What causes wrinkles?

What causes wrinkles? Most often, they're produced by years of unprotected sun exposure in combination with each person's unique genetic predisposition. As we age, we also lose subcutaneous fat and our skin becomes thinner - the result is the increasing appearance of wrinkles.

One of the effects of intrinsic aging is that less estrogen is produced by the body, which leads to the loss of elasticity and reduced collagen levels (causing the skin to appear "looser"), and eventually results in drier skin and the formation of wrinkles. If you're going through menopause, you may want to adapt your skin care routine and choose products that are specifically formulated for mature skin.

Protect exposed skin from the sun and stick to a basic skin care routine that includes a suitable cleanser and moisturizer. Look for skin care products that are specially designed for aging skin - these often contain beneficial ingredients such as amino peptides, vitamins and botanicals that can help to replenish hydration and smooth out the appearance of fine lines.

How to deal with the 2 types of wrinkles

Wrinkles on the skin are divided into those produced by movement of the skin and underlying muscles, and those that are present when the skin of the face is at rest. Regimented use of moisturizers can minimize the appearance of fine lines in skin at rest that are caused by the accumulation of sun damage and dehydration.

The effects of moisturizers are two-fold: they help to prevent the skin from drying out and they lubricate the surface of the skin to give a smoother appearance. For aging skin, it's helpful to look for moisturizing products that contain ingredients such as antioxidants, exfoliants, vitamins and amino-peptides for added benefits.

How skin thickness affects wrinkling

We're all thin-skinned... in certain areas! The thickness of our skin varies considerably, depending on its location and the role it plays: it's thinnest on our eyelids and thickest on the palms of our hands and soles of our feet.

Thin-skinned areas tend to have less stores of collagen and fat, which make them more prone to wrinkling. Furthermore, melanin (skin pigment) is the body's best defense against the harmful effects of the sun, that's why those with darker complexions exhibit less signs of photodamage.

Consequently, the degree of skin aging varies with each person's heredity and cumulative levels of sun exposure. Also, thicker and oilier skin areas tend to exhibit less wrinkles. The appearance of mature skin can be improved with the regular use of combination moisturizing products that contain a sunscreen and other beneficial ingredients. Well hydrated skin can diminish the appearance of fine lines and provide a more even texture to your complexion.

Need some help to manage those fine lines?

There are no clinically proven skin care products that can actually get rid of wrinkles. The only anti-aging products that have been scientifically proven to be effective, but require an early start, are sunscreens. Moisturizers can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but they won't make them go away.

If you want some extra help to conceal wrinkles, try using sheer foundations to give you a smoother appearance and more even-toned skin. Many foundations contain beneficial ingredients such as vitamins and minerals, which can have a nourishing effect on your skin. These products are readily available at most mass market retailers.

Vitamins that fight wrinkles

Vitamin antioxidants that can improve the appearance of fine lines on the skin include vitamin E and C, as well as the retinoids, which are derivatives of vitamin A. Antioxidants are thought to be beneficial due to their ability to reduce, neutralize, and prevent the damage done to the body by free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that your body produces through metabolic processes, such as food absorption, and via ingestion of toxins from dietary sources, or exposure to air pollution. Basically, during the course of daily life, you are constantly subjected to potential sources that promote free radical production. It is thought that the multiple benefits of antioxidants include their ability to reduce free radical damage by blocking the oxidative processes in cells, inhibit inflammation that leads to collagen depletion, and offer protection against sun damage and skin cancer.