This is Martha Thomas, head of customer care for Tree of Life Beauty, and I want to welcome you to our weekly newsletter where we discuss important ways to age gracefully, “how-tos” for keeping skin healthy as you age, and so much more about your skincare regimen.
Please be advised that we are not doctors or dermatologists, and this article should not be taken as medical advice or any medical statement. Any questions or issues involving your skin-care needs should be discussed with a physician, and we highly recommend you consult with your doctor before taking up any skin-care regimen.
Everyone will get wrinkles at some point or another. It’s a natural part of existence that shows that you are living a full life. So, in this article, we are going to explain wrinkles, their causes, and their “solutions” to get rid of the wrinkles stigma for good.
What Is A Wrinkle?
Wrinkles, also known scientifically as rhytides, are folds or creases in the skin. They most often appear around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. They can range from fine, faint lines (approx. one to two mm in depth) up to several mm with more defined, static wrinkles. However, wrinkles aren’t localized only to the face, and they can appear on the neck, hands, and throughout the body.
There are three layers of the skin. The top layer is the epidermis, which is that glowing and radiant layer that everyone sees. The middle layer is the dermis, and this is where all the action happens. The innermost layer is the subcutaneous layer. The dermis houses the elastin and collagen, which keep your skin moisturized, firm, and looking young and youthful.
It’s also the dermis that starts to tire out over time. With continued contractions of the skin, the dermis starts to lose its strength. Repeated movements create minor “injuries,” and the broken elastic collagen fibers have trouble repairing itself over time. The replacement fibers begin to become looser and stiffer after so many injuries, and this creates a fold of skin we know as a “wrinkle.”
Furthermore, time and gravity start to pull on the skin, and the dermis starts to thin from this external pressure. Elastin and collagen production and restoration begins to slow, and the dermis has to work twice as hard to retain the moisture it did in its youth. Because of this, the epidermis on top of the dermis starts to sag and wrinkle.
What Causes Wrinkles?
Wrinkles are often caused by continuous contractions of a certain part of the face. These skin contractions can come from several different places.
- Habitual sleeping positions can actually give you wrinkles! If you sleep on your stomach or side, your face may be compressed against the pillow or mattress. Your skin that sits in this wrinkled position for hours, leaving you with “bed face” in the morning. Over time, this can actually deepen and permanently injure the skin.
- Remember how your mother would say, “Don’t make that face or it’ll get stuck like that”? She wasn’t wrong. Making the same face repeatedly can wrinkle into that position over time! This is especially true for the “thinking pose,” which is when you rest your chin in your hand. This creates a deep crease in the chin that many “philosophers” get as they age.
- Did you know that couples start to look more like each other as they age? This is because they tend to share the same emotions and facial expressions as they go through major life events together. With these similar facial expressions come similar wrinkles, making their faces begin to be shaped the same! Learn more about this study by Dr. Zajonc here.
- A loss of body mass or quick weight loss can also hurt your skin. Your skin is supple and able to adjust to changes in weight, but drastic loss can “shock” your skin. It will stay in the same position despite the fat mass changes underneath. This will lead to sagging, wrinkled skin.
- And of course, general aging causes wrinkles. This comes from habitual facial expressions, sun damage, smoking, poor hydration, poor diet, and just a general slowing of skin’s elastin and collagen production processes.
But “aging” wrinkles doesn’t mean you’ve suddenly hit a certain “wrinkle” age. Some people will start seeing wrinkles in their 20s, and some won’t spot any until their 60s! Rather, lifestyle practices, genetics, and other external factors can affect wrinkle aging. Do not feel old when you spot a wrinkle. Instead, take practical measures to protect your skin.
How Can You Prevent And Diminish Wrinkles?
Although wrinkles are a natural part of life, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you diminish your wrinkle likelihood as you age.
- Avoid spending too much time in the sun, as UV rays damage skin’s natural processes, causing your face to age quicker.
- Don’t smoke, which also can damage and morph cells permanently.
- Sleep on your back or invest in a pillow that won’t compress your face while you sleep (like a memory foam pillow).
- Drink water. The more hydrated you are, the more hydrated your cells are, leading to more supple, youthful-looking skin.
- Moisturize dry skin. Again, hydrated cells are happy cells. Dehydration can damage skin cells in the long term, and this will cause irreversible wrinkles. Be sure to moisturize with a quality, moisturizer and serum every day—especially in cold and windy climates. Invest in an anti-wrinkle cream to kill two birds with one stone.
- Don’t strip skin of natural oils. Sebum helps keep your skin moisturized so it will wrinkle less. If your body stops producing natural sebum, it will begin to sag quickly. Harsh, chemical-ridden cleansing products permanently strip skin of these natural oils. Instead, opt for more natural cleansers and toners full of vitamins and antioxidants.
Wrinkles are a natural part of life. They show off a life chock full of emotion and animation. Nevertheless, you can diminish the look of these wrinkles to add to a youthful complexion, so you can continue to live that radiant, young life!
A few lifestyle changes, the right skincare products, and a love of your skin will diminish wrinkles and leave your skin supple and vigorous. Check out our Tree of Life products to see how our highly organic products can add vitality to your look!