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Dealing With Wrinkles: Skin Care Basics

Aug 22, 2008
Wrinkles are commonly associated with aging. However, when proper skin care is neglected, wrinkles can appear sooner than they should. An assortment of products and treatments are available that promise to reduce and even eliminate wrinkles. Some promise more than they can deliver. Below, we'll briefly discuss the factors that cause wrinkles. We'll also describe a few common treatments (including wrinkle creams) and what steps you can take today in order to prevent wrinkles.

How Wrinkles Happen

Wrinkles appear and increase with age. The reason is due to the eventual breakdown of collagen fibers and the thinning of the skin. As the skin becomes thinner, it's less capable of retaining moisture. When the moisture is released, the skin becomes dry. The collagen fibers begin to deteriorate which causes the skin to lose its former elasticity. Meanwhile, the subcutaneous layer (beneath the dermis) begins to lose its ability to support the dermis and epidermis. As these events converge, the skin experiences increased sagging and wrinkling.

Excessive exposure to direct sunlight can result in premature wrinkling. This happens as a result of the sun's UV rays penetrating the epidermis and dermis. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation leads to accelerated collagen deterioration, thinning of the epidermis and the stimulation of free radicals.

Common Treatments For Wrinkles

There are several solutions that are used to battle wrinkles. Vitamin A acid (also called tretinoin) is commonly found in wrinkle creams while alpha-hydroxy acids and various antioxidants are often found in similar products. Vitamin A acid has the longest history of positive results when applied to mild wrinkles and fine facial lines.

Other solutions include peels, microdermabrasions and various forms of resurfacing procedures (performed by doctors). The most effective peels use salicylic or trichloroacetic acid to penetrate beneath the top layers of skin. Microdermabrasions (and dermabrasions) involve sanding the skin to provide a smoother appearance and texture. Laser resurfacing has the same effect as a dermabrasion but with a higher level of precision. It also encourages the production of collagen within the skin.

Efficacy Of Wrinkle Creams

Wrinkle creams are responsible for a large portion of the skin care industry's multi-billion dollar revenues. This is partially due to manufacturers' advertising which implies the high level of effectiveness of these creams. In truth, wrinkle creams have varying levels of efficacy. It's largely dependent upon the active ingredients used within the creams, the concentrations of those ingredients and how consistently the creams are applied. Also, while some active ingredients have successfully reduced the severity of mild wrinkles, most wrinkle creams haven't undergone rigorous clinical testing.

Action Steps For Preventing Wrinkles

Taking a preventative approach to skin care has proven effective for slowing the development of wrinkles. Here are 3 steps you can take today to reduce the likelihood of your skin aging prematurely.

#1 - Use a sunscreen that offers protection from UVA and UVB rays. Don't shop by SPF alone. Look on the back of the packaging for ingredients like ecamsule, titanium dioxide and avobenzone.

#2 - Stop smoking. The smoke that you inhale can devastate your skin over time. You won't see the effects immediately, but cigarette smoke will accelerate your skin's aging process.

#3 - Moisturize your skin. Help your skin retain water and moisture by using a moisturizer that is rich with antioxidants. It can prevent further skin damage while encouraging the production of collagen fibers.

The basics of skin care are built upon a foundation of preventative measures. These measures prolong the youthful appearance of your skin while sustaining its health. In doing so, they prevent the deterioration of collagen fibers and loss of elasticity, thereby avoiding the onset of wrinkles. Use the action steps above to preserve your skin's smooth texture.
About the Author
Bieux Skin is a leading innovator in natural skincare products, check out our website for more great skincare ideas.
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