“Why is your skin like this?” little Gaurav asks his grandfather. “It’s because I am old now! Old people have wrinkly skin like this” his grandfather replies, pointing to the wrinkles on his face.
A wonderful saying about old age goes, ‘Wrinkles are the service stripes of life!’ wrinkles, like many say are a sign of experience and wisdom. But did you know that even the young can develop wrinkles!
To begin with, what are wrinkles?
Wrinkles are nothing but folds, ridges or crevices that develop in one’s skin with age. As one grows old, the skin loses it elasticity, firmness and becomes dry and thin. This occurs due to the reduction of the subcutaneous fat (which is found directly under the skin layers) and water in the epidermal layer.
While wrinkles are a natural occurrence as one grows old, there are many other factors which can lead to wrinkles such as smoking, prolonged exposure to the sun, heredity and so on.
Are wrinkles preventable?
While wrinkles are not entirely preventable as they are a natural process, one can sure reduce them! Wrinkles are primarily caused due to preventable and natural factors. Since the natural factors such as one’s aging, heredity, genetics, skin color - Fair people are more prone to wrinkles as opposed to people with darker skin tones along with the environment (air pollution) are unavoidable, to reduce wrinkles one must take care to avoid or reduce the impact of the preventable factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to the sun and constant facial expressions such as frowning or squinting.
What should I do to avoid wrinkles?
Eat: To avoid wrinkles, one must make sure that they eat foods which contain anti-oxidants such as strawberries, blueberries, apples, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, beetroots etc along with foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Drink: Drinking plenty of water will help you avoid wrinkles as it keeps your skin hydrated. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to puffy skin which sags later on, heavy drinkers are known to have more wrinkles as compared to those who drink socially or don’t drink at all.
Don’t smoke: Collagen and Elastin are responsible for keeping our skin firm and supple, smoking affects this collagen thereby causing wrinkles. Smoking also causes reduction in the blood supply, which directly translates into less oxygen being supplied to the skin, thinning the skin in process. Thin skin is much more vulnerable to wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Second hand smoke can cause wrinkles too.
Don’t stress: Chronic stress is known to cause pre mature wrinkling. Studies have found that stress affects Telomeres, structures found at the end of the DNA strands which shorten with ageing, to cause wrinkles.
Avoid too much Sun: Exposure to the sun’s UV Rays is one of the major causes of wrinkles. The UV rays speed up the ageing process by breaking down Collagen and Elastin which are needed to keep the skin firm and supple. Collagen and Elastin function as the skin’s connective tissues and without their support the skin loses its elasticity and firmness.
Are there any treatments for wrinkles?
For the treatment of wrinkles surgical options such as Botox, face lift, laser treatments, fillers and Micro dermabrasion are quite popular. Other medicinal treatments include the application of topical creams which contain Retinoids, derived from Vitamin A; they are known to reduce fine wrinkles and help heal splotchy and rough skin. Similarly other topical creams which contain chemical compounds such as Tretinoin and Tazarotene are highly effective in reducing wrinkles, when used regularly.
Other than these, there is a wide range of anti ageing products available in the market; these products primarily target wrinkles and spots giving limited results which tend to go away in a short period of time.
Are there any Do’s and Don’ts, when it comes to wrinkles?
Wrinkles are a natural occurrence; however one can prevent excessive facial wrinkling by following some simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to wrinkles:
- Include lots of anti-oxidants in your diet
- Use sunscreen whenever you have to be outdoors during the day
- Moisturize your skin daily
- Drink lots of water
- Don’t smoke
- Avoid excessive drink
- Stay out long in the sun without any protection (sunscreen, clothes, hat etc)
- Sleep with your face crushed in the pillow
- Avoid continual facial expressions i.e. squinting, frowning etc.
As late actress Anna Magnani once said, ‘Please don't retouch my wrinkles. It took me so long to earn them’, wrinkles shouldn’t be frowned upon rather they should be something that a person should appreciate and accept with age!