Skin Science & Anatomy | Ageing

Are Telomeres the Next Anti Wrinkle Cure

Anti Ageing is big business.

With discoveries in genetics coming to the forefront.

Could it be that we are closer than ever, in unravelling the secret of the key to eternal youth?

Skin is a self-renewing tissue, that is required to go through extensive proliferation throughout its lifespan.

It seems that telomeres help with this and indeed reverses many of the signs of premature ageing.

telomeres and anti aging

Telomeres discovery

In 2009 three scientists were awarded the Nobel peace prize, for their contribution into the research on chromosomes.

This research led them to solve a major biological problem; they discovered that chromosomes could be copied and protected during cellular division, which they do through an enzyme referred to as telomeres, which prevents cellular degradation and stops ageing in its tracks.

These scientists discovered that the solution was to be found at the ends of DNA structures, known as Telomeres; long thread-like DNA molecules that carry our genes packed into chromosomes, telomeres are the caps that sit at the end of each of our chromosomes.

The scientists discovered another interesting enzyme – telomerase. The role of this enzyme is to protect the telomere enzymes from ageing.

What is the role of telomeres?

Telomere shortening acts as a mitotic clock that prevents the proliferation of such diseases like cancer; a consequence of this protection is cellular senescence and ageing. The telomerase enzyme complex maintains telomere length in germlike cells and cancer cells, and it is also active in the epidermis – your skins outer layer of the skin.

Increasing evidence indicates that telomerase plays a significant role in the maintenance of your skin function and proliferation.

These telomeres act like tiny bookends, protecting your DNA and preventing genetic code from unravelling. For many years, this was their only role, but this latest discovery has found, that these structures actually prevent cellular degradation in your skin; scientists also noticed that cells stop replicating as telomeres get shorter.

When a cell stops duplicating, it enters a steady decline period known as cell senescence or cell death. So the length of a cell’s telomere will actually determine the cell’s age, and how many times it will replicate.


One scientist leading the forefront in this research has identified yet another enzyme known as teprenone. It is thought that teprenone can help halt the ageing of your skin’s DNA, actively delaying the telomeres’ shortening. This means the enzyme could extend your skins cells’ life span, literally slowing down the ageing process and physically delaying the shortening of telomeres.

The other role of teprenone is to protect your skin’s DNA and much of the destructive effects that come with age.


Every cell in your body has the genetic code to make telomeres; the problem is that as we age, these telomeres naturally diminish.

To date, telomeres are the closest scientists have come to identify the biological clock; this new information means that excitingly, we are one step closer to understanding the mechanism of ageing and exactly how to influence it to prevent ageing in the future.

This latest groundbreaking research does offer a glimmer of hope in finding a natural cure for ageing and identifying these enzymes, it has certainly opened the door to further scientific research and the role these have on the ageing process, in the hope that one day, we truly will be able to unlock the key to longevity.

If you are interested in reading more about ageing, and how our skin works on a cellular level, follow this link.

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