What are wrinkles?

You can often get an idea of someone’s age by looking at their face, specifically the skin. Over time, wrinkles develop which make the person look older. When we’re young, our skin is very elastic and does a great job of stretching and retaining moisture.[1] Fibres called elastin keep the skin younger looking and elastic. A protein called collagen also plays part in preventing wrinkles by giving the skin strength and structure. However, as we age, the dermis loses both collagen and elastin, so the skin gets thinner and loses its ability to get enough moisture in the epidermis. Also, a subcutaneous fat layer that makes the skin plump starts to disappear. All of these body changes, brought out by aging, result in a sagging skin and wrinkle formation.

Even though having wrinkles can give people an aspect of wisdom, most of them do not want it. Lines and creases that form in your skin such as in the face, back of the hands, neck and top of the forearms can be frustrating and can lower your self-esteem. There are two main types of wrinkles: surface lines and deep furrows.[2] Some wrinkles can become furrows or deep crevices and may be noticeable around the eyes, neck and mouth. Billions of dollars are spent globally on wrinkle treatments.

Normal healthy skin has a smooth outer layer that acts as a good barrier to water and other environmental factors. It is interesting to note that a wrinkled skin examined under a microscope exhibits no signs that reveal it to be a wrinkle. This is probably related to several factors in the process of intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging is the natural aging process that occurs regardless of environmental factors or outside influences. After the age of 20, a person loses 1 percent of collagen produced in the skin each year.[3] Over time, much of this collagen is lost and can lead to more wrinkles.

What causes wrinkles?

The causes of the development of wrinkles vary from person to person. Apart from the normal aging process, several factors are known to contribute to the development of wrinkles:

Smoking: Regular smoking constricts blood vessels and reduces the oxygen supply to different body tissues, making them age faster.[4]

Light skin: People with light skin are prone to higher level of sun damage, which can accelerate the development of wrinkles.

Genetic factors: If your parents develop wrinkles earlier, your chances of developing wrinkles are significantly higher.

Exposure to UV rays: Sunlight can damage the elastin and collagen in the skin, which can accelerate wrinkle formation. People whose jobs expose them to the sun for long periods of time, are at greater risk of developing wrinkles. These jobs include fishermen, farmers, golfers, sailors, gardeners and tanning booth employees.

Repeated facial expressions: People who repeatedly frown, smile, or squint usually develop wrinkles earlier than others who do not express emotions as often. Each time you use a facial muscle, a groove forms under the skin surface. When you are young, the skin springs back, but over time it loses its flexibility to spring back and becomes harder, resulting in more permanent grooves.[5]

Sleeping positions: The way you sleep may actually result to wrinkle formation. No matter how soft your pillow, it puts additional pressure on your face. Over the years, this can etch lines into your cheeks, chin or forehead. Pattern of wrinkles depends on how you rest your face on the pillow.

Yo-yo dieting: According to experts, yo-yo dieting (losing and gaining back large amount of weight) can damage the skin. This is due to the repeated stretching of the skin when you gain or lose weight, which damages the elastic structure of the skin.[6] Over time the skin starts to sag and wrinkles occur.

Sugar: Glycation is a natural process in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, forming harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (ironically, AGEs for short). Too much sugar in your diet can increase the aging process due to the slow-down of collagen synthesis.

What is the treatment for wrinkles?

Getting rid of wrinkles, or taking steps to delay its development are nearly always optional measures, as this skin condition is not usually considered as a disease. Wrinkles are not life-threatening but may affect one’s self-esteem.

To treat wrinkles, the following methods can be effective:

Topical retinoids: They are derived from vitamin A and are effective in reducing fine wrinkles, pigmentation and skin roughness. However, persons using this cream must take precautionary measures as this medication can make the skin more susceptible to burning, redness and tingling sensations from the sun’s UV rays.[7]

Stem cells: Chi’s Swiss Apple Serum contains stem cells extracted from a rare Swiss apple rich in phytonutrients, proteins and long-living cells. It is a revolutionary technology designed to protect human skin stem cells with the help of stem cells from the rare apple. The Uttwiler Spätlauber is an endangered apple variety that is well-known for its ability to be stored for long periods without shrivelling, and thus its longevity potential. These apples are rich in phytonutrients, proteins and long-living cells. This active ingredient won the prize for “Best Active Ingredient”, 2008 in European Innovation.

anti wrinkles serumLaser resurfacing: This process stimulates the development of new collagen fibres to replace the wrinkled area. The skin feels firmer and appears rejuvenated after several treatments. As seen with the China Doll Skin Rejuvenation Treatment.

References:

  • 1. Roizen, M., et al (2007). You: Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Looking Good & Feeling Great, page 145.
  • 2. Thompson Jr, E. (2013). A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active, page 144.
  • 3. Wolff, K., et al (2007). Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology In General Medicine, Seventh Edition: Two Volumes, page 963.
  • 4. Tapley, D. (1994). The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Complete Home Medical Guide, page 125.
  • 5. Lees, M. (2012). Skin Care: Beyond the Basics, page 463.
  • 6. Perry, A., et al (1997). Are You Considering Cosmetic Surgery?, page 7.
  • 7. Katsambas, A., et al (2015). European Handbook of Dermatological Treatments, page 44.