We’ve all been there. We’ve had that moment of standing in the mirror gazing up at our skin and noticing that first out-of-place line. Whether you call them frown lines, laugh lines, or crow’s feet, there’s really only one true name for them: wrinkles. Today’s beauty culture tends to consider aging as a negative thing and beauty products that promise to tone, tighten and disappear fine lines are all the rage. There are numerous skincare products and medical aesthetic treatments available to conquer this most prominent sign of aging. But do those treatments work and will they make a difference as you age? Can you really escape the normal process of aging? Is it possible to defy gravity even if just for a little while? To find out, we found out everything you need to know about those little lines that make for big skincare business.
ALL ABOUT THOSE WRINKLES
Contrary to popular belief and despite what we call them, there are actually different types of wrinkles depending on their origin and characteristics. These two different types of wrinkles are known as either dynamic or static. Dynamic wrinkles appear due to our repeated muscle control. For example, they may show up on your face as you smile or frown, or think or get excited. They usually form across the forehead, on the outer corners of your eyes or between your eyebrows. As soon as dynamic wrinkles appear, they will fade away when you return to a normal facial pose. They’re essentially the folds of the skin that come from the way we use certain muscles. When you’re young, your face will bounce right back but as you age, these wrinkles can become static.
Static wrinkles do not go away when the face is calm. As we age, our skin loses the subcutaneous fat, collagen (FAT AND COLLAGEN ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT!), elastic fibers as well as, hyaluronic acid. There are many reasons we get these static wrinkles—Sun damage, smoking, gravity, poor diet, stress and natural aging may all increase static wrinkles. These permanent wrinkles remain no matter how the muscles underneath the skin are moving. They are the wrinkles that everyone wants rid of.
As you can see, not all wrinkles are created equal. They aren’t even formed in equal ways. For instance, the fine lines in under eye areas can appear very early in life as a result of dehydration. A cream high in oil content and humectants can effectively help reduce those lines. Frown lines, on the other hand, are created by repetitive muscle movement and can only be prevented by reducing muscle movement. Marionette lines, the ones laterally circumscribed the chin form due to facial volume loss and the best way to address those lines are medical aesthetic procedures such as dermal fillers and face lift. So if wrinkles are all different, how is it possible that most anti-wrinkle creams treat these wrinkles equally? Most of these creams contain the usual ingredients: wrinkle filling silicone and polymers with some famed peptides and the gold standard retinol.
No matter what their origins are, wrinkles share similar anatomical characteristics and the path to deterioration.
As you age, your skin becomes naturally thinner, less hydrated and less elastic. Environmental factors, such as sun damage or smoking, can speed up the process. But the actual scientific process of wrinkling is due to a loss of the support underneath your skin. First the collagen/elastic fiber breaks down, there’s a reduction in the production of hyaluronic acid and finally, a migration of fat away from your skin. This leaves behind deep wrinkles that are tough to fight. You’ll be able to notice a difference with these deep wrinkles. Look for these four characteristics:
- Thinning of the skin. The epidermis will thin and the epidermal ridge will flatten. This means your skin is easier to collapse and allow more wrinkles to form.
- Breakdown of collagen. In the dermis, there are supportive components that include collagen and elastic fibers that help your skin look puffy and smooth. As you age, these begin to breakdown, leaving skin looking more saggy.
- Reduction of hyaluronic acid production. These sugar molecules are present in both epidermis and dermis. They absorb water and expand, acting like a spongy to give skin the plumped look. When you begin to age, the production of hyaluronic acid in the epidermis greatly decreases until stop and the dermal production slows down as well.
- Tight, inflexible skin. Thickening of the stratum corneum, the outer layer of the skin, tightens and becomes less lucid, especially in the deepest portion of the wrinkle. These changes give wrinkles an uneven, harsh feel and prevent active ingredients in topical treatment from penetrating.
UNCOVERING THE MYTHS
Once you realize that you’re dealing with a deep wrinkle, you’ll better understand the importance of treating it. But you must always be vigilant about separating fact from fiction when it comes to wrinkle care. Some claims out there are just wrong and can leave consumers feeling confused.
Drinking collagen will increase collagen content in the skin?!
Many beauty sites have raved about the effects that drinking collagen will boost stores in your skin. The truth is that your body will take in the collagen and break it down and put it wherever it sees fit. So you can’t really drink collagen and then your body knows to put a little in your cheeks! No! This myth is busted.
Topical application of hyaluronic acid will increase hyaluronic acid content in the skin?
Though some popular skincare brands promise that these results are true, their product actually doesn’t even penetrate the skin barrier, meaning it’s ineffective in treating deep wrinkles. No! This myth is busted.
EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR WRINKLES
So what are the right ways to treat these wrinkles in the skin? Whether, you’re looking to rid your skin of fine lines or deep wrinkles, there are many effective procedures available to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help restore you to a fresher feel. Here are some top procedures and the results you can expect.
- Chemical Peels (fine lines). During these a chemical is applied to the skin that causes old skin to blister and fall away, revealing new skin with less finer lines. Glycolic peels (which are superficial) or the deeper, salicylic acid and trichloroacetic acid peels help strip away fine lines. Some pigment changes may occur.
- Microneedling. Also called, collagen induction therapy, is a procedure where little needles are used to puncture the top layer of skin and simulate collagen and elastin production. This procedure is minimally invasive.
- Botox (dynamic lines). Botulinum toxin is an injection that works to paralyze the muscles that cause facial lines, like brow lines or frown lines. The botox doesn’t travel to other muscles and the procedure is considered safe. It lasts for a few months but then will need to be repeated to keep desired results which can increase the price tag.
- Argireline (dynamic lines). As a synthetic peptide, it works to stop the transmission of signals from neurons to muscles, similar to Botox. Most users love that there isn’t any surgery required and that the price tag is relatively cheaper. Recent studies have shown positive results as an anti-wrinkle cream.
- Dermal Filler (static wrinkles). Dermal fillers are injections that help plump up areas that need a boost like the lips or cheeks. The procedure is complimentary to botox.
- Laser Resurfacing (both dynamic and static wrinkles). Whether ablative or non-ablative, lasers transmit energy to the dermal layer to activate collagen production and other repairing processes.
- Fractora. Not quite surgery and not quite a laser treatment, this procedure uses radio frequency to heat up the skin and use coagulation to improve skin complexion and reduce wrinkles.
- Ultherapy. Uses ultrasound therapy to provide a non-invasive face lift and to remove wrinkles from the chest. It works by targeting the inside of the skin tissue without damaging the outside layer of skin.
- Facial yoga. This needless exercise helps to stretch out the dynamic wrinkles and strengthen the weakended muscles which contribute to facial sagging. Like the workout for our body, our face needs to workout as well.
- Anti-wrinkle skincare products. Even though tropical wrinkle skincare products are not as effective as medical procedures, they do provide important preventative and post treatment care. For dynamic wrinkles, we know we need muscle relaxer, such as Argireline! For static wrinkles, we need proper hydrating ingredients. For deep wrinkles, we know we need some exfoliating ingredients as well.
There are wonderful techniques available to help slow down the process of aging and the wrinkles that come with it. Check with your doctor about the best options for your case. Do your research about the effective and non-effective treatments for actually reducing and treating your wrinkles. But above all, remember that every laugh line is a result of a wonderful life, well-lived and that’s something to be proud of!