Odds are you’ve purchased a special cream, which promises to be able to defy father time and keep your skin looking and feeling young.
But researchers from Centre for Genomic Regulation suggest the secret to age defying beauty, may not be in that nourishing night cream but rather in the night itself.
Being a skin cell is a hard job
The skin cells, which form the outermost layer of the body, face encounters of the damaging kind daily. They must stand their ground, despite the onslaught and maintain a water tight barrier between the body and the outside world.
Skin stem cells keep the barrier intact
Maintaining the outer layer requires the services of the skin stem cells. These highly specialized cells have the ability to divide at infinitum, so they are able to create replacements for any cells which are damaged.
The skin stem cells are how mother nature’s beauty fairies, they take care of blemishes, breaks and general wear and tear that inevitably happens, keeping us beautiful.
Stem cells don’t divide 24/7
Skin stem cells may have the capacity to divide 24/7, but they don’t do so all day long. They use the internal biological clock to regulate their activity.
- Day time sees them focus on protection, because this is the most dangerous time as radiation levels climb with the sun.
- Night time, is when they go about doing the routine maintenance. Damaged cells are replaced with healthy ones.
Restricting cell division to the night hours, means that the cells avoid exposing their sensitive DNA, to power blasts of radiation from the sun. Sun power blasts have the potential to cause mutations in the DNA, which could cause cell failure or worse, a transition to a cancerous cell.
The genes Bmal1 and Period1/2 control this rhythm, regulating the timing of the cell renewal process.
A broken clock disrupts the schedule
When researchers disrupt the clock genes, Bmal1 and Period1/2, the stem cells don’t know what to do and confusion ensues.
Skin stem cell bewilderment contributes to accelerated skin aging and heightened susceptibility to skin cancer.
Aging causes the clock to run slow
As we age, the accuracy of the internal body clock seems to fade gradually , the exact reason is not clear, but our behaviours certainly contribute.
Your clock face
The secret to keeping your “clock” looking beautiful, is to watch the clock. Keep your body clock ticking on form, by obeying earth’s day/night cycle – day is meant for activity and night time is meant for sleeping.
One sleepless night leaves you looking a little under the weather but prolonged sleep interruptions turn you into a beast not a beauty. So get your beauty sleep !The circadian molecular clock creates epidermal stem cell heterogeneity. Nature (2011) Peggy Janich, Gloria Pascual, Anna Merlos-Suárez, Eduard Batlle, Jürgen Ripperger, Urs Albrecht, Karl Obrietan, Luciano Di Croce, Salvador Aznar Benitah
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