It is inevitable, a hard fact of life, that as we age our skin forms wrinkles. Fine lines and wrinkles are the most obvious and visual form of ageing, and preventing them, or at least minimising them, has been the aim of scientists for many years. But why does our skin wrinkle? By understanding what causes the skin to develop wrinkles as we age, scientists can work at creating products to prevent them and, importantly, we can do all we can to minimise wrinkles from forming in the first place.
What are wrinkles?
Wrinkles, or creases, folds and ridges in the skin, develop when collagen fibres and elastic tissue breaks down.
What causes wrinkles and how can we prevent them?
Wrinkles appear as a result of natural ageing processes but also due to prolonged exposure to the sun, repeated facial expressions, smoking, and dehydration. Of course, as we age, all of the aforementioned factors also add up, amounting to greater wrinkle formation. We can’t turn back time but we can help to prevent or minimise wrinkles by taking precautions.
Natural ageing – as we age, the cell turnover process slows and elastin, which gives the skin its elasticity, and collagen, which supports the skin, degrade, leading to a loss of suppleness and smoothness and the formation of wrinkles. Mature skin is also less able to hold onto moisture and natural oils, which dehydrates the skin. Using an anti-ageing moisturiser from the age of 25 will help to slow down the ageing process, as will the following tips. Remember to constantly update your skincare regime to suit your developing and maturing skin and watch out for the newest technologies in anti-ageing skincare – the industry is constantly evolving and breakthroughs occur all the time.
Photo-ageing – lines and wrinkles form from repeated unprotected exposure to the sun, causing collagen and elastic tissue in the skin to degrade and it is for this reason that sun exposure is the top cause of premature skin ageing. It is important to apply sunscreen every day, as even when it appears to be cloudy the sun’s powerful rays will still reach your skin.
Facial expressions – frowning, squinting and smiling all cause the skin to form temporary lines which, as we age, become more permanent in the dermis. These repeated expressions break the collagen and elastic fibres that form the skin’s structural integrity. There’s nothing we can do to stop ourselves from making facial expressions – and nor would we want to – but be aware of deep frowning when you concentrate and always wear sunglasses in sunny weather to prevent squinting. Using an eye cream will also help to minimise laughter lines around the eyes.
Smoking – smoking not only decreases the capillary flow to the skin, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients essential to healthy skin, but smokers produce less collagen. Repeated dragging on cigarettes and squinting from smoke also leads to deep wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. The solution? Quit smoking.
Having worked in the beauty industry for nearly a decade, journalist and copywriter Emily Buckley is a die-hard follower of beauty trends and technologies and is currently writing a series of skincare articles in conjunction with MitoQ, a breakthrough anti-ageing formula which works to rejuvenate skin cells for younger looking skin.
Photo credits: www2.med.umich.edu