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How to Prevent Wrinkles: The Full Story

How to Prevent Wrinkles: The Full Story

Do you feel you understand how to stop your skin from wrinkling? Do you want to do something more about it right now? Are those ads with amazing pictures, claiming to be “grandma’s miracle wrinkle remedy” true? How about the fancy name wrinkle reducer creams, endorsed by celebrities? What about those "secrets" that have a photo of the 35-year-old who claims to be 80? (A sampling of what stalks me all over the web). Should you investigate these 'ticklers' or is it all ‘fake news’, like Meryl Streep marrying Robert Redford? Let me lay it all to rest.

What are the well known, tried-and-true ways to prevent wrinkles? What might be some unexpected or unknown ways to prevent them?

I’m going to give each tip one at a time (the ‘why’ and ‘how-to’), so you can pick and choose what to do to fight wrinkles: #1 Keep the sun off your skin.  This is the primary way to prevent wrinkles. Why: When the sun’s UV rays penetrate the skin, they start a process that leads to collagen breakdown. Once this process is started, it continues without additional sun exposure. It is a slow process. This is why wrinkles are delayed, and worsen over your lifetime. Take a look at your sun-protected skin. Do you see finer texture, and less wrinkling/crinkling compared to your sun-exposed skin like your face, side of your neck, v of the chest, and back of the arms? How:
  1. Wear good SPF sunscreen daily. Use sunscreen products that are SPF 30 or higher and rated as ‘broad spectrum’ on the front label. Your sunscreen must block both the collagen destroying rays: UVB and UVA. Reapply as directed on the bottle, if you are in the sun for a prolonged period of time.
  2. Wear sun-protective clothing (long sleeves/hats). Sun protective clothing blocks the UV rays from penetrating your skin, and prevents collagen destruction. Ensure your hat has a full circumference around your entire head to protect cheeks, ears, and the sides of your upper neck. Don’t forget to cover the back of your neck too. Do you know what my favorite sun protective clothing line is? I live in this stuff when I’m in the sun.
  3. Seek the shade. For the same reasons! Just remember, shade has UV rays bouncing around too – just less.
#2 Don't smoke. Why: Studies have shown smokers have more wrinkles, premature skin aging, and skin thinning. The ways smoking harms skin isn’t understood, but the fact that it does is clear. How: Do whatever it takes for you to quit smoking. This is one difficult 'monkey' to wrestle off one's back, so seek help, accountability, and motivation to spur you on. #3 Use a daily moisturizer. Why: Dry skin is crinkled. Many people describe the look as ‘crepey’ and wrinkled. Hydrating skin by applying a moisturizer will plump the outer 2 layers of skin to reduce crinkling. How: Apply a moisturizer matched to your skin type twice daily. Apply 3 minutes after toweling skin dry, following cleansing and rinsing with water. #4 Use ‘wrinkle creams’ that build collagen. Here are 3 ingredients proven to build collagen:
  1. Retinoids
  2. Glycolic Acid
  3. Vitamin C
Add one, two, or all of these ingredients to your skin care and see the results! Why: The best retinoids are tretinoin (like prescription Retin A) and retinol (like Retinol Intensive Night Cream). Glycolic acid is the best AHA to build collagen and soften wrinkles. It must be present in a product at 10% or higher concentration, and formulated with an acid pH of 4.5 or less. In addition to building collagen and smoothing skin texture, it will also increase skin hyaluronic acid to plump skin from the inside out. Both retinoids and AHAs exfoliate to brighten your complexion too. Vitamin C is the third ingredient. Like glycolic acid, it must be formulated into a product at 10% or higher and at an acid pH. Studies have shown vitamin C is absorbed into your skin at higher amounts than through diet when you use a well-made vitamin C product. The result is vitamin C skin loading that helps build collagen and protect skin from more damage.    How: Read the pages I've written about these products to see how to successfully add them to your skin care routine. #5 Wash your face twice a day. Why: Cleansing your skin with water and a soap/skin cleanser matched to your skin type will remove stuck dead cells that look crinkly and wrinkly. Washing also helps any wrinkle correcting products (retinoids, vitamin C, and AHA creams) absorb into your skin better. How: Pick a cleanser matched to your skin type and wash and rinse morning and night. #6 Exfoliate. Why: This is one of the 'quick fix' tricks for softening the appearance of wrinkles almost immediately. Removing dead cells brightens skin, reflecting more light, and creating the look of fewer wrinkles. It buffs and crinkles crepey skin to a youthful smooth texture. How: Physically exfoliate skin with a rough cleansing sponge, scrub or combination AHA/BHA plus physical scrub. Do this at least twice a week to keep skin bright and the appearance of wrinkles reduced.         #7 Sleep on your back. Why: When you smoosh your face into your pillow, repetitive folding of your facial skin will gradually etch itself permanently. Sleeping on your back will help to prevent repetitive skin folding that turns into wrinkles as your skin thins over time. How: Set up pillows on your side to thwart side and tummy sleeping if you are prone. If I place a pillow under my knees, it really helps keep me comfy on my back. Another funny, but highly effective trick is to put a tennis ball in your PJs on the side you want to sleep on. #8 Eat foods that fight wrinkles. Why: Olive oil helps reduce skin wrinkling. Salmon is high in Omega-3, which is important for fighting inflammation that can lead to skin damage. It is also a better source of vitamin D than the sun. Get your vitamin C skin-fix from the inside out as well. Eat vitamin C rich foods like citrus and kiwi to provide your skin with a constant source of this vitamin. Vitamin C levels fluctuate a lot with diet. Your body will only absorb so much, so you can’t load your skin by taking vitamin C supplements. What can’t be absorbed is lost into, ‘em, well, your poop. You can bypass this by using high-quality, vitamin C skin care products. How: For more information, and for recipes to eat your way to gorgeous and healthy skin, I invite you to download my free ebook on everything I have learned over the years about nutrition and skin wellness. #9 Stop squinting. Why: Get reading glasses, sunglasses, and put on a hat to stop from squinting. Squinting will cause dynamic wrinkles like crow’s feet and the ‘11's’ between the brows. Muscles pulling the overlying skin into folds time and time again causes these wrinkles. These eventually etch permanently into your complexion, just like when you smoosh your face into your pillow each night. Preventing these dynamic muscular wrinkles is how Botox works. How: Go shopping! Click here for my favorite sun hats. For the glasses, you are on your own!

What is the Biggest Misconception About Wrinkles?

That they are due to getting older. It’s not true! Most wrinkles are due to the sun. Do you know anyone who has avoided sun exposure. They have beautiful skin that’s almost as smooth as teenager’s. It’s also why the tummy, buttocks, and inner surface of the arms look so much younger than sun-exposed areas. That brings us back to sun protection ?