Skin aging, wrinkles may be linked to bacteria on your face, study suggests

FILE - A hollow pen-like tube powered by a small high-voltage battery is used to inject 'embryo serum' into a patient's skin to reduce wrinkles. (Keystone/Getty Images)

It’s not new that external factors such as UV rays and personal habits such as smoking can accelerate the signs of skin aging and wrinkles, but new research has shown there may be a new culprit linked to signs of skin aging and it’s already on your body. 

Researchers at the Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) at the University of California San Diego and L'Oréal Research and Innovation have found that the microorganisms that live on your skin could be associated with wrinkles as well as transepidermal water loss. 

"Our skin also changes physiologically with age; for example, we gain wrinkles and our skin gets drier. But there is variation in what this looks like in people —you've probably noticed that there are some people who have younger or older looking skin than many others their age. Using advanced statistical methods, we were able to tease apart the microbes that are associated with these types of aging signs for skin, like crow's feet wrinkles, from those that are associated with simply age as a chronological number," said Se Jin Song, the CMI director of research and co-author of the study. 

The study, published in Frontiers in Aging on Jan. 11, observed data from 13 different studies that were carried out by L'Oréal, according to a university news release. 

Clinical data collected from over 650 female participants between the ages of 18-70 found that specific bacteria, in addition to other variables, appeared to contribute to crow’s feet wrinkles as well as the skin’s ability to retain moisture. 

Researchers said further study is needed to pinpoint which microorganisms are contributing to these two skin-aging factors. 

"While the study's findings represent an advance of our knowledge of the skin microbiome, we view them as just the beginning of a new phase of research," said co-author Rob Knight, the CMI faculty director and professor of pediatrics, bioengineering, computer science & engineering and data science at UC San Diego. "By confirming a link between the microbiome and skin health, we've laid the groundwork for further studies that discover specific microbiome biomarkers related to skin aging, and, one day, show how to modify them to generate novel and highly targeted recommendations for skin health."

The study was funded by L'Oréal Research and Innovation and CMI UC San Diego. \

This story was reported from Los Angeles.