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Wrinkle Treatments: How to Get Rid of Wrinkles
Although wrinkles can be signs of experience and wisdom, most people would rather not have them.
People's desire to retain and regain youth is strong and universal. The eternal wish for a “fountain of youth” can be seen in the innumerable products and procedures advertised in books, magazines, and other media that promise “younger-looking skin.” Many claims for such youth-enhancing methods are unfortunately overblown or entirely nonexistent. Let the buyer beware! Still, effective techniques for softening and even removing wrinkles do exist.
Skin ages all over the body, but much more so where there has been sun exposure. Changes brought on by sun damage (photoaging) include “dryness” (really roughness), sagginess, skin growths like liver spots, and wrinkles.
Wrinkles in turn can be divided into two categories; fine, surface lines and deep furrows. Wrinkle treatments are in general much more effective for fine lines. Deeper creases may require more aggressive techniques, such as plastic surgery.
“There are two types of skin aging, intrinsic and extrinsic, and both contribute to wrinkling,” says dermatologist Dr. Ellen Gendler in The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Women. Intrinsic aging is something that happens as the genes we’ve inherited from our parents trigger a reduction of two connective fibers, collagen and elastin. Collagen supports the skin and elastin gives it flexibility. Together collagen and elastin give skin structure and tone. After age 30, connective fibers start to break down, and the skin starts to become more lax.
Extrinsic aging is aging that comes from environmental factors. Environmental factors that promote wrinkling include:
If you need another reason to stop smoking, take a look in the mirror. Those wrinkles you're trying to keep at bay are getting a boost every time you take a puff.
Studying more than 1,000 sets of twins as part of research to identify genes behind a variety of diseases, the twin research unit at St. Thomas' Hospital in London found 50 sets comprising a nonsmoker and a lifelong smoker. On average, the smoking twin had skin 25 percent thinner than the nonsmoker. In a few cases, the difference was 40 percent.
Wrinkles occur as the skin thins. Identical twins, who have the same genes, would age at the same rate unless affected by external factors.
Smoking cigarettes activates a gene in the skin that causes it to age prematurely, according to scientist Anthony Young from St. John's Institute of Dermatology in London.
If you want to know how much genetics contributes to skin aging and how much is caused by the sun, just look down at the top of your forearm, then flip it over and check out the underside.
Genetics is responsible for the skin on the underside, while sun exposure is responsible for the skin at the top. In particular, ultra-violet A and B, the invisible rays of the sun, penetrate below the skin surface and encourage wrinkles, because they damage connective fibers. These are the same rays that stimulate production of melanin and produce a tan, a look that is, ironically enough, pursued in the interest of looking young and sexy.
Dr. Ellen Gendler advises women to use two sunscreens if they plan on spending the day outdoors. Sun protection factor, or SPF, only refers to the product’s ability to screen ultra-violet B (UVB) rays. But UVB rays only penetrate the top layers of the skin. You also need to protect against ultra-violet A (UVA) rays, which penetrate to the deeper layers of skin, also causing wrinkles. There are not many products that specifically protect you from UVA, says Dr. Gendler.
Tanning salons should be called wrinkling salons. Tanning equipment produces rays that cause premature wrinkling of the skin. No woman who values her skin should set foot inside a tanning booth.
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