The skin undergoes dramatic changes as you age. As the fat cells begin to shrink and the skin loses the elasticity it had from a young age, lines and furrows begin to form. These fine lines and furrows are wrinkles and they tend to occur on the face, under the eyes, around the eyes and on the forehead.
Wrinkles can have a considerable effect on a persons self esteem and with good reason. Our society places an inordinate amount of importance on looking good and there is a stigma attached to aging. Thanks to this, the skin care and cosmetic industry is flourishing and we are bombarded with products and treatments that promise us eternal youth. While some products may help reduce wrinkles and other skin problems, a large number of them do nothing much at all. So, what does work?
Symptoms of Wrinkles
Wrinkles fall into two types fine lines and deep furrows; and they mostly occur on the face, neck, hands, and upper arms.
Causes of Wrinkles
The main cause of wrinkles is sun exposure. Exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays of sunlight (UVA and UVB) is responsible for nearly all the symptoms of premature aging. Research shows that even a small amount of sunlight can trigger off the process that causes wrinkles.
Apart from the sun, other factors that may increase your chances of developing wrinkles include:
- Smoking Smoking increases the production of harmful free radicals in the body that contribute to the premature aging process.
- Pollution Pollutants in the air may deplete the amount of vitamin E in the skin. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant necessary for maintaining smooth and undamaged skin.
- Rapid Weight Loss Losing too much weight too fast can cause the skin to sag and droop and increases the amount of wrinkles.
- Poor Diet People who eat an unhealthy diet of junk food, fatty foods and refined sugar tend to age faster than those who eat healthier.
- Sedentary Life A lack of exercise can hamper proper blood circulation and reduce the amount of oxygen to the skin. This in turn leads to wrinkles and faster aging.
- Occupational Exposure If your work keeps you outdoors and exposed to the sun, you may be more prone to wrinkles and skin damage.
- Heredity In some families wrinkling is more of a problem than in others, implying a genetic connection.
- Skin Pigmentation People with fairer skin and light eyes and hair tend to age faster than those with darker complexions.
Remedies for Wrinkles
There are several natural remedies to reduce the signs of aging. While there are many benefits from natural skin care, not all the practices and remedies are backed up by research and some just havent been studied adequately. If you wish to, you could try some of these popular skin care treatments though:
- Lemon Juice: Massage lemon juice all over your skin to help get rid of wrinkles. The juice works as a deep cleansing agent and astringent and may help keep the skin clean and taut.
- Cabbage Juice: An ancient home remedy for the removal of wrinkles, cabbage juice should be massaged over the facial skin and left to dry. After the juice dries, rinse it off with warm water. Cabbage juice is believed to help tighten up facial muscles.
- Rose Water: Another anti-aging treatment is the application of a face pack made up of rose water, honey and turmeric. Use this mixture to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin and prevent wrinkles.
- Papaya: Mash a ripe papaya and apply the pulp to the face and neck. The essential vitamins found in papaya help keep the skin smooth and unlined.
- Egg Whites: This is a popular cure for aging skin. Apply egg whites mixed with coconut oil to the face and let it dry before rinsing off. This helps maintain the elasticity of your skin and eliminate signs of aging. The coconut oil works as a moisturizer and prevents skin dehydration as well.
- Pineapple: Pineapple is rich in antioxidants and is a fruit known for its anti-aging effects. Apply pineapple juice all over the skin and leave it on for five minutes before washing off. This increases the level of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA) in the skin that are essential to fight the aging process.
- Facial Massage: Regular facial massages with oils such as vitamin E oil, castor oil or coconut oil can help prevent dehydration of the skin. The strong strokes of a massage also help prevent permanent lines and drooping of the skin.
Diet for Wrinkles
Researchers from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 2001, conducted the most comprehensive study on the effect of diet on wrinkles. In this study, the diets of more than 400 people over the age of 70 were analyzed to determine a co-relation between certain types of foods and skin wrinkles. The conclusion reached was that a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and low-glycemic foods were associated with less skin wrinkles. According to this study and several others, you should include the following foods in your diet to slow down the process of skin aging:
- Olive oil and olives
- Fish high in essential fatty acids such as sardines and salmon
- Legumes such as pea, chickpeas, broad beans and lima beans
- Foods high in vitamin C such as peaches, citrus fruits, fruit juices
- Vegetables like spinach, eggplant, celery, leeks, garlic, and onions
- Carotenoid-rich fruit and vegetables such as cantaloupe, apricots, carrots, and sweet potatoes
- All types of berries
- Whole grain cereals
- All fruits and fruit juices
- Foods high in zinc such as seafood, nuts, milk, and lean meats
- Water and tea
- Low-fat cocoa
- Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, Brussel sprouts, radish, kale, and watercress
Foods to avoid include:
- Saturated fats
- Red meat and processed meats
- Full fat dairy products
- Carbonated drinks
- Refined sugar
- Candies and sweets
- White flour
It is important to note that while eating the proper foods can help prevent skin aging, it is not the only preventative measure you can take. In addition to a proper healthy diet, you need to take the necessary precautions such as sun protection, regular exercise, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep.
Suggestions for Wrinkles
Some simple ways to prevent the occurrence of early skin aging and wrinkles include:
- Avoid the sun always wear the appropriate SPF sunscreen and cover your face as well as your hands, legs and neck.
- Dont smoke
- Get enough sleep and try to sleep on your back instead of on your stomach or on your side as these positions may increase the production of wrinkles
- Dont squint as this can increase lines around your eyes
- Use moisturizer daily
- Dont wash your face too often
- Habif TM. Light-related diseases and disorders of pigmentation. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 19.
Wrinkles Treatments - more information
Wrinkles - Frequently asked questions
14 Wrinkles remedies suggested by our users
suggested by Robin on Thursday, April 9, 2009
Exercise and raw milk
suggested by Raksha on Friday, April 25, 2008
For fair complexion
suggested by S.RAMA on Thursday, March 13, 2008
suggested by Pamela on Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Wrinkles Treatments. More...