Wrinkles are here to stay. It is an inevitable skin condition that progresses with age. And there is one immutable, undeniable truth: nothing on this planet can reverse aging. At best, you can delay the effects of aging internally and externally by making a few lifestyle changes. Also, with a combination of medications and treatments, you can make a modest effort to fight these fine lines.
Check out this comprehensive guide to understand the causes, treatments, preventive measures, and effective ways to fight wrinkles.
What causes wrinkles?
Aging is one of the main reasons. The body produces less collagen as you age, causing the skin to lose its natural elasticity. The following external triggers can also speed up the process significantly.
Stress is the leading cause of many health complications, and one of the major triggers of fine wrinkles. Excessive stress results in the increased production of cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol triggers a breakdown in the natural collagen and elastin that helps keep the skin supple. Chronic stress can also result in inflammation under the skin, leading to premature wrinkles.
- Exposure to elements
While vitamin D from the sunlight is good for the body, unnecessary exposure to the ultra-violet rays of the sun can damage the elastic fibers that make the skin naturally pliant. UV rays upset the production of collagen and render the process ineffective. With repeated exposure, the number of skin-damaging free radicals also increases in the body, causing the wrinkles to develop prematurely.
- Unhealthy lifestyle choices
Your diet and habits also have a deep impact on the skin. Poor nutrition, heavy dependence on processed foods, and depriving the body of natural vitamins, nutrients, and minerals hamper the production of natural collagen. Collagen is also mostly made up of water. Dehydration deprives these molecules of this vital fluid and causes them to fuse unnaturally, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. Smoking also increases free radicals unnaturally and results in premature skin problems.
- Repetitive facial movements
Ironically, frowning, smiling, and squinting among some of the regular facial expressions may also cause wrinkles. Repeated muscle movements can result in permanent grooves under the skin that develop into these wrinkle lines. However, this is one of the gradual triggers that gets worse only with aging.
Although it is not one of the regular causes, some bad genes passed down to the next generation can cause wrinkles prematurely. Notice how sometimes wrinkles may run in the family after a certain age.
Symptoms of wrinkles
Deep crevices and long furrows are the only noticeable symptoms on the exterior of the skin, as the wrinkle lines gradually develop. There are no other indicators of this problem, and these symptoms can go unnoticed for quite some time as mostly, the skin damage done is internal.
Wrinkles are gradually bound to develop as a person ages. While some people can maintain flawless looking skin even in their golden years, it is not completely possible to avoid wrinkles. But there are ways to postpone the skin problem with the following preventive measures.
- Use a good moisturizer
Collagen is a compound that is mostly water, and a healthy production of this connective tissue helps maintain that glowing and radiant skin. However, as collagen levels decline rapidly, the skin cells lose this moisture and result in dry lines and fine wrinkles. Using a good quality moisturizer (organic or made with natural ingredients is preferable) helps trap this moisture under the skin. Moisturizing is one of the effective ways to fight wrinkles and delay the effects of premature skin problems.
- Use SPF sunscreen
If you plan to venture out, make sure you apply sunscreen that is safe to use for the body and face. SPF 15 or 30 formulas are recommended by skin specialists for better protection from the UV rays all year round. You can alternatively use products that have these SPF formulas, featuring UVA and UVB, to block harmful peak time sunlight from increasing the number of free radicals in the skin.
- Don’t stress
Cortisol is harmful to the skin, and stress increases cortisol levels in the body. So chill out and relax by finding ways to bring down your stress levels. Activities like yoga, meditation, and other holistic alternative therapies can help overcome stress. In fact, overcoming stress is also beneficial for the body, as it reduces the chances of chronic health problems like asthma and diabetes.
- Healthy diet and hydration
Stay hydrated and eat healthy, rich nutritious food. Most importantly, quit smoking, among other habits that can cause skin damage. Remember, a few lifestyle changes can help you overcome skin aging and delay its visual indicators for the foreseeable future.
Diagnosis & treatment options
Several different types of wrinkles can develop on the face and neck skin, so it is crucial to distinguish between the types for proper diagnosis and treatment. Note that early diagnosis is the key to understanding effective ways to fight wrinkles.
Type of wrinkles
- Dynamic wrinkles, one of the common types develop on the forehead when the skin creases with changing facial expressions.
- Static wrinkles are visible even when you rest your face. These are more permanent and develop due to UV exposure, poor health, and unhealthy habits.
- Wrinkle folds force the jawline to sag and, in some cases, result in a turkey neck, where the skin overlaps on top of another fold.
- Apart from these obvious lines, several other creases may pop up all over the face, including worry lines, laugh lines, lip lines, and even marionette lines. They are caused due to repeated use of the muscles in the surrounding area.
Effective ways to fight mild to moderate wrinkle problems
There are several over-the-counter topical medications for treating wrinkles and fighting those frown lines. Nonprescription creams contain a combination of active retinol, antioxidants, and peptides to help recover the skin externally. However, they are less effective in comparison to prescription medications that feature retinoid. Retinoids are quite effective as a topical application but can only be found in anti-wrinkle creams certified and approved by dermatologists.
