Your Finest Lines and Wrinkles Explained
Our guide to understanding what causes fine lines and wrinkles and what skincare can delay them
We have all experienced (or will experience) that day when we look into the mirror and see an aged version of ourselves looking back. It’s as if it happens overnight! The fine lines and wrinkles start to take shape on our faces, these lines appear on our forehead, lips, cheeks, chin, and nose. Here we explore why they occur, and whether there is anything we can do to delay (or prevent) them from developing?
What happens to the skin as we age?
Ageing is a natural part of life, and fine lines and wrinkles are a guaranteed part of this process. As we age our skin cells divide at a slower rate, and generation of new cells in the epidermis (the outer, living layer of the skin) also slows. When we are young the body's natural process of generating new skin cells every 28 days. As we age to 30 that process slows to 28-40 days, another decade brings us to 40-60 days in our 40’s, and becomes 60-90 days beyond the age of 50.
This build-up of dead skin cells along with the unwinding of elastin fibres adds to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by creating depressions and an overall dull/ dehydrated look to the skin. Natural processes such as the production of new collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid slow down, as well as sebum production, which leads to the skin becoming dry and further reducing healthy functioning.
What factors cause the skin to age?
Facial expressions are a form of language that allows us to communicate without sound. They are a set of facial movements that can convey a feeling. These facial movements are caused by specific messages sent from the brain to the facial muscles to move in a certain manner. We smile when happy, squint when the sun is in our eyes and raise an eyebrow in surprise.
Over time, these movements lead to the degradation of collagen and elastin. This causes areas of the skin to lose its youthful appearance. Think of collagen-like the framework of a mattress and elastin-like the springs inside. Collagen supports your skin, giving it the plump fullness and the elastin gives that plumpness its bounce and movement (allowing us to make expressions and return to rest afterwards). Gradually over time, the repetitive use of the mattress begins to break down the framework, making it unable to support our bodies quite as well as before. The same goes for our skin as it ages, we lose the support and bounce we once took for granted.
Excessive exposure to UltraViolet (UV) light and radiation from the sun can lead to premature ageing also called photoaging. This exposure breaks down your collagen faster and your body responds by creating elastin that is abnormal due to the UV radiation. The enzyme metalloproteinase is produced when UV damage happens to the skin, this enzyme is responsible for reforming and creating collagen.
However, the collagen fibres that are produced as a result of metalloproteinase are damaged and do not form correctly to support the skin the same way healthy collagen does. These damaged fibres cause a condition called solar elastosis. Solar elastosis is a degenerative condition of the elastic tissue in the dermis, this leads to the early formation of fine lines and wrinkles. As if we needed another reason to wear SPF. SPF needs to be worn daily to protect skin from damage from UV rays. These effects are cumulative, so even a bit of exposure on a cloudy day will add up over time and cause photoaging. So say Yes to SPF!
We all know smoking is bad for us and can lead to serious health complications in life. Smoking is also one of the main causes of premature facial ageing. The effects of smoking on the skin begin with the facial movements being made continuously throughout the day to take part in the act of smoking. The lip pursing movement to inhale the tobacco causes what we call “smokers lines”. Smokers lines are the vertical lines that form on your upper lip and run upwards towards your nose.
Secondly, the 4,000 chemicals that enter the body from the cigarette puff and slow down the delivery of oxygen to where it’s needed in the skin. This lack of cellular oxygen contributes to the slower regeneration of collagen and elastin making it harder for the skin to recover from the effects of smoking and overall ageing. Collagen is broken down and rebuilt constantly in our bodies, and although this process slows naturally with age, it has been studied that smoking directly affects the bodies ability to perform this natural process and inhibits new collagen formation. This damage is a direct cause of fine lines and wrinkles. Quitting smoking now is your best defence against further damage from smoking to the skin. Speak to your local pharmacist or GP who can help you kick the habit today.
What are the top 3 ingredients to support healthy skin ageing?
1. Retinol - This is the number 1 cell regenerator on the market. This miracle vitamin A derivative comes in many forms, (read more about it here) and when used consistently and correctly can restore your skin’s youthful appearance by encouraging cellular turnover of the skin.
2. Peptides - these synthetic molecules can be structured in shapes to trigger specific processes in the body, for example, collagen production, to help keep skin firm
3. Vitamin C - this multi-functioning vitamin supports healthy skin ageing in a number of ways. Firstly, it is involved in the collagen production process, so including this in your routine helps your skin optimise this process. Secondly, it provides antioxidant protection against free radicals which can cause damage to the skin.
Finding the right routine for all your skin's needs can be challenging, but your Renude Skin Experts are here to help! Book your consultation today to speak to one of our team and receive a step by step routine selected just for you.