Are wrinkles inevitable?

Oct 25, 2011 by

Skin is the first and most obvious part of us that shows signs of aging. Whilst we all know that we will grow older over time we all want to delay and reduce its signs.

The outermost layer of the skin is called the epidermis. This layer contains pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) that give skin its colour. This layer also provides protection for our bodies and is in fact our largest organ. The epidermis renews itself constantly with new cells being born in the basal cell layer of the epidermis. These mature as they gradually rise to the surface where they ultimately die and are sloughed off. So why do we not stay the same? Unfortunately it is because these cells start to thin causing your skin to lose moisture and become dry. How many mature women have the greasy skins of their youth? Also cell replication slows down and degrades over time. This is most noticeable in the healing time taken between a young person and old person for a similar wound.

Beneath the epidermis is the dermis, which contains blood and lymph vessels, nerves, sweat glands and oil glands. The dermis is made up of networks of elastic fibres (elastin) for suppleness and dense fibres (collagen) for strength. It is these structural components that give our skin a firm youthful appearance.

Finally, a layer of fatty tissue lies below the skin to maintain skin volume or plumpness.

Due to reduced elastin and collagen in the dermis fine lines and wrinkles start to appear because of irregular thickening of this layer of our skin. This is exacerbated by the decrease in water held by the epidermis. When you add the thinning of the skin cells its now wonder really that the face and neck in particular are especially prone to lines and wrinkles. What can we do to reduce this natural process? The good news and bad news is that we can assist the skin in retaining a younger look but the bad news is that ultimately time will damage us all. Wrinkles are inevitable.

wrinkles in dried fruit

Dried fruit displays its wrinkles and isn't it yummy?

Firstly, medical studies have overwhelmingly shown that sun protection is the single most important thing we can do to keep our youthful appearance.

Secondly, don’t smoke. The toxins from the smoke have been shown to accelerate the development of wrinkles plus of course the constant and repetitive action of pursing the lips around a cigarette.

Thirdly we should moisturise every single day using a moisturiser with sunscreen for the daytime and a heavier cream at night. Be gentle with your skin, no harsh rubbing.

Fourthly, be cognisant of environmental factors. Skin can easily be irritated by perfumes, chlorinated swimming pools and polluted environments. Clean your skin every night to get rid of the build up of dirt and grease during the day.

Finally, everything you put into your body will be reflected in the health of your skin. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables and avoid highly processed foods.

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