Aging and UV radiation are known to dry out the skin and promote wrinkle formation. A new factor in skin aging has now been identified: the skin microbiome, i.e. the microorganisms that live on the skin.
A new study involving experts from the University of California San Diego examined which microbes of the skin microbiome are associated with the quality and aging of the skin. The results can be read in the English-language specialist journal “Frontiers in Aging”.
13 microbiome data sets evaluated
In order to identify a possible connection between the skin microbiome and signs of skin aging, the researchers carried out a multi-stage analysis of a total of 13 microbiome data sets. This also included clinical skin data from over 650 test subjects between the ages of 18 and 70.
Certain skin microbes promote skin aging
The team identified microbes living on the skin that are specifically associated with signs of aging and skin health, rather than chronological age.
Skin microbiome influence crow’s feet
For example, a connection was found between the diversity of the skin microbiome and the development of so-called crow’s feet wrinkles. Crow’s feet wrinkles are considered by experts to be one of the most important signs of skin aging.
The experts also found a negative connection between the diversity of the microbiome and the amount of moisture evaporating through the skin.
“This research is groundbreaking in identifying new microbial biomarkers associated with visible signs of aging such as crow’s feet. “It represents a significant step towards the development of technologies for healthier, more youthful skin,” explains study author Qian Zheng in a press release.
The results of the new study will help experts assess what next steps should be taken to better understand the microbial connections in skin aging.
Study paves way for further research
“While the study results represent an advance in our knowledge of the skin microbiome, we view them as just the beginning of a new phase of research,” adds study author Rob Knight.
Confirming a link between the microbiome and skin health, the team believes, lays the foundation for further studies that could identify specific microbiome biomarkers linked to skin aging. These could also determine how these microbiome biomarkers can be changed to positively influence skin aging. (as)