Creasing & Fine Lines & Wrinkles, Oh My!
Let’s be honest, we’re all a little afraid of aging. As the years go by, we start to see differences in our skin, mostly reflected as wrinkles. While aging is completely normal and something everyone experiences, you don’t have to let things go downhill so quickly. There are several affordable methods for preserving your youth and looking years younger!
The Three Types of Wrinkles:
Did you know that there are different types of wrinkles? Not only does aging appear on our face in different areas, but it also at different degrees.
The first sign of wrinkles you’ll notice is fine lines. Fine lines look like small creases on your skin and generally start to appear in your 20s. In your 20s, your body begins to slow collagen production, which causes your skin to be drier and lack firmness. Fine lines are also considered dynamic wrinkles, because they usually only show when making facial expressions (dynamic muscle contractions). This includes Crow’s feet, smile lines, forehead wrinkles, etc.
Fine lines progress to wrinkles as you age. Wrinkles are the second type of wrinkle and are considered static (meaning they appear even when you are not making facial expressions) and deep set. Static wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but can appear much earlier in age as a result of environmental factors, sun damage, poor diet, smoking, and your genes. Dynamic wrinkles generally start to appear in your 40s or 50s, but can also appear as early as 30. Static wrinkles look like creases in your skin.
The third type of wrinkles are wrinkle folds, which are typically found on people aged 50+. Wrinkle folds are a result of sagging facial structure and most notably appear along the laugh lines (nasolabial folds), neck, and under the eyes. Wrinkle folds are a natural part of aging and decreased collagen production, but can appear more prominently based on how you care for your skin.
What Causes Wrinkles?
As you age, your skin naturally becomes less elastic and more fragile. Your skin decreases natural oil, skin cell, and collagen production. While this occurs in everyone, there are things that contribute to aging and can increase the rate at which you age. Some of these things include:
- Sun exposure and UV light (this includes tanning beds)
- Environmental factors (weather, pollution, indoor conditions like heat and AC, etc)
- Repetitive movements (smiling, raising eyebrows, duck face)
- Sleep positions (side or stomach sleeping)
- Diet and exercise (poor nutritional intake and lack of activity)
- Skincare regimen (having no skincare regimen, using incorrect products for your skin type)
Technically, you can’t prevent wrinkles as they’re a natural part of aging; however, there are both invasive and non-invasive methods of delaying the appearance and depth of your wrinkles as you age.
Invasive wrinkle treatment involves surgeries like face lifts, brow lifts, blepharoplasty (eye-bag surgery), and platysmaplasty (neck tightening surgery). These methods require recovery time and are expensive, meaning they’re not the most accessible method of wrinkle reduction/delay.
While invasive methods can be expensive, there are many non-invasive ways to delay and reduce the appearance of wrinkles that range in cost. They can also have varying outcomes and are not permanent solutions.
One non-invasive method of delaying wrinkles is with injectables. Botox and dermal fillers are one of the most well-known non-invasive anti-aging methods available. Botox is generally injected to the upper part of your face, whereas fillers are applied below the eyes. Botox contains purified bacteria that freeze muscles, which helps minimize the appearance of static and dynamic wrinkles. Dermal fillers contain ingredients that add fullness to areas that have thinned due to aging (think cheeks, lips, mouth). Injectables are quite expensive and are not as accessible, ranging anywhere from $230 - $550+ for one session. They also must be done by a professional for best results.
Affordable Ways to Reduce Wrinkles
I think the biggest turn off in skincare is how expensive people perceive it to be. Believe me when I say, there are ways to achieve your skincare goals without breaking the bank, and that includes anti-aging treatments. While you can hydrate and have the healthiest diet on the planet, sometimes you want a little extra umph from your skincare regimen.
Facial massages- in last month’s blog we highlighted a few different facial massage techniques that can help to relieve tension in your facial muscles. We specifically mentioned tools like the gua sha ($12 - $80), jade roller ($12 - $50) , and kansa wand ($70+). The prices of these tools spread across a wide spectrum, but you can also use your hands for a more affordable option. Facial massages can be done at home a couple of times a week.
