as a water resistant barrier that will prevent nutrients from escaping from the body (Encyclopedia Wikipedia, 2001).


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Peptides are one of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients found in skin care today. Their effectiveness has been demonstrated in clinical trials and they have been shown to boost collagen production in skin cells. (Coila, 2009)

Other ingredients include: Allantoin, AHA's, Collagen, Green Tea, Hyaluronic Acid, Lyposomes, Retinol, Vitamin C, E and K.


Pentapeptides have been proven to reduce wrinkle depth and number as well as make the skin appears smoother by manufacturer-sponsored studies. (Coila, 2009)

Copper Peptides has been proven to heal damaged skin and to promote collagen production. Specifically useful for skin that has undergone laser resurfacing or dermabrasion. (Coila, 2009)

Allantoin has been proven to be healing to the skin and also repairing skin cells. It is anti-inflammatory and can smooth the skin. (Dolan, nd)

AHA's the main function is skin exfoliation, but can stimulate skin repair, collagen production and elasticity. It can improve the skins thickness which will improve the ability of the skin to protect itself. AHA's can also improve the skin tone. (Dolan, nd)

Research shows that collagen improves hydration of the skin. It has firming and plumping properties that works on the appearance on fine lines and wrinkles to reduce them. (Dolan, nd)


Ageing causes the collagen present in the skin to loose water which gives rise to the skin loosing elasticity and ultimately age. A contributing factor is the fact that the sebaceous glands and sudoriferous glands decrease in activity (Health24, 2007). This process can then be slowed down to a certain extent by clinical skin care products and treatments.

Intrinsic ageing is the internal process; it is programmed into the genes. This intrinsic ageing process is inherited. Extrinsic ageing is the result of external aggressors, such as the sun and the environment, that aggravate ageing of the skin (, nd).

The causes of intrinsic ageing include the slowing down of collagen and elastin production. This means that the skin is not as supple and does not go back to its original state as easily as it used to. The production of new cells decrease which leads to dull-looking and dry skin texture. The number of cells containing pigment also decreases. The cells containing pigment which remains, increase in size and this causes hyper-pigmentation (blotchiness) on the skin. The skin looses fat which means that there are less subcutaneous fats in mature people's skins than in younger people's skins. The loss of fat leads to the skin being less smooth and plump. The person will have hollows in the buccul area and also in the orbicularis occuli area. Less oil on the skin surface will lead to the person experiencing dryness of the skin and in will be likely that the skin is flaky. Blood vessels in the skin are no longer as protected as it used to be and the skin will bruise more easily. The bones in the body of an ageing person undergo shrinkage that leads to sagging skin (, nd).

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Extrinsic ageing include sun exposure. Sun exposure can cause premature ageing in the skin and it speeds up the intrinsic ageing of the skin. Sun ageing (photo-ageing) depends on the type of skin. People with fair skins are more vulnerable to photo-ageing than people with darker skins. Darker-skinned people are more susceptible to wrinkles and mottling of the skin as the result of overexposure to the sun. The UV rays of the sun damage collagen and elastin fibres in the skin and it also interferes with the production of new collagen fibres (, nd).

The process of UV photography can be administered to reveal the amount of damage done by the sun over years of exposure. This shows the damage underneath the surface of the skin as shown in the photographs below.

This 64-year-old beach community resident has skin that chronicles a lifetime of

chronic sun exposure.  UV photography is not necessary to see that her skin is

dry, inelastic, wrinkled, and heavily mottled.

(AgeingSkinNet, 2010)

Pollution, harsh weather conditions and smoke are all contributing factors to the premature ageing of the skin. Polluted areas are responsible for free radicals that damage the skin cells (, nd).

Mechanical skin ageing include gravity. The pull of the earth's gravity on the skin is especially seen around the age of 50. Sleeping in the same position every night can lead to wrinkles. Smoking makes the skin age faster because it causes chemical changes in the skin (, nd).



The use of anti ageing skin care products suitable for the skin type and conditions can significantly improve the skin's condition and also reduce the effects of ageing. Clinical skin care clinics offer different treatments such as microdermabrasion, iontophoresis, faradic facial therapy, and modified facials to the effects of ageing.


This treatment involves a number of devices used to remove the stratum corneum of the skin. Below is a diagram illustrating how the process removes the stratum corneum (diagram 1). Some of these microdermabrasion devices use abrasive crystals of paddles which are passed over the skin with a suction hand piece to remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin (Zelickson, nd).

(Diagram 1)


Microdermabrasion can reduce age spots (solar lentegines), fine lines along with other hyper-pigmentation on the skin surface (Zelickson, nd). Immediately after the treatment, edema and erythema will be present on the skin (Coustan, 2008).