Surgical and modern skin treatment for severe wrinkles
Topical applications can prevent skin problems to some extent. However, skin specialists and dermatologists may recommend one of the following procedures in case you are not satisfied with the results.
- Tissue fillers
Artificially produced collagen and other necessary compounds are injected to fill the area around the wrinkles to make the skin look plump and healthy. This is a minimally invasive procedure that smoothes out the skin and reduces the wrinkle effect with a minimal amount of discomforts.
- Chemical peels
Chemical peels, performed only under the supervision of a skin specialist only, help remove the damaged top layers of skin to make room for new growth without the fine lines. However, this procedure can be painful with symptoms of redness, swelling, pain, and possible scarring that last for several weeks.
- Laser resurfacing
Using a laser, specialists remove the epidermis (outer layer) of the skin to promote new growth. New skin cells are capable of producing a healthy amount of collagen to keep the skin wrinkle-free after the procedure. It is usually done using a local anesthetic but has a longer recovery period than other surgical procedures.
There are two types of dermabrasion: a microdermabrasion and a regular dermabrasion. Both procedures involve the sanding out of old outer skin to make room for new growth. Microdermabrasion removes a fine layer of the skin while dermabrasion removes a deep layer of skin for maximum effect. You may have to get this treatment done several times, as it is a less invasive procedure for better and long-lasting wrinkle-free skin.
Anyone who has wrinkles caused due to overexposure to sunlight can opt for photodynamic therapy. It also has shorter recovery time and recommended for skin damage caused due to UV rays.
- Botox injections or facelift
Botox injections must be taken repeatedly to maintain a proper skin tone and look. When injected into the skin, the formula stops the surrounding cells and muscles from contracting and causing those wrinkle lines. However, you need to be careful with botox, as it is a chemically invasive procedure. So it is advisable to discuss the merits and demerits of taking these injections. A facelift is an entirely invasive surgical procedure that helps tighten the muscles and tissue under local anesthesia. This is done to the entire face to give it a younger wrinkle-free look. Note that there might be a need to repeat the procedure a few years down the line.
Natural remedies and the best foods for managing wrinkles
You can also explore naturally effective ways to fight wrinkles with the help of a proper diet and alternative skin care.
- Olive oil
Massaging olive oil on the skin is one of the effective ways to fight wrinkles naturally. Apply a few drops and massage it gently before rinsing with cold water. Pat down the area using a soft towel to remove the excess moisture, and let the oil do its magic.
- Egg whites
There could not be a cheaper topical remedy to fight wrinkles. You can whip a couple of whites and gently massage the cream onto your skin and leave it for some time. Rinse it off and repeat the process at periodic intervals until you can see a visible difference.
- Lemon juice
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemons can also help manage those wrinkle lines at home. Make your own lemon-based facial and natural exfoliator to remove dead cells and rejuvenate the skin. There are several simple tutorials available online that you can check out for these DIY hacks.
From effective ways to fight wrinkles topically, we move on to the foods that should form part of your daily diet to overcome these skin problems internally.
- Get your daily protein
Proteins are rich in amino acids that help the cells repair and rebuild themselves to promote healthy growth. Keep up your daily protein intake with lean meats like chicken, eggs, and salmon. Avoid red meats like pork and beef as far as possible.
- Beans and nuts
Many types of beans are rich in healthy fats and antioxidants that help fight several signs of aging. Studies show that including a cup of beans with lean proteins and a combination of healthy vegetables increased the nutritious value of your meal to promote better health. Munch on a handful of walnuts and almonds along with your bowl of beans. Both nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that help protect from UV rays and repair the skin.
- Healthy fruits and veggies
Include more papaya, broccoli, avocados, garlic, carrots, berries, and spinach in your daily diet. Papaya is naturally rich in antioxidants and enzymes that fight the many signs of aging, including wrinkles. It is loaded with vitamins that naturally help repair and restore the elasticity in the skin cells. Broccoli, on the other hand, is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and vitamin C to help boost the production of collagen. Avocados are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K that help fight the skin-damaging free radicals. Alternatively, garlic also helps fight the free radicals and is a versatile ingredient that can be added to any food and beverage preparation.
- Stay hydrated
You must remain properly hydrated during the day. A large percentage of the collagen compound consists of water. Dehydration only diminishes collagen’s ability to maintain a good looking and healthy skin. Skin cells are also made up of connective tissue and membranes that need water to function more receptively and retain that flawless glow.
- Avoid these foods
Remember, only healthy nutrients and vitamin-rich food add the necessary nutritional value to promote growth and boost immunity. To be able to achieve this objective, you must refrain from indulging in foods that are rich in sugar and caffeine. Both are compounds that can affect the production of collagen.
It is advisable to consult with a dermatologist and understand the aforementioned effective ways to fight wrinkles. Remember, every person’s skin will react differently to treatment and home remedies. This is why you must check with a medical professional to understand both the perks and concerns of a never before tried approach. In medicine, it is always better to get a second opinion to be sure.