They say wisdom comes with age… but unfortunately, so do wrinkles! Why do we all eventually get wrinkles? Wrinkles are a natural consequence of aging skin, affected in part by sun exposure and other factors. Especially as frequent denizen in Beverly Hills, and Venice. But do not lose hope! From advanced skincare products and chemical peels to micro-needling and laser treatments, there are many effective options. Keep in mind the best results will come from the use of more than one treatment modality. Here are Skinstyle’s TOP 10 wrinkle causing tips. For our fixes for youthful, smoother skin get our wrinkle fix guide.
#1. SUN DAMAGE
Did fun in the sun leave you with thickened, rough, wrinkly skin? Overall, exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight contributes to ~90% of premature skin aging, including wrinkles, splotchy pigmentation, visible blood vessels, and rough, loose skin. UV radiation induces free radicals and then depresses our skin’s natural defense mechanisms (antioxidants) against these damaging molecules. Prevention is key, so don’t forget to use sunscreen daily even if you’re not planning on being out in the sun (UVA goes through windows and clouds…)! “People who use sunscreen daily show 24% less skin aging than those who don’t use sunscreen daily” (not to mention sunburns and skin cancer), according to a recently study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. At Skinstyle, we favor “physical blockers” (commonly referred to as “mineral” or “natural” sunscreens) which contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide that effectively block your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Young skin has plenty of healthy collagen and elastin. This allows it to stretch and recoil over attached muscles as they move. Thinned, old skin loses this important ability and eventually, it cracks (like a stress fracture). As we get older, the connections between skin and muscles stretch out, causing the skin to sag. GRAVITY pulls everything down, and the sagging causes even more wrinkles, the formation of jowls, and drooping eyelids, etc.
#3. DRY SKIN
Is it true that dry skin causes wrinkles? No! But it most certainly accentuates them. As our skin ages, the oil-secreting glands shrink and leave skin without a protective layer of fat. As more water is lost through the skin it becomes dry and scaly. We know what you’re all thinking… “I’ll just drink more water!” Unfortunately, while its important to stay hydrated, drinking more than the recommended amount of water a day will not magically erase wrinkles.
#4. THIN SKIN
As we age, the cells in our body divide less often. Our skin is no exception to this rule. The result is that the valuable inner layer of the skin (the dermis) starts to thin. At the same time, age and changing hormones also result in a decreased production of collagen, the elastic “glue” in our skin.
#5. SUGAR, SUGAR
There’s no sugar-coating this sour fact: A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that consuming too much sugar is as damaging to your skin as it is to the rest of your body. When sugar enters your bloodstream it attaches to proteins and forms harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs, how appropriate!). Two of the proteins most susceptible to glycation are collagen and elastin, which give your skin its elasticity and plumpness. When bonded to excess sugar, these normally resilient fibers become stiff and inflexible – eventually leading to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
#6. INEFFECTIVE SKIN REPAIR
The ability of skin to repair itself decreases with age (as do so many other things!), so wounds heal more slowly. This leaves thinning, aged skin more vulnerable to injuries and damage.
The simplest fix in the pursuit of skin perfection: give up (or significantly cut back on) alcohol! Alcohol causes a huge amount of damage to the skin. First, it dehydrates the skin, which over years can result in premature aging, wrinkles, and loss of collagen. Second, it inflames the tissue and creates a histamine reaction that results in flushing. At first this occurs only when you drink, but over time, if you continue drinking – it can result in permanent facial redness.
#8. LINES OF FACIAL EXPRESSION
Frown lines (“11’s” between the eyebrows) and crow’s feet (lines at the outer corners of the eyes) are examples of the characteristic lines produced by facial expression and repetitive use of small muscles. Initially, you see the wrinkles only when you move the muscles. Eventually, the wrinkles become permanent. But don’t let this stop you from smiling!
In simple terms, free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are created when our bodies use oxygen, for example during metabolism. Our body is designed to handle these types of free radicals without a problem. However, additional free radicals created through exposure to smoking (as well as pollution, excessive amounts of sunlight, alcohol, and stress…) are much harder on the body and importantly, the skin. The free radicals produced by smoking result in higher levels of metalloproteinases which are enzymes that break down precious collagen and are associated with wrinkles.
We’ve heard it all before. Its no surprise that a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you live a less wrinkly life, longer.