What Causes Wrinkles? …& what can we do to help

There are many factors that contribute to the lines and wrinkles that we developed over the years. Some contributors are out of are control, while others are from our own lifestyle circumstances and choices.

As we age our skin gets thinner, less elastic and drier. It also becomes less able to protect itself from damage.

When we are young, our skin springs back. HOWEVER -as we get older our skin looses collagen and it’s flexibility. Springing back becomes harder, resulting in permanent  (at rest) lines and wrinkles.

Types of Wrinkles

FINE SUPERFICAL LINES

These finer lines increase when our skin is dehydrated, sun damaged, or if your a smoker. They can also occur due to our sleep position.

DEEP WRINKLES

Every time our facial muscles move (when we speak or make facial expressions such as frowning) our skin moves too. This is called ‘dynamic movement’ – producing dynamic wrinkles. Overtime, dynamic wrinkles will turn into ‘static lines’. This means they are permanently etched in our skin.

In addition, the loss of volume (mainly fat cells) under our skin means there is less ‘support’. This is a natural part of aging and leads to increased wrinkling and sagging.

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A number of avoidable lifestyle and environmental factors also contribute to the development of lines and wrinkles.

Smoking
Tobacco contains loads of toxins including;- carbon monoxide, nicotine, formaldehyde, mercury, lead and tar. These chemicals damage collagen and elastin within the skin. They also cause blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Skin is then less able to rejuvenate and repair itself. In addition to this, constantly squinting to avoid getting cigaret smoke in the eyes, and puckering the lips = lines around the eyes and mouth. See 5 of the worst things you can do for your skin.

The sun
Sun exposure is a major cause of wrinkles, especially for fair-skinned people.

Our sleep position
Sleep creases result from the way the head is positioned on the pillow and may become more visible after our skin starts losing its elasticity. Lying predominantly ‘face-down’ is typically the culprit. So trying to change sleep position can improve these sleep creases, or at least prevent them from becoming worse.

Dehydrated skin
As we age, it becomes harder for our skin to maintain its moisture levels. It also becomes increasingly common for our skins ‘lipid barrier’ to become impaired. This then leads to moisture loss / dehydration. The Skin also becomes more susceptible to bacteria and pollutants penetrating the impaired barrier.  Several factors can lead to dehydrated skin such as:-

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What can help slow down the aging process

1) Protect your skin from the sun
– slip slop slap and include SPF in your day Cream

2) Don’t smoke
3) Choose skincare formulas rich in active anti-aging  ingredients eg retinol

3) Avoid dry dehydrated skin
Avoid long hot showers which draws moisture out of your skin. Avoid harsh cleansers. Change your skincare products to suit your aging skin, see multi-med therapy and  Active Hydration Serum

4) Smarten up your diet
Increase your fatty acid intake. Omega 3’s and Omega 6 help boost the skins barrier -which keeps moisture in and irritants out. Good sources include salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, Sea buckthorn. Take Supplements if your diet is not up to scratch (Omega 3’s & Zinc is a good start). See Anti-Aging Superfoods.

5) Skin Treatments
– See Rolling back the years & LED
– Muscle relaxants (aka anti-wrinkle injections).

Anti-wrinkle injections work to prevent the formation of static wrinkles by stopping the signal between the nerve and muscle (temporarily causing the muscle to relax). The decreased movement in the muscle places less stress on the skin helping you maintain a fresh and youthful appearance. This treatment is most effective when used as a preventative measure. Anti-wrinkle injections are made from a purified protein.
Deep wrinkles can be treated with dermal fillers which replace the volume that has been lost under the skin.

Other
See 7 proven ways to nourish sun-damaged Skin.            See 5 of the WORST things you can do for your SKIN

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse)

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