Why Does Our Skin Wrinkle?

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March 14, 2018 | Gaye Barlow

We all know that with age comes wrinkles, but rather like suddenly finding a grey hair, they can creep up on us.

Do you know what’s behind the process, and how you might slow it down?

The way I explain this to my clients is, numerous factors contribute to our skin ageing, but the factors fall pretty neatly into three categories: biological, environmental and mechanical ageing.

Biological ageing

This is in part your inheritance – yes, you will probably one day look like your mother! Deep down changes affect your skin, such as cells that can no longer retain water so well; collagen and elastin fibres breaking down; and increased inflammation.

A big step forward, however, is we understand the role of free radicals on our skin. Free radicals are unstable molecules, and they can damage our skin’s proteins and DNA. We know that antioxidants can neutralise free radicals, so we need antioxidants. Easy! Eat a diet full of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, take some nutritional supplements and use a nutrient-rich cream.

Environmental ageing

It’s fairly easy to predict these factors: UV radiation, weather extremes, pollution and smoke are the big culprits. They increase the free radical damage to your skin.

The biggest impact you can have will be to wear UV protection every day. (If you think I say this in every blog, you should hear me in the clinic.)

Talking of the clinic, the most common complaint of women 40-plus is dehydrated skin. Caused by air conditioning or a harsh climate, it directly impairs your skin, increasing inflammation, decreasing cellular function and decreasing the skin’s immunity. It’s important to get on top of dehydration to slow the onset of fine lines and wrinkles.

Mechanical ageing

And finally, repeated muscle movements will cause our faces to wrinkle, such as frowning or smiling (don’t give up the latter!).

Seriously, though, try to be aware of what you do all the time. Here are some common ones: resting your chin or cheek in your hand, weight fluctuation, squinting, sleeping on your stomach, and pursing the lips when drinking through a straw or smoking a cigarette.  Avoid habits like these to reduce the impact of mechanical wrinkle formation.

All in all, they’re quite straightforward tips, I think. You can see that by making just a few small lifestyle changes you ‘ll be taking longer to create more lines on your face and the lines you have will be much better looking!  Here’s to a wrinkle-free life as long as possible.

Are you feeling more wrinkly than you think your age warrants and it concerns you? Let me help.

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