What’s causing those pesky wrinkles and how to slow them down.
There is no getting around it…skin is bound to age. As much we fight the telltale signs like: wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, pigmentation, there really is no way of completely stopping the clock. However, while many of these signs are simply biological and should be accepted with grace, indications of age are particularly bothersome when they come prematurely. This in turn causes us to look older than we act and feel. Although we can’t stop the natural aging process, with the help of modern science and our very own talented doctors, we can certainly slow down the clock. In order to be successful in delaying the physical side effects of aging- it is important we understand what causes wrinkles in the skin. First off, we will break down the skin’s physical make up for you.
The Three Layers of Skin
Human skin is made up of three distinct layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue.
Epidermis: Our armour to the world!
The epidermis is the skin’s most outer layer. It is known to be rich in keratin, a protein which helps to provide roughness and water-resistance characteristics to protect your skin. It’s within this layer of skin that dead skin cells are constantly being shed and where the melanin (a dark pigment- think of your summer beach tan) is found. The epidermis acts as a barrier for the underlying layers, and is the first line of defense in our ever-so important organ, the skin. Underneath the epidermis you will find a thick dermal layer.
The dermis is composed of a combination of nerves, fats, blood vessels, elastin, and collagen fibers. Collagen, has become much more popular in terms of function for your skin in the last few years. Anyone who has researched skincare products or supplements- has definitely seen this come up, and with good reason! About 80% of the dermis is made up of collagen, this protein accounts for the primary component of your body’s connective tissue. Collagen provides the skin’s strength, and gives your skin its elastic quality which enables it to stretch back and forth with quick bounce-back.
The subcutaneous layer is composed primarily of fat. It’s major role in our skin is keeping us warm and holding our internal organs in place. It is important that we monitor these levels and keep them in moderation. As important as this layer is- with improper habits like bad diet and lack of exercise – and abundance of subcutaneous tissue can bring with it potential health risks.
It is structural changes and evolvements that take place within the skin’s layers that are responsible for producing the visible signs of aging. However, there are two contributing factors that induce such changes and lead to wrinkles: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging.
This process we are all familiar with and simply occurs over the span of our lifetime- external factors regardless. Intrinsic aging is the most natural process, and although most of us generally mature along a similar timeline, it can always vary from from person to person based on heredity:
Once we hit age 20 our bodies start to produce 1% less collagen each year. As collagen and elastin fibers become thicker and looser, we will see the skin become less elastic and sometimes brittle; the signs of the skin’s attempt to stretch back and forth has the potential to turn into visible wrinkles. Also in our 20s, the exfoliation process decreases, causing dead skin cells to accumulate and stick together for longer periods of time- that;s something to be wary of as exfoliate…more often!
In our 30s, the transfer of moisture between the dermis and epidermis slows and this means the fat cells start to shrink, in turn the skin appear somewhat dull. As the body ages, the skin produces less sebum (oil). This causes the texture of the skin to become dry and that causes wrinkles to become more visible- things like crows feet and smile lines begin to become more apparent.
At age 40, collagen production more or less stops. You will see wrinkles form as the skin fibers begin to break and stiffen. Skin cell turnover slows down, which in turn results in difficulty for your cells to regenerate themselves.
By age 50, in fat stored in our subcutaneous tissue begins to diminish, thereby making the skin even thinner. The loss of estrogen following menopause also contributes to thinness, and results in the skin having the danger of becoming easily damaged
All of these intrinsic factors contribute to wrinkles, sagging, and pigmentation issues. This aging process is very slow, and only contributes to a small percentage of wrinkles. Most wrinkling is due to the effects of extrinsic aging.
Ever wake up one morning to be greeted in the mirror with a new wrinkle that you KNOW definitely wasn’t there the night before? You can thank our friend extrinsic aging for that! This is the type of aging refers to the environmental influences which can lead to wrinkles, and they’re actually the ones responsible for creating the most dramatic signs of age. Take a look at the major culprits
When you repeat the same facial expressions and the same sleeping positions:
Smiling causes creases to form at the corners of your mouth as your lips pull up into your cheeks. Sadly this repeated facial expression can eventually form wrinkles known as expression lines. While everyone should be proud of their signs of smiling, it still has to be noted!
Where we live!
What we have dubbed free radicals (or harmful, electron-hungry molecules) cause damage when they pull electrons from other molecules in to our body. This can alter chemical structures and biological functioning, which carries the danger of accelerating the aging process…specifically seen on our skin in the form of wrinkles. Fighting against pollution literally helps us from the inside out.
Careful with that tan!
Sun exposure can be very damaging to the skin. When UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin’s dermal layer, it causes the breakdowns of our much-needed collagen and elastin. If we get to a point where these proteins break down, the skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Wrinkles are just one effect stemming from sun damage; don;t forget about sun spots, rough texture, pigmentation problems, even lead to the development harsher diseases.
So while we look for that fountain of youth- all we can do is control the signs of aging.Now that we know what causes wrinkles, here are a few steps we can take to keep our complexion looking radiant and youthful.
Wear sunscreen!! No matter how long you plan on being outside, slather on the block! We suggest using a daily moisturizer that contains no less 30 SPF to reap the maximum benefits.
Keep your skin hydrated: From facial to high quality products. Our daily struggle is real- wash, rinse moisturize,repeat…and while we feel like we have become pros at it- there are actual professionals who excel in this field. A good esthetician like we have at La Perla in can help you find new ways of taking care of your skin- while having you leave our office glowing!
Drink more water:
It’s equally important to hydrate yourself from the inside by drinking at least 8 cups of water per day. Our bodies are composed mostly of water, and keeping it abundantly supplied with H2O has many health benefits to all of your organs…especially your skin! Drinking more water is one of the best tips for a youthful complexion
Preventative Botox can really help you long-term. Even if your wrinkles aren’t currently noticeable (well, to anybody more than you) preventative Botox treatments can really slow down your process of aging. Since it helps to relax the muscles that will eventually cause fine lines and wrinkles, it therefore gives the opportunity to strengthen the muscles around those areas causing a natural tightening of the skin.
Sleep tight my friends. When your body rests, the body increases blood flow to the skin, helping assist in the regeneration of skin cells. Plus- that basically means sleeping is good for you.
Now that you know what causes wrinkles, you’re better able to prevent their arrival. Set yourself up for success and do your best to take proactive steps against wrinkles. If you have any questions of what options are available to you, contact our team of experts at La Perla Med Spa.