1. Keep out of the sun.
It’s the top cause of wrinkles. Plenty of studies have found the connection between wrinkles and too much sun.
“It’s important to avoid excessive exposure, which causes sun damage to the skin,” says Matt Gass from the British Association of Dermatologists. “UV light, and especially UVA, causes ageing of the skin by breaking down the collagen and elastin which give it support.”
Wrinkles tend to appear on the face, neck and backs of the hands first as they are generally the areas most exposed to the sun.
” Sun damage not only makes you look older, it is also the main cause of skin cancer, so there are plenty of good reasons for looking after your skin in the sun”, says Matt.
2. Slap on sunscreen.
If you do go out in the sun always wear sunscreen even in the winter.
“It is never too late to start wearing sunscreen every day,” says Hermione Lawson from the British Skin Foundation. “We know UV exposure is the main cause of skin ageing, and remember, even on cloudy days up to 80% of the sun’s harmful UV rays can reach your skin.”
3. Don’t smoke.
Research shows that the skin of smokers ages more quickly than that of non-smokers. The skin tends to be thinner and has more furrows and lines. Smokers often get deep grooves around their lips.
Smoking can break down the skin’s natural collagen which makes skin look less firm and more wrinkled.
” Cigarette smoke is one of the main environmental factors that causes changes in the skin often associated with looking old, such as coarse wrinkling and a sallow, leathery texture,” says Matt.
4. Sleep on your back.
Don’t skimp on sleep and make sure you do it on your back.
If you sleep on your side or front every night you can get sleep lines etched into your face which don’t disappear when you get up. Over time these lines can become a permanent facial fixture. Some people like to sleep on silk sheets and pillowcases to lessen the effect.
5. Wear glasses or sunglasses.
In other words don’t screw up your eyes or squint. Any repetitive facial movement can overwork your facial muscles forming a groove which can turn into a wrinkle.
6. Eat a healthy and varied diet.
The condition of your skin can sometimes be reflected in what you eat.
“Feed your skin from the inside by eating a variety of foods including your ‘5 a day’,” says registered dietitian Perryn Carroll.
“Drink plenty of water and don’t over consume alcohol, which can dehydrate the skin,” she says.
7. Eat ‘superfoods’.
There’s no single miracle food that makes us less wrinkly, more’s the pity, but eating foods that are known to contain vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids may all contribute to keeping your skin healthy and glowing.
” Vitamins A, C, E, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and selenium play a role in skin health,” says Perryn.
Even a simple moisturiser without any special ingredients will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The skin will look plumper and more supple rather than drier and lined. Try one with a built in sunscreen.
Some skin moisturisers and treatments contain special ingredients that claim to reduce wrinkles. The anti- ageing ingredients are found in many skin care products that you can buy over-the-counter or are available on prescription from a dermatologist. They can also be used in skin peels.
The percentage of the active ingredient varies according to the product.
9. Alpha-hydroxy acids.( AHAs)
These are natural fruit acids which lift away the top layer of dead skin cells, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes. In higher concentrations, AHAs may help stimulate collagen production.
These natural substances, that include vitamins and minerals, can be found in plants. They can work to counter free radicals that damage DNA. Damaged skin cells may lead to wrinkles.
You can eat foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, blackberries and kidney beans. You can also use them on your skin. Many skin treatments contain a form of anti-oxidant. They include green tea extract, vitamin A, vitamin C and CoEnzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10).
11. Vitamin C and A.
Many skin care products claiming to minimise fine lines and wrinkles contain these vitamins. Vitamin A is sometimes referred to as retinol, which is a form of vitamin A.
“Certain medicated creams containing vitamin C or modified vitamin A can have the desired effect for some people looking to treat wrinkles, and these are generally available on prescription from a dermatologist,” says Hermione from the British Skin Foundation.
12. Q10 (CoQ-10) and Idebonone
Your body naturally makes CoQ-10 to neutralise free radicals in cells. As you age, you make less CoQ-10. That may make skin cells more vulnerable to damage by free radicals. That’s the reasoning behind the use of the antioxidant in skin care products.
Idebonone is related to Q10 (CoQ-10). It’s an antioxidant which some studies suggest may help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Is a peptide used in many everyday skin care creams and lotions. University of Reading scientists tested it in 2013 and found it is a genuinely effective anti-wrinkle ingredient.
They found it can nearly double the amount of protein collagen needed to give skin its elasticity. Head researcher Professor Ian Hamley said, “Studies like this are very important for the consumer as cosmetic companies rarely publish their work so rivals can’t copy their products.”
14. Vampire facials.
A favourite with some celebrities, Kim Kardashian had a vampire facial carried out on her TV show. Anna Friel and Danni Minogue are also reported to be devotees.
Basically blood is taken from your arm, put in a special spinning machine which separates the component parts. The plasma, rich with platelets, is then injected into your face with tiny needles. It apparently stimulates the growth of more cells and makes your skin look younger and less wrinkled. It costs about £500 pounds a session and three or four sessions are recommended.
An injection of this purified version of the Botulinum toxin A relaxes the muscle just underneath the wrinkle, allowing the skin on top to lie smooth and crease-free.
“Non-permanent treatments such as Botulinum injections (often known as Botox, Vistabel and Azzalure) give great results in reducing wrinkles around the upper part of the face, typically frown lines, across the forehead and down the sides of the eyes”, says Dr Liz Van Stigt from the Langford Cosmetic Clinic.
16. Dermal Fillers.
Doctors fill wrinkles with a variety of substances, including collagen, hyaluronic acid and other synthetic compounds.
“Fillers containing hyaluronic acid such as Juvederm and Restylane work well in replacing the volume lost from beneath the skin that happens with age and these fill in the contours usually around the chin and between the nose and mouth”, says Dr Van Stigt. “These treatments typically last 4-6 months but over time can be longer.”
She warns, as with any sort of treatment, always make sure they are given by an appropriately qualified person using reputable products.
17. Laser resurfacing.
It’s a technique that removes the outer layers of skin on your face and encourages new skin to grow. A laser or a light is used to remove the top layer of skin.
It can be done under local or general anaesthetic. You can have your whole face done or have certain areas like your lip lines or forehead lines, specifically targeted.
18. Chemical peels.
Different chemicals are used to burn away the top layer of skin, creating damage that kick starts the skin into making more collagen. You end up with younger-looking, smoother skin.
A vacuum suction device used together with a chemical crystal, dermabrasion helps remove the top layer of skin cells and bring new, more evenly textured skin to the surface. In the process, fine lines and wrinkles seem to disappear.
If you have extremely deep wrinkles which you are particularly distressed about a facelift is an option. You will need to organise a consultation with a professionally recommended cosmetic surgeon to discuss the various procedures on offer to you.
We all want to make the most of what we’ve got. Many people want to look younger than they are, to defy nature and put off the inevitable.
It’s a fact of life that skin changes as we age. “My top tip,” says Matt “is to feel comfortable in your skin. A huge part of this is accepting that the ageing process is a natural process and is not something to be embarrassed about.”
No-one wants to look raddled by wrinkles but a few here and there are fine, especially if you call them laughter lines!