As we grow older, life throws us many challenges, but with every passing year, there’s also the opportunity to experience life’s many rewards. We grow wiser, discover new talents and passions, and develop a stronger sense of self. It’s a natural process that many embrace.
Wrinkles are, however, the one result of growing older that no one wants to face.
Fine lines and wrinkles are caused by the thinning of the dermis, the thick middle layer of the skin that is composed of blood capillaries, collagen fibers, and elastin which help keep the skin looking supple and youthful. Over time, the deterioration of this later causes the skin to become looser with a reduced ability to rejuvenate structures back into their healthy state. The result is fine lines and wrinkles.
Studies have shown that there are two different types of wrinkles; dynamic and static. Dynamic wrinkles, which are only visible during facial movements, can begin to become visible in the late twenties to early thirties. These are the fine lines that pop up around the eyes when we squint or the cheek creases that appear when we smile.
Static wrinkles, which develop later in life, stick around even when your face is at rest. These wrinkles begin in the early to mid-thirties, but these wrinkles can develop earlier due to certain environmental, genetic, and behavioral factors.
Though it’s a natural sign of aging, developing fine lines and wrinkles is disheartening no matter what your age. The good news is that there are several proactive measures that can be taken to help smooth out the situation and prevent the development of premature wrinkles.
There are external factors beyond our control that cause early-onset lines and wrinkles to appear like genetics and illness, but there is a multitude of preventable factors as well, including:
- Sun overexposure
- Lack of Sleep
- Sleep Positions
Blame it on the Sunshine
We all know to apply sunscreen when we’re spending a day poolside or heading out for some family time in the sun. Doctors have recently discovered that sunscreen with SPF 30 or more also protects skin from the rays that we’re exposed to every day, even when we’re not basking at the beach.
The rays that are damaging to the skin are the UV (Ultraviolet) rays. The UVB rays are the ones that are responsible for sunburn and the deadliest skin cancer, melanoma. UVA rays, on the other hand, penetrate the skin more deeply and are the ones that are the primary cause of premature wrinkles. There are 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight than UVB rays, so if you think you’re safe from skin damage because you’re not getting a sunburn, it’s time to see the light. If you only wear sunscreen on days spent by the pool or at the beach, you’re not protecting your skin from the damaging rays that cause premature wrinkles. Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, even when not directly exposed to the sun, helps prevent premature wrinkles, so it’s also important to remember, sunscreen is not just for a day at the beach.
Water isn’t just important for keeping plants healthy. Studies have shown a direct correlation between dehydration and wrinkles.
On the outside, water cleans us, calms us, and refreshes us. On the inside, water sustains us. An adequate amount of water prevents the skin from becoming dehydrated. Without a sufficient daily dose, the skin is unable to fulfill its functions as a natural barrier. It appears duller, and wrinkles and pores become more prominent. The lines and wrinkles we see are evidence that the body is lacking this life-sustaining element.
Studies have shown that drinking between 8 and 10 glasses of water every day increases blood flow to the skin. Proper hydration levels help the skin to appear plumper and have more elasticity, making it less likely to crack.
Clear the Air
Pollution caused by cars, smoke, and other environmental factors could be messing with your skin. Free radicals, unstable electrons that seek out other unstable electrons in the body, cause damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. When this happens, it causes damage to the skin and that damage creates the perfect storm for wrinkles to form.
When You Booze, You Lose
This goes back to the hydration issue. First and foremost, alcohol dehydrates by acting as a diuretic. Paradoxically, it also causes fluid retention in the delicate eye area which leads to puffy eyes.
Dehydration of the skin caused by alcohol consumption leads to dull and listless skin and can also interfere with the skin’s natural antioxidant defenses, which allows free radicals to easily affect the epidermis. It is recommended to limit alcohol consumption and uses an antioxidant serum to combat the effects when it is consumed.
Stress a Little Less
Stress is detrimental to our mental and spiritual well-being, but it’s equally damaging to the body. Stress is a widely known cause of many serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, but it has also been found to be a leading cause of premature wrinkles. High-stress levels and lack of sleep are a lethal combination causing poor skin health and early wrinkles. This is due to high cortisol levels, which take a huge toll on your skin’s connective tissues. To get things under control, regular exercise and taking more time for yourself are great ways to combat stress.
