New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

By edit
Face care
Stage of skin ageing
Body and hair care
By concern
Skin diagnostic
Library
All Topics
Peau à différents âges.

Understanding the skin at different ages.

Like all organs in our body, the skin undergoes changes over time, which leads to the appearance of ageing signs. Discover how the skin evolves at different ages.

A reminder about the structure of the skin.

The skin is composed of three layers, from the most superficial to the deepest:

  • Epidermis:

    This is the most superficial layer of the skin. It contains several cellular populations (keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells, etc...).

    The keratinocytes are present at various levels of the epidermis. They synthesise keratin, a fibrous and water-insoluble protein, which gives the skin its waterproof nature. It thus protects the skin from external aggressions.

    The primary role of the epidermis is its function of skin protection thanks to keratinocytes and the stratum corneum. Indeed, the stratum corneum is composed of various epidermal lipids that protect the skin from external aggressions and transepidermal dehydration. Moreover, it is covered with a hydrolipidic film that acts as an additional protective barrier. This hydrolipidic film is primarily composed of sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands.

    The skin also contains melanocytes. Upon exposure to UV rays, melanocytes synthesise melanin, a pigment whose role is to protect our skin from UV rays. Therefore, tanning is actually a defence mechanism of the skin!

  • Dermis :

    It is at the level of the dermis that new skin cells multiply in order to replace those that are eliminated. Furthermore, the dermis contains the fibroblasts which synthesise collagen fibres, elastin, as well as hyaluronic acid, responsible for the density, elasticity and firmness of the skin.

  • Hypodermis:

    Its primary role is to manage the storage and release of lipids. It also plays a part in thermoregulation.

Skin in your twenties.

It is around the age of 20 years that the first signs of ageing can begin to appear. We observe a beginning of the decline in the production of collagen fibres of about 1% per year. Hyaluronic acid also decreases from the age of 20. This results in the appearance of the first fine lines, dehydration and loss of firmness. The skin's barrier function gradually weakens and the skin therefore becomes more vulnerable to external aggressions and transepidermal dehydration.

Skin in your thirties.

In our thirties, the skin's barrier function weakens further due to a reduction in keratin production by keratinocytes. As a reminder, keratin is a molecule that plays a role in protecting the skin. Furthermore, the sebaceous glands produce less and less sebum, which weakens the hydrolipidic film and therefore the skin barrier. Skin dehydration increases and the skin progressively loses its elasticity. Fibroblastic activity, and therefore the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid fibres, decreases, promoting the loss of skin density, elasticity and firmness.

From the forties to the sixties.

At the level of the epidermis, we observe a reduction in lipid levels and a slowdown in skin renewal. As a result, the skin becomes more sensitive due to a weakening of the barrier function, and its structure becomes granular. In addition, the melanocytes decrease gradually, which leads to poorer protection against UV rays, as well as irregular pigmentation (pigment spots). The Langerhans cells, which are epidermal defence cells, also decrease, causing an increase in the risk of skin infections.

Within the dermis, the activity of fibroblasts is increasingly diminished, leading to the deepening of expression lines, a less plump skin envelope, and a loss of firmness and elasticity. There is also a reduction in the skin's blood supply, which results in a loss of skin radiance.

At the level of the hypodermis,the number and size of adipose cells decrease in the fatty tissue. The skin loses volume (hollowing of the cheeks), and under-eye bags and deep wrinkles appear.

After the age of sixty.

We observe a significant weakening of the natural lipid production capacity at the epidermal level, thereby exacerbating dehydration, the appearance of deep wrinkles, and skin sagging. The skin's cellular renewal is noticeably slowed, which impairs the healing process. The skin is also highly vulnerable to infections due to a decrease in immune function by Langerhans cells.

Sources

  • ORTONNE J. P. & al. Le vieillissement cutané et sa prévention. La Presse Médicale (2003).

  • PUIZINA-IVIC N. Skin aging. Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina Pannonica et Adriatica (2008).

  • ELLIS D. A. F. & al. Aging skin: histology, physiology, and pathology. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America (2011).

  • DESMOULIERE A. & al. Skin changes during ageing. Subcellular Biochemistry (2019).

Diagnostic

Understand your skin
and its complex needs.

Go further: