People identify and associate aging skin with wrinkles. Both by the number of wrinkles as well as their respective depth. There are two categories of wrinkles. Surface lines caused by Ultraviolet Light and deep creases caused by facial expression & muscle contraction. Most wrinkles, but not all, are caused by over exposure to ultraviolet light. This is known as photo aging.
Lifestyle choices as well as environmental exposure can promote wrinkles. Smoking, lack of sleep, occupational hazards and of course sun exposure top the list. It should be noted that heredity also plays a role in wrinkling skin.
There are treatments and procedures available to consumers. These included OTC wrinkle creams and serums, Peptides, Vitamin A, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and Anti Oxidants. More invasive procedures such as deep peelss, glycolic acid peels , microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, surgical procedures, and injections.
What are Wrinkles?
We all know what wrinkles look like, but do we know what they are? Typically, wrinkles appear predominantly in the areas of the body with the greatest sun exposure. Wrinkles are found mostly on the Face, Neck, Upper Chest, Hands are Arms.
As we stated, wrinkles have two categories or forms. Surface Lines and Deep Furrows. Surface lines are caused by sun exposure, deep furrows are caused by muscular contraction or expression lines. Typically people are most concerned with wrinkles caused by aging (sun exposure) more so than expression lines. Generally, the deeper the wrinkle or line the more invasive the remedy need be to fix it.
What Causes Wrinkles?
By now you should be picking up on the fact that sun exposure causes most of the wrinkles you are concerned with. Proper sun protection is a must in your daily regimen regardless of whether or not you are headed outside for a day at the beach or not. Higher SPF numbers are the best option, don’t try to thread the needle, get yourself the 50 and know you are making the right choice. We can all identify with wanting to get some sun, just know there is nothing safe about it and in the long run you may regret the choice.
Here are some other factors that cause wrinkling.
- Sun Exposure
- Skin Pigmentation (more pigment, less wrinkles)
- Lack of Sleep
Topical Treatments for Wrinkles
When the average consumer confronts aging and wrinkled skin, their first course of action is typically a topical cream or serum. Topical treatments simply mean that the treatment is applied topically or to the skin.
OTC Wrinkle Creams – Creams and serums that feature active ingredients such as peptides designed to boost collagen and elastin levels within the skin, naturally. Efficacy of these products can vary quite a bit, with some creams excelling, and others offering big promises but little results.
Vitamin A Acid – Retin A, Retinol, Tretinoin. Dermatologists can prescribe these creams to users. A solid track record of benefits and results has been established over the years. Consumers that choose this option or the OTC wrinkle cream options can expect to continue the use of these creams going forward.
Antioxidants – anti oxidants such as vitamin a, vitamin c and vitamin e, among others, are used to help stop the damage of sun exposure. While this is a common practice for consumers to use, there is not much evidence that antioxidants alone make significant cosmetic improvement.
Moisturizers – There are plenty of creams and lotions that hydrate the skin but do not offer any active ingredients specifically designed to treat wrinkles. Hydration alone can minimize the appearance of wrinkles temporarily but not affect them long term.
Procedural Treatments for Wrinkles
Botox – Injections of botox paralyzes facial muscles, which flattens wrinkles and creases. Frown lines, crows feet are typical target areas for these injections.
Fillers – Injections of Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid, Collagen and even fat are commonly injected into wrinkles to diminish their appearance for a period of a few months. Popular and mildly invasive, you have likely heard of most of these filler injections.
Laser Resurfacing – using lasers, medical professions essentially sand down the skin. Similar to dermabrasion, the intent is to damage the skin down to the middle of the dermis (2nd layer) in order to stimulate your skins natural renewal processes. This in turn triggers collagen synthesis which plumps the skin and smooths wrinkles.
Dermabrasion – Many people don’t know this is an actual surgical procedure with the patient under anesthesia. The rotating instrument makes abrasions to the skin much like sand paper to wood. Dermabrasion can be effective but if done poorly, the side effects can be significant. Choose wisely with this one.
Peels – Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Trichloroacetic Acid can all be used to penetrate into the skin causing a less damaging irritation to the skin. The result is a deep peeling of the skin, with the intention to reveal and younger looking skin.
Microdermabrasion – A milder version of dermabrasion, usually done over the course of a few visits. Smoother skin and a more vibrant appearance can be expected but be leery of OTC creams that promise home microdermabrasion benefits. They are typically nothing more than exfoliants. If you want to try this, use a medical professional.
Cosmetic Surgery – Plastic surgeons have a variety of procedures that they offer to make your skin look more youthful. Some of less recovery time and other care more invasive surgeries. Be sure to carefully vet your local area for the best plastic surgeons before you rush into this option. Being optimistic is one thing, but we have all see the plastic surgery nightmares where things have gone horribly wrong.
Wrinkles are no longer the sign of wisdom and respect they once were. Today’s society tries to hide their true age with the benefits of cosmetics. While we certainly understand the urge to look our best, there is something beautiful about aging gracefully.
We believe it is in every consumers best interest to be well informed. Know your options, the benefits and the risks. Make smart choices based upon your specific needs, wants and budget. The more informed you are, the better the chances you wind up being satisfied.