The Truth About Looking Young Horizon

The Truth About Looking Young

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My name is Dr Rozina Ali and I'm a consultant plastic surgeon in the


And I have it damps what, please? But what fascinates me is how it


This is a natural! -- this is not natural! So I left the operating


theatre behind for the frontiers of skin science. This is not what I


Along the way I discovered a diet that could potentially help us all


look younger. What do you think That we're on the verge of changing


summers forever with the contents And that something we all love to


eat is revolutionising the science Skin, believe it or not, is an


organ. Just like the heart, lungs But what makes it special is that


unlike any other organ, you can see It's the largest organ in the body.


In fact, laid out flat, it's as big as this. And that's somewhere


around 20 square feet. But it's not just big, it's the very first organ


we developed. In fact, skin is the difference between a collection of


It's the first thing I look at when But why do some people look older


What's the scientific truth about Time for me to declare my personal


interest. I'm 44 years old and I've not had any plastic surgery. I'm


probably a bit like you. I'm young enough to care, old enough to know


better. So for me, it all comes down to the science. If it stacks


up, if it's scientifically credible, Every day of our lives, our skin is


engaged in a relentless war with The first battle is against the


Working out how the sun helps to make you look older means


investigating the effect it has on This is what gives young skin its


distinctive plumpness. If it deflates, the skin wrinkles and


Surprisingly, scientists trying to understand how you can look younger


for longer have been studying lorry Meet Rob and Alan. Between them,


they've been driving around Britain Would you like to get in? Thank you.


Just as well I'm sensibly dressed! And there's something about their


faces that provide clues about the hidden power of the sun. A good-


looking guy like you, tell me about your skincare regime, what do you


use? Apart from washing my face with soap and water, I don't use


any. Moisturiser? No. My wife would start getting a bit suspicious if I


started using moisturiser! Does she have reason to be suspicious?


Absolutely not and she knows that. Have you had any problems with your


skin? Ever get sunburnt? Have not in a cab. I use protection when I'm


not -- when I'm on holiday. For work, never. Why don't you bother


with protection or any skin care when you are driving? You are


always in the truck. You get out every now and then, but you will


only be going from the cab to an office or into the back of a


trailer to help unload at something. You are never in the sum for very


long. For -- in the sun. doesn't get burned in his cab.


That's because the glass he sits behind for most of the day filters


out the rays that cause sunburn. This bit of the sun's spectrum is


This bit of the sun's spectrum is called UVB. These rays have a very


short wavelength and so only burn the top layer of our skin. They


can't penetrate any deeper. And they can't get through window glass


Now, I don't want to seem unkind, but Rob's skin doesn't look


So what's going on? To answer that question, I've arranged for Rob and


Alan to have a skin check-up. And that's taking place here at


Manchester University's world Conducting the test is Britain's


leading skin scientist - Professor Chris Griffiths. He's taking Rob


and Alan's picture with this very special camera. And he's been using


it to uncover some of the secrets of how the sun ages our skin. Who


wants to go first? Let's get the ugly out of the way! Swing around


and close your eyes. Bath exactly the same again, look in the mirror.


It is just getting used your face. What does that mean? What's wrong


with it? Well done. What will the photographs reveal about Rob and


A you can see on Allen's face that there are deeper wrinkles on the


right side, they are longer off compared with the left side.


There's a deeper wrinkle here if compared with the left side. I tell


you what is really obvious to me. On the right, the eyebrow is lower


than his brow bone. This is significantly longer and then it


goes down passed his lips into the Marion neckline and on the other


side, or you see is that slight line. It is much, much less for


elastic tissue. Exactly. I think that is gruesome! It is gruesome!


Right, can we see Rob? This time, it has been colour-coded so the


green lines are marking the wrinkles. That is not as bad!


interestingly, considering you are younger, don't be depressed, a lot


more wrinkles. Her thank you! lots more of them. There are more


on the right than the left. G fact that one side of their face is


more wrinkled than the other is no surprise to Professor Griffiths.


He's conducted numerous studies into the condition of lorry


drivers' skin. That confirms our previous work. People who are


professional long-distance lorry drivers get a lot of sun exposure


You might think, behind the safety of the windscreen, the drivers are


There's another form of sunlight that does penetrate glass. It's


called UVA. It has a much longer wavelength, allowing it go get much


Job done. And what about you? don't think so. I don't think


that's very fair! I we need a comparison. This is a natural. --


this is not natural. Reluctantly, in the interests of science, I gave


in. And I soon wished I hadn't. That's interesting. If you have


more wrinkles on the right side of your face than the left. That is


amazing. On the left, that is quite a nice picture. I'm not unhappy


with that. My gosh! On the right... You have four more -- far more.


