Smoothing the Crease: A Deeper Understanding of Wrinkles 

 

Throughout humanity, we've fought wars, conquered dictators and accessed the power of herbs to heal ailments and prolong life. Unlike the wars of bygone eras, there's a single battle we've yet to overcome – aging. More specifically, the onset and progression of facial wrinkles.  

 

The hunt for a magical salve capable of preventing and treating wrinkles spans thousands of years across the globe. Some of the earliest known records of anti-wrinkle treatments date back to ancient Egyptian empires where creams and oils were used to protect and heal the skin.  
 

As our collective minds unveiled new technologies and deeper understandings of our bodies, we're now poised with weapons capable of winning the battle of ages. The most potent tool in our arsenal is knowledge. To understand how wrinkles form, we must delve into the inner world of the largest human organ – skin.  

 

Beyond the Shell - The Components of Human Skin  

What is considered by scientists as one of the most complex and vital organs, human skin is generally under-appreciated. Our outermost organ acts as a literal shield. It protects our innermost organs while acting as a sensory guidance system. Measuring over 2 square meters, our skin is comprised of roughly 300 million skin cells, fully regenerates every month and is home to over 1,000 species of helpful and harmful bacteria.  

 
Let's take a moment to delve into the primary components of skin in relation to wrinkle formation:  

Collagen
Considered the primary structural protein of skin, collagen is responsible for the plump, smooth and vibrant appearance of youthful skin. As a triple protein chain helix, this compound offers greater tension-based strength than steel. Collagen makes up roughly 75 percent of skin material and while it's an essential skin component, after age 20 we lose about 1 percent of collagen production. This gradual loss of collagen results in thinner, older looking skin.
Elastin
As its name suggests, elastin gives skin its elastic qualities. Found in the dermis layer, it allows skin to maintain its firmness and shape. This compound differs from collagen; however, both work together to provide youthful shape, firmness and plumpness. Just like collagen, after age 20 elastin production declines. Loss of skin elasticity is among the primary causes of wrinkles.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)
The final component which makes up the dermis supports collagen and elastin via a complex system known as the Extracellular Matrix. Classified as a polysaccharide, this substance is gel-like in texture. It's responsible for attracting water to the dermis and epidermis skin layers. Through binding water together, it provides skin a healthy, plump appearance. Aging and dehydration are primary causes of GAGs loss, which results in fragile skin more prone to wrinkling.

 

Exploring The Canyon - Why Do We Get Wrinkles?  
 

Much like other aging-related conditions, wrinkles form due to a variety of conditions. The underlying causes of wrinkles varies; however, the following are the most common influences which rob the face of its youthful beauty:  
 

Wrinkles and Age
Regardless of diet, sun exposure and other factors, aging is the root cause of wrinkles. When trying to reduce wrinkles, it's essential to remember the natural aging process, no matter how hard we try to deter its grasp, is the underlying culprit of wrinkles. Known as intrinsic aging, once we move into our 20s and 30s, the skins structural elements decline. Along with a reduction in collagen and elastin production, oil and sweat glands decrease in functionality.
Wrinkles and Sun
Known as extrinsic aging, exposure to sunlight triggers a multitude of premature aging systems. Sunlight, while essential for human health, significantly boosts skin degradation and exaggerates the natural loss of GAGs, elastin and collagen. In fact, sun exposure is credited with causing roughly 90 percent of premature aging symptoms by loosening skin structural systems, shrinking oil glands and setting the stage for wrinkle formation.
Wrinkles and Toxins
Toxic substances, both internal and external, work synergistically with intrinsic and extrinsic aging to rapidly decrease skin health and increase wrinkles. The two most common toxins contributing to premature aging is tobacco and air pollution. Smoking, or being exposed to cigarette smoke, accelerates wrinkles by injecting the body with oxygen-void free radicals while stimulating the production of wrinkle-forming enzymes known as metalloproteinases. Air pollution, specifically ozone, actively destroys Vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant our skin needs to retain its youthfulness.

 

A Battle Worth Fighting - Reduce Wrinkles, Regain Youthfulness 
 

The battle against wrinkles demand a multi-layered attack. Once we learn what are wrinkles, we must combat its influence through lifestyle alterations and topical applications. To retain the skin of our youth, a regimen of preventative care and potent treatments work to stop new wrinkles and reduce current creases.  
 
While applying wrinkles cream and similar products is beneficial, always ensure these products are made with natural ingredients. Many chemicals found in skincare products can enhance wrinkles while introducing harmful compounds. An effective treatment combats wrinkles through multiple avenues. For example, the Peach Facial Moisturizer supports natural hydration, which supports GAGs production and skin fullness. When combined with the Firming Lifting Cream, the skin is visibly lifted and toned to reveal a smoother surface and diminished wrinkles. As with any skincare routine, persistence is paramount for success.  
 
The Wrinkle War isn't a hopeless crusade. With knowledge and a desire to fight back with natural resources, we can reclaim what Father Time and his minions wish to steal.  
 

Sources:  
 

http://www.hygieneforhealth.org.au/skin_care.php  
https://forefrontdermatology.com/skin-fun-facts/  
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/174852.php  
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep02422  
http://www.histology.leeds.ac.uk/tissue_types/connective/connective_fibres.php  
http://www.justaboutskin.com/collagen-elastin-glycosasminoglycans/  
http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/wrinkles/print.html 

 

 

 

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