Are lines and wrinkles making you look older and more tired than you really are? While wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process, you don’t have to live with deep folds and sagging skin that leave you feeling unattractive. Instead, consider trying some of the tips below to age gracefully.
What causes wrinkles?
Over time, repetitive facial movements can cause fine lines and wrinkles to become etched into our face. These are called dynamic wrinkles because they are expression-based, meaning they are primarily visible when you are laughing, smiling, or frowning. Dynamic wrinkles include your glabellar lines (“11s”), forehead lines, crow’s feet, and vertical lip lines.
Static wrinkles, on the other hand, are those that are visible when your face is at rest, such as your smile lines (nasolabial folds), frown lines (marionette lines), and jowls. These are caused by the natural aging process, as well as external factors such as sun, diet, and lifestyle.
1. Chemical peels
Over time, dead skin cells build up on our face, making our skin appear less colorful and vibrant. A chemical peel removes these dead cells to reveal a smoother, healthier layer of skin. Not only do chemical peels increase your skin’s cell turnover, but they also hydrate skin deep down. This exfoliating and hydrating combination can visibly reduce lines and wrinkles, clear pores, and brighten skin’s complexion.
Chemical peels increase your skin’s cell turnover and hydrate skin deep down.
Microneedling uses dozens of tiny needles to create ‘micro-injuries’ in your dermis, prompting your skin to produce collagen, elastin, and other growth factors in order to heal itself. Microneedling also encourages cellular turnover, helping you replace old, dead cells with healthy new ones. The result is smoother, firmer, and more lifted skin, smaller pores, and a more even complexion. Since microneedling creates microscopic channels between your skin’s layers, you can enhance your treatment with a topical serum containing hyaluronic acid, growth factors, or platelet-rich plasma.
Neuromodulators like BOTOX®, Dysport®, and Jeuveau® are ideal for smoothing out dynamic wrinkles, as they temporarily weaken the facial muscle responsible for causing the wrinkle. By weakening these facial muscles over time, repeat neuromodulator treatments may be able to reduce the appearance of static wrinkles as well. (This is why people often consider BOTOX injections to be preventative as well as corrective.)
Dermal fillers such as Juvéderm® and Restylane® work to treat static wrinkles on two different levels: 1) they “fill” empty space below a wrinkle where fat once was, and 2) they stimulate your skin’s natural collagen production to increase firmness and elasticity over time. Fillers can also be used to augment areas of the face where you’d like a little more contour or projection, such as the cheekbones, lips, chin, and even the nose.
4. Fat injections
Facial fat injections, also referred to as facial fat grafting or facial fat transfer, are an alternative to dermal fillers for those who want a more natural, long-lasting facial filler. Fat injections not only add volume beneath the skin, but may also improve the quality of overlying skin in the treatment area due to fat’s high stem cell content.
A facelift can reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles by lifting & tightening skin and manipulating underlying musculature in the face. However, because a facelift cannot address volume loss on its own, we almost always perform facelift surgery in combination with either dermal fillers or fat grafting.
Dr. Garazo almost always performs facelift surgery in combination with either dermal fillers or fat grafting to treat the underlying cause of wrinkles.
6. HydraFacial MD
A HydraFacial is a type of facial that exfoliates, cleanses, and hydrates skin using a continuous jet of water. By removing dull, dehydrated skin, the treatment instantly enhances skin’s appearance, creating a noticeably youthful glow. HydraFacial treatments are often enhanced with medical-grade serums containing antioxidants, acids, vitamins, growth serums, and/or peptides.
7. Medical-grade skincare
One of the most common reasons people get wrinkles is simply from having dry, dehydrated skin. A quality moisturizer can hydrate skin using nourishing ingredients such as glycerin and ceramides, while other essential nutrients such as retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids, niacinamide, and anti-aging peptides can improve skin health at a cellular level. Just be sure to use medical-grade skincare products, as these have the highest concentration of effective ingredients.
How can I prevent lines & wrinkles?
We’ve covered a range of tips for correcting lines and wrinkles, but what about preventing them? Following these simple tips can help your skin stay supple and smooth, especially when combined with one or more of the maintenance treatments above:
- Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is one of your first and best lines of defense against wrinkles because it blocks the sun’s harmful UV rays from damaging collagen and elastin fibers in your skin. While you should apply sunscreen every 2 hours when in direct sunlight, be sure to wear it even if you’re sitting indoors near a window, as UVA rays can penetrate glass. At Plastic Surgery Services of Hagerstown, MD, we offer broad-spectrum sunscreens from elite brands like SkinCeuticals®, iS Clinical®, and SkinMedica®.
- Eat a healthy diet. Though everyone’s diet is unique, a healthy diet is one that contains mostly whole foods—foods that are in their natural state and have not been processed or altered in any way. A diet rich in a variety of whole foods will provide your skin with essential nutrients, such as amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins C, D, and E. On the contrary, eating processed foods—foