- Lipid composition
What is collagen?Collagen is a structural protein found in abundance throughout the human body. It’s responsible for comfortable joints, easy movement, and pliable skin. 30%1 of the human body’s protein content is created from collagen and wherever it is found, collagen lends strength and structure. It’s easiest to think of collagen as scaffolding. When present it’s able to supply structural rigidity to the skin when it’s not, or it’s missing a few bars, structural integrity declines. In appearance this cumulates into a laxing skin, jowls, fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen changes in maturing skin types As skin is aged chronologically, collagen synthesis declines. Of the 16 types of collagen currently known, 3 make up the majority of collagen molecules in the human body – type I, II and III2. Reduction of type I and III collagen have been shown to be a telling sign of maturing skin, a sign that can be both natural and prematurely enhanced by choices linked to environment and lifestyle. Studies show that type I procollagen, the pre-meditator to type I collagen is decreased by 68% in aged skin3. Helpfully there are many ways this decline can be slowed and protected against – we will detail these soon.
What is elastin?Elastin works hand in hand with collagen. Where collagen makes scaffolding, elastin brings coverage. Elastin is also a connective protein being defined uniquely by its highly elastic nature. Elastin acts exactly like an elastic band, if it is stretched or deformed in any given direction, when healthy and cared for it will spring back quickly. A classic example is the skin’s ability to decrease after sleeping. When skin is wrinkled under pressure for many hours, it’s the elastic nature of elastin which is responsible for sleep-creases vanishing. Elastin changes in maturing skin types Conversely to what would be expected as skin ages, elastin synthesis increases4. However, an increase in synthesis also correlates with a disordered deposition. Imagine having an elastic band without a straight edge and see what would happen when pulling it taut, the elastic band would not stretch uniformly. These changes in elastin synthesis and deposition are known as solar elastosis with studies showing their accumulation is influenced to a greater extent by sun exposure than a person’s biological clock. A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed a 4 fold increase in elastin promoter activity when compared with sun protected skin from the same individuals5.
What is lipid composition?Biologically skin retains hydration via an extremely simple scientific principle – water and oil do not mix. Mix water and oil together and oil will sit comfortably on top of water preventing it from exposure to air and the environment. This is the same process skin harnesses to maintain moisture levels, by using lipids (fats) to lock in hydration. The very outer levels of skin are created from technically dead skin cells packed together extremely tightly by a combination of fatty acids, ceramides, and cholesterol. Ingredients that are all oil based. This layer of skin is then maintained by sebum. A mixture predominantly made from triglycerides, wax esters and squalene, excreted through glands nested within hair follicles. These ingredients are also all oil based. Lipid changes in maturing skin types Dryness is a telling sign of a maturing skin type and occurs as a consequence of altered lipid composition and declined sebum production6. This is a phenomenon affecting women more so than men. Lipid and sebum production is heavily influenced by androgen hormones. With significant falls associated with menopause, averagely lipid levels in women fall by 40% during their 60’s7. This is in contrast to men who do not experience such a change until their 80’s.
What are melanocytes?Melanocytes are a type of cell found abundantly within the skin. Their name is derived from the phrase melanin which describes the brown-red pigment responsible for creating a person’s skin colouration and in the event of sun exposure – a tan. Uneven skin pigmentation is caused by the unequal functioning of melanocyte cells. This can be caused as a direct consequence of melanin production or as a result of its unequal transportation within the skin. Melanocyte changes in maturing skin types Age spots, yellowing of the skin and uneven pigmentation are frequently associated signs of a maturing skin type. Melanocyte density is increased by exposure to sunlight with studies showing a permanent 2-fold increase in dopa-positive melanocytes in sun-exposed skin as opposed to usually concealed areas. As skin ages, melanocyte density decreases by approximately 6-8% per decade8. This decrease occurs in parallel with a maintained and notable difference between skin frequently exposed to sun and skin frequently covered. Fewer melanocytes lessen skin’s natural protection against the harmful effects of UV light a change that is also linked to the uneven deposition of melanin9, leading to the colloquially called age spots.
