Everything you need to know about wrinkles

It’s true, wrinkles are an inevitable consequence of age...sort of. Everyone gets at least some wrinkles eventually, but when they happen and how visible they are depends on many factors. Some people see fine lines develop as early as their mid-twenties, while others get to their forties without so much as a crow’s foot.

The basic process of skin deterioration is universal. It becomes thinner, drier, and less able to bounce back from movements like smiling and scowling, and eventually permanent folds develop that mark our most frequent expressions. That’s because the skin produces less collagen and elastin as we age, and the glands that keep it moisturized don’t work as smoothly.

The bad news is that you can’t prevent this from happening...but the good news is that you can slow it down with the right skin care. Are you doing everything you can to put the brakes on your skin’s biological clock? Read on to find out.

Sun exposure is the major culprit

Damage from UV rays builds up over time and can never be truly erased. Even tans and sunburns from childhood affect your adult skin and its ability to age gracefully.

Light skin is at higher risk

People with little skin pigment are at higher risk for sun damage. With no protective color, the skin burns quickly, even within ten minutes.

Your genes matter too

Some families simply wrinkle faster. Don’t worry about this too much, thoughtwin studies show that other factors, especially sun exposure, matter a lot more.

Smokers age quicker

The nicotine in cigarettes is the villain here. It causes surface-level blood vessels to narrow, restricting the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. The normal regenerative processes are chronically slowed, and the wear and tear adds up quickly.

Trade your gum for reading glasses

Remember how wrinkles show our repetitive facial movements? The more of these you have, the more opportunities to create wrinkles. Continual gum chewing can have this effect, as can habits like constant squinting or scowling. Switch the gum for breath mints or spray, and try to relax those facial muscles.

Sleep position matters

Smashing your face into a pillow all night long is a great way to make creases, not smooth them. If you sleep on your stomach, try to switch to your side, or better yet, your back. Your skinand probably your neck, toowill thank you.

Skip dessert

Refined sugar is basically just bad all around. It’s not only the main driver of obesity and related health problems, like diabetes and heart disease, but it also drives skin deterioration by damaging collagen and elastin. Best to leave it on the table.

Raise the screen, or shut it off

How much time do you spend looking down at your phone, or at a laptop screen? That head angle isn’t doing anything good for the lines your neck and chin. It creates folds that will quickly turn to wrinkles--the more screen time, the faster. So lift up your screen, or just put it down altogether.

Now that you know how to prevent wrinkles, the question is: how do you smooth out the ones you already have? Stay tuned for the answer in our next post.


Rob Taormina