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What Causes Wrinkles and How to Help Prevent Them

What Causes WrinklesWrinkles are a natural part of the aging process, although that doesn’t necessarily make them welcome in our lives. The earlier we start to wrinkle, or the more pronounced the wrinkles are, the older we look. We’re quick to seek miracle cures or consider cosmetic surgery, but do we even know how wrinkles develop? Could knowing what causes wrinkles be the key to preventing them in the first place?

The dictionary defines a wrinkle as ‘a slight line or fold in something, especially fabric or the skin of the face’. This ridge where the skin is no longer flat is a result of a number of factors, which include genetics, smoking, sun damage, dehydration, and lack of nutrients.

The skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, which is the outermost layer that we can see, the dermis, which is the middle layer, and the subcutaneous layer, which is the innermost layer.

Throughout our youth, our skin is plump, firm and has a healthy glow. Over time, our dermis loses collagen, which are proteins that keep cells plump and healthy. It also decreases in elastin, which are fibers that give skin its elasticity. This leads to the thinning of skin, and makes it harder for the body’s moisture to reach the epidermis. The fatty subcutaneous layer also decreases, which means the support structure for skin cells begins to sag and droop.

So the innermost layer does not provide support, and the next layer up, the dermis, doesn’t have the ability to stretch and stay taut, so the outermost layer of skin, the epidermis will naturally fall prey to gravity and cave into the area in which there is no support structure. The combination of these factors lead to the development of wrinkles.

There are additional factors that lead to the development of wrinkles:

  • Wrinkles from SmokingSmoking – smoking decreases blood circulation, which reduces the amount of blood that goes to the skin.
  • Sun damage – UV exposure causes inflammation, which is an inability for a cell to function properly. Sun damage is the #1 cause of accelerated skin aging. Repeated sun exposure can lead not only wrinkles, but also sun spots and skin cancer.
  • Poor diet and lack of water – not eating right or drinking enough water won’t allow proper nutrients to get to skin cells, so they are unable to replenish and protect themselves from damaging free radicals.

Now that you know what causes wrinkles to form, you can take the steps to eat right, protect yourself from sun exposure and avoid exposure to smoke and other pollutants. Additionally, look for products that moisturize and restore collagen and elastin to help restore the skin from the outside in.

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