A single session is R 390 (Laserpoint, 2010).

Sun protecting products (SPF sunscreen)

SPF is a scale used to determine the degree of protection form UV rays (, 2009). The purpose of using sunscreens on the skin is to shield it from the damaging UV-rays of the sun. By applying a shield (sunscreen) on the skin it will not allow the UV-rays to penetrate as deep and minimize the damage it causes. This means that if sunscreen is worn every day, there will be minimal signs of photo-ageing on the skin and the process will not be accelerated. The energy received from the sun is turned into heat and is not as harmful to the skin (Health24, nd). Ageing is accelerated by over exposure to the UV-rays of the sun.


Sunscreens form a protective shield on the skin surface preventing the damaging UV-rays of the sun from causing premature ageing and damaging the skin. Sunscreens contain one or more of three types of UV-filters. Organic chemical compounds absorb UV light. Inorganic particles reflect, scatter and absorb UV light. Inorganic particles mainly absorb UV light, but contain chromospheres that reflect or scatter a fraction of UV light (Encyclopedia Wikipedia, 2001).


The price of a good sunscreen can start from R165 (CosmeticWeb, nd).


Using supplements will help the body to slow down the signs of ageing and will give the body extra needed energy which in turn will also improve the appearance of the skin and wellbeing of the body (Ygoy, 2007). According to Ronald Klatz M.D, president of the Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine, replacing hormones that decline with age is as important as insulin to a diabetic. These hormones include estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, melatonin, and the recently added HGH (a growth hormone) (NutraSanus, nd).


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The use of anti ageing supplements will retard the ageing process and will help the body in fighting diseases. Help in the production of DHEA. This is the main building block of the hormones: testosterone and estrogen. Supplements help the immune system of the body that will reflect on the skin as well (Ygoy, 2007).


The prices for these anti ageing supplements range from R95 to R260 (CelluBeauty, 2007).


These substances are necessary to combat the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are the cause of natural and also premature ageing. Cells in the body are damaged because the free radicals damage the structure of the cells (Edginton, 2007). Free radicals specifically damage cell the membranes.


Common effects of antioxidants are healing and stimulating of new collagen. Studies have shown that high enough concentrations can reduce wrinkles. Vitamin E can help the skin repair itself from damage. This will also help protect the skin from bacteria and creates the moisture barrier (Edginton, 2007).

Green tea is also a good antioxidant. It fights free radicals and also has diuretic properties. It speeds up the removal of toxins from the skin surface to the kidneys (Edginton, 2007).

Alpha-hydroxyl acids or beta-hydroxyl acids

These acids are mild and help with skin exfoliation. When the concentrations of these acids are high enough they are able to act inside the dermis to stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin fibers. It also stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans (molecules that attract moisture). These ingredients have the potential to irritate the skin which can stimulate cell renewal and a healing response. This means that overuse of the ingredients can do harm to the skin if it is over used (Edginton, 2007).

Coenzyme Q10

This ingredient is also other wise known as ubiquinone. This is a substance that is present in most eukaryotic cells and is oil-soluble. This substance is primarily found inside mitochondria (Encyclopedia Wikipedia, 2001).


This nutrient has been shown to regulate the energy production inside the cells. Studies have shown that this nutrient will reduce wrinkles and fine lines around the orbicularis occuli area (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2008). Coenzyme Q10 is also a powerful antioxidant (Todorov G, nd).

Naturally the body produces coenzyme Q10, but with ageing and the use of medication as well as stress can alter the levels of coenzyme Q10 in the body. Coenzyme Q10 can improve the repair of the skin and regeneration. This ingredient can also minimize the free radical damage to the skin because of its antioxidant properties (Todorov G, nd).

Copper Peptides

Peptides are a fragment of proteins. Some of these fragments have an avinity for copper. When they bind they form copper peptides (Todorov G, nd).


Copper peptides will improve wound healing. The ingredient will stimulate collagen production and will enhance the antioxidants' action (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2008).


This is a plant growth factor (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2008). This ingredient has been proven to be an anti-oxidant. Kinetin can fight the effects of oxidative damaged caused by the sun (GreatVista Chemicals, nd).


This ingredient will help combat fine lines by helping to improve the ability of the skin to retain water. It stimulates the production of collagen (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2008). The results of clinical studies show that this ingredient has the ability to reverse the effects of photo damage to the skin. These studies also show that this ingredient improves the skin's barrier function, significantly. It also improves the skin's ability to retain moisture which makes the skin appear more smooth and softer (GreatVista Chemicals, nd).


