Forever young? Can skin ageing be stopped?

Causes of skin ageing

Getting older is simply great. You become calmer, more relaxed and, in the best case, wiser. But hand on heart, we would gladly do without the odd wrinkle. Thanks to modern aesthetic medicine, we have access to a wide range of skin rejuvenation measures. However, the possibilities are even greater if we understand the processes of skin ageing and make use of the findings in the field of prophylaxis and active ingredient cosmetics.


The skin ageing process

Skin ageing mainly manifests itself through wrinkles, loss of volume and elasticity and changes in pigmentation. This change is mainly due to reduced cell division and a decrease in the body’s own production of connective tissue fibers in the fibroblasts. These processes are triggered by intrinsic (genetically determined) and extrinsic factors (external influences) in different ways in the different layers of the skin.


The skin layers

The skin has a complex structure and fulfills a variety of functions such as protection against moisture loss, penetration by bacteria, fungi, etc. as well as heat regulation and sensory perception. The skin can be roughly divided into three layers:

  • Epidermis: Upper skin layer
  • Dermis: Middle layer of the skin (dermis)
  • Subcutis: Lower skin layer

Each of the three skin layers has different functions. With regard to skin ageing, the epidermis and dermis are of particular interest.


Skin ageing in the epidermis

The epidermis, i.e. the top layer of skin, consists of 5 different layers. One of these is the horny layer. It forms the top layer and is, so to speak, the final stage of the skin renewal process. This renewal process takes an average of 28 days, slightly longer in older people. The moisture content and thickness of the stratum corneum determine whether the skin feels supple or rather dry and cracked and whether our complexion appears rosy or rather pale.


Skin ageing in the dermis

The most significant changes in terms of skin ageing occur in the dermis, i.e. the middle layer of the skin. This layer of skin consists mainly of connective tissue, i.e. collagen and elastic fibers, as well as the so-called fibroblasts, which produce this connective tissue. All important components for young and firm skin. Another component of the dermis is hyaluronic acid. It has the ability to bind water and is therefore responsible for the skin’s moisture balance.

Collagen and elastin production steadily decreases from the age of 25. In addition, hyaluronic acid production slows down and the skin cells bind less water. These changes are mainly manifested by the formation of wrinkles. The skin is no longer as elastic, loses volume, becomes thinner and loses its rosy freshness.


Skin ageing in the subcutis

The subcutis or lower skin layer consists mainly of loose connective tissue, fat cells (adipocytes) and blood vessels. It fulfills important functions such as protection against the cold and serves as an energy store. The subcutis also changes with increasing age. The lipid cells recede, resulting in a loss of volume, which manifests itself, for example, in deep wrinkles or sunken skin areas.


Factors of skin ageing

Free radicals are the main cause of skin ageing and are fundamentally responsible for the ageing process. These are not bad per se and fulfill an important function in our organism. For example, free radicals can attack bacteria and pathogens. However, if the proportion of free radicals is too high, oxidative stress occurs, which in turn leads to cell damage and ultimately to premature skin ageing.


Oxidative stress is mainly promoted by the following factors:

  • UV radiation
  • Alcohol, nicotine, drugs, medication
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Stress
  • Environmental pollution


Prevent, slow down and reduce skin ageing

While intrinsic factors play a subordinate role in skin ageing, it is primarily external factors that we can influence. In addition to sun protection, the right skincare routine is crucial. This primarily involves protection with antioxidants, the stimulation of fibroblasts and connective tissue fibers with highly effective vitamins (e.g. retinol) and the renewal of the epidermis through consistent cleansing and the systematic use of chemical peelings. It is important to mention that if you want to see results, you should not choose cosmetics based on the feel-good principle, but on potent active ingredients. A detailed consultation with an expert, including a skin analysis, is therefore highly recommended.


Reversing skin ageing

Of course, we cannot stop skin ageing – but we can reduce its effects such as wrinkles, loss of elasticity, sagging skin areas or pigmentation changes and in some cases even completely eliminate them. In aesthetic medicine, we have a range of effective methods at our disposal. These range from minimally invasive treatments such as injections with hyaluronic acid or botulinum toxin to energy-based procedures such as radio frequency, ultrasound or laser, to surgical measures or a chemical deep peel (phenol peel).

To achieve optimum results, we follow a holistic treatment concept in our practice whenever possible, in which active ingredient cosmetics play a fundamental role.

Our skin experts will be happy to provide you with personal advice at any time.