Everything you need to know about wrinkles
Wrinkles can be a natural part of the aging process, but that doesn’t mean they’re unstoppable. Keep your skin looking smooth and crease-less with these handy tips.
We’ve all been there – the moment you notice your first fine line. Whether it’s a tiny crease that pops up during a selfie or a group of grooves that messes up your flawless cat-eye wing, the discovery of that first wrinkle can send the calmest of us into a panic. But worry not. Contrary to popular opinion, the appearance of wrinkles is not impossible to treat or prevent.
First off, what are wrinkles, really?
Wrinkles are creases or grooves in your skin that start out as fine lines, before deepening over time. They form fastest in parts of your face you use the most — think crow’s feet, forehead grooves, or laugh lines that go from your nose to your mouth.
3 key factors of wrinkle formation
Not all wrinkles are equal, and they can be categorised into dynamic or static lines. Dynamic wrinkles form over time from repeated muscle movements such as smiling or laughing. Meanwhile, static wrinkles are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking or sun exposure.
A tan might look healthy in the short term but it’s not that great for your skin in the long run. 80% of visible facial aging signs is mainly caused by UV exposure. Sunlight contains UVA and UVB rays — the former causes photo-aging by penetrating deep into your dermis. UVA rays damage connective tissues made up of collagen and elastin fibre that give your skin strength and resilience. Without them, your skin becomes more susceptible to wrinkles.
Did you know?
Genetics determine if you’re prone to fine lines, so look to your parents to figure where you’re likely to crease more. The good news? You can slow down the onset of wrinkles with the right skincare and lifestyle habits.
Smiling (no, really)
On average, we smile about 20 times a day. This repetitive muscle movement (including squinting and frowning) creates grooves in the skin that deepens over time – that’s why smiley eye creases and frown lines in your forehead set in and show up first.
From your 20s, your body produces less collagen in the skin every year. Over time, this makes your skin thinner and more fragile. Fat depletion, diminished functioning of collagen and elastin, and repetitive muscle movement all contribute to the onset of wrinkles too.
Easy ways to prevent wrinkles
While you can’t stop wrinkles entirely, these simple steps can help prevent the appearance of wrinkles to keep your skin looking silky smooth.
Humectants help lock moisture in your skin so that it remains hydrated, which plumps up and reduces the appearance of fine lines. Choose a moisturiser that contains humectants that are known to boost your skin’s water-holding capacity. Don’t forget your eye area – wrinkles usually show up here first, so it’s helpful to add an eye cream that is specially formulated to hydrate the delicate skin.
Wear UV protection, always
Even if you stay out of the sun, never skip the sunscreen — no matter what the weather is like. Even when it’s overcast, UVA rays can pass through clouds, so cover exposed skin (including ears and feet) with a layer of sunscreen that guards against both UVA and UVB damage. The former penetrates deep into your skin and causes photo-aging.
Take your vitamins
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects skin from surface free radicals, Vitamin E is known to scavenge them, and Vitamin A does both. If it sounds confusing, just remember this — fill your diet with citrus fruit and vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Then, layer on a serum or moisturiser containing vitamins and let your skin soak up all the goodness.
Be a sleeping beauty
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. Eight hours of shuteye a night keeps your body rested and prevents wrinkles by keeping your skin firm, plump, and flexible. A lack of sleep can cause your body to produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol typically causes collagen breakdown. On nights where you can’t get enough sleep, layer more nourishing steps or use a sleeping mask to keep your skin hydrated.