Fine lines, wrinkles and skin ageing – How can I reduce wrinkles or remove them?
13 min read
Wrinkles are creases that form in your skin, and are the most noticeable first signs of skin ageing are fine lines and wrinkles. Depending on your genetics and lifestyle, they normally start to appear at around the ages of 25 to 30. Fine lines are small, shallow lines that normally first appear under the eyes and mouth, and these develop into more visible furrows as the skin’s structure weakens with age.
Learn about the signs and symptoms of wrinkles and fine lines, what causes them, treatment options to reduce wrinkles and how you can prevent them.
Unlike a loss of volume, fine lines and wrinkles are easy to spot as they appear as distinct lines or creases on the face. Over time, fine lines appear all over the face and develop into deep wrinkles. Wrinkles fall into two categories:
Fine lines: These fine, surface lines develop due to irregular skin thickening, and because of a decrease in the amount of moisture held in the skin. Sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins, like tobacco smoke, are the main causes.
Furrows: Deeper lines or furrows can be classified as dynamic or static. Dynamic face lines appear with movement, e.g. from muscle activity, while static lines are unchanged with muscle movement. Dynamic lines will eventually become static.
Wrinkles tend to become visible in certain areas first, often those that are most often exposed to getting sunburn, like the face, neck, hands and forearms.
Wrinkles and fine lines under eyes
The first visible fine lines appear around the eyes.
Fine lines around the eyes are often the first visible sign of skin ageing and are known as ‘crow’s feet’ or ‘laughter lines’. This is because the layer of skin in the area around your eye, the periorbital hollow, is thinner than average and is therefore more prone to developing lines than other parts of the face.
Fine lines here develop into eye wrinkles and become more pronounced over time. Wrinkles are also often most noticeable in the eye area.
You may notice horizontal lines and furrows between the brows. These start as ‘mimic wrinkles’ and are partly caused by facial expressions. They are particularly visible when frowning or raising your eyebrows.
Those which are visible when making facial expressions but disappear after relaxing are called ‘dynamic wrinkles’. Those which are visible regardless of facial movement are known as ‘static wrinkles’.
Neck lines and wrinkles in the décolletage area are also common, learn more here.
What causes wrinkles and fine lines?
Repeated facial expressions - like squinting, frowning or smiling - contribute to wrinkles over time. Each time a facial muscle is used, a groove forms underneath the skin. These grooves eventually become permanent as the skin ages and loses its flexibility.
Though facial expressions are a factor, wrinkles on the face are largely caused by ageing. The substances that keep our skin smooth and firm, such as collagen, elastin and Hyaluronic Acid, begin to deteriorate as we get older.
Some of ageing’s influencing factors are natural and inevitable, but some are largely environmental and can be controlled:
Internal causes: The natural ageing process predetermined by our genes. Also known as intrinsic, biological or chronological ageing.
External causes: Environmental factors that cause oxidative stress to the skin, e.g. over-exposure to sunlight. Also known as extrinsic ageing.
Internal causes of wrinkles
The skin’s structure changes as we age.
Young skin has a structure that is similar to building blocks, with a regular arrangement of dermal tissue and a plentiful supply of collagen. It appears even and feels firm, but from about the age of 25, a 1% annual decline in collagen levels together with an increasingly disorganised dermal tissue arrangement causes a loss of skin strength.
This results in the appearance of fine lines which develop into wrinkles as the creases manifest throughout the layers of skin.
Another key factor is age-induced dryness. As a result of reduced skin functions, mature skin becomes increasingly dry and may be itchy and rough, too.
One reason this occurs is due to a decrease in the amount of Hyaluronic Acid being produced in the skin. This is the moisture-binding substance that surrounds the skin cells and gives the skin its smooth, youthful appearance. This decline causes the skin to lose its full, firm feel and it becomes more susceptible to creasing and deep wrinkles.
External causes of wrinkles
External causes of fine lines and wrinkles are all due to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress releases free radicals which damage skin cell structures and contribute to the natural degradation of the skin’s collagen, elastin, and Hyaluronic Acid. Causes of oxidative stress include:
Sun exposure accelerates the development of fine lines and wrinkles more than any other external factor.
Pollution. Pollution triggers the release of free radicals and accelerates oxidative stress in the skin.
