When we are young, our skin is smooth and taut. This is because the superficial and deeper layers of tissue work together in a supportive manner. New cells that develop in deeper layers of skin make their way to the surface as the damaged, dead cells that make up the stratum corneum fall away.
Cellular turnover occurs about every 30 days when we are young. However, this process slows to about every 50 days as we age. The longer old cells remain on the surface of the skin, the more drab and lackluster its outward appearance.
About 90% of the skin’s thickness is in the dermis, the layer of tissue beneath the surface. Here, vital proteins like elastin and collagen are stored. Collagen is referred to as a “firming protein” because it is this substance that forms the matrix of fibers that keep skin lifted and smooth. Elasticity is protected by elastin, which helps the skin bounce back if stretching has occurred.
Adequate amounts of elastin and collagen are indicated by beautifully firm skin. As stored become depleted with age, sun damage, and other factors, the skin becomes dehydrated, dry, wrinkled, and saggy. The defined contours that once existed across the cheeks and jaw line become soft and droopy.
In addition to diminished collagen, the fat cells that make up the subcutaneous layer of skin thin out. This leaves very little cushion to support facial contours. When volume from fat cells is lost, the face may appear flat and sad.
Addressing the Signs of Age
It used to be that the signs of age described here could be addressed only with cosmetic plastic surgery. Of course, there are patients for whom a brow lift, eyelid surgery, or facelift is appropriate. However, many can now get a jump start on their anti-aging routine with non-surgical, non-invasive treatments like radio frequency.
In recent years, multiple forms of non-surgical skin tightening have been developed. The benefit that radio frequency has over other methods is its ability to both reduce fat cells and tighten skin. Other treatments reduce pockets of fat but have little to no effect on the production of collagen. With radio frequency treatments, this production increases to promote a beautifully lifted face.
Learn how radio frequency treatments can rejuvenate your appearance.