Can aging be slowed down?

Clin Dermatol. 2019 Jul-Aug;37(4):306-311. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2019.04.003. Epub 2019 Apr 30.


Aging is a complex process, with genetic and environmental influences, that unfolds over time. The rate at which skin aging proceeds is predictable, although many persons appear older or younger than their chronologic age. This is especially evident in rare genetic disorders such as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome in which persons suffer from a premature aged appearance and in neotenic complex syndrome in which children appear to be "frozen in time," remaining physically and cognitively similar to an infant or toddler despite increasing age. Ideally, it would be desirable to slow down the aging process with the hope of looking younger longer and improving good health and longevity. Evidence that this is possible comes from data showing increases in average human life expectancy over the past century and recognition of the photoaging effects of sun exposure, with the development of protective strategies, including the routine use of clothing, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen while avoiding the sun during its peak hours of 10 am to 4 pm. Other strategies for maintaining younger-looking skin include the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and use of antiaging skin preparations. Stem cell therapy may also play a role in aging therapy. Current research is clarifying the genetic basis of skin youthfulness and may help to direct future therapies to target key biologic pathways of aging.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Skin Aging / physiology*
  • Time Factors