Break the Habit
Next to sun exposure, smoking is one of the greatest sources of voluntary exposure to free radicals which can lead to wrinkles under the eyes before age 20. The same thing applies to smokers as it does to those exposed to pollution. Free radicals attach to the body, breaking down DNA and RNA, leading to inflammation and skin damage.
The best thing to do is to never start smoking, but the next best thing is to get into the habit of avoiding any exposure to smoke, including secondhand, as soon as possible.
So, we advise that it’s best to break the habit as soon as possible before your youthful looks go up in smoke!
Sleep on It
In a perfect world, everyone would go to bed at 10 pm and sleep soundly until 6 am. But most people admit spending eight hours every night in dreamland is more like a pipe dream than a reality.
While it is often difficult to take time for ourselves with hectic work schedules and family obligations, it is crucial for our overall well-being, and especially for the well-being of our skin to get a good night’s sleep every night.
Though we can’t always be sleeping beauties, it’s important to try our best to maintain a regular sleep schedule that includes at least 7 hours a night. Skin is the largest organ in the body and needs time to rejuvenate itself. So, try your best to sleep on it and get as much rest as you can to avoid premature aging.
In addition to the amount of time you sleep, experts have also discovered that the way you sleep might also be a contributing factor in the early aging process. Stomach sleeping has been found to be a cause of wrinkles in the late twenties and early thirties.
This is because of the long amount of time your face is pressed into a pillow. Because of this simple-to-solve solution, experts suggest sleeping on your back might be where it’s at. So, next time you’re about to drift off to dreamland, turn over a new leaf and sleep on your back.
It’s perfectly normal to indulge in some sweets from time to time, but if your taste for sugary treats gets out of control, your skin might not be reaping the sweet rewards. While it might have been fun to enjoy ice cream and candy when you were a child, overindulging in sugary snacks once you reach adulthood could lead to premature wrinkles.
A diet high in sugar leads to poor skin nutrition and premature aging. This is because of a process called glycation which occurs in the skin when blood sugar levels are high. During this process, sugar molecules in your bloodstream attach to collagen causing it to break down over time.
It’s that breakdown in collagen that can lead to premature fine lines around the eyes and mouth and deeper wrinkles on the forehead. Eating healthy might not always be a piece of cake but doing your best to keep sugar intake at a minimum.
Never Too Late
The good news is, in addition to the many preventative methods previously discussed, there are ways to erase the damage that’s already done.
At Specialist Skin Solutions, we offer a full range of treatments from skin lasers, skin needling, medical-grade skin peels, and microdermabrasion to erase fine lines and wrinkles and leave your skin glowing.
Anti-wrinkle injections work to relax and weaken the muscles in the face that are responsible for fine lines and deep wrinkles.
A safe and effective way to reverse the signs of aging, anti-wrinkle treatments usually take full effect within 1 to 2 weeks. It is a non-permanent treatment and results generally last between 3 to 4 months.
In addition to anti-wrinkle injections, derma fillers work to restore volume, soften and fill lines, contour cheeks, and rejuvenate the complexion. Dermal Filler is a medical injectable gel made from hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance already found in your body that attracts and binds water, helping the skin stay plump and hydrated.
Like anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers are not permanent but results can last longer, from 6 to 18 months, depending on the area treated and the product used. Dermal fillers are used on a wide range of lines, creases, and hollows in the skin including lip lines (sometimes called smokers’ lines) and marionette lines (the lines from the sides of the mouth down to the bottom of the jaw.)
There’s a lot of information to digest, which is why we suggest that you contact us to learn more about the safe and effective options we offer at Specialist Skin Solutions. We believe in educating our clients which is why a thorough consultation takes place prior to treatment. At this time we will discuss which areas of your skin you’re concerned with and which product works best.
It’s never too late to turn back the hands of time and put early onset lines and wrinkles in the rearview window.