This ingredient contains isoflavones. This is what stimulates collagen production in the skin which improves the thickness and elasticity of the skin. The isoflavones is responsible for a process called, matrix metallo-proteinases. During this process enzymes in the skin break down the protein network in the skin (Alien, 2008). The protein network in the skin is the support of the skin and with the support layer of the skin being destroyed the skin will sag.


This ingredient has antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory. The thickness and elasticity of the skin is also improved by the stimulation of collagen production. This also protects the skin (Pharmacymix, nd).


This ingredient is a peptide chain of fatty acids that combine with amino acids to stimulate collagen production in the skin (Ageing Arsenal, nd). In other words this ingredient is called a protein.


This ingredient has shown to stimulate the production of some of the key constituents in the structure of the skin. This includes: collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (Pharmacymix, nd).

Machine Treatments

High Frequency Beauty Machine

A high frequency current is conducted through a glass electrode and then onto the skin (Beautymachine.Net, 2009).


This machine calms nerves and has an analgesic effect. Ozone is produced for a sterilizing effect and also helps in wound healing. Different functions on the machine help to neutralize the skin. The machine has functions for anti ageing and anti wrinkle and tightening (Beautymachine.Net, 2009).

Power 3nity Lifting Machine

This machine is a computerized device which is non-invasive and works to thicken the skin by renewing of cells (, 2009).


The machine has nine programs. Regeneration will increase the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. Studies have shown that there is an increase in ATP that will cause a boost in cell renewal and cell repair (, 2009).

Lift is also one of the nine programs which have been shown to lift muscles. This program also has been shown to increase ATP (, 2009).

According to Dr. Anna Ragaz M. D, a leading dermatologist and pioneer in anti ageing dermatology and anti-ageing medicine, the technology this machine makes use of has given them results that are far better than any other techniques (, 2009).

Galvanic Facial Therapy (Iontophoresis)

This machine uses a finely screened galvanic current which alters the phospho-lipid bi-layer portions of the skin and introducing water-soluble ions into the unbroken skin by enhancing the process of diffusion. The ions involved in the galvanic treatment will be either positive or negative. The machine works on the principle that like charges repel.

The machine has got an electrode which is positive and another electrode which is negative. Only one of the electrodes is the active electrode at a time. This means that the other electrode only completes the circuit.

When the active electrode is the anode (+) it is positive. It pushes the cations into the skin. The cations are also positive. When the cathode (-) is the active electrode, it pushes anions into the skin.

Depending on the product guidelines the machine is on positive for a certain amount of time and on negative for a certain amount of time. One minute between the two settings must be left for the ions to settle into the skin. If the ions are not left to settle the previously deposited ions would only be removed again and the treatment will have no effect.


If an anti wrinkle preparation is used during a galvanic treatment (Iontophoresis) the effects of lifting and firming of the anti wrinkle preparation will be so much more notable and achieved much faster because of the ions being forced into the unbroken skin. When the skin is damaged the product does not penetrate as deep as with galvanic therapy.

Faradic Machine

This machine uses a surged interrupted direct current. The electrodes are placed over the motor point of the facial muscle. The motor point of a muscle is the point at which the nerve enters the muscle, in the belly of the muscle as seen in figure A.

Figure A (Natchem Wordpress, nd)

The current stimulates the muscles to contract. The stimulus that is sent to the muscle from the faradic machine is similar to the impulse sent to the muscle from the brain. This stimulus causes the facial muscle to contract (Martin, nd).


The machine will tone the face. Similar to normal manual exercise the contraction of the muscle by the machine will improve micro- circulation and will build the muscle. The skin will be smoother because the machine causes the muscle underneath the skin to build up and improve in tone. This means that fine lines and wrinkles will appear reduced (Martin, nd).

Botox Injections

Botox prevents the muscles that form wrinkles caused by smiling (zygomaticus muscle), frowning (corrugator) and laughing from contracting and in doing so prevents the formation of wrinkles in those areas (Court House Clinics, nd).

Dermal Fillers

This is a product that is either placed or injected into the dermis of the skin. The effects of this dermal filler injection last up to three months (Bader R. S M.D, Johnson D. L PA-C, MPH, 2008).


Dermal fillers correct rhytides and scars immediately (Bader R. S M.D, Johnson D. L PA-C, MPH, 2008).

Below are photographs which show the appearance of the nasolabial area and the orbicularis oris area, before and after dermal fillers were injected.

(skinrenewal, nd) (skinrenewal, nd)

Fat Transfer

This procedure involves fat being removed from the place it is not wanted and injected or transferred to the place where there is a need to plump up (, 2006).


This procedure gives volume and plumps up the areas that have sunken in with age. Areas on the face where this commonly occurs are on the buccal area. This procedure has also proven to improve the appearance of skin that has sagged (, 2006).

