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What causes wrinkles and how can I stop them?

When we age, our skin loses its collagen. Collagen is the skin’s main tightening protein responsible for creating a smooth taut surface. This makes everyone susceptible to the fine lines, sagging and hollowness that appear on the face. 

Although our genes do play a role in the aging process, there are a number of actions that you can take to control the speed and level of damage caused by some of these processes. 

The factors that cause wrinkles and ways to cure them are listed below:

Causes of Wrinkles

1. Sun Damage
The sun's UV rays can destroy collagen and elastin. These are the supporting tissues that are responsible for keeping the skin firm. Once they become weakened, the skin will start to sag and wrinkles will appear. In addition, squinting in the sun as a result of not wearing sunglasses can also cause furrow to appear between your brow, not to mention crow’s feet.
2. Free Radicals
Free radicals are rogue oxygen molecules that are missing an electron. In the process of trying to find their other half, free radicals end up breaking down collagen and damaging cells. This in turn leads to wrinkles. Free radicals are influenced by sun exposure, air pollution, and smoking.
3. Smoking
Smoking is probably one of the worst habits you can have if you want your skin to appear youthful. Not only does nicotine narrows blood vessels, making it harder to get blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the outermost layer of skin but the smoke itself damages collagen and elastin fibres. 
4. Facial Expressions
Years of repetitive expressions can reduce the skin's elasticity and make furrows permanent. Expression lines are called frown lines when they're on your forehead, crow's feet when they're around your eyes, and laughter lines when they're around your mouth. 
5. Sleeping Position
If you sleep on your side, you are more likely to have wrinkles on your cheeks and jawline. If you sleep face down, you are prone to having more wrinkles on your forehead.
6. Gender
Women tend to wrinkle more than men. This is because women have fewer sweat glands and less oily skin than men. Although this may be beneficial at times, less oily skin wrinkles much faster than skin that is saturated with sebum. 
7. Age
Collagen and elastin break down with age. There are a number of factors which lead to age related wrinkling These include decreased oil production, thinning skin, and loss of subcutaneous fat. 
8. Hormones
Menopause occurs when the body decreases oestrogen production. A lack of oestrogen can lead to thinning skin and decreased collagen.
9. Gravity
If your skin is already sagging, it will only get worse with gravity. Thinning of the skin plus sagging can cause drooping eyelids and the formation of lines.
10. Poor Nutrition
Studies have shown that too much sugar, especially if it's processed, can lead to a break down collagen. Refined sugar and other simple carbohydrates also trigger inflammation throughout the body by causing an increase in insulin levels. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, which leads to sagging and wrinkles. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help combat free radicals. Eating a healthy balanced diet will also keep vitamin defences at bay and thus help to prevent early formation of vitamins. Cold water fish e.g. salmon are a great source of protein. Protein is a building block for great skin. It's also a good  source of an essential fatty acid known as omega-3. Essential fatty acids help nourish the skin and keep it plump and youthful thus helping to reduce wrinkles.
11. Lack of Sleep 
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces excess cortisol, a hormone that breaks down skin cells. If you do get enough rest, your  body produces more human growth hormone. This helps the skin to remain thick, more "elastic," and less likely to wrinkle.
12. Poor moisturisation
Skin that is moist always looks better. Therefore lines and creases are far less noticeable.
13. Chewing Gum
This produces a wrinkle in the lower mouth. It is a habit that is easy to reduce.
14. Alcohol
Alcohol causes the skin to dehydrate. This means your skin will appear less plump and fresh the morning after you drink alcohol. Over time, your skin will lose elasticity and form wrinkles due to a lack of hydration. In addition, alcohol can affect your vitamin A level, which is a very important antioxidant for your skin and body, and it is vital in the regeneration of new cells. Vitamin A is also extremely important in the production of collagen. When you have lower amounts of collagen, you lose elasticity in your skin. Collagen and elasticity are key to keeping your skin supple, taut, and looking young.
How to Reduce Wrinkles 
1. Use SPF
Generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15  or even better, SPF 30, to the face, throat, sides of the neck and other exposed areas, 365 days a year to reduce the formation of lines, wrinkles, and brown spots, as well as preventing skin cancer. SPF is an effective preventative tool to use in prevention of wrinkles but it cannot reverse what has been done. It is important to look out for the UVA star rating as well as the SPF on your sunscreen bottle – a rating of five stars offers the best protection against the sun's aging UVA rays.
Madame Skin's Recommendation: The Environ RAD sunscreens (SPF15 and SPF25 available) are sun protection products which also contain natural antioxidant vitamins which help to increase sun protection and assist in fighting free-radicals.
2. Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps to reverse the signs of aging. It rebuilds collagen, reduces fine line and wrinkles and repairs sun damage.
Madame Skin's Recommendation: Environ's Skin Essentia range and Ionzyme range  features facial creams which contain vitamin A in increasing concentrations. 
3. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)
AHAs e.g. glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid 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. When applied as topical exfoliants they resurface the epidermis allowing better product penetration. Glycolic and Lactic are better for dry skins. Salicylic is good for oily/combination skin. 
Madame Skin's Recommendation: Environ's Skin Essential Botanical Infused  moisturising toner, Alpha Toner Forte, Alpha Hydroxy cream all contain AHAs. 
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C increases collagen production, protects against damage from UVA and UVB rays, correct pigmentation problems, and improve inflammatory skin conditions. L-ascorbic acid is the form of vitamin C which is the most potent for wrinkle relief.
Madame Skin's Recommendation: Environ®’s Evenescence C-Boost is a clarifying cream that contains a stable form of vitamin C (ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate) in a light and non-greasy formula. It is formulated to help improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and sun damaged skin.
5. Niacinamide
Niacinamide is also known as Vitamin B3.  It stimulate the dermis and increases the fatty content of the cells and aids the retention of water. It enhances the barrier function of the epidermis and therefore is beneficial for acne sufferers as the skin is protected from bacterial attack. 
Madame Skin's Recommendation: Environ's C-Quence Toner contains niacin amide. It helps to improve uneven skin tone and blemishes, increasing hydration and promoting overall skin growth and renewal.
6. Growth factors
These are produced as part of the body’s natural wound-healing response. When applied topically, growth factors may reduce sun damage and decrease lines and wrinkles, whilst rejuvenating collagen production.
Madame Skin's Recommendation: Environ's Colostrum Gel contains bovine colostrum. This stimulates the production of healthy collagen, elastin and growth factors - all of which reduce the appearance of fine lines.
7. Pentapeptides
Pentapeptides can increase collagen production in sun-damaged skin. When applied topically, pentapeptides stimulate collagen production and diminish lines and wrinkles.
Madame Skin's Recommendation: The Ionzyme range and Skin Essentia AVST creams 3,4 and 5 features pentapeptides as well as vitamin A, and other antioxidants. 
8. Botox
Botox relaxes the muscle just underneath the wrinkle, allowing the skin on top to appear smooth and crease-free.
Madame Skin's Recommendation: Although not a replacement for botox, Environ's Focus Frown is great for mature skin types, facial expression lines, frown lines and helps to prolongs the life of botulinum toxin injections.
9. Wrinkle Fillers 
There are a number of substances including collagen, hyaluronic acid, and other synthetic compounds which are used as wrinkle fillers. 
Madame Skin's Recommendation: Environ’s Ionzyme Focus Hydrating Serum contains hyaluronic acid. This assists in hydrating and adding volume to targeted skin areas, which may help improve the appearance of fine lines. 
10. Chemical Peels
A chemical is used to "burn" away the top layer of skin, creating damage that causes the body to respond by making more collagen. The end result is younger-looking, smoother skin.
Madame Skin's Recommendation: Contact Madame Skin for further information about the chemical peels available.

11. Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion helps remove the top layer of skin cells and bring new, more evenly textured skin to the surface. Therefore fine lines and wrinkles seem to disappear.

Madame Skin's Recommendation: Environ's C-Quence Energising Masque and the Skin Essentia Hydrating Clay Masque are gentle micro-exfoliating masques which help to smooth the skin. 

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