Starting from around the age of 25, the signs of general skin ageing begin to become noticeable on the surface. As it ages, processes in the skin slow down, and the structure weakens. The substances that keep the skin firm and smooth start to reduce. This is due to the combination of the effects of the body’s internal ageing processes with external factors.
One of the most noticeable first signs of ageing are wrinkles, which deepen with the passing of time. There are a range of ways to treat them, both non-invasive and invasive.
As we get older, the substances that keep our skin smooth decline. These include collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. In young skin, a regular arrangement of dermal tissue, and plentiful supply of collagen and elastin, which contribute to the building block like structure of the skin mean it appears even and feels firm. Over time, the internal ageing process predetermined by our genes together with oxidative stress caused externally, for example through sunlight exposure, starts to effect the way skin looks. "A 1% annual decline in collagen levels and increasingly disorganised dermal tissue arrangement causes a loss of skin strength, and the appearance of wrinkles."
Another key factor in the formation of wrinkles is a declining production in hyaluronic acid. This is the binding substance that surrounds the cells, giving the skin it’s youthful, smooth appearance. The decline of this, the skin’s own substance, causes the structure of the skin to loose its full and firm feel, and become more susceptible to creasing.
These general ageing processes also contribute to a loss of volume.
Unlike a loss of volume, wrinkles are easy to spot as they appear as distinct lines or creases on the face. They tend to become visible in certain areas first:
On the forehead you may notice horizontal lines and furrows between the brows. These start as ‘mimic wrinkles’, and are partly caused by facial expressions. They deepen over time.
At the outer corners of the eyes fine lines appear, getting more pronounced as time goes by. These are known as ‘crows feet’ or ‘laughter lines’. Those wrinkles are often first noticed. This is because the thinner skin here is more prone to lining than elsewhere on the face.
From the nose to the mouth deeper wrinkles appear, linking the two areas. These are known as nasolabial folds. The appearance of these wrinkles can be linked to a loss of volume as they are also a sign of a reduction in the firmness of the skin.
All-over the face, fine lines appear over time. They are not affected by facial expression and are always visible. They first appear as a fine skin texture which gradually develops into more pronounced wrinkles as we age. A reduction in elasticity and density contributes to their formation. They can appear anywhere on the face but are most noticeable around and just below the eye area.
Wrinkles are an inevitable part of getting older, but there are both internal and external factors that can speed up their development.
If skin is unprotected in the sun, UV rays can contribute to wrinkles. Prolonged and repeated exposure causes damage to collagen and will result in a less elastic, weakened skin structure that wrinkles more easily. Read more about how UVA and UVB accelerate skin ageing here.
Although all healthy skin will age, there are things you can do to help the appearance of wrinkles and add radiance to your skin.
These skincare ingredients are found in anti-ageing products. They all have a different function in the skin and can help - together with other ingredients in cosmetic products - to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in different ways.
Dermal filler injections: These are designed to fill out wrinkles by plumping up the skin, most commonly with hyaluronic acid.
Dermatological research has shown that the use of some skincare products containing hyaluronic acid can significantly improve the effects of hyaluronic acid filling treatments when skin care products are used regularly after the injection over a prolonged time: especially around the eyes. Hyaluronic Acid is the main active in Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler and it has been tested in a clinical trial additionally as topical skin care especially in the eye area with measurable results. Read more about the research here.
Botulinum toxin injections: These work by temporarily restricting facial muscle movement. They are most commonly used on the forehead and around the eyes. This reduces wrinkles caused by facial expressions. The effects wear off after several months and the procedure must be repeated to maintain results.
These procedures should always be carried out by dermatologists in a clinical situation or other educated professionals in a clinical situation.