No matter what they are or where they appear, signs of aging are never fun. They can creep up when you least expect them and they can sometimes make you feel self-conscious about your age and appearance.
Have you ever peered into the mirror and wondered "Where did they all come from?"
Wrinkles can be a part of the natural aging process, but there's also a lot that you encounter during the course of your life that can lead to premature wrinkles, landing you with deeper wrinkles in your later years.
If you know where wrinkles come from, you can hopefully take steps to keep them at bay for as long as possible!
Where Do Wrinkles Come From?
Some wrinkles are often a part of the natural aging process. The first wrinkles tend to appear on a person's face as a result of their habitual facial expressions. Since your face repeatedly moves in specific ways when you laugh, smile, frown, or squint, those crinkled areas are the ones prone to forming fine lines and wrinkles over time. Most wrinkles tend to appear on the parts of the body which receive the most sun exposure, particularly the face and neck, back of the hands, and arms.
The problem starts when collagen and elastic fibers in the skin aren't what they used to be, thanks to the natural aging process. Sadly, these fibers are the ones responsible for maintaining your skin's form and shape. Collagen is the network of supporting fibers that hold things together, and elastin is responsible for the elasticity; the ability to bounce right back. Any time you form a facial expression like smiling or laughing, a crease is formed under the skin. When everything is in working order, the crease immediately smooths back out again and all is right with the world. When these supportive layers are broken down, the skin becomes weaker and less flexible. It starts to droop, and wrinkles appear.
As we get older, the production of natural oils decreases, which has a drying effect. This results in a crepey texture to the skin, and a loss of that healthy plumpness. As a result, the first fine lines and wrinkles start to become noticeable.
Can You Prevent Wrinkles?
The good news is that most wrinkles are not attributed to your age! There are plenty of outside factors that you have control over. All it takes is a little bit of thought, and some attention to detail.
Sun damage is the most common cause of skin wrinkling. UV rays from the sun cause free radicals to form within your skin's layers. "Sun damage results in loss of collagen and elastin, resulting in wrinkling of the skin," says Jerome Potozkin, MD, board-certified dermatologist. That holds true for all UV light, including sunbathing, tanning booths, and outdoor sports.
UV light breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers (the skin's connective, supporting tissue). Breaking down this layer makes skin weaker and less flexible. The skin will start to droop, and wrinkles will appear.
The environment around you has a huge impact on your body as a whole, and on your skin especially! "Pollution is another environmental factor contributing to free radical damage," explains Maral K. Skelsey, MD, board-certified dermatologist and Director of the Dermatologic Surgery Center of Washington. A study published in 2010 found that people living in urban settings had more wrinkles and age spots than those living in rural areas.
Smoking is a huge contributor to the number of free radicals found in your body's cells. It's one of the biggest causes of wrinkles. The position of the cigarette in your mouth creates facial expressions that eventually stay, but the toxins from the cigarette will age your skin way beyond your years. "Nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the skin, leaving it prone to wrinkling because vital nutrients cannot reach the epidermis," Skelsey states.
A lack of good nutrition can deprive your body of nutrients that it needs to keep your skin healthy and strong. Not only that, but the overly-processed foods and sugars can lead to further tissue damage. "After sugar is ingested it goes through a process called glycation, which involves binding to different proteins in our bodies," Kristia Goldenberg, MD, board-certified dermatologist of Goldenberg Dermatology, explains. "Unfortunately, these proteins include collagen and elastin. By binding to these building blocks of the skin, sugar weakens collagen and elastin and will lead to an appearance of fine lines and wrinkles." She goes on to note, "Glycation also produces further toxic products that further cause premature aging."
Not Getting Enough Sleep
During your deepest levels of sleep is when your body replenishes its collagen supply. "That's part of the repair process," says Patricia Wexler, MD, a dermatologist in New York. Since collagen is linked to your skin's elasticity, adequate collagen production leads to plump skin that is less likely to wrinkle and doesn't appear saggy. When you don't get a full night's sleep, your body doesn't have the time to produce new, fresh cells to fix yesterday's damage, so you're practically welcoming accelerated aging with open arms.
Lack of sleep can lead to dehydrated skin, too, furthering the wrinkle factor. "Lack of sleep contributes [to wrinkles] because the pH of the skin is altered by not sleeping enough and that affects the skin cells' ability to remain hydrated," Skelsey explains. "Additionally, it's during sleep that toxins are flushed from the body."
Without sleep, your body puts itself in a constant state of stress, releasing excess cortisol, a hormone which is known to cause premature skin aging and wrinkles.
Staying out ot the sun when possible and wearing daily sunscreen year-long can really go a long way towards preventing damage that leads to wrinkles. Now's as good a time as any to quit smoking before it's too late. Take a good hard look at your diet and make a concerted effort to eat healthy. That includes drinking plenty of water every day.
While generalized facial care is essential to your skin health, washing your face before bed is a crucial step towards removing the pollution particles your face has been subjected to throughout the day. A good skin care routine can go a long way towards preventing the formation of new wrinkles and helping to smooth out and lessen those that already exist. Your regimen should include:
- A gentle cleanser
- A good moisturizer
- A strong anti-aging serum
- Adequate sunscreen
- Mild exfoliation
- A weekly mask
GLOWBIOTICS offers the best skin care for both preventative care and for aging skin. You'll find ingredients to help moisturize and combat aging like alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids, vitamin C, growth factors, peptides, and Hyaluronic Acid. Topical probiotics are beneficial in soothing inflammation, guarding against oxidative stress and free radicals, and protecting your skin from the dangers and aging effects of pollution.
By paying attention to your lifestyle and skincare needs, you should be able to cut most of your wrinkles off at the pass, before they become too big of a problem!