That is probably from everyday driving. It is not just for truck


drivers? Not at all. I have to say I'm truly shocked. I think that


gets the message home. Now you know There's no question that from now


on I'll be slapping on sunscreen when I'm driving. But what kind of


UVA ages UVB burns. Look for five- star UVA rating. I'll be wearing it


Most of us are smart enough to make sure we slap on sunscreen in the


But no matter how diligent you are, slapping on sunscreen isn't


The problem with sunscreen is that it keeps rubbing off. It provides a


protective coating to the skin, but it doesn't penetrate it. Lie down,


touch anyone, or even go in the water, and its protective qualities


But there's a possible solution to this problem that's at the cutting


I've come here to Sharm-el-Sheik on Egypt's Red Sea, because it's one


of the best places in the world to One of the most intriguing and


promising new developments is being unearthed not here, but out there


under the waves. And it has the potential to change summers for


Damaging UVA rays can penetrate So why doesn't everything in the


According to Dr Paul Long, who's one of the world's leading experts


in biochemical adaptation, the answer lies on this stunning coral


It's hard to get your head round, but it's a strange mix of animal


The plant half of the creature gets its energy from the sun, through


And that creates a problem for the Photosynthesis need sunlight, so,


can only live in the first couple of metres of water because


otherwise it will not penetrate through the water column but it is


a double-edged sword. They want to live through photosynthesis but


But the coral isn't in fact actually damaged by the sun. And


that's because the plant half, the algae, makes a sun protection


compound that's passed onto the What we found it is a partnership


between the two of them, so the plant will make a certain compound,


pass it to the animal which will train -- change it to the Sun


screening compound for the benefit of most partners. So both are


Remarkably, coral is the source of sun protection for huge numbers of


Smaller fish get the sun protection compounds from grazing the reef.


Bigger fish from eating the smaller fish. What I want to know is, how


To solve the puzzle, Dr Long invited me out for a special


evening, which involved a close And there's one particular part of


this ocean predator's anatomy he wanted me to look at. We are going


to take out the RA and take out its lines. -- take out the Ivy and take


out its lens. No girl travels without scissors. I will start just


on the outside. That is the cornea coming off. This could get quite


messy. The eyeball is pressurised. I know you are a great surgeon, but


be careful way you make the cut. can feel it now. Just cut the iris.


Oh! Gently. There we go! I told you it was pressurised. Quickly, we


still have got the lens. Unbelievable. Verities. That he's


the lens. -- then it is. So what is in that? What does that do in the


eye of any animal? Lech * like three selling its the retina. --


lets the light through. So it can see through the retina. It will


Lettin UV light. So they need sunglasses. The compounds that are


concentrated in the lens, they filter out the damaging UV Ray


before it hits the retina. This is a super concentrated form of all


the goodness in the Coral? Can I tell you one thing? I do not


normally squeal. That is important But to find out just how much sun


protection there is in the squid's eye, I need to travel back to


London and Dr Long's lab. The lens from the eye of the squid has been


broken down into an extract for analysis. It's then placed in this


It measures how much UV protection the MAAs provide. The results are


displayed on this simple graph. And what it shows is that the compounds


give the squid massive amounts of So ET is absorbing the U V A, so no


more ageing. It is absorbing some of the UVB. Could I get a tan?


But it is protecting me from damaging rays. Sounds like good


stuff to me. What's even more remarkable is that in tests in the


lab, they've found that these compounds appear to be actually


absorbed by skin cells. And that means they can't rub off. Our work


is to see how well using human skins with these compounds, do they


get absorbed in? Rather than slapping it all over like normal


sun cream we have an indelible stain. You've applied only just


once and it would be absorbed into the scheme. Dr Long is confident he


can makes these MAAs into a synthetic sunscreen. Slap it on


once, and you'd be protected all day. But because this sun


protection passes up the food chain, he believes we can get it without a


cream. Not by eating squid's eyes, but by taking a sun protection pill.


