01 | 07 | 2018

DNA, skin and aging


Recent scientific studies have identified genes involved in the aging process of the skin.


The influence of our genes on our appearance and the aging process of our skin is becoming increasingly clear. Recent research has shown that our aging process is 60% determined by our genes and thus influences our visible age.

It has also been established that about 1500 different genes are involved in this skin aging process. These genes are responsible for, among other things, the hydration level, texture and elasticity of the skin.

A gene is a unit of hereditary material with which hereditary characteristics are passed on to the offspring. Genes are part of chromosomes and are made up of pieces of DNA. All genes consist of 2 parts: a copy of the father and a copy of the mother.

The information in genes is used to produce RNA and proteins. These are the building blocks for cells that are used for the construction of the cell organelles. This process determines which characteristics you inherit and whether you have blond or brown hair, blue or brown eyes ...

How do our genes affect the appearance and condition of our skin?

  1. One of the most important factors in the aging process is hydration. The type of collagen our body produces and thereby determines the structure and appearance of our skin. There are variations in the genes that produce the collagen, for example in the enzymes that restructure the collagen. Small variations in these genes produce different types of collagen, for example looser collagen or collagen with a resistant structure. People with genes that have a stronger collagen structure are less likely to be prone to wrinkles than people with a looser collagen structure.
  2. Resistance to oxidation and free radicals. There are genetic variants that produce antioxidant enzymes that are more or less potent. Your resistance to oxidation and free radicals is therefore determined by the genetic variant of these antioxidant enzymes that your DNA contains.
  3. Different versions of the genes for aquaporlnes. Aquaporins are channels located in the cell wall that regulate the cellular water level. Aquaporins are therefore important for the hydration of the skin. There are more and less powerful versions of these channels, with the result that these variations in the genes cause a difference in the hydration level of the skin.
  4. Genes involved in sun-induced aging: Scientists have recently discovered a gene variant that appears to make skin more resistant to aging from sunlight exposure. This mechanism is not yet well understood, but appears to be related to the regulation of inflammation. People with a certain type of gene would therefore be more resistant to sun UV radiation, so that they are less likely to show skin aging due to exposure to the sun.


Life is a succession of change and the skin is proof of that. The skin is a victim of all the external and internal influences that affect it: our genetic makeup, the sun, the weather and our own bad habits ... The skin also becomes thinner and the fat content decreases, making the skin drier and less soft feels. These skin changes are the most visible signs of aging.

But what exactly is happening?

As you get older, cell division slows down. Less connective tissue and collagen is produced, causing the skin to slacken and wrinkles to become visible. During this process, the epidermis becomes thinner and thinner, making the skin more vulnerable. The dermis also changes; the number of blood vessels in the skin decreases. Wrinkles are a natural phenomenon of skin aging and are often classified into two categories:

Fine lines: A fine line is often created by mimicry expression and also disappears when the face is relaxed. But a fine line can form into a wrinkle when the skin is frequently contracted by making expressions. This causes the collagen to break down and this leads to skin sagging. Fine lines are usually visible on the forehead, between the eyebrows, around the mouth and eyes.

Deep wrinkles: A deep wrinkle is a fold or visible depression in the skin. Wrinkles occur when the skin contains less collagen. Wrinkles are often visible around the jaws and cause the appearance of a double chin and also form bags under the eyes.

There are several mechanisms involved in the formation of wrinkles:

The movement of the muscles: The skin is in continuous movement due to the muscles that lie beneath it. These micro-contractions aid in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles as the skin continuously tenses and relaxes.

Alteration in the constituents of the dermis: intrinsic aging and aging caused by external factors. This mainly concerns skin aging caused by the sun, which changes the cohesion between the dermis and the epidermis.

Alteration in the constituents of the dermis: intrinsic aging and aging caused by external factors. This mainly concerns skin aging due to the sun, which changes the connection between the dermis and the epidermis.

Our genetics, DNA, environment, lifestyle and how we take care of our skin all influence the aging process of our skin. But we can take steps to help skin stay healthy and fresh. Knowing how to take care of your skin and starting a skin care routine on time is very important to slow down the aging process and monitor its effects.

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