Anatomy of a wrinkle

Anatomy of a wrinkle

I threw the bottle into the trash.


I’d spent a lot of money on that stupid bottle. After a month of diligent use, the wrinkle  looked just the same. No evidence of the promised miracle.

That was probably 20 years ago.

Right around the time I noticed my skin starting to change and show a little age. It was also about the time I became interested in all things skin. Chinese medical dermatology, facial rejuventation with acupuncture, and skin care products.

Back then, I was sure that with enough effort, I could stave off the dreaded changes that come with aging and look like I was in my 30’s forever.

In a culture that values youth, and a “perfect” face, it’s easy to worry, obsess even, when the first visible signs of aging appear.

You know what I’ve learned in 20 years?

Stopping the aging process is impossible.

And that’s ok. 

 Aging is a normal and desirable part of life.

With age, you gain experience, wisdom, strength, depth,  and compassion. And, in my opinion, you become even more beautiful.

Your lines and wrinkles are unique to you. They tell the story of your life and who you’ve become over time.

Wrinkles and lines can be every bit as beautiful as the unetched face of youth. Maybe more.

I’m in. You?

Aging well is what I think most of us want. And as with most things in life, we’d like to look good doing it, as if we know exactly what we’re doing.

As far as your skin goes, age related changes are part of the package. The truth is that you really can’t erase a wrinkle that’s already formed. But you can take good care of your skin and keep it looking great as the years go by.

That’s the inspiration for SunWindSnow. All the great natural ingredients that your skin loves plus proven actives that work with your skin, not against it.

No BS or unrealistic promises.

Just clean skincare that will give you healthy glowing skin at every age.

But, I digress. Back to that wrinkle.

The deep lines we call wrinkles come in two forms-dynamic and static.

Dynamic Wrinkles

When you smile, frown, squint  or purse your lips, your skin moves and make temporary lines.

The muscles in your face and neck are attached directly to your skin (this is the only place in your body this happens). When you move your facial muscles, the skin on your face moves along with them. This cool feature allows you to express yourself.

They’re part of being human and living your life.

Over time, the lines you make a lot can become deeper and may not go away in between facial movements.  

Your mother was right. The expressions you can actually stay that way.

At this point, your dynamic wrinkle becomes static.

What happens?

  1. The more you frown over the years, the tighter and more toned those facial muscles become, even when you’re not using them. This draws the skin into frown lines on the brow, crow’s feet around the eyes, and laugh lines above the mouth.
  2. As you age, your skin loses elasticity and doesn’t rebound as well as it used to.
  3. This combined with collagen loss in the dermis (deeper layers) = deep lines.The collagen no longer supports the skin as well and it sinks in.

What can you do?

I wouldn’t advise stopping making all facial expressions. It’s what makes you who you are. It’s also impossible.

If there is something that really bothers you, you can have an injection, like Botox, that will temporarily paralyze the expression muscles and relax the skin.

As I found out above, there is no skin care product that is going to make a dynamic wrinkle disappear. Although hydrated, healthy skin will definitely soften them.

Static wrinkles

These are the lines that aren’t changed by facial expressions. They’re there all the time.

Static wrinkles can be caused by gravity, age related fat loss, and loss of collagen and elastin.

Dynamic wrinkles that have become static tend to be deeper. Because the underlying collagen isn't as organized and firm as it used to be.

The more shallow fine lines that you find on your cheeks and forehead and other places are usually more associated with sun damage and other lifestyle factors, like poor diet or smoking.

Fine lines, especially from sun damage,  are caused by irregular thickening and thinning of your skin combined with water loss.

Leathery wrinkled skin happens when chronic inflammation from sun damage causes the connective tissue to lose fat and become thickened.  It’s similar to scar tissue.

Liver spots or age spots happen when the hard-working melanocytes (that produce a tan) that are trying to protect your skin produce so much melanin that the patches of pigmentation become permanent.

Basically, sun damage is an extremely slow healing process.

What happens?

  1. Sun damage, smoking, poor diet, too much sugar cause chronic inflammation and free radical damage.
  1. Collagen and elastin break down at a faster rate and production slows down after age 30. Skin becomes indented where collagen is thin and doesn’t bounce back after being stretched (elastin loss).
  1. Irregular thickening and water loss due to sun damage cause fine lines.

What can you do?

  1. Wear sunscreen every day. Prevention is the best treatment.
  1. Use antioxidants in your skin care and your diet to help fight oxidative stress.
  1. Use retinol to encourage collagen and elastin, and to help mitigate some of the sun damage.
  1. Moisturize your skin to help keep your skin barrier in good shape. Hyaluronic acid (in all SunWindSnow products) will help draw moisture to your skin and plump up fine lines.

All of our organs undergo aging which is largely unpreventable. Your skin gets hit twice. It ages from the inside and the outside.

The bad news is that just the way it is.

The good news is that by taking good care of your skin and your health, you can look and feel good no matter what your age. And that will allow you to do the most important things.

Like fully living your life.

“Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” Samuel Ullman





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