UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences


L’Oréal and UCL: taking a closer look at skin ageing

How age impacts on our skin is poorly understood. Working with beauty powerhouse L’Oréal, we used revolutionary technology to make striking discoveries.


21 October 2020

The global skincare market was worth around $141bn in 2019. But, with an increasingly elderly population, how age affects our bodies is more than a matter of aesthetics. Skin, our largest organ, protects us, regulates body temperature and allows us to experience sensations such as cold, heat and touch. 

Dr Laurent Bozec (Eastman Dental Institute) led a team of experts across UCL to research age-related changes on the skin. As we grow older, there are visible differences. However, Dr Bozec wanted to explore those changes to the structure and function of the skin on a molecular level. Collagen is the fundamental building block of the human body: the project focused on how ageing affects this critical structural component. Researchers used novel, proprietary technology to study collagen at the nanoscale, working at about one-tenth the size of a human hair.

The findings revealed structural and mechanical differences between young and older skin. They also shed light on the influence of water in collagen on the ageing process. What began as a feasibility study became a major research opportunity.

UCL Consultants, part of Innovation & Enterprise, was instrumental in setting up the collaboration.

Read more: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/consultants/case-studies/2018/jan/ucl-researchers-look-little-deeper-skin-ageing-0