How to smooth fine lines and wrinkles
Anti-wrinkle products and services make up one of the biggest markets in health and beauty today. Many people will go to extreme lengths to try and turn back the clock, but are these treatments worth it? We take a look at the most popular anti-ageing treatments and shine some light on what actually works and what doesn’t.
Why do we get wrinkles?
There’s no doubt about it: aging causes wrinkles. As we get older, our bodies lose the ability to produce as much collagen—the protein that gives skin its elasticity. This means that the skin sags and folds. Wrinkles most commonly form in areas where the skin is made to accommodate movement, such as areas around the eyes, forehead and mouth. Certain other factors—such as smoking and sun damage—contribute to the formation of wrinkles.
Do anti-wrinkle creams work?
Anti-wrinkle creams vary widely in how effective they are and it’s all down to their ingredients. All moisturisers are good for the skin and help keep it healthy. They also fill in very fine lines, making skin look smooth. However, to function better than any old moisturiser, an anti-wrinkle cream needs to contain additional active ingredients.
Acids are the hot product for skincare at the moment, though they aren’t as scary as they sound! Hyaluronic acid is incredibly moisturising; it soaks into the skin to plump it up and even out the appearance of wrinkles. Hydroxy acids such as salicylic acids help to chemically exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin.
Antioxidants are said to help with the effects of skin damage, hence why a lot of anti-wrinkle creams contain vitamin E.
Retinol stimulates the production of collagen in the skin and is known for being one of the most effective anti-ageing treatments. While it’s not suitable for pregnant women, retinol has been scientifically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. There are even prescription-strength versions, however these can irritate the skin so are only recommended for use at night.
Overall, the vast majority of anti-wrinkle creams only make wrinkles look smoother rather than actually getting rid of them. If you go without using them for a day or so, you’ll notice your skin will simply go back to normal. This is why retinol is thought to work best, as it stimulates collagen production, leaving behind a positive benefit for the skin.
Botox is a method many people choose to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Rather than directly affecting the skin, Botox is injected into the muscles underneath. It relaxes them, meaning that once injected you don’t have the same range of movements that cause wrinkles to appear and deepen. A series of small injections are made around the affected area, and results can be seen from around 24 to 48 hours after the treatment.
Still, Botox is not a permanent solution. It lasts up to four months. If you have it done too often, the body may build up a resistance to it, making this form of treatment less effective. It can also be expensive and painful.
Laser treatment is another option for getting rid of wrinkles. Recent developments in commercial technology have made it possible to use lasers to stimulate collagen production. This is very effective but can leave skin feeling raw for a short amount of time afterwards.
The secret to getting rid of wrinkles lies in proper skin maintenance. The younger you are when you start looking after your skin by keeping it moisturised and avoiding damage, the less likely you are to get wrinkles. After wrinkles appear, it’s hard to get rid of them, but you can make them less noticeable.