It is known that black, matte and mixed skin age less quickly than Caucasian skin. In general, cutaneous aging is a physiological process naturally programmed since our birth but which is also under the influence of various environmental factors (our food, our place of residence (city or village), our way of life etc.).
We classify two categories of factors: Factors for which nothing can be done, which comes from our parents and extrinsic factors where otherwise environmental factors that can be used to limit the aging of the skin
Before explaining why black skin ages less quickly it is important to understand first and foremost how our skin works in its entirety regardless of ethnicity.
How does our skin get older?
Over the years, our skin evolves and will be subject to modifications. From the age of 30/35, it can be seen with the naked eye that it becomes thinner, becomes drier and more dehydrated. It loses in elasticity and firmness which has made it go from a tonic and radiant aspect to a much more withered and dull aspect. We can also observe the appearance of wrinkles or age spots.
And if we zoom in a little more, what's going on inside?
We observe :
A thinning of the skin: the skin is subdivided into 3 layers: the epidermis and the dermis, connected to each other thanks to the dermo-epidermal junction (JDE) and more particularly thanks to its anchoring fibers. With age its fibers diminish and then disappear and the JDE is annihilated. The epidermis and the dermis are found together where the thinning of the skin without modifying the thickness of these two layers. We also note a slowing of cell renewal of keratinocytes (main cells of the skin) and an alteration of the desquamation process (skin removal, peeling sensation) which becomes less important.
The skin is more dehydrated: The sebaceous and sweat glands are less active, the synthesis of lipids, hyaluronic acid and the production of natural moisturizing factors (NMF) of the skin are reduced. Thus the hydrolipidic film and the intercellular cement (ceramides) are deteriorated, the skin thus no longer manages to regulate the evaporation of water and is found dry.
Sagging skin : The skin has fibrillary networks consisting of collagen and elastin fibers. They allow the skin to be firm, resistant and elastic. With time these fibers decrease which leads to a loss of suppleness and firmness of the skin.
More fragile skin: The decrease in the number of melanocytes (10/20% per decade after 30 years) and Langerhans cells (cells responsible for protecting the skin) lead to a decrease in the immune response. The skin is then less armed against external aggression (bacteria, viruses, pollution, etc.).
But why dark skin aging less quickly?
We all know this expression : "Black do not crack" but does black skin really take 10 years to age compared to other types of skin ?
Here is an example to understand a little more this theory :
It should be known that, physiologically, black, matte and mixed skin are better equipped with aging skin. As previously written, our skin has a fibrillar network consisting of:
- Collagen fibers to guarantee firmness
- Elastin fibers to guarantee the elasticity and the resistance of the skin. It can thanks to them resume its original position when it is pinched or stretched.
These fibers are hardly renewable, each individual has a certain stock, which is why with age, these fibers eventually degrade and decrease leaving the skin this relaxed and withered.
Unlike Caucasian skin, pigmented skin is better able to maintain fibrillar networks. The collagen fibers are more numerous and denser, and the elastic fibers are predominantly non-degraded elastic fibers. Thanks to its characteristics they persist longer. Therefore the dark skin is naturally firmer and more resistant in the long term which delay the appearance of wrinkles age 50 or 60 years.
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