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To understand the process of skin sagging, you must learn the structure of this organ: the skin is comprised of cells which are sit in an extracellular matrix, a sort of mattress which remains tight as long as its components are sufficiently numerous and solid.
Collagen and elastin
This matrix notably contains:
- Collagen fibres:
Created by fibroblasts, they form a dense network and are responsible for the skin’s resistance to stretching and tension.
- Elastin fibres:
Also created by fibroblasts and linked in a network, they give the skin its elasticity and also its resistance to tension.
For years, collagen and elastin fibres renew themselves continually and are of good quality, which enables them to play their role without difficulty. But as time passes, they become fragile and their synthesis decreases. The network of fibres therefore becomes less solid and less dense. The skin, less firm, ends up by relaxing and the face slackens.
Factors associated with sagging skin
The natural phenomenon for the diminution of collagen and elastin fibres is increased by environmental factors:
- Excessive and rapid weight gain
- Repeated distensions of the skin
- Nicotine addiction which promotes the production of free radicals leading to alterations in collagen and elastin fibres.
By acting upon certain factors, you have the chance to slow down sagging skin.