Elastin structure and its involvement in skin photoageing

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2017 Jun;39(3):241-247. doi: 10.1111/ics.12372. Epub 2016 Nov 11.


Skin aging is a complex process that may be caused by factors that are intrinsic and extrinsic to the body. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation represents one of the main sources of skin damage over the years and characterizes a process known as photoaging. Among the changes that affect cutaneous tissue with age, the loss of elastic properties caused by changes in elastin production, increased degradation and/or processing produces a substantial impact on tissue esthetics and health. The occurrence of solar elastosis is one of the main markers of cutaneous photoaging and is characterized by disorganized and non-functional deposition of elastic fibers. The occurrence of UV radiation-induced alternative splicing of the elastin gene, which leads to inadequate synthesis of the proteins required for the correct assembly of elastic fibers, is a potential explanation for this phenomenon. Innovative studies have been fundamental for the elucidation of rarely explored photoaging mechanisms and have enabled the identification of effective therapeutic alternatives such as cosmetic products. This review addresses cutaneous photoaging and the changes that affect elastin in this process.

Keywords: elastin; genetic analysis; photoageing; skin barrier; skin physiology/structure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Cosmetics
  • Elastin / chemistry
  • Elastin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Aging*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Cosmetics
  • Elastin