Did you know November is National Healthy Skin Month? Your skin is your largest organ had worked to protect you for your entire life. This month, especially as the seasons transition, it’s important to place special emphasis on protecting your skin and maintaining it’s healthy, youthful glow.
While wrinkles are a natural part of aging, some people begin to develop signs of aging prematurely. There are often a number of environmental factors that lead to the early development of fine lines, wrinkles, and deeper facial folds. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to reverse or slow the aging process.
WHAT’S CAUSING YOUR WRINKLES?
The development of wrinkles tends to bother people. Genetics can play a role in the development of these pesky lines not only on your face, but also on your neck and hands. Before we talk about relaxing those wrinkles away, let’s talk about some of the things in your life and environment that are causing them to develop to begin with.
- UV exposure breaks down the collagen and elastin in the deep layers of your skin. Collagen and elastin decrease as you age, but high levels of UV exposure significantly speed up the process.
- Smoking alters the blood supply your skin receives, which may be a contributing factor when it comes to the development of wrinkles. The toxins in cigarettes are also being absorbed into your skin.
- Not sleeping enough messes with your skin’s pH levels and doesn’t give your body ample time to flush toxins from your skin and the rest of the body.
- Your high stress levels increase cortisol Cortisol raises your blood sugar levels, which causes damage to your collagen and elastin. Your body also can’t retain moisture properly when your cortisol levels are too high.
- Have a sweet tooth? Sugar binds to certain proteins, including — you guessed it — collagen and elastin.
- This causes of premature aging only scratch the surface when it comes to the ways we mess with our skin on a daily basis.
COSMETIC SOLUTIONS FOR RELAXING WRINKLES
If you’re not afraid of needles, neurotoxins and fillers are great options for relaxing wrinkles. Neurotoxins work to gently immobilize the small muscles under the skin within the area experiencing sagging or wrinkling, keeping you from making the same repetitive movements that are causing them to develop. This relaxation also makes wrinkles appear less obvious when you smile, frown, or speak.
That said, as you age, your face also begins to lose volume, which can also cause wrinkles as the skin begins to sag due to fluid, collagen, and elastin loss. In the case of lost volume, dermal fillers like Restylane help to restore volume and fill the skin out again, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
So what are your options? Some include:
- Botox – a popular neurotoxin used to gently relax small muscle groups in the face. When properly injected into the upper layers of the skin, it causes just enough immobilization to keep the skin from moving without completely freezing the muscles and making your face look stuck.
- Dysport – another form of abobotulinumtoxina. It is slightly stronger than Botox, which makes it a great solution for moderate to severe forehead wrinkles (or glabellar lines). It shouldn’t be used for mild wrinkles.
- Xeomin – this product is similar to Botox and Dysport but only contains one ingredient: the actual botulinum toxin A. Botox and Dysport both have additives that the body can form a resistance or immunity to more quickly.
- Juvederm – a dermal filler that comes in a smooth gel form. There are several varieties of Juvederm, all with hyaluronic acid. Your injector will choose the right formula based on your volume needs. Each filler in this family has a slightly different consistency.
- Restylane – another family of fillers for facial volume, also with hyaluronic acid. It was one of the first to be approved for use in the lips. Restylane stimulates the storage of water for better hydration and encourages collagen production.
- Belotero – a product designed for moderate to severe nasolabial folds (along the sides of your nose down to your mouth). It works by smoothing and plumping the area to reduce fine lines.
- Radiesse – a dermal filler, also known for restoring volume. As this particular gel dissolves, it also encourages the natural production of collagen.
- Bellafill – a newer filler also used for nasolabial folds and smile lines. It stimulates the production of natural collagen for up to five years.
Your injector will help you to determine which neurotoxins or fillers are right for your specific wrinkle needs. In a lot of cases, patients start with small amounts of Botox and then add fillers later. Some injectors will mix both products, using each in different areas, for a fresh, youthful appearance.
NATURAL WRINKLE RELAXERS, PREVENTION
Not ready for needles? There are a lot of dermatologist-approved products you can use at home to add hyaluronic acid to your face, promote moisture retention, and fill in some lost volume to reduce wrinkle development. Your dermatologist or aesthetician can make recommendations for which are most effective. You should look for products that contain collagen and/or retinol to encourage cell rejuvenation.
In addition to creams or gels, you may want to try:
- Regularly steaming your face to help with better product absorption.
- Visiting the spa for a microdermabrasion treatment. This type of treatment rids your skin of impurities, allowing it to naturally combat aging more effectively.
- Microneedling treatments stimulate your body’s own collagen production by poking tiny holes into the upper layers of the skin, which then heal themselves.
- Chemical peels and facials to restore your skin’s texture while promoting healing and — again — natural collagen production.
No one loves looking in the mirror and discovering that first wrinkle. The sooner you start treating the changes you see, the easier it will be to maintain your youthful appearance as you age. In the meantime, do everything you can to treat your body kindly and live a healthy lifestyle. The healthier your overall lifestyle, the healthier your skin will be. Both you and your skin deserve that care!