Skin cells can become stressed by both our environment and lifestyle. Specifically, ultraviolet solar light and pollution are the main environmental factors.
While lifestyle factors include diet, smoking, sleep quality and alcohol consumption.
Stress results in the production of reactive oxygen species in the mitochondria (the batteries of our cells) which signals the cell to repair damage. Reactive oxygen species interact with DNA, proteins and fats using targeted structural changes to aid cell signaling, too much reactive oxygen species can cause excessive structural changes and lead to damage.
These stressors essentially cause the mitochondrial batteries in our skin to run down. This ultimately decreases skin bioenergy and causes tired skin. Overall, this is how our lifestyle and environment can lead to skin DNA damage and accelerate skin ageing.
By monitoring and looking after our mitochondria, we can take steps to keep our batteries topped up and increase bioenergy for younger looking skin.
How does the sun damage the DNA of the skin?
Sun Damages the DNA in Skin Cells Long After Exposure. The sun can induce cancerous DNA damage in skin cells even after it sets. According to a new study,
The melanin-assisted process creates lesions known as cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers in the DNA, which can lead to mutations that cause melanoma, a type of skin cancer. These lesions are identical to the well-known genetic alterations caused when UV light directly strikes the DNA.
What happens if DNA is damaged too much?
However, excessive DNA damage can initiate apoptosis (programmed cell death) if the level of DNA damage exceeds the repair capacity. Apoptosis can prevent cells with excess DNA damage from undergoing mutagenesis and progression to cancer.
‘Intrinsic ageing’ is the inevitable reduction in cell function and is primarily influenced by genetics. Other factors include our hormones and where the skin is on your body. Visible characteristics of intrinsic ageing include; fine lines, increased redness of visible veins, and reduced elasticity of skin.
‘Extrinsic ageing’ is all the external factors that affect our skin. It produces deeper wrinkles, dryer skin, spider veins and uneven pigmentation. Additionally, maintaining proper skin function during ageing is particularly important to help wound healing and to avoid water loss.
Mitochondrial damage and skin layers
Our skin is made up of different layers:
A dermal layer underneath an epidermal layer.
Skin cells in the epidermal layer form from the stem cells at the bottom of the epidermis. These cells take around one month to reach the surface of the skin, where they are then shed. This describes the process cell turnover in the epidermis. Mitochondria have a limited ability to repair the DNA damage they receive from stress.
Consequently, the samples taken for DNA skin can track damage accumulated over the previous months.
Constant stress on your skin can eventually cause irreparable damage. Our DNA Skin Test can guide you to making informed decisions about skin health. We can measure your skin age, determine skin DNA damage specific to sun exposure, track treatments targeted at skin protection and discover personalized methods to protect your skin.