Potentially we could manufacture these compounds in to a tablet or


capsule and we should be able to swallow it. I now know that I would


have it every day, not just on holiday, because I want to protect


myself against the raised and I need all the help I can get. -- the


If all goes to plan, Dr Long hopes to have the pill on the market in


And that would be a major leap forward in helping all of us keep


But it's not just in the science of sun protection that radical new


There's another area of research that's uncovering more of the


secrets of how and why our skin wrinkles. And this understanding


holds out the promise that we can The problem is that this important


factor in skin ageing is something we can't live without - oxygen. We


breathe it in every day, but it can Professor John Casey has been


grappling with the problematic connection between oxygen and


ageing for nearly 20 years. Every time we breathe, at 98% of that


oxygen goes to burn the food we are eating and liberate the small


molecules we need for regeneration and it releases lots of energy is


to allow muscles to work. A good thing. But there is maybe one or 2%


of the oxygen that goes down a This small amount of oxygen,


commonly known as free radicals, Over time, the damage starts to


accumulate. And the classic signs Our bodies have a defence mechanism


- it's just not quite efficient So you have a system which is


continually being slightly damaged due to the reaction to oxygen and


another system, sell defence, which is about correcting the damage.


Putting things back to where they should be. So you have a balance.


What happens with ageing? Is the cell systems overwhelmed?


Eventually the accumulation of damaged molecules, dysfunctional


molecules, is always that be greater than the rate at which you


can clear it up. So inexorably, the animal cages. -- ages. Professor


Casey works at Unilever's science park in Bedfordshire. And what he's


investigating is how the signs of ageing that appear on the surface


of our skin are caused by processes This will blow your socks off. A


fantastic set of images. This might look like a computer graphic, but


it is in fact what your skin really looks like. The two layers are easy


to see. The epidermis at the top is shaded dark. The dermis at the


bottom is slightly lighter. This is where collagen, the protein that


helps to keep us looking younger, is made. And at the heart of the


dermis are the cells that produce it. They're called fibroblasts and


they're highlighted in red in this image. They're collagen making


machines. And if you really want to understand how important


fibroblasts are, you have to look at this. Filmed over 24 hours, it


shows a collagen filled with a young person's fibroblasts on the


left, compared with an older They are hardly moving at all, they


are doing their best, but nowhere near as good as the cells from a


young person's skin, as we see here. You can really only see how the


collagen factory works at extreme The object in the centre of the


screen is a fibroblast. The spider's web around it is collagen.


Oh, my goodness. Let's have a look in more detail. It's the fibroblast


that makes the collagen. Crucially, in young, tight skin, the


fibroblast also pulls powerfully It creates a three-dimensional,


tense network of collagen which gives young skin its characteristic


strength and smoothness. With old skin, the connection between the


fibroblasts and collagen breaks As the skin ages, it almost rejects


the collagen, so they start to round up the projections and often


cells start to disappear. The collagen, instead of looking like a


well-sprung network, looks like a Scientists are still trying to work


out exactly how oxygen helps the clock to keep ticking on our ageing


But is it possible to turn back the Can we repair and rejuvenate our


Part of the answer appears to lie Dr Gail Jenkins has been working on


what scientists call oxidative stress for a decade. And she's


convinced what we consume is key to protecting and recharging our


And she has four rules to make life The first rule is always look for


bright colours. And one of the most important of the brightly coloured


fruit and veg is the humble tomato. It's chock full of a very special


ingredient. Tomatoes by an excellent source of lycopene. That


gives it the bright red collar. Excellent at absorbing oxygen and


presenting -- preventing oxidative stress. Rule number two is look for


bitter tasting fruit and veg. Broccoli and radishes are an


excellent source of Clicquot assimilates. By eating these


ingredients and getting them deposited in the skin, you allow


the skin cells to defend itself. An excellent natural source of helping


yourself protect yourself from Time for rule number three - eat


lots of oily fish. Fish is an excellent thing for for skin, it


contains omega 3. You have to choose a certain type of fish. You


are looking for oily fish. Things like mackerel. Why is the mackerel


good for our skin? The omega 3 in the mackerel have been shown that


have anti-inflammatory benefits. They dampen down inflammation in


the skin cells. Anything that dampens down in for mentioned is


good to prevent ageing. -- inflammation. Final rule? Try and


avoid startchy food like rice, But what kind of meal can you make


with these natural anti-ageing, We took the food we bought in the


If I say so myself, very well cooked! But winning the fight


against oxidative stress would severely test the appetites of most


of us. The one big issue is the amount of ingredients. For example,


the broccoli. In terms of the amount of properly you need to get


any benefit, it is about half a kilo a day. A huge amount.


about the fish? The fish levels are not too bad. But in those two


together, you would deliver a significant amount of the omega 3


fatty acids, but it would be two together for one person. If we 85 a


day or fruit, would that cover skin benefits? It would depend on the


portions, but I suspect not. To get the benefit you need from these


particular ingredients, you would need to eat much more. And But


scientists at Unilever believe they've come up with a pill that


could have all the benefits of the diet in a capsule. This is it.