Smoking. Oxidative stress is triggered by smoking. Free radicals damage the skin’s structure and contribute to the general signs of ageing, including wrinkles. In addition, the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes damage the collagen and elastin in the skin. This has an effect on the skin’s elasticity and may also cause wrinkles.
Lack of sleep. The skin needs sleep to repair and regenerate. Poor sleep can also contribute to your day-to-day stress levels. When the body experiences stress it produces the hormone cortisol which is known to negatively impact the collagen levels, further accelerating the development of wrinkles.
How to reduce wrinkles and fine lines
Ageing is a natural process and therefore all healthy skin changes over time. However, there are skin care solutions to add radiance to your skin and reduce ageing’s appearance. Available methods are either invasive or non-invasive, with variation in the immediacy of results.
Non-invasive wrinkle reducing treatments
Active ingredients in anti-ageing products can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Wrinkle-reducing skincare solutions: Anti-ageing skincare products can help to reduce wrinkles. Many contain active ingredients which address the skin’s primary ageing concern.
Inspired by dermatological treatments, Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity 3D Serum is a light and moisturising anti-ageing serum that effectively treats the three dimensions of skin ageing; age spots, wrinkles and a loss of elasticity.
CC Creams offer Complexion Correction for an even skin tone.
Complexion Correction: Faces with a smooth complexion tend to look younger. Tinted creams with colour pigments or make-up can be used as a short-term solution to even your skin tone and enhance your complexion.
Choose a product which applies evenly and does not form lines, to help your skin appear smoother and more radiant.
These act like super-exfoliators. They break the bonds that hold dry and damaged cells together in order to encourage new skin to come through. The complex used in Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Night Peeling & Serum combines three different acids – Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Gluconolactone (a Polyhydroxy Acid) – that are clinically and dermatologically proven to gently but effectively exfoliate the skin and stimulate cell renewal. Gluconolactone also supports the matrix around skin collagen, protects against collagen degradation and helps the skin to maintain its elasticity.
Argan Oil (also known as Argania Spinosa kernel oil) is an oil that is extracted from the kernels of the Argan tree. It contains up to 80% essential fatty acids (Omega-6 and Omega-9). The body uses fatty acids to produce and repair cell membranes and strengthen the skin so that it is able to perform the vital function of protecting the body. Argan Oil is also rich in Vitamin E (a powerful anti-oxidant), has anti-inflammatory properties and makes the skin smoother and softer. It is a key ingredient in Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity Night and Eucerin Elasticity + Filler Facial Oil.
Dexpanthenol, also known as Panthenol, is an extremely effective moisturiser. It improves hydration in the outermost layers of the skin and helps to reduce transepidermal water loss to keep the skin soft and elastic. Dexpanthenol enhances skin regeneration and repair overnight and is a key ingredient in Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Night and Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Volume-Lift Night.
Glycine Saponin, also known as Glycine Soja Germ Extract, is an active ingredient extracted from the soya bean. It is one of the most effective stimulators of Hyaluronic Acid in the dermal layer of the skin and has been proven to increase Hyaluronic Acid production by up to 256% on a cellular level.1 It is a key ingredient in Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler.
Hyaluronic Acid is formed by the skin cells and is part of the connective tissue of the skin. One of its key functions is to retain moisture, and it has the ability to bind in between 1,000 and 10,000 times its own weight in water (i.e. one gram binds between one and ten litres). As we age, the skin's natural ability to produce Hyaluronic Acid declines, and wrinkles start to form and deepen.
High-molecular Hyaluronic Acid (also known as long-chained Hyaluronic Acid). This remains on the skin’s surface and works to improve hydration in the outermost layer of the epidermis, where fine lines and winkles originate.
Low-molecular Hyaluronic Acid (also known as short-chained Hyaluronic Acid). With molecules that are 40 times smaller2 than those of high-molecular Hyaluronic Acid, low-molecular Hyaluronic Acid penetrates further into the epidermal layers where it stimulates the skin’s own production of Hyaluronic Acid, replenishing moisture where deeper wrinkles originate.
Magnolol is a highly effective active ingredient that is extracted from the bark of the Magnolia tree and is also known as Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract. It triggers the excretion of a bio-active substance in the dermal layers of the skin which increases the synthesis of collagen and stimulates the number and size of volume-giving cells, "plumping" areas of diminished volume.3 It is a key ingredient in the Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Volume-Lift range.
