What Causes Wrinkles?
The cause of wrinkles is a combination of factors. Exposure to sunlight is often cited as the major cause. The term is referred to as photo-aging.
Photo-aging in human skin is caused by the activity of free radical molecules. Free radicals are naturally present in the skin, but the amount is low and there activity doesn’t do much damage. In young skin, there are lots of antioxidants around to neutralize free radicals before they can do any damage.
When you are out in the sun, UV rays of light cause the number of free radicals in your skin to increase. UV light also excites the radicals causing them to be more active and do more damage.
After you pass the age of 40, your skin’s antioxidant content is lower. So, there is an even greater chance that free radical damage will occur. Often the first thing you see is uneven pigmentation or spots on your skin that look like oddly shaped light colored freckles.
Smoking cigarettes or being around any kind of smoke also causes the number of free radicals in your skin to increase. Cigarette smoke actually contains free radicals. So, smoking is a cause of wrinkled skin.
Other things happen with age, too. Collagen and elastin production decreases with age, which means that your skin looks less firm and more wrinkled.
Your skin’s cells are naturally sloughed off and replaced over the course of your lifetime. As we age, our bodies produce fewer new cells. The skin cell turnover rate is lower. Fewer cells are produced, so your skin is thinner.
The amount of an important compound called hyaluronic acid decreases with age. Hyaluronic acid plays a role in the production of new cells and also keeps your skin looking firm and feeling moist. Excessive dryness is another factor that contributes to wrinkle formation.
Inflammation is yet another factor. Inflammation is a necessary immune system function, but it has gotten a lot of attention lately. It seems that many people suffer from silent chronic inflammation.
This type of inflammation plays a role in cancer and heart disease. It is also a factor that contributes to wrinkles. The damage done by inflammation is similar to that done by free radicals.
One more cause was recently identified in a scientific study. Molecules called Advanced Glycation End-products or AGEs form in the bloodstream due to a chain reaction that starts with spikes in blood sugar levels. AGEs were recently identified as a cause of wrinkled skin.
Genetics may also be involved. People with lighter complexions tend to be more likely to show the signs of photo-aging.
Finally, there are habitual facial expressions. Squinting tends to cause crow’s feet, lines at the corners of the eyes. People who smoke cigarettes tend to get vertical lines above their upper lips caused by the way that they purse their lips to inhale the smoke.
How to Prevent Wrinkles
Preventing wrinkles completely may be impossible. There are some issues, such as genetics that you simply cannot address. But there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of having deep unsightly lines when you get older.
Protecting your skin from the sun can prevent photo-aging and may reduce your risk of certain kinds of skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen is not enough, especially when it comes to your face.
Wear a hat with a wide brim and wear UV-blocking sunglasses that are large enough to protect the corners of your eyes.
Wearing sunglasses can also reduce how much you squint. Once you pass the age of 40, you may also need reading glasses. Keeping your eyeglass or contact lens prescription up to date could also keep you from squinting.
Smoking cigarettes is obviously something that you should not do.
To keep inflammation to a minimum, you can follow a more anti-inflammatory diet and avoid skincare products that contain irritants. If something causes your skin to look red, it should be avoided. Red skin is a symptom of inflammation. The production of AGEs can also be addressed through a healthy diet.
You should use a good facial moisturizer every day to prevent dryness. Just avoid the ones that contain petrolatum. Some dermatologists say that petrolatum in excess may lead to premature skin aging.
Those things that naturally occur with age…decreased collagen and elastin production, decreases skin cell production and low levels of hyaluronic acid…may seem inevitable. But there are new ingredients in anti-aging skincare products on the market that can address those issues too. If you keep reading, you’ll learn about the ingredients later. They may be more effective than anything else for the prevention of wrinkles.
The Solution for Getting Rid of Wrinkles Many of the preventative measures can also help your body to repair the damage that caused your wrinkles to appear. For example, protecting your skin from sunlight can help with prevention and repair. There are also solutions that help to speed the body’s repair process. You’ll learn about those under the home remedies and ingredients sections that follow.
