Wrinkles are a sagging of the skin structures due to a lack of collagen and elastin. They arise mainly due to the repeated contraction and stretching of some areas of the skin, especially the face.
What are the main causes of wrinkles?
Wrinkles are therefore due to aging and then depend on the personal genetic make-up (intrinsic aging), and on other factors more dependent on the lifestyle and the presence or absence of specific treatments for the skin.
In more detail, following ageing, the fibroblasts present in the dermis gradually and inexorably decrease their activity. The synthesis of elastic fibers, collagen fibers and glycosaminoglycans (the fundamental components that help support and support the skin through the formation of a sort of scaffold) is reduced.
The already formed elastic fibers and collagen, on the other hand, become thinner and their structure is altered, causing a further "sagging" of the skin. At the same time, over time there is a reduced production of sebum . This causes the thinning of the hydro-lipid film that covers the skin and an increase in skin dehydration.
Furthermore, we must not forget that even melanocytes decrease their activity over time, producing less melanin. This slowdown subjects the dermis to a more accentuated photoaging.
Typically wrinkles begin to appear around the age of 30 and are accentuated by the onset of menopause, for women.
Prevent wrinkles by improving your lifestyle
Some simple tricks in everyday life can help to ward off the appearance of wrinkles over time, they are simple indications but often difficult to put into practice:
Smoking: Smoking has several negative effects on the skin. The nicotine that is released into the blood causes a permanent contraction of the blood vessels in the dermis, which are no longer able to effectively nourish the cells. This vasoconstriction increases the speed of skin aging and the appearance of wrinkles. Smokers' skin also often appears pale and dull .
Smoking also causes the formation of wrinkles from a "mechanical" point of view. The movement repeated by the smoker while sucking on the cigarette over time contributes decisively to the formation of wrinkles in the lip contour (so-called "barcode").
- Alcohol: involves a dilatation and a loss of elasticity of the capillaries which, as previously mentioned, causes a decrease in the nutrient supply to the cells and the formation of wrinkles. Furthermore, alcohol helps to dehydrate our body and deplete the reserves of vitamins A and C, strong antioxidants capable of counteracting the action of free radicals.
- Stress: dehydrates the skin, because when we are under pressure the body diverts blood flow from peripheral organs such as the skin in order to supply energy to the muscles. And then the epidermis reddens easily, because there is an inflammatory state which in some cases can lead to acne rosacea. In general, the whole face is affected: the skin loses brightness, the eyes are circled due to chronic lack of sleep and the size of the jaw also increases.
Does the sun increase wrinkles?
Unfortunately, even in this case the answer is yes. Let's see in detail what the sun's rays cause on our skin:
- Light radiation: both natural and artificial. Although wrinkles are common in adulthood, it can happen in some cases that they develop early. In these cases, often, the main cause can be attributed to excessive sun exposure from the first years of life. This particular skin aging process is called
Photoaging (photoaging) : Unprotected exposure to ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun causes an increase in the production of free radicals in our body. The increase occurs very quickly, starting from 15 minutes of exposure. Free radicals are unstable molecules as they contain at least one unpaired electron. For this reason they are very reactive molecules that tend to subtract an electron from neighboring molecules. All this creates a degenerative process of the fibroblasts, a degradation of the collagen and elastin fibers and an increase in the production of pigment which cause the appearance of wrinkles and skin spots.
In the worst cases, unprotected exposure to UV rays leads to genetic modification and the development of skin cancer.
Facial gymnastics against wrinkles
Accentuated facial mimicry increases expression lines, substantially, they form as a result of the continuous stress to which the skin is subjected by the mimic muscles present in our face . It is no coincidence that this type of wrinkle is more evident in individuals who have marked facial expressions and who, therefore, make extensive use of the aforementioned facial muscles. There is a type of facial gymnastics able to counteract the effects of this type of "subjective attitude". Although it is not a real method capable of favoring the occurrence of facial wrinkles, a healthy lifestyle can be very useful to slow down their appearance and to maintain healthy and beautiful skin, even with age.
What are the most common types of wrinkles?
- Expression lines: due to the continuous contraction of the superficial muscles of the face, to express one's emotions they form mainly near the eyes and corners of the mouth.
