Our skin ages in two distinct ways. The first process occurs naturally with the passage of time, and results in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and the occasional exaggerated expression line. The second process of skin ageing occurs in response to our environment. One of the main external factors causing skin ageing is sun exposure- this is called photoageing.
Our group is interested in both how the skin ages naturally, and how the ageing process is accelerated by external factors. We explore these changes in our laboratory, using biochemical and microscopical techniques
The team also conducts studies to determine skin responses to anti-ageing products. With the help of our healthy volunteers, we use an in vivo model in clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of over-the-counter treatments. These studies stem from a variety of commercial sources, including L'Oréal and Boots.
We are currently looking at photoageing in detail. Building on our previous research, we are looking at the biochemistry of molecules to produce a sunlight fingerprint of the impact the sun has on our skin. If we can understand the mechanisms of how certain proteins in the skin are destroyed, we can potentially develop interventions to prevent or partially repair the damage.
We are also exploring how people age differently. The elastic fibres in our skin change as we get older, but these changes may be dependent on an individuals ethnicity.
We have numerous projects being conducted by our PhD students. These studies range from investigations into how wrinkles are formed, to studies aiming to understand the how cosmetic products work.