Can You Undo Wrinkles? That’s what dermatologists say – LifeSavvy

Two bottles of Supergoop sunscreen;  a bottle of retinol against a background of roses;  a blue bottle with a puddle of yellow serum
Supergoop/Drunk Elephant/First Aid Beauty

Wrinkles are a part of life – but we don’t exactly look forward to them. Is it really possible to prevent or reverse wrinkles and what does it take to do it?

We spoke to dr. Brendan Camp, MD, of MDCS Dermatology in New York, and Revay Plunkett, Aesthetic Nurse and Founder of Revay Aesthetics in Fresno, California, to learn more about the science of wrinkles (and wrinkle prevention). If you want to stop wrinkles in their tracks, here’s what you should know.

Why do wrinkles form?

A brunette woman in a white t-shirt stretching the skin next to her eyes with her fingers

To tackle wrinkles at the source, it’s important to understand exactly why they form. According to Camp, there are a number of potential culprits behind the formation of those pesky lines.

“Wrinkles form as a result of a number of skin changes,” Camp said. “These include a decrease in the amount of structural proteins like collagen and elastin, reduced oil production, shrinking fat pads and bone resorption.”

Is it just age that causes these things, or are there environmental factors as well? Both Camp and Plunkett emphasize the broad spectrum of causes.

“Wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but there are some habits that can cause premature aging,” Plunkett said. “Things like intense sun exposure, smoking, sleeping positions, poor diet, lack of exercise, and not having consistent skin care.”

Camp agreed and went into some more detail about the science behind wrinkles.

“As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and elastin, which are structural proteins in the skin that provide stiffness, strength, and elasticity,” he explained. “Oil glands also reduce their output, making skin drier and reducing its ability to retain moisture. Pockets of fat in the skin on our faces shrink and sag, accentuating lines and wrinkles.”

As a result, Camp says, habits that help break down these skin components can increase the risk of wrinkles — while good habits can help skin stay fresh and repair itself.

How can you avoid wrinkles?

Bottles of Supergoop sunscreen on a yellow background;  a blue bottle of serum on a taupe background

Supergoop/Paula’s choice

Wrinkles cannot be avoided forever as they are a natural part of the aging process. However, with the right combination of lifestyle habits and skin care products, you can limit or delay their formation.

“Sun exposure contributes to the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation also contributes to the formation of sunspots and increases the risk of skin cancer,” Camp said. “Diet can also affect skin health, as a balanced diet can help the skin repair itself from damage and inflammation caused by the formation of free oxygen radicals.”

According to Plunkett, with a few simple steps, you can be on your way to softer, supple, and wrinkle-free skin.

“Wearing sunscreen every day is the first step,” she said. “Use an antioxidant like vitamin C to protect your skin from pollution and free radicals. Sleep on your back so your face doesn’t get pinched by your pillow. A healthy diet and regular exercise always help.”

Camp agreed with these recommendations and suggested a combination of habits and products to reduce the likelihood of wrinkling:

  • “Limit repetitive movements of facial muscles, which over time can etch lines into the skin.”
  • “Use a moisturizer with at least SPF 30 daily, and if you’re going to be outdoors for long periods, wear sunscreen clothing like wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and seek shade.”
  • “A healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, a balanced diet and regular exercise contributes to the health of the body, mind and skin.”
  • “Don’t smoke, don’t use e-cigarettes, don’t drink excessively, and don’t go to the tanning bed, all of which have been linked to accelerated skin aging.”
  • “Develop and maintain a simple skin care regimen that includes ingredients known to be helpful in preventing and treating wrinkles, such as retinols or retinoids, antioxidants like vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid.”

How can you undo wrinkles?

A bottle of retinol against a background of roses;  a bottle of serum with a puddle of yellow serum next to it

Drunk Elephant/First Aid Beauty

Can wrinkles actually be reversed? Not quite, the experts say — but there are steps you can take to minimize them. Prevention is the best “cure,” as are products that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

According to Camp, starting with sunscreen should be at the top of your anti-wrinkle list.

“Daily moisturizers with sunscreen are an important step in your skincare routine,” he said. “The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.”

Camp also recommended several other types of products, mostly with the same ingredients that help prevent wrinkles in the first place.

“Retinols and retinoids help limit the formation of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production,” Camp said. “Vitamin C and other antioxidants neutralize oxygen free radicals,
These are unstable oxygen molecules that damage cell structures such as DNA, lipids, and proteins. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture by attracting water molecules to the skin. At the same time, hyaluronic acid helps to keep the skin plump and youthful.”

Retinols and retinoids can take some time to get used to, so take your time and work your way up to stronger products to give your skin time to adjust. It’s best to start with a lower concentration, like the First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Serum, which contains just 0.25% retinol.

As your skin adjusts, or you need a little more anti-wrinkle power, it may be time to switch to a higher concentration. The drunk elephant A-Passioni Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Cream offers a stronger formula with 1% retinol to combat those fine lines and wrinkles.

Plunkett also recommended retinoids as part of any anti-aging treatment for their role in promoting cell turnover.

“In addition to all of these other methods, regular skin treatments like facials, lasers, and neurotoxin can help keep the wrinkles at bay,” she said. Consult a dermatologist or esthetician to find out what works and what doesn’t work for your skin.

Reducing wrinkles is one of the most common skincare priorities. With these tips and products, along with supportive lifestyle choices like diet and exercise, you can keep your skin looking smooth and glowing for years to come.

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