Apparently, everything that's in the anti-oxidant diet is in this


This is the Culture Lab. Just about every skin cell type is growing in


here. Professor Casey and his team have been testing the contents of


the anti-wrinkle pill on older skin They've found fibroblasts that were


dormant begin to reproduce collagen. They then ran a study of the


effects of the pill on 480 middle You can't tell everything from


pictures, but it has a good place pictures, but it has a good place


to start. This is a picture of a woman's eye before taking the pill.


And this is 14 weeks later. What you can see straight away, the


quality of the skin significantly improved. The wrinkles are less


long, and the wrinkles that she does still have are much more


shallow. It might not be much compared to surgery, but it's


We've been working on this for quite a few years. It is only now


that we know this really works in people. We've tested it on hundreds


of women and we are now confident Unilever are planning to publish


their results in a leading peer And that's important. Because other


scientists can test their claims and see if the results are


But what you eat isn't the only new approach to solving the problem of


There's a powerful and radical new science emerging that has the


potential to completely transform It's hard to believe, but one of


the things most of us love to eat is a factor in determining what our


Sugar doesn't just have the potential to make you put on weight,


it can also help to make you look It's incredible to think that it


The effect of sugar on skin ageing has fascinated biologist Dr David


Working with the University of Leiden in Holland, he asked a


random group of people to guess the If you go to a school reunion, why


do some people look younger than they are and others older? We were


very interested in the reasons behind this variation in how old


people look and maybe what the secret work behind how some people


maintain the youthful appearance as they got older. In the study of 600


people, Dr Gunn also measured everyone's blood sugar levels. And


the link between blood and looks We put people into groups based on


their glucose levels. Then we looked at between these groups are


at their perceived age. What was interesting was that the guys in


the High group looked older than those with the average levels and


the average levels looked older again than the guys with the lowest


levels of glucose sugar in their blood. What was fascinating on top


of that is when we bring in the diabetics and looked at their


perceived age, they were older yet again. The diabetics have had the


longest exposure to high levels of glucose. On average, people with


high blood sugar looked around two So does my skin look older than it


Dr Gunn offered to run the test on To do that, he first needs to take


a series of pictures. But there was one small hitch. This is the


photography room. This is where we will take two photographs of


yourself. One thing I notice straightaway is we will have to ask


you to remove your make-up. Are you sure that is necessary? A very


necessary -- necessary, I'm afraid. It can hide how your skin looks.


This is not what I had envisaged. Does it look radically different?


