Anatomy of a Wrinkle: Part 1

Anatomy of a Wrinkle: Part 1

One of the most common signs of aging is wrinkled skin. How do wrinkles start and what can you do to prevent them?

Skin ages via at least two separate mechanisms: Intrinsic aging occurs as the result of your genetics and skin type. Extrinsic aging is the result of environmental factors---sun exposure, smoking, and pollution are the leading causes. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun leads to a breakdown of connective tissue and DNA damage. As the years go by, repeated sunburns, and day-to-day exposure causes wrinkles to appear. Smoking is a known culprit in premature wrinkling. People who smoke have fewer elastin and collagen fibers in the skin compared to those who don't smoke. Without enough of these fibers, the skin becomes harder and less elastic. Secondarily, pursing the lips when you smoke causes "smoker's lines." The color of your skin may suffer as well when decreased blood supply from smoking dulls the complexion.

Air pollution is a harmful environmental risk to human skin and is known to promote aging and inflammation of this tissue, leading to the appearance of wrinkles and unwanted pigmentation.

There is some controversy as to whether blue light from cell phones and other types of "visible light" may also damage the skin, resulting in wrinkles, but the jury is still out and further studies have to be done.

The first line of defense against wrinkles is the daily use of a sunscreen...even in winter months. The difference in appearance between people exposed to excessive sunlight who do without sunscreen and those who have used sunscreen is striking. Quitting smoking and avoiding being around second-hand smoke is another important way to stave off wrinkles.

Aging is inevitable, but premature wrinkling can be avoided and delayed. KenetMD offers two effective sunscreens---EnGarde SPF30 and Perfect Shade SPF 30. Their daily use will leave your skin healthy, hydrated and protected.


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