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Skin Res Technol. 2011 May;17(2):141-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0846.2010.00486.x. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Age-related changes in skin mechanical properties: a quantitative evaluation of 120 female subjects.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Division of Cosmetic Science, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.



The most commonly used method to determine the mechanical ability of skin is the creep test using suction chamber devices. Until now, there is no scientific consensus upon which skin deformation parameters and which body sites are particularly suitable to describe age-related changes in human skin mechanics. The aim of this study was to find those mechanical skin parameters best representing influence of aging at five different body sites.


A total of 120 healthy women aged 18-65, divided into four similar age groups, were included in this study. The biomechanical properties of the skin were measured using the CutometerĀ® MPA 580 on five body sites: cheek, neck, cleavage, volar forearm and back of the hand. In order to analyze parameters referred to 1 mm skin thickness, we also used 20 MHz sonography (DUB 20).


A high average correlation with age was found for the parameters U(a)/U(f), U(r)/U(e), U(r), U(r)/U(f) and U(a). Only low correlation with age was found for the parameters U(v)/U(e), U(f)-U(a), U(f5)/U(f), U(d)/U(f) and U(a5). The localizations cheek, forearm and neck showed the highest correlation with age, while cleavage showed only low correlation.


According to the results of our study, we recommend the parameter ratio of elastic recovery to distensibility (U(r)/U(f) ) as well as the gross elasticity (U(a)/U(f)) for evaluation of aging effects on the mechanical properties of skin. Their high correlation with age makes them particularly applicable to represent the influence of aging onto skin mechanical properties. Most suitable localizations to evaluate skin aging are cheek, forearm and neck.

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