Updated: Jan 10
You look at your face and see age-related changes like wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and sagging. The first thing that comes to your mind is that there is something wrong with your skin. The next thing you do is try to find the best cream or serum or a spa procedure that can help to rejuvenate your skin and bring back your glow and freshness.
You were made to think that those problems are caused by the lack of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid and that as soon as you replenish the deficit, you’ll get your youthful look back.
However, let me clarify and remind you that our skin is the last layer of the complex structure, which is called our body. What we see on the outside, meaning our skin, is a symptom of what is going on in the underlying tissues.
I would like to invite you to take a look at the structures and tissues that lie beneath our skin and are the baseline for all the “time related” deformations and skin changes.
Let’s start from the very base - our bones. Age-related changes start directly in our bones. Think of it as a flower. If the roots start to get rotten or are eaten by the insects, the plant will eventually die.
The human body is extremely complex, and each and every process that is happening has a cause-effect relationship. Bone tissue is continuously remodeled through the jointly arranged actions of bone cells, which include bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts. As we age, the bone resorption (deterioration) takes over due to hormonal changes, mineral deficiency, lack of movement, etc. An imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation can result in bone diseases, including osteoporosis.
However, osteoporosis is a serious medical condition, and not everyone suffers from it. Bone resorption, on the other hand, is a process that is happening in everybody’s body.
It is happening in all of our body’s bones, including skull bones. In fact, some areas of our body are affected more by this process. Your jawbone is most commonly affected by this phenomenon, and factors like tooth loss, tooth wear, and misalignment speed up bone breakdown.
The jawbone is preserved through the pressure and stimulus of chewing and biting. When a tooth is missing, the bone loses its stimulus in that spot, and your body begins signaling osteoclasts to break down the jawbone. New bone is still being formed, but at a lower rate than bone is being destroyed.
Misalignment issues can create a situation in the mouth where some teeth no longer have an opposing tooth structure. Similarly, if the teeth do not fit together properly, an irregular chewing function can occur, resulting in loss of jawbone stimulation.
Another huge cause that leads to bone breakdown is tooth wear, which happens when you grind your teeth. In this situation, it eventually puts the mandible (lower jaw) and maxilla (upper jaw) closer together, bringing the nose and chin nearer to each other. This effect may also portray an older appearance. As your teeth lose volume, you may see smoker’s lines or lipstick lines, which radiate out from your lips. Other common lines include nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and jowls.
Early detection and correction of your dental issues by a reputable and experienced dentist will keep you from experiencing early signs of aging.
Another underlying structure that I want to talk about is muscles. The muscles that control facial expression originate from the surface of the skull bone (rarely the fascia) and insert on the skin of the face. This allows us to express and show emotions on our faces. However, under constant stress and repeated muscle contraction, our muscles become short and hypertonic. It affects the underlying bone, causing it to lack nutrients, and it loses its volume and elasticity. The blood flow and lymph drainage are reduced, which leads to excess volume in the tissue. Overly contracted muscles push on fat packs and make them move from their place. As a result, we see nasolabial folds, a less-pronounced jawline, “turkey neck,” and loss of volume in the temple region and under the eye area.
Fascia is a tight web of connective tissue that wraps around every muscle and organ in our body and binds them together. Fascia runs through the whole body. And, of course, there is fascia on your face and head. We all know that our body gets its hydration through movement. For example, our joints get stiff where there is a lack of movement. While moving your body makes common sense, what do we do with our face. How do we keep our facial tissues fluid and fresh? The answer is through manual manipulations and exercise.
When the fascia gets restricted due to stress and lack of movement, and muscles become hypertonic due to overuse and lack of relaxation, we experience the formation of adhesions and connective tissue overgrowth due to the response to ongoing inflammation. Where the stagnation is present, the flow of vital nutrients is absent.
Our body is a smart mechanism in which all parts and layers work synergistically with each other. Our skin is just a cover for a complex structure that lies beneath it. We all strive to get the look of our dream. However, little do we know that skincare starts much deeper below our skin. If there is a distortion or restriction in at least one layer beneath our skin, we see premature signs of aging, pigmentation, uneven skin tone etc. That’s why a comprehensive approach is crucial in achieving optimal results in maintaining your physical body young and radiant for as long as possible.