Here in this section, you will learn about some other things that will help you get rid of fine lines, sagging and wrinkled skin without resorting to cosmetic surgery.
Eating salmon is one suggestion that might work. Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone calls it the facelift diet. Salmon contains protein needed to make new skin cells and fibers. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids that could make your skin firmer.
Omega-3 fish oil might also help. People who participated in a study had a 10% increase in skin firmness after 3 months of taking a daily fish oil supplement. With improved firmness, wrinkles may “stretch” out. That’s how the older face lifts and the newer wrinkle filling injections work.
In addition to following a diet that keeps inflammation in your body to a minimum, you can also take supplements containing anti-inflammatory ingredients like curcumin. Omega-3 fish oil is also high in anti-inflammatory activity.
A diet that reduces the production of AGEs in your body could make you look younger. The chain reaction begins with the consumption of simple carbohydrates like sugar and white bread. There is a nutrient called carnosine that works to prevent the formation of AGEs. You can find the ingredient in some of the better anti-aging supplements.
Eating more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables will help to keep your skin’s antioxidant level high. A good anti-aging dietary supplement will contain numerous antioxidants.
Studies have shown that applying creams containing certain antioxidants directly to the skin is effective for reversing wrinkles, sun damage and photo-aging. You’ll learn about those antioxidants in the ingredients section of this page.
Home Remedies for Wrinkles
This mask contains ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen. You can give it a try while you are waiting on your anti-aging skincare products to arrive. The effect may not be immediate or as dramatic as an injection, but the ingredients are certainly safe and could improve your skin’s health.
- 1 medium over-ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Peel the avocado and remove the pit.
- Mash the fruit by hand or in a blender.
- Mix in the olive oil and honey until the ingredients are well blended.
- Apply the mixture to your face and neck.
- Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water.
Why this works:
The avocado contains oils that stimulate collagen production. Olive oil is a natural moisturizer. Both ingredients contain vitamin E, which may help prevent age spots and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Honey has a number of properties including antioxidant activity. Avocado and olive oil also contain antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that promote skin firmness.
Ingredients that Work Better Than the Home Remedies
Manufactures of skincare products have tested many of the home remedies for wrinkles and found ways to make them work even better. They have also found compounds that exist in nature in small quantities and learned how to concentrate them.
For example, concentrated natural vitamin E is more effective for skin repair than oils that contain vitamin E.
Here are some of the other ingredients to look for.
- Bioactive Keratin—shown to stimulate the production of new skin cells, improve skin firmness and improve moisture content; has anti-inflammatory activity and causes an increase in the skin’s antioxidant content; found only in the better anti-aging skincare products
- Active manuka honey—has more antioxidant activity than any other variety of honey; stimulates the immune system and helps to heal blemishes; found in anti-aging night creams and under-eye serums
- Avocado oil—extracting and concentrating the oils causes them to work better than mashed avocado; shown in one study to increase the amount of collagen in the skin making it firmer and less transparent
- Shea butter—has natural anti-inflammatory activity; moisturizes and smoothes out wrinkles; found in anti-aging night creams
- Phytessence wakame—shown to raise the skin’s hyaluronic acid content; rich in antioxidants that prevent and repair free radical damage
- Nano-lipobelle HEQ10—a special form of coenzyme Q10 designed to penetrate into the skin’s layers to repair free radical damage; shown to reverse sun damage, premature aging and wrinkles; found in anti-aging day creams, night creams and under-eye serum.
There are many so-called anti-aging ingredients. These six are the ones with proven effectiveness. They are all natural ingredients that will not cause irritation or inflammation and they work fast.
The 42% increase in firmness caused by bioactive keratin was seen after only 18 days of use. Bioactive keratin also has an immediately noticeable effect. It makes wrinkles “look” less deep. Try it and see the difference.