- Sleep wrinkles: sleep wrinkles are the direct consequence of the expressions and positions taken during the night. When you are young they disappear in a short time immediately after waking up, but over time they tend to remain on the face and become permanent.
- Gravitational wrinkles: gravitational wrinkles are caused by the action of the force of gravity on the skin, which favors its descent onto the underlying tissues. The appearance of this type of wrinkle is favored by the atrophy of the subcutaneous adipose tissue and by alterations in the bone structure. A further cause may be the loss of tone, compactness and elasticity typical of the passage of time.
- Actinic wrinkles: actinic wrinkles depend on the exposure of the dermis to ultraviolet radiation (from both natural and artificial light). The aforementioned photoaging of the skin depends on them. This particular wrinkle then gives the skin the classic "parchment" look.
What are the possible remedies?
- Cosmetology: it is always looking for products that are able to favor the relegation or delay the formation of the phenomenon, in a more natural and non-invasive way. Face creams or face serums are created by laboratories with specific formulas against the signs of ageing. The remedies implemented with it range from providing the skin with useful substances such as water, fat and hyaluronic acid, essential antioxidants to counteract the action of free radicals.
- Photoaging: it is essential to block the action of UVA rays through the use of adequate sunscreens. More precisely, you can take vitamin E and Vitamin C, the first is a fat-soluble vitamin and is known above all for its antioxidant properties. It is present in vegetable oils (peanut oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ and olive oil), it is found in whole wheat and some types of dried fruit (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts). Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is also fat soluble and is widely present in some types of fruit and vegetables. The main ones are: citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, tangerines), kiwis, strawberries, blackcurrants, dark leafy vegetables (broccoli, watercress, spinach, cabbage), tomatoes, peppers, potatoes.
Medicine continues to offer much more invasive solutions, but with the most lasting results with laser techniques (facelift), use of botulinum toxins. These substances help smooth out wrinkles by inhibiting the contraction of the facial muscles. Chemical substances, radio frequencies and micro-crystals to stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin.
To lift in English means to lift. The facelift is a high plastic surgery intervention that aims to lift the tissues that have relaxed and lost their tone. This in order to rejuvenate the appearance of the face.
Deep facelift: Properly called a rhytidectomy. This treatment eliminates excess skin, reshapes the underlying muscles, especially under the chin, on the sides of the mouth and on the cheeks.
Where necessary, the fat is removed or volume is added, thanks to the auto-transplantation of adipose tissue, in the emptied areas. The face appears more compact, taking time back about ten years.
Finally, the use of one's own fat as a filling substance also proves to be effective in terms of improving the quality of the tissues. It is a source of stem cells with remarkable regenerative potential.
The surgeon makes incisions on each side of the face in areas close to the hairline, so that any scars will then remain hidden by them.
Then lift the skin and stretch it by removing the excess. In some cases, it is also possible to tone the underlying muscle groups.
- Volumetric lifting: in addition to repositioning the skin, it aims to integrate the subcutaneous tissues. The operation, which can last several hours, is performed under general or local anesthesia and requires a recovery period of at least two weeks.
Contraindications of surgical remedies
The contraindication of these surgical remedies is fundamentally of a psychological nature , but it should not be underestimated. In fact, these operations often give the face a particular rigidity. This is a trait often noticed by people, who tend to view it as an unnatural absence of emotion. In this way the opposite effect is obtained compared to what those who undergo these real operations would like to achieve. The key, therefore, is to take care of your beauty without distorting it. This is why pampering the skin of the face with specific creams, serums and oils is the right solution to have a healthy appearance without losing one's identity.
Natural products against wrinkles
A remedy against the onset of wrinkles can be the one put in place by creams based on snail slime . As various researches have shown, the secretion emitted by these animals is a concentrate of nourishing and regenerating substances. We find various elements used in the cosmetic field such as allantoin, glycolic acid, elastin, collagen and some vitamins, proteins and peptides.
Snail slime is known for its anti-aging properties. It is also used to treat oily skin, wrinkles and stretch marks, acne and rosacea, age spots, burns. It is also excellent for treating scars. Its action can be summarized in promoting the elimination of dead skin with glycolic acid.
Allantoin instead stimulates cell regeneration, replacing dead cells, vitamin C and E nourish the skin, collagen and elastin give the skin elasticity.