When we are young, our skin is smooth and plump but as we grow older our skin no longer look as good. They begin to show signs of aging like wrinkles. But have you ever wondered why does the skin wrinkle? If you are a woman who is concerned about her looks, then you are bound to be curious about this.
This article tells you why and what to do to prevent its onset. Read on.
What Are Wrinkles
Wrinkles are said to be folds, ridges, or creases in the skin which typically appear as a result of the aging process, says Wikipedia.org.
Young people do not have wrinkles. Why? Because their skin stretches and holds in moisture.
According to Medical News Today, the skin of a person when she is young springs back but as she gets older, it loses its flexibility and springing back becomes harder and less frequent which leads to more permanent grooves.
Cause of wrinkles
Several factors are responsible for this. The factors mentioned below are the main culprits:
Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. As people get older, their skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic, and less able to protect itself from damage which leads to wrinkles, creases, and lines on the skin.
Aging of the skin is attributed to two processes; Intrinsic and Extrinsic processes.
Intrinsic aging is the natural aging process that takes place over the years regardless of outside influences. By this process, the skin loses its ability to stretch and hold moisture due to a breakdown of its elastin fibers and its ability to produce collagen also weakens. The fat in the subcutaneous layer lessens.
Decreased production of natural oil dries the skin making it appear more wrinkled, and as fat in the deeper layer of the skin diminishes, it causes the skin to become loose, saggy with more-pronounced lines, says Mayo Clinic.
Genetics, to a large extent, plays a part in this. It determines our skin’s ability to produce collagen and elastin which affects the tendency of the skin developing wrinkles early in life.
Extrinsic aging occurs as a result of outside influences which cause various degrees of damage to the skin resulting in the appearance of roughness, uneven tone, brown patches, thin skin, and deep wrinkles. 4 major factors are responsible for this process of aging;
The sun’s ray ( UVA and UVB ) is responsible for over 80% of the damage to our skin. Overexposure of the skin to the sun over time damages collagen and elastin in the skin resulting in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
Smoking is another factor that damages the skin. It is second only to UV radiation in its aging effects on the skin. Tobacco contains a lot of substances that damage the skin. Smoking constricts the blood vessels thereby reducing blood supply to the skin. The consequence of this is a reduction in the amount of nutrients and oxygen the skin gets resulting in a reduction of valuable free radical – fighting antioxidants.
What this translates to is damage to the elastin fibers which helps to produce healthy skin tone. The lack of nutrients to the skin can also result in lower estrogen level causing the skin to dry out.
Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances including gases, particulates, and biological molecules are introduced into Earth’s atmosphere, says Wikipedia.org
Air pollution has several side effects, not only on health but also, on the skin. Its effects on the skin include dryness, premature aging, skin rashes, eczema, and acne. Air pollutants rob skin cells of oxygen, which leads to premature aging causing loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles. Also, as a result of pollution, ozone strips the skin of vitamin E which nourishes the skin leading to dry skin.
Drinking too much alcohol is one of the ways by which you can age prematurely. Alcohol encourages wrinkles because it dehydrates your skin making it dry. The dry skin is weaker and more likely to sag making wrinkles more prominent.
There are other factors which, though have nothing to do with aging, encourage the appearance of wrinkles on your skin.
We are constantly smiling, frowning or squinting. All these expressions can lead to wrinkles. According to Mayo Clinic, every time you use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface of your skin. And as the skin ages, it loses its flexibility and is no longer able to spring back into place. These grooves then become permanent features on your face.
Other habits like drinking out of a straw and smoking, which both entail contracting of the muscles around your mouth, cause wrinkles around the mouth or Lip wrinkles, as it is known
Dehydration in skin occurs when there is a depletion in the skin’s water content. This is similar to dryness of skin but differs to the extent that whereas dehydration in skin is due to lack of water, dryness of skin occurs as a result of lack of oil in the skin. Both have the same effect on the skin…they deprive the skin of that look of plumpness and smoothness which makes wrinkles less obvious.
Lack Of Sleep
Sleep deprivation is most time accompanied by reduced collagen resulting in poor skin elasticity. This means more wrinkled and saggy skin. Getting the right amount of sleep is necessary to the well being of your skin. It is important to sleep for 7 to 8 hours a night to rejuvenate the skin.
Stress causes your body to produce a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol is released in the body, it encourages a process in the skin that weakens the body’s ability to rebuild collagen and elastin resulting in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
The absence of proper nutrition has a detrimental effect, not only on your body but on your skin health as well. Fats, vitamins, and minerals which are important components of your diet play an important role in your skin’s health.
Some substances that people take can have age-related side effects which include wrinkles. Drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, benzos, prescription pain medicine, and even alcohol, alter the appearance of users in several ways including premature aging, says North Point Recovery.
