Wrinkles. Some women see them as the bane of their existence, and they actually go through all means they could possibly afford just to get those wrinkles off their faces, the means ranging from expensive creams to Botox to plastic surgery and facelift.
Our culture and society is so youth-oriented that wrinkles, especially on women, have become totally undesirable.
Why do we get wrinkles?
Wrinkles are mostly associated with aging. As we age, the cells of our skin become thinner and lose elasticity because of the decreased levels of collagen production in our body. The skin cells also divide more slowly, thus delaying repair and renewal of the skin. Also, as we age, the fat cells just under the outer layer of our skin, which makes the skin look supple, get smaller and lose their ability to fill out whatever gaps created by the damage that occurs in the inner layers of our skin. And so our skin sags, becomes dry and develops wrinkles as we age.
Wrinkles also develop because of skin damage, the skin damage coming mostly from exposure to sunlight. Spending too much time under the sun with minimal or no protection at all causes the skin to be vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation. Sunlight causes the outer layer of the skin, which is the epidermis, to become thinner, and encourages the overproduction of melanin, which eventually leads to skin cancer. Continued sunlight exposure also causes the collagen in our skin to break down more rapidly, faster than natural aging actually does. Loss of collagen results in loss of elasticity for the skin, therefore to skin wrinkling.
The development of free radicals in the skin also causes it to wrinkle. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules in the body that lack an electron; oxygen molecules need two. Free radicals also contribute to the speedy breakdown of collagen in the skin. How do free radicals develop in the skin? This happens through continued exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, air pollution and cigarette smoking.
We are probably not aware of this, but gravity also plays a role in why we get wrinkles. Gravity pulls at our skin, causing sags and jowls to form.
Getting wrinkles is a natural process. It is something we cannot avoid, and it is something that starts happening in our twenties and thirties. Facelift and other cosmetic surgery cost an arm and a leg, but there are cheaper ways and more effective ways of arresting the formation of wrinkles in the skin and keeping our skin looking younger for longer.
Ways to diminish wrinkles
First is to keep our skin well-protected from UV ray exposure. This means laying on product, such as creams and lotions, that have SPF protection all over the skin. Another is proper nutrition and hydration. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and fish that are rich in vitamins and minerals that fight the development of free radicals in the body. Also, drink plenty of water and fruit juices to keep the body hydrated, and avoid too much black tea and coffee.
Get as much sleep as possible as well, as much as eight hours a day. Sufficient rest keeps the body from being stressed, since chronic stress accelerates the aging process. Lastly, give up smoking because smoking dehydrates the skin and burns away the nutrients of the body.
By Anna Lynn C. Sibal