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November 23, 2009

There have been countless documented articles about Man’s endeavour for the Fountain of Youth since hundreds of years ago. How true are these and how much of these stories do you believe? This week’s Skin Focus takes you away from the inconclusive debate and gives you the dermatological explanation behind ageing.

Causes of ageing

  • Intrinsic ageing

Intrinsic ageing is a chronological ageing process of the skin which typically begins in our mid-20s. As we get older, the production of collagen and elastin, the two main proteins in the human body responsible for giving shape, strength and elasticity to the skin, slows down. The skin renewal process retards too; dead skin cells are no longer shed as fast as before and new skin cells are produced at a slower rate. Additionally, sebaceous glands secrete less oil and the skin becomes drier.

Coupled with two biological process, glycation and oxidation, the skin undergoes ageing continuously. Glycation is the process by which sugar molecules naturally present in the skin adhere to collagen and elastin fibres. The sugar molecules create rigid bridges between fibres, which stiffens the internal structure of the skin. As a result, skin loses suppleness and wrinkles begin to appear. Oxidation, on the other hand, refers to a chain reaction triggered, by inhaling oxygen, in response to free radical damage which harms cell DNA. Consequently, cell renewal may slow down, resulting in a loss of radiance and vitality in the skin.

  • Extrinsic ageing

Extrinsic ageing is caused by external environmental factors which act together with the natural intrinsic ageing process to prematurely age our skin. The primary cause of extrinsic ageing is none other than the sun which we are often exposed to during the day. UVA rays from the sun have a long wavelength and penetrate deep into the skin’s dermis layer, contributing to the formation of free radicals, which damage skin structures and break down collagen. Over time, the skin loses its moisture and support, appearing wrinkly and droopy. Free radicals production is also induced by stress, smoking and environmental pollution.

Visible signs of ageing

  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Dry skin
  • Sagging skin
  • Sunken cheeks and eye sockets
  • Pigmentation or age spots


Ageing begins as early as in the twenties even though the signs are usually only visible decades later. While you cannot stop or reverse the process of intrinsic ageing, you can prevent signs of premature ageing and age gracefully into your older years. Since the sun is the culprit behind most of extrinsic ageing, it is important to ensure that your skin is sufficiently protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Always wear a sunscreen when you go out and choose one with an adequate amount of SPF and PPD. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoid cigarettes and use a day cream which blocks the damaging action of UVA rays while correcting existing wrinkles.


All is not lost if you’re one of the many who failed to take proper care of your skin when you were younger. Thanks to advancements in science and beauty, many skincare products contain ingredients such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are powerful antioxidants to minimize free radical damage and at the same time, enhance the production of collagen to fill in the wrinkles.

La Roche-Posay’s recommendations

La Roche-Posay offers a wide variety of products, allowing you to prevent and treat those visible signs of ageing.

  • ANTHELIOS XL 50 SPF Extreme Fluid provides the highest protection against both UVB and UVA rays in the market.
  • DERM AOX Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Serum fills in wrinkles and restores radiance to the face.
  • MELA-D WHITE Whitening Daily Essence lightens and corrects pigmentation without leaving white spots.
  • REDERMIC EYES Fill-in Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Care fills in wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes while reinforcing the eye area skin support.


TRY IT! Simply leave a comment with your name and email address to redeem a free anti-ageing sample kit!

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