Chronologically vs. photoaged skinA maturing skin type can be sped up or slowed down by the careful control of several factors. These factors can helpfully fit under one of 2 known causes;
5 ways you can treat and maintain a maturing skin typeThe biological changes noted in maturing skin types are in part determined by DNA and in part determined by extrinsic ageing factors. Factually this means to a significant extent, the visible signs of ageing are controllable, slowable and avoidable. Below are 5 of the best ways to treat and maintain a maturing skin type;
- Daily use of antioxidants
griffin+row products are naturally high in antioxidants and help neutralise the effects of free radicals in UV radiation and airborne pollution.
- Sun protection
- Replenishing night time moisturiser
griffin+row Enrich antioxidant moisturiser helps to repair the skin, is high in antioxidant ingredients, is rich and luxurious for a more mature or dry skin and strengthens the skin’s protective barriers.
- Gentle cleansing
griffin+row’s Cleanse is the perfect formulation for maturing skin. It is gentle and soothing and has a unique hydrating formula that deeply cleans without stripping your skin’s delicate acid mantle. In addition, Cleanse is rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals and pollution.
- Regular exfoliation
griffin+row Exfoliate is a gentle but strong 4 layered muslin cloth that, with regular use, will remove dead cells from the surface of your skin and enhance your skin’s natural cell turnover rate to reveal more youthful looking skin. Exfoliate is purely natural, contains no chemicals, is machine washable and is reusable for up to three months with daily use
- Mapping the ligand-binding sites and disease-associated mutations on the most abundant protein in the human, type I collagen. Gloria A. Di Lullo, Shawn M. Sweeney, Jarmo Korkko, Leena Ala-Kokko, James D. San Antonio J Biol Chem. 2002 Feb 8; 277(6): 4223–4231. Published online 2001 Nov 9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110709200
- Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000. Section 22.3, Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/
- Varani J, Dame MK, Rittie L, et al. Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin?: Roles of Age-Dependent Alteration in Fibroblast Function and Defective Mechanical Stimulation. The American Journal of Pathology. 2006;168(6):1861-1868. doi:10.2353/ajpath.2006.051302.
- Age, sunlight, and facial skin: a histologic and quantitative study. R. Warren, V. Gartstein, A. M. Kligman, W. Montagna, R. A. Allendorf, G. M. Ridder J Am Acad Dermatol. 1991 Nov; 25(5 Pt 1): 751–760.
- Enhanced elastin and fibrillin gene expression in chronically photodamaged skin. E. F. Bernstein, Y. Q. Chen, K. Tamai, K. J. Shepley, K. S. Resnik, H. Zhang, R. Tuan, A. Mauviel, J. Uitto J Invest Dermatol. 1994 Aug; 103(2): 182–186.
- Aging skin Bolognia, Jean L. The American Journal of Medicine , Volume 98 , Issue 1 , S99 – S103
- Age-related changes in sebaceous gland activity. P. E. Pochi, J. S. Strauss, D. T. Downing J Invest Dermatol. 1979 Jul; 73(1): 108–111.
- Effects of aging and chronic sun exposure on melanocytes in human skin. B. A. Gilchrest, F. B. Blog, G. Szabo. J Invest Dermatol. 1979 Aug; 73(2): 141–143.
- Skin ageing and its treatment. L. Baumann J Pathol. 2007 Jan; 211(2): 241–251. doi: 10.1002/path.2098
- Role of vitamins in skin care. S. S. Shapiro, C. Saliou Nutrition. 2001 Oct; 17(10): 839–844.
- MIYAZAWA, K., OGAWA, M. and MITSUI, T. (1984), The physico-chemical properties and protein denaturation potential of surfactant mixtures. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 6: 33–46. doi:10.1111/j.1467-2494.1984.tb00356.x