No one wants to look in the mirror and see those first signs of aging – wrinkles. As we get older, we start to see creases, folds or ridges in our skin. The first to appear on our face tend to occur as a result of facial expressions – those crinkles around your eyes when you smile. But, sun damage, smoking, dehydration, some medications, and many other factors can also cause wrinkles to develop.
As we age our skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic and the ability to protect itself from damage decreases. There are two types of wrinkles – surface lines and deep furrows. Typically wrinkles appear on the parts of the body that receive the most sun exposure including the backs of hands, face, neck and tops of forearms. Most of us don’t look forward to these lines of wisdom – preferring instead to retain the youthful glow of younger years. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to slow down wrinkles.
Aside from aging, these are the factors most associated with premature wrinkles:
- Smoking – scientists suggest that the link between regular smoking and accelerated aging of skin is due to a reduced blood supply to the skin.
- Fair Skin – people with light skin tend to experience a higher level of sun damage, which can speed up the development of wrinkles.
- Clothing Choices – people who tend to wear hats and long sleeves usually develop wrinkles later in life compared to other people of the same skin type.
- Occupation – if your job is mostly outside, you’re exposed to more sunlight and harmful UV rays, such as, fishermen, farmers, sailors, golfers, landscapers, etc.
Wrinkles may be inevitable, but there are things you can do to slow the process of their appearance. When you’re out in the sun, wear sunscreen and a hat, even during the winter months. UVB rays, the main cause of sunburn, are the strongest in the summer. However, UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice.
Develop a good before bed skincare routine. Start with a night cream – a heavy, ultra-moisturizing lotion specially designed for wearing while you sleep. When choosing, look for one that contains hyaluronic acid, which helps plump and firm the skin. This is especially important during the dry, winter months.
You can’t avoid wrinkles, but at least you can do your part to slow them down!