Research into the human genome has the potential to answer many questions for human beings. Scientists are now looking at the genome in order to find the genes that cause wrinkles. The researchers are hoping that the information they gain will help them slow down, if not stop, the aging process. Ideally, they will be able to create lotions, creams and other treatments that will help.
A group of scientists, led by Procter & Gamble, have found roughly 1, 500 genes that are connected to the aging process, thanks to genome research. After studying these genes, the team feels they have determined the major causes of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Due to this, they hope to be able to address aging itself soon.
The truth is, the best anti-aging products on the market do not do a great deal to affect the aging process. They treat the disease instead of the cure by plumping up the skin or smoothing out wrinkles. And some of the traditional beauty secrets are actually based in truth. Showing the signs of age is based in environment and genetics. The scientific team from Procter & Gamble noted the following as major factors:
- Photo Aging: Sunlight provides many healthful benefits, but too much can hasten the onset of wrinkles and other signs of aging. It can also affect the skin negatively by destroying the genes designed to keep skin healthy.
- Antioxidants: These help the skin defend itself against free radicals, but they weaken over time. Free radicals can then affect the skin and cause more wrinkles.
- Collagen: Unlike the genes that control hydration, the genes that control collagen destruction become more active as we get older. This may cause additional wrinkles. There may be as many as 40 genes that affect the destruction of collagen in the skin.
- Inflammation and/or swelling: 400 genes affect inflammation, according to the research. They also become more active as we get older, and they contribute to wrinkles as well.
- Hydration: The skin naturally collects and traps water. As we grow older, our skin loses its ability to do this due to the inactivity of the genes that control it. As a result, we hold less moisture in the skin and wrinkles start to develop.
In the future, researchers hope to be able to increase the longevity of healthy skin and eradicate the aging process. By identifying these genes, they have taken the first step to doing so.