Perfect. Finally, the pictures were taken and adjusted so only my skin


He then mixed up the images with people of a similar skin type and


age to me. And he finished up by So what were the results? What age


do you think people would give you? I daren't give you a figure. In


case I'm wildly out. OK. I can tell you... Are whereas the box of


tissues? We have a box of tissues here. You came out as 34 years of


I was shocked to discover that the panel thought I looked ten years


younger. Up now I want to know your glucose levels. I want to see


whether you have low glucose. If you could show me that, I would be


very interested. I have that here. I want to keep this! This is the


figure. 4.5. OK. You would be counted in the low Group. Indeed,


this supports the data we showed, that people with low glucose 10 to


By So why do high blood sugar levels, amongst other things, help


The answer lies in how the sugar gets attached to the collagen in


Once it gets attached to collagen and makes it more brittle, it makes


it more difficult for the skin to repair itself. Once that occurs,


you are on your way to advance staging of the skin. -- advanced


ageing. Obviously, cutting back on the sugars in our diet is one


factor in looking younger. That might help to hold back the ageing


process, but is there anything we can do to reverse it? And make our


ageing sugar damaged skin look Our understanding of the power of


sugar is totally transforming our view on skin ageing. It's also


creating a whole new branch of science. And I think this science,


probably more than anything, holds out the tantalising possibility of


giving us the tools to help us look Babb the centre of this new science


It's called Light Co biology, the study of complex issues which


scientists called liking. Our understanding of the power of sugar


is totally transforming our view on skin ageing. It's also creating a


whole new branch of science. The incredible power of this biology is


being on the brink of being realised and it starts with this,


the mosquito. And of the disease which is the scourge of the


It might seem improbable, but using glycobiology to find a vaccine for


malaria holds vital clues for solving the puzzle of how to make


The most ground-breaking work on glycobiology is being done here at


the world famous Max Planck Institute. I'm slightly humbled to


I'm here to meet Professor Peter Seeburger. He's in charge of the


cutting edge research programme and believes that the science of


glycans has enormous untapped It has only been in the last couple


of years the people really understood the importance of the


Kuli cans and we are seeing a huge Glycans are found all over the


And without them, our cells couldn't talk to one another. To me,


they're like a kind of essential social network. Messages for


everything from making organs to growing hair can only be sent when


the glycans are attached. Block that connection, and the dialogue


Inspired, Professor Seeburger used this insight to make a vaccine for


malaria. He invented a revolutionary technique that


enabled him to switch off the glycan that allowed the malaria


parasite into our cells. parasite cannot survive without it.


But it is really important in the life cycle and there is another


aspect of the work. We do not try to kill the parasite. We only block


the toxin. So the parasite is still there, but it no longer causes any


symptoms or bad effects on the host? That's right. I'm really


astonished to discover that in tests, the vaccine has proved 100%


effective. So, the painstaking work carried out in these labs could end


up saving millions of lives all And cracking the code of how our


cells talk to each other is radically altering our


understanding of how and why our skin ages. In a young person's skin,


it is different to an old person. So the question is what happens


with the communication between cells. The interesting part is that


we found that if they Gallwey, the interaction can't happen any more,


and that leads to all sorts of So, a breakdown in this


communication appears to be a key I suppose it was only a matter of


time before the huge potential of this new language of life was used


to see how it could help us all The focus of this research isn't


here in Berlin, but in the fashion I'd secretly hoped that this


investigation between glycans and looking younger would be being


conducted near the Boulevard St Germain, the Champs Elysee or any


of the other celebrated fashion districts of the capital, but my


I had to leave it behind and make Out here, amongst the warehouses


and small industrial units are the They've been working with


glycobiology to see if it can be used to make skin look younger. Of


all of the cosmetics companies, The man leading the project is Dr


For him, glycans are on the verge Like towns are involved in all


Major biological processes, and in all human tissues. That includes


skiing, of course. Without them, we cannot live. -- that includes


L'Oreal lead the world in manufacturing synthetic skin.


They've even managed to create the two separate layers of the skin,


the dermis and the epidermis, in the lab. And what they're


investigating is how these two layers are connected. How they talk


to each other. That communication takes place in the epidermal


But as we get older, our glycans The messages to keep making the


vital collagen don't get sent and What L'Oreal claim is that, in the


lab, they've been able to switch ageing glycans back on, restoring


the dialogue between the dermis and We have shown that when you treat


the skin, you are able to restore the quality of the dermatological


junction. In other words, you restore the quality of the dialogue


between epidermis, and Gomis. This is the key. -- and dermis. L'Oreal


have used that science to make a cream. Which they claim increases


the number of glycans in the That should restore deflated


collagen, eliminate sagging and The woman in me is obviously very


excited, but the surgeon in me is sceptical. And that's because most


cosmetic creams just don't penetrate deep enough, or contain


enough active ingredients. But maybe gylcans can reach the parts


other cosmetic creams can't. L'Oreal have conducted a series of


tests on real skin and I'm going to Looking at this dermatology trial


of patients before and one month after using the product, what you


can see in this classic crow's feet view is that the lines are


And the skin quality certainly seems to have improved around this.


This is the very difficult under eye area where the skin is really


thin. And I've not seen results this good even with


microdermabrasion or with laser Before you think of buying this


cream, this study only featured 60 women. And it hasn't been published


in a peer reviewed journal. It's promising, but I'd like to see more


data to convince me. What I'm really interested in is the power


of the fundamental science that lies behind it. Science that


Professor Peter Seeburger, who's a consultant for L'Oreal, has helped


to pioneer. Being cynical, in the beginning I was worried about the


level of any signs done at a cosmetic company, but I learnt that


it is good basic science and they have people there who have been


doing this biology for 25 years in some cases. They are employing the


same techniques as you would find If we're being honest, I think a


lot of us would like to look younger if we could. But time only


flows in one direction. And its As a surgeon, I used to think that


the only way to staunch the flow was with a scalpel. But I know it


is not the only answer. I didn't know what to expect when I started


out on this journey. The influence of diet on skin ageing was a real


eye opener. But it's made me much more thoughtful about what I eat. I


was also pretty disappointed at just how strong and direct an


effect sun exposure has on wrinkles. But I'm really hopeful that the new


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