Also, some manufacturers of skincare products include certain cheap chemical ingredients in products that cause dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Parts of The Body That Are More Prone to Wrinkles
In as much as all parts of the body will eventually become wrinkled, there are some that tend to show wrinkles earlier. These are the parts of the body on which the effects of age, sun, and other environmental factors is heaviest occasioning a change in their color and texture.
Your hands are rarely covered, so, they are the weakest victims of the sun’s ray. Also, they take part in all kinds of activities which involves clenching of the fists, opening, and closing, and, over time these activities take their tools on it. The result is wrinkles
The skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate. It is very prone to wrinkling due to repeated facial expressions like squinting and smiling
The skin on our neck, like the eye, is thinner and more delicate than the other body parts. For this reason, it is more sensitive to damage by environmental elements to which it is constantly exposed.
The forehead is particularly susceptible to wrinkles as a result of daily exposure to the sun and other environmental pollutants. Also, repetitive facial expressions like frowning and emotional expressions are most likely to be factors that cause it to wrinkle early.
The lips are puffy during youth but with age, they become deflated. As a result of constant exposure to the elements, they are susceptible to dryness resulting in chapping and wrinkles around it. Other factors that may contribute to lip wrinkles include smoking, drinking from a straw and repetitive facial expressions.
The elbow is another part of the body that can easily give away your age. The reason is exposure to sun, not enough lipids and loss of oil glands.
Another reason is that the skin around the elbow is a little loose to allow for flexibility of movement of the hand. Also, the surrounding skin is usually thick and dry probably due to the fact that it is often neglected of care as it is behind the body, and coupled with too much pressure on it as a result of constant movement of the hand, the skin becomes saggy and wrinkled.
The knee, just like the elbow, is constantly working to allow your joints to bend and straighten. And also because there is loose skin on the knees, the skin begins to weaken and sag as a result of the constant movements
The skin on the chest area is delicate and prone to early wrinkles. Factors that contribute to this include our sleeping position, push up bras and exposure to the sun.
Your Sleeping position, especially if you sleep on your side and push-up bras, can constrict skin tissue creating folds in the cleavage which deepens and become part of the skin’s fabric resulting in wrinkles
How To Prevent Or Delay The Appearance Of Wrinkles
In as much as we cannot stop or halt the natural aging process, we can combat the aging signs that appear on our skin. Wrinkles can be prevented, delayed or its severity controlled to some extent. The following dermatologist tips would be helpful to you in this regards.
Know Your Skin Type and Use Products Suitable For Your Needs
Knowing your skin type is important in determining the kind of skin care products to use. Using skin care products meant for oily skin on dry skin would be counter-intuitive.
Also, avoid soaps and cleansers that contain harsh ingredients that can strip your skin of its natural oils which keep your skin wrinkle-free. Do not Over Wash Your skin or use hot water as this can dehydrate your skin and cause it to crack and wrinkle.
Avoid products that sting and burn as they can irritate your skin making it look older.
Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Using sun protection on your skin whenever you are going out is essential to protect your skin from the sun. Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 30 protection, to all uncovered parts of your body. In addition to this, wear a sun hat and sunglasses for extra protection of your head and eyes.
Water is essential to keep the skin hydrated from the inside to prevent it from drying out and losing elasticity thereby making it more prone to wrinkles. Drink plenty of water. At least 8 glasses of water daily is the recommended quantity.
Avoid drinking alcohol and too much coffee as they would further dehydrate your skin just as sugar-loaded soft drinks and juices would.
Moisturize Your Skin
Moisturize your face twice daily to trap in water in your skin for a more youthful appearance.
Use a good eye cream on your delicate eye area. Keep it nourished and hydrated to prevent premature wrinkles. Also, use anti-wrinkle cream on wrinkle-prone areas like the neck, hands, the forehead and chest areas.
Smoking speeds up the aging process resulting in wrinkles and a dull complexion. Avoid it.
Eat Foods That Are Healthy For The Skin
Proper foods are important for the health of your skin just as the products you put on it. The right foods to eat are those that have anti-aging properties. Foods in this class include those rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to promote radiant skin, heal blemishes and keep wrinkles at bay.
Also, foods that are high in healthy fats make your skin more elastic and gives it the ability to resist oxidative damage which is a cause of wrinkles.
Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep has a negative effect on your skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are some of them. Sleeping encourages skin cells regeneration. Observe at least 8 hours of sleep, it is called beauty sleep for a reason. And while you are at it, ensure to sleep in the right position. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, it can give you eye bags.
Also, avoid stress so that you do not suffer from any of the skin issues associated with it.
Aging, with all of its accompanying signs like wrinkles, is natural and cannot be stopped. Happily, you can prevent the onset of wrinkles, or control its severity by following these simple tips to keep your skin looking young and radiant for as long as possible.
What other methods are you using? Shoot us a comment and let us know, and if you have any questions, leave them below and I will be happy to get back to you.