One of the sure signs of aging skin is the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, known medically as rhytids. While some turn to euphemisms such as “laugh lines,” “Marionettes” or “I’ve earned them”, most still prefer not to have a face that would make a Shar Pei jealous. Rhytids (fine lines) are the precursor for deeper, entrenched wrinkles which are much more difficult to treat. Fine lines are caused by the lack of skin support structure as the firmness, hydration, elasticity and volume of youth begin to disappear.
Some of the causes of rhytids and wrinkles you can do nothing about (genetics, age) but the good news is that you can do several things to effectively mitigate the wrinkling.
Genetics: If your family reunion is in a California Raisins factory and everyone including three year old Billy has creases….time to change your birth certificate.
Age: Aging does not have to mean deterioration, degeneration and decrepit skin. Regular maintenance on a ’47 Chevy can leave it looking shiny and fresh, while neglect may lead to rust on the bumpers.
But then there are the three S’s which identify things to avoid to decrease your risk of wrinkles.
Sun. This is why the fine lines tend to appear in areas frequently exposed to UVA radiation.
Smoking: Highly destructive to the skin, not only can it directly contribute to upper lip wrinkles, but it renders the health of the skin so much worse.
Sugar: surprised? Yes, an excess of sugar can create toxic skin AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) which wreaks havoc on both collagen and elastin.
Regular skincare maintenance is essential in avoiding, reducing or treating fine lines, and includes:
1. Moisturizer and humectant:A moisturizer without a humectant is like a car without an engine. Adding fullness, freshness and hydration softens fine lines. Not unlike blowing up a balloon.
2. Hyaluronic Acid:Significantly decreases the depth of wrinkles by promoting skin firmness and elasticity. One study reported up to a 40% decrease in the depth of wrinkles and a 55% increase in skin firmness and elasticity. (HA is best used in the form of a cross polymer of sodium hyaluronate)
3. Omega 3s:Instead of applying a mackerel to your skincare, consider the plant/nut sources of Omega 3s even if this disappoints your cat. Omega 3s smooths the skin, makes it more supple and diminishes fine lines. Should be in every skincare regimen.
4. Niacinamide:A 12-week clinical study of topical niacinamide demonstrated a 21% improvement in fine lines along with a 14% skin tone clarity and 15% radiance improvement.
5. Skin peptides:Peptides stimulates collagen and elastin production and have been touted as “Botox-like” by smoothing wrinkles.