We’ve all seen the pictures of elderly men and women whose skin shows the wear and tear of aging. While wrinkles may be considered a sign of wisdom and experience, most of us would rather not have them. Wrinkles may look cute and cuddly on a Sharpei but they aren’t so appealing for those of us who have to look at ourselves in the mirror on a daily basis.
Wrinkles and other signs of aging can appear just about anywhere on the human body however; they tend to be more prevalent in areas that have had extensive exposure to the sun. The most common breading grounds for wrinkles tend to be the face, hands, forearms, and neck. There are several categories of skin wrinkles including fine lines, surface lines, and deep furrows. Anti wrinkle treatments are generally most effective on fine lines. Deep creases typically require more drastic measures to correct.
So what causes wrinkles anyway? Wrinkles tend to develop with age as skin looses Elastin or the fibers that give skin its elastic quality and help to hold in moisture. The loss of Elastin along with a protein called Collagen in the middle layer of human skin (Dermis) allows the skin to gradually become thinner and begin to sag. There are a variety of contributing factors including exposure to the sun, smoking, heredity, and skin type. Some of these factors such as heredity and skin type are currently beyond our control forcing us to focus on those areas where we can make an impact.
First and foremost; do not smoke. Smoking has been proven to increase wear and tear on the skin and lead to premature signs of aging. If you are currently a smoker; quit. It’s never too late to start making the right decisions and to begin promoting healthy skin. Second, avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Ultraviolet light is known to be damaging to the skin and can speed the aging process. This includes self tanning parlors where users are exposed to concentrated UV light for even short to moderate periods of time. When you are going to be outdoors, be sure to protect your skin with a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least a 15. Be sure to reapply often if your plans include swimming or exercise.
OK, that’s all fine and dandy you say but "What can I do about the wrinkles I already have?" There are several potential solutions available ranging from painful injections and complicated cosmetic surgeries to topical creams and moisturizers that can help reduce the appearance of existing wrinkles. Anyone considering cosmetic treatments for existing wrinkles should consult a medical professional so that they may be informed about the risks and expenses involved with cosmetic surgery. For those of you who may be looking for less painful and less expensive alternatives, there are still many viable options.
Keeping your skin clean and moist is perhaps one of the easiest and least expensive actions you can take to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Staying properly hydrated is another important aspect of proper skin care. Following these simple steps can help keep the signs of aging in check. If you would like to go a step beyond basic skin care to go on the offensive against wrinkles, you may want to look into some of the newer topical facial creams that have come on the market. Some of the very best ones are listed in medical publications such as the Physicians Desk Reference and have clinical trial data to back up their results. Many products on the market will claim to reduce wrinkles but you must seek out products that can provide evidence to support their claims.