Wrinkles, a natural process of aging, are most prominent on sun-exposed skin, such as the face, neck, hands and forearms.
Although genetics mainly suggest skin structure and texture, sun exposure is a major cause of wrinkles, especially for fair-skinned people. Other factors, such as pollutants and smoking, also add to wrinkling.
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If your wrinkles tend to bother you, you have more options than ever to help smooth them or make them less visible. Medications, skin-resurfacing techniques, fillers, injectables and surgery top the list of effective wrinkle treatments.
Deep, coarse wrinkles
Wrinkles are the lines and creases that form in your skin. Some wrinkles can turn to deep crevices or furrows and may be especially noticeable around your eyes, mouth and neck.
Wrinkles are basically caused by a combination of factors — some can be controlled, others you can’t:
- Age. As you grow older, your skin naturally becomes less elastic and more fragile. Decreased production of natural oils dries your skin and makes it get more wrinkled.
Fat in the deeper layers of your skin goes off. This causes loose, saggy skin and more-pronounced lines and crevices.
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Ultraviolet radiation, which increases the natural aging process, is the primary cause of early wrinkling. Exposure to UV light breaks down your skin’s connective tissue — collagen and elastin fibers, which lie in the deeper layer of skin (dermis).
Without the supportive connective tissue, your skin loses its strength and flexibility. Skin then starts to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
- Smoking. Smoking can increase the normal aging process of your skin, adding to wrinkles. This may be due to changes in the blood supply to your skin.
- Repeated facial expressions. Facial movements and expressions, such as squinting or smiling, result to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time you use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin. And as skin ages, it loses its flexibility and is no longer able to spring back in position. These grooves then become permanent features on your face.
Here are tips to make the most of your skin’s appearance:
- Protect your skin from the sun. Protect your skin — and keept future wrinkles — by reducing the time you spend in the sun and always wearing protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses. Also, use sunscreen when outdoors, even during winter.
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The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often when swimming or perspiring.
- Use products with built-in sunscreen. When selecting skin care products, choose those with a built-in broad-spectrum sunscreen — meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use moisturizers. Dry skin shrivels plump skin cells, which can result in premature fine lines and wrinkles. Though moisturizers can’t prevent wrinkles, they may temporarily mask tiny lines and creases.
- Don’t smoke. Even if you’ve smoked for years or smoked heavily, you can still improve your skin tone and texture and prevent future wrinkles by stopping smoking.
- Eat a healthy diet. There are evidences that certain vitamins in your diet help protect your skin. More study is however required on the role of nutrition, but it’s good to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.