Getting Wrinkly? Take These Steps!
You look into your mirror, and oh no! There’s a crease under your eye and another between your brow. You begin to panic. It’s started, it’s over, the wrinkles are here and I am old… Okay but don’t freak out just yet! If you’re still in your 20s there is lots of time for you to get serious about taking charge of your skin and preventing more wrinkles from forming!
How do the Wrinkles Form?
By definition, wrinkles are creases, folds, and ridges that form in the skin. Wrinkles can form naturally when you scrunch your face when making various facial expressions. And in terms of aging, they form when the skin becomes thinner and loses its elasticity. Let’s get into how wrinkles form when the skin ages.
The skin ages through a number of cumulative processes that occur naturally as the body grows older. There are 1) internal aging processes and 2) external aging processes. The internal aging process happens naturally regardless of what you do. After you turn twenty, collagen production in the dermis decreases year-on-year by 1%. As collagen production slows down, collagen and elastin fibers start to become thicker, clumpier, and looser. This leads to the skin becoming inelastic and brittle. The thinning of skin occurs as the fat cells in the subcutaneous layer shrink. The combination of thinning skin with a loss of elasticity results in wrinkles. Whenever you make facial expressions (smiling, laughing, frowning, crying, squinting, and so on), fine lines begin to develop in your skin. But we have an abundance of collagen and fats, this allows the skin to spring back to normal, which is why wrinkles and lines do not show on young people. However, as you grow older and the skin loses this property of elasticity, that is how wrinkles begin to become more pronounced. The lines in your skin are unable to bounce back the way it did when you were young, and that is how permanent grooves in the skin form.
On the flip side, the external aging process occurs due to environmental factors that are damaging to the skin and is caused by free radicals that pull electrons from molecules in the skin, resulting in biological alterations to the cells. Skin proteins are damaged and as a result, skin becomes more brittle and less elastic. The biggest culprits of external skin damage are UV exposure (sun exposure) and smoking.
What to do When You See a Wrinkle
So we know how wrinkles form, now it’s time to go into how to combat them!
1. Zoom into the affected area
There will be areas that are more prone to wrinkling depending on what facial expressions we make because that is where the skin is moving the most. The forehead, eye area, and mouth area are most prone to wrinkling simply because the muscles in these areas move the most. What’s more, the skin is up to 40% thinner in these areas compared to the rest of the face like the cheeks. Just take a quick look at your face and pinch your cheeks, then pinch your forehead. There is a significant difference in the plumpness and amount of skin there. The thinner the skin, the more likely wrinkles will form.
2. Get serious with your skincare
Get specific about these affected areas! Start incorporating targeted products that will directly work on these areas, rather than trying to use one product all over your face. If your eyes are the wrinkled area, invest in a high-quality eye cream with retinol. Retinol is great for skin-strengthening that has the added benefit of stimulating collagen production and skin cell repair. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try an at-home micro-needling device, which contains slim needles that will very carefully puncture the skin. Yes, it sounds a little morbid but micro-needling is a very effective skincare procedure for stimulating a wound-healing response that will firm the surface over time. You use it by pressing the device around your eyes and the rest of your face for a few minutes once or twice a week. If you’re jittery about needles, you can also try a more entry-level mask, which are contoured patches designed to nicely fit right around your eyes, forehead, and even the sides of the nose. Similar in concept to micro-needling, the masks have little bristles that gently prick the skin to deeply penetrate the skin with rejuvenating vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
3. Try some face yoga
Just like you workout to keep your body toned and tight, the same applies to your face! Ensuring that your skin is taut and strong can help reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines since the cause is weak and drooping skin. One method is to use a roller, such as the very trendy jade rollers or facial gua sha, a type of massage which uses a flat, smooth stone and running it across your jaw, cheeks, and forehead. This improves blood circulation and will help with lifting and sculpting the facial muscles. This has the added benefit of giving your face a more sculpted and slender look.
4. Remove your makeup properly and gently
It is crucial to cleanse your skin at night, especially when you have been wearing makeup and skincare products all day long in addition to being exposed to dirt, dust, and grime as you go through everyday life. Cleansing your skin properly is necessary to clean out all the residue and help your skin function and repair itself naturally. All kinds of products will fill pores and if you do not remove it before going to bed, they can not only clog up pores but also settle into fine lines and wrinkles. If you wear products during the day, it is a good idea to double cleanse. Remove your makeup with an oil or cream-based cleanser as these are the most effective in dissolving and removing products.
5. Boost your skincare routine with serums
Fine lines are also a result of a lack of moisture and hydration in the skin. Using a more targeted moisturizer and incorporating serums will definitely help to combat the lack of moisture in your skin! Use anti-aging serums that will be more potent in locking in moisture. Serums have a much higher concentration of active ingredients than a regular moisturizer, and the best serums for anti-aging are derivatives of vitamin C. Vitamin C serums are very powerful for anti-aging as it is an antioxidant that helps to neutralize radicals that cause oxidative stress to the skin, which is one of the causes for aging skin. It is also crucial in helping maintain skin structure.
Countering wrinkles is not impossible but will take a few targeted steps and trial-and-error to find your optimal skincare routine! Remember that your habits start young and it is better to prevent early wrinkling than trying to solve it when you are older and the skin is weaker!