Understanding your wrinkles

Understanding your wrinkles

I think I was about 35 when I started to notice the fine lines around my eyes and mouth.

I won’t lie. I freaked out. As usual, I wasn’t ready for this.

I became interested in all things skin. Chinese medical dermatology, facial rejuvenation 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, but...

But you can decelerate the process with a healthy lifestyle, a good skincare routine and products.

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 several forms: expression or dynamic and static wrinkles.

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. 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:

Gravity-the constant downward pull that keeps you tethered to the earth also affects your skin.

Elastotic- as your skin loses elasticity, it doesn’t bounce back to it’s original place as well and wrinkles form.

Compression-usually caused by your face getting scrunched into your pillow in the same way e very night. Sleeping on your back can help if you can sleep in that position..

Atrophic-wrinkles formed from the normal age related break down collagen and fat loss.

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.

Sun Damage accounts for most of your wrinkles

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

Sun damage accelerates collagen and elastin breakdown, dark age spots, and cross linking of proteins that result in leathery skin.

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 and the cause of the vast majority of your wrinkles..

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 to decelerate skin aging?

  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’s just the way it is.

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

And when the inevitable wrinkle shows up remember:

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.



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