Summary: When we think about aging there are several images that come to mind, but perhaps none quite so vividly as wrinkles: a wrinkled face or a wrinkled neck. We can picture that, and we know it’s waiting for us, and maybe that’s why we fight so hard against aging most days out of the week. Of course, we’re not the only one’s who are fighting aging. Scientists have long been searching for a kind of fountain of youth—a way to control the biological mechanisms of aging. For a while, the closest we’ve been able to get is something akin to Minneapolis SkinPen procedures. Turns out, by accident almost, a group of researchers identified one of the key enzymes that influence the aging of the skin.

Every Day that Goes By

Aging is a complicated thing—and it’s inevitable. And while it may seem like aging is a mostly superficial, shallow worry to have, that’s not entirely true. After all, your entire body ages. Your lungs age, your eyes age, your bones age (just compare getting out of bed when you were 20 to when you’re looking at forty—so many more cracking bones). And we all age. At the same time, aging is something of a mystery—it’s difficult to identify what, exactly is responsible for aging. Sure, there’s the wear and tear that comes from consistent use, but that’s not quite the same thing as what happens to your skin or organs as you grow older. Aging isn’t the same thing as that kind of wear and tear.

Aging is its own thing. It’s a different process, and now it seems as though researchers have made some headway in determining what, precisely, causes aging. Specifically, researchers at UBC and Providence Health Care have shown that eliminating a specific enzyme in mice led to mice with smoother skin, fewer wrinkles, and generally less deterioration of wrinkles. The research was published in Aging Cell and revealed how the researchers, mostly by combining serendipity and inspiration, discovered this particular enzyme sequence.

Cosmetic Surgery to Combat Aging

This doesn’t mean, necessarily, that in a year or so we’ll all have drastically less aging in our skin. Any kind of human application will likely be a long way off—but it’s interesting to imagine a world in which a simple shot of a particular enzyme can replenish the skin—that is, actually make the skin younger. Rather than something like what you get with Botox, which is only the appearance of youth.

Of course, in the modern world, Botox will just have to do. So let’s assume you can’t actually get your skin to stop aging. What are some ways you can at least keep up that youthful appearance? Well, we just mentioned one, and that’s Botox. Many wrinkles are cause not necessarily by aging, but by the flexing and contracting of muscles. Sometimes the muscles essentially get stuck in a “flexed” or “contracted” position. Botox works by smoothing that out, numbing the muscles involved so that your skin can (finally!) relax. The result is a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Minneapolis SkinPen to the Rescue

There’s also a nifty new procedure called SkinPen. This procedure is an interesting one, and it’s usually used in conjunction with dermal fillers or a platelet rich plasma treatment. SkinPen essentially creates a large amount of microscopic incisions (more like pokes, really), and this trauma to the skin encourages the production of certain healing collagen particles. This means that the skin ends up a little more rejuvenated, eliminating uneven skin tone and acne. The microneedles are small enough that most patients do not feel even mild discomfort during the procedure. Basically, it tricks your skin into “healing” so that what you actually end up doing is pumping all those great healing juices into healthy skin—and rejuvenation takes place instead.

But sometimes that aged look comes from loss of volume. If that’s the case, your best bet is a dermal filler. The most natural look for dermal fillers generally comes from those that are based on hyaluronic acid (partly because hyaluronic acid is already found in your body). Those types of fillers (Juvederm, Radiesse and so on) are also more pliable at first, allowing cosmetic surgeons to generate more seamless results.

Temporary Solutions—But a Lot of Happiness

Now, most of these solutions, from Botox to dermal fillers, are temporary solutions. If you want something more permanent, you’re best off looking into something like a face lift or an eyelid lift. However, many patients find that kind of commitment a bit on the intimidating side. So these nonsurgical solutions are a great way to achieve results and see if you like the overall effect. If you do, those results are relatively easy to maintain, with only minimal treatments every year or so to keep up those results.

It’s like, after all, that we’ll never really beat aging. But that doesn’t mean we have to look our age. Indeed, most people feel younger than they look. And it’s one of the central philosophies of cosmetic surgery that people should have the ability to look only as old as they feel—so cosmetic surgeons have developed a wide variety of techniques and procedures designed to do just that. So if you’re looking in the mirror and you feel like maybe you’d like to take a few years off that appearance, talk to a cosmetic surgeon today.

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