The oil of the Milk Thistle plant (also known as Lady's Thistle or Silybum Marianium) is a common ingredient in anti-ageing skincare. It contains Linoleic acid (an Omega-6 fatty acid) and is known to nourish the skin and enhance its radiance. It is one of the oils used in Eucerin Elasticity + Filler Facial Oil.
Oligo Peptides stimulate the collagen network responsible for a firmer skin structure. They also improve collagen synthesis in the dermal layers of skin, thereby strengthening the dermal connective tissue.3 They are extracted from the fruit and seeds of the Anise plant, which was originally cultivated for its skin-enhancing properties and are also known as Pimpinella Anisum Fruit Extract. They are a key ingredient in the Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Volume-Lift range.
Silymarin is extracted from the fruits of the Milk Thistle plant (also known as Lady's Thistle). It is a powerful antioxidant, helping protect collagen and elastin from oxidative stress, and strengthens the skin's microcirculation system at a cellular level.
It is a key active ingredient in the Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity formula.
Vitamin E (also known as Tocopherol) is a powerful anti-oxidant that protects the skin against the free radicals that cause oxidative stress and helps to support its natural resilience. It is one of the ingredients in Eucerin Elasticity + Filler Facial Oil.
Enoxolone, also known as Glycyrrhetinic Acid is derived from the roots of Chinese licorice plants. It inhibits the Hyaluronic Acid degrading enzyme Hyaluronidase (HYAL1) and therefore the degradation of skin‘s own Hyaluronic Acid by more than 50%.
Invasive wrinkle reducing treatments
Dermal fillers are often used to treat the deep nasolabial folds between the nose and mouth.Invasive treatments should be performed in a clinical setting.
Any wrinkle treatment that involves an invasive procedure should be carried out by a dermatologist, or other healthcare professional, in a clinical environment. Invasive wrinkle treatments include:
Dermal filler injections. These are designed to fill out wrinkles by plumping up the skin, most commonly with Hyaluronic Acid.
Medical research has shown that the use of some skincare products containing Hyaluronic Acid can significantly improve the effects of Hyaluronic Acid filling treatments when skincare products are used regularly after the injection over a prolonged time − especially around the eyes. Hyaluronic Acid is the main active ingredient in the Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler anti-ageing family and is proven to deliver results, especially in the eye area.
Cosmetic surgery. Surgery presents a more permanent treatment option, with the potential to target concerns for specific areas of the body such as forehead furrows or jowls. It is however a more invasive and expensive procedure.
Invasive treatments are commonly associated with treating wrinkles around the mouth, such as marionette lines and nasolabial folds. You can learn more about how these invasive treatments are used, as well as, how you can get rid of nasolabial folds and marionette lines naturally.
How to prevent and reduce wrinkles
While everybody develops wrinkles on their face over time, there are some ways to prevent or reduce the development of fine lines:
Sun protection: Avoiding UV exposure reduces skin damage, so try and limit the amount of time you spend in the sun. Wear broad-spectrum sunscreens of SPF 30 or higher, reapplying every two hours, and always wear protective clothing like a hat, sunglasses or long-sleeved shirts. Look for make-up and other beauty products with built-in sunscreen, ensuring you're protecting your skin every day, all year round.
Moisturise: Dry skin can shrivel plump skin cells, which can cause premature fine lines on the face. Moisturising products enable water to stay in the skin, helping to mask face lines and creases.
Wash your face daily: Use a gentle cleanser and avoid rubbing the skin too harshly, which can cause irritation and accelerate skin ageing. Ensure you wash your face after heaving perspiration, as sweat can irritate the skin and cause damage over time.
Don't smoke: Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes can contribute to wrinkles, as they cause blood vessels to narrow and reduce oxygen flow to skin cells. Even heavy smokers can improve their skin tone and texture by quitting.
Maintain a healthy diet: Studies show that certain vitamins in a healthy diet helps protect skin.
Drink less alcohol: This dehydrates the skin and causes damage over time.
Study report: Saponins – a new generation of Hyaluronan-stimulating actives for human skin, S. Gallinat, F. Rippke, C. Keppler, J. Mergell, A. Bürger, F. Stäb, H. Wenck Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg, Germany
The standard unit for measuring the mass of an atom is a kilo Dalton (kDa). High molecular Hyaluronic Acid has a kDa of 2000 and low molecular Hyaluronic Acid has a kDa of 52. Both are contained in the Hyaluron-Filler, Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity and Sun Photoaging Control formulas.
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