The spidery web of skin folds that start ruling one’s face, hands and body, with age, is inevitable. Human body has evolved phenomenally, but it still hasn’t dodged deterioration. And wrinkles are a reminder of our mortality.
Once they arrive, its hard not to feel one’s youth slipping right out of one’s hands. So in order to win this not-so-unprecedented battle against wrinkles; it is firstly very important to understand what wrinkles are and what leads to their formation.
What are wrinkles?
Skin wrinkles are folds, ridges and creases in the skin, which may be permanent or temporary in nature. There are various factors that contribute to wrinkling of the skin, the primary of them being aging. Other reasons are poor hydration of skin, (over) exposure to sun, smoking, heredity etc.
While aging is the most common factor responsible for wrinkles, other factors also play a role in their time of appearance and severity with age. Various chemical processes in the skin, usually degrading the skin collagen, results in wrinkles. Also poor hydration and over exposure to sun causes uneven stretching of skin, causing fine as well as fold wrinkles to form.
How to avoid onset of wrinkles?
The mere thought of wrinkles can send many of us cringing (that results in wrinkles too!). So the very first step taken by any of us should be to try and avoid the onset of wrinkles. To maintain a youthful skin for longer life, some very basic steps can be adopted early on, such as:
Smoking leads to thinning of the skin. The difference between a smoker’s and a non smoker’s skin (despite same genetic makeup) can vary from 20-40%. As the skin thins, the chances of skin damage and wrinkle appearance increase dramatically. Also, smoking increases the nicotine levels in one’s body, thereby activating genes that can cause premature ageing of skin.
Hydrate and moisturize
Water is indispensable for all life forms on earth. While its adequate quantities can maintain a biochemical balance in one’s body, when taken in good amount it can guarantee good health and beauty as well. Dehydration of the skin causes parching, irregular stretching of skin protein and appearance of wrinkles. But these wrinkles are of the temporary kind and can be controlled easily by keeping the skin hydrated. However, water intake needs to be complimented with moisturizing of the skin at regular intervals.
Avoid over exposure to sun
Sunrays have UV-A and UV-B in them that can cause severe skin damage (such as skin cancer, live spots, sagging, etc.). But even if the scenario isn’t that bleak, wrinkles are obviously invited with over exposure to sun. Wearing SPF creams and avoiding staying in the sun for long, reduces the skin damage. Additionally, artificial (salon) tanning can also accelerate wrinkling of skin.
Vitamins and mineral deficiency in the diet can also cause premature wrinkling. Therefore maintaining a balanced diet is a crucial contributor to younger, wrinkle free skin. Vitamin A, antioxidants, and alpha-hydroxy acid containing foods, when incorporated into the diet can improve the overall quality of skin and smooth over fine wrinkles as well.
What to do when wrinkles have established themselves?
Alas, wrinkles are something that cannot be denied arrival forever. Come they will and make ageing obvious. So when that stage finally arrives, it’s better to be prepared to use all the options available in the market to win the ultimate battle against wrinkles. Of course some of us are not as obsessed with hiding few age-lines as others, but truth be told, wrinkles bother everyone (even if they are as cute as laughter lines). And this is exactly the reason the anti-wrinkle industry has been thriving so much ever since…always! There is a wide variety of treatments, exercise programs, medicines and ointments in the market to fight the anti-wrinkle battle. These are –
Anti wrinkle creams
Anti wrinkle or anti aging lotions and creams have been in vogue for many decades. Daily application can help maintain a younger looking skin and can keep wrinkles at bay for many years. An emerging concept is to start using these anti-aging creams well in advance instead of waiting for the first wrinkles to appear.
Chemical peels are also very common these days for reducing wrinkles. But with the “Go-Green” campaign going strong, natural peels are also being preferred a lot. Chemical peels may be superficial, medium impact or deep impact; depending upon the chemicals being used and the duration for which peel is kept on one’s face.
AHA and TCA are used for chemical peel processes most often. However, there are many disadvantages attached to this option, such as severe pain, whitening of the skin and flaking. That is the reason why natural peels (using fruits and vegetables extracts) are becoming more popular.
Vitamin supplements and anti-oxidants
As healthy diet is essential for a young skin, with age, consuming vitamin supplements and antioxidants can greatly compliment the exterior treatments received to keep the skin wrinkle free.
Laser peel/ resurfacing
Laser resurfacing is yet another method used to get rid of wrinkles. Layer by layer of skin is treated with Carbon Dioxide lasers to remove wrinkles and restructure/ resurface one’s skin. Scarring, burning, and activation of herpes virus may be some side effects but are rare.
As the name suggests, the top layer of skin abrasion, is conducted by electrically operated instruments in a surgical setup, to give a more refined look to the skin.
The name is written in golden letters in all those people’s books who are fighting against wrinkles. Botox is a non surgical method in which Botox compound is injected in a person’s face which in turns paralyzes the muscles that move to form wrinkles. The consequent smoothening of skin can last for a few months, after which repetition of injection is required.
Facial Massages And Dermal tone facial exercises
Physical facial massages with oils and ointments or electrical exercising of facial muscles using electrodes are both commonly adopted methods to rid the skin of wrinkles.
Face lifts and brow lifts
This is the ultimate resort to the wrinkle problem. People can go under the knife at any age and get back the smoothness of their skin. Recovery period may be as long as weeks however, and it is also an expensive option.
So fear not when you see those crow’s feet of laughter lines extend into something more alarming. The entire world is at your service to fight against wrinkles, and aging is no longer obligatory!