Mesotherapy (Mesolift)

This is an alternative to surgery. Vitamins, amino acids and minerals are introduced into the skin, directly (Mesotherapie & Estetik, nd).


This treatment rejuvenates, nourishes and promotes the production of elastin and collagen inside the skin. It also stimulates your skin's metabolism. Increased metabolism means that the skin's micro-circulation is improved so that the toxins inside the skin can be removed efficiently and nutrients can be delivered to the cells to function optimally (Mesotherapie & Estetik, nd).


Thread Lift

This method involves tiny strings being inserted underneath the skin and attached to the facial tissues to lift the skin. During the procedure the strings are stretched and the skin pulls on itself (, 2006).


The procedure improves the appearance of jowls and sagging in the neck area (, 2006).

The difference between male and female skins

Sebaceous Glands

The male skin contains smaller sebaceous glands. Product absorption primarily takes place through the sebaceous ducts (, nd).

Oil on the skin

Male skin is oilier than female skin. This is due to the hormone called, testosterone. This hormone is responsible for stimulating more sebaceous secretions. The male skin being oilier makes the male skin more prone to acne and acne related conditions (, nd).

Skin Thickness

The female skin will suffer more easily from ageing than a male skin because the male skin is thicker than a female skin (, nd).

Fragility of the skin

The male skin is more fragile than that of a female. The reason is that male skins have a history of not being properly cared for and this means that the skin is exposed more to damaging environmental factors. Shaving also damages the skin (, nd).

Ageing of the skin

The male skin thins with age. A female skin will most likely change colour and texture. This is due to the reduction in estrogen production after menopause. The collagen content will decrease more in the female skin than in the male skin (, nd).

Skin Cancer

Overall males have are at higher risk for any skin cancer than women. Females tend to develop melanoma more on areas such as the hip and lower leg (refer to figure 1) area. The upper back is a very common area for men to develop melanoma. Melanoma on ears (refer to figure 2), face, neck and head are areas in which men often develop melanoma due to the fact that there is less hair present in the area to cover it (, nd).

Figure 1 (Captain cutaneum, nd) Figure 2 (Captain cutaneum, nd)

Different ages

Skin at 20

The oil content of the skin is still high even though the hormones have settled down after the teenage years. As the late twenties are reached the skin will become more obviously dry and the formation of fine lines around the orbicularis oris start (Fairley J, nd).

The use of SPF everyday will result in the skin being damaged less severely by the UV rays from the sun. The use of an orbicularis occuli cream at this age will help control the formation of expression lines (Fairley J, nd).

Skin at 30

"Ageing really begins at 30": Dr Brademas." At this age the skin underneath the orbicularis occuli will start to thin. Collagen and elastin in the skin start to break and this causes the formation of fine lines. The skin becomes dry very quickly and the general skin type for this age group is diffused redness (oily on the t-panel and dry on the buccal area). Broken capillaries start appearing on the skin, and towards the end of this decade solar lentegines also start appearing (Fairley J, nd).

This skin needs a rich night cream to work intensively on the effects of ageing and an orbicularis occuli gel is also needed. The reason for specifically an orbicularis occuli gel is that puffiness under the orbicularis occuli may start to become a problem at this age. The skin can not return to its normal shape and tone as it used to at a younger age (Fairley J, nd).

Skin at 40

The lines on the areas of the orbicularis oris, around the orbicularis occuli and frontalis appear deeper. Skin at this age is dry. The skin will be more sensitive at this age because it is nearing the age of the onset of menopause. The skin will appears more dull all around (Fairley J, nd).

At this age the skin needs more than just basic anti ageing treatment. The skin needs more nutrients and stimulation. The use of anti ageing serums and night creams are necessary to keep the skin in the best condition it can be (Fairley J, nd).

Skin at 50

The fine lines and wrinkles present on the face at this age usually now develop into folds. The reason for this is that once menopause has passed the estrogen level in the body is much lower and the skin becomes thinner and is more fragile. The skin no longer has an efficient ability to retain its moisture and collagen and elastin is very little. Around this time it is very common for skin to sag and particularly develop into jowls around the mandible region of the face (Fairley J, nd).

The skin needs intensive anti ageing treatment at this stage. The best is to include machine treatments to enhance the absorption of products into the deeper layers of the skin. Care must be administered when using active ingredients on the skin as it is very sensitive (Fairley J, nd).


In this literature study it shows that the effect of using clinical skin care on an ageing skin is marked. When using products suited to the aged skin's type and condition it is seen that the products will improve the appearance on wrinkles and fine lines. Treatments including machines in a salon environment, done by a qualified therapist, will have a more marked effect than just using the correct home care. This is according to the information recorded in the literature study.