Facials- Depending on your budget, you may want to treat yourself to a monthly facial. There are a variety of facials out there to address different skincare concerns, but overall they are a great way to maintain your skin’s condition, achieve your skincare goals, and get advice about your skin. Facials generally start at $70 and can reach upwards of $500. Professional facials should be done monthly for optimal results. If monthly professional facials aren’t within your budget, you can give yourself a facial at home, but for optimal results they should be done by a professional. Skincare professionals have access to products and ingredients that the general public does not, aka the good stuff!
Serums and Active Ingredients- There are a whole host of serums dedicated to providing extra moisture, increasing elasticity, or supplementing your body's natural production of a moisturizers (like hyaluronic acid). Serums are concentrations of active ingredients and can range in price, formulation, and efficacy. Pricing can start around $12 for a 1oz bottle to $100+. Active ingredients can be found in other skincare and beauty products like face washes, moisturizers, masks, and even makeup. Each active ingredient functions differently, so there can be some conflicts that cause irritation. One example of an active ingredient that can cause irritation is retinol. Retinol can conflict with ingredients meant to treat acne like benzoyl peroxide, AHA/BHA, and salicylic acid, so be sure to do your research about safe usage before adding this ingredient to your skincare regimen. A popular hydrating active ingredient that has few conflicts is hyaluronic acid. Your body naturally produces hyaluronic acid, so adding it to your skincare regimen is a great way to supplement that natural production. Hyaluronic acid is also among one of the most affordable serums to find ranging from $6-$70.
Some other active ingredients that help slow aging include:
- Vitamin C- maintains the skin’s barrier which helps retain water
- Glycerin- acts as a humectant- meaning it helps retain water
- Ceramides- help keep skin barrier intact and healthy by helping hold skin cells together
- Squalane- another compound our skin makes naturally that strengthens the skin barrier to help it retain moisture.
Supplements- There are a wide range of skincare supplements on the market with a variety of price ranges and ingredients. We’ll do a deep dive into skincare supplements in the coming months, but I want to give you an idea of the types of skincare supplements that are on the market. Supplements can come in the form of a pill or a powder you add to your favorite drink. As with anything in skincare, you should consider your goals before making a purchase. There are pills that are packed with a solitary vitamin (like E, C, A, D, B and F) to assist with any deficiencies or to supplement your current intake. There are also pills that act as a multivitamin and contain a cocktail of ingredients to support your skin. Supplements can be a great tool to support your skin, but they can be a bit pricey ($40-$200), especially when it comes to higher quality supplements.
Sleep- Ensuring you get enough rest is key to maintaining youthful skin. When you sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases and uses this time to rebuild collagen, repair damage, and reduce wrinkles and age spots. How you sleep is just as important as getting proper sleep. While some sources may recommend sleeping on your back to prevent tugging which leads to wrinkles, this isn’t realistic for most people, and trying to do so may contribute to a restless night. Enter: silk and satin pillow covers! Cotton pillow cases not only draw moisture from your skin, but because they create a rougher surface, they can tug at your skin while you shift throughout the night. Satin and silk pillow covers create a smooth surface for your face to “glide” across so there is no tension or stress on your skin. Satin and silk do not absorb moisture the way cotton does, so your skin stays moisturized throughout the night. Satin and silk pillow cases can range in price ($20+ for two) based on the fabric. Satin can be washed at home, and is therefore more accessible for many. Silk needs to be dry cleaned to maintain its quality, so if this is something you’re already doing with your clothing, this may be a good option for you.
Now that you have a better sense of what’s out there, what are some products you think you’ll incorporate into your skincare regimen to help with anti-aging? Remember, there is no need to try all of these at once. Stick with what works for your lifestyle and you’ll find it much easier to be consistent.
We hope this guide was helpful! Let us know in the comments what topics you'd like us to explore in future blogs and follow us on our other platforms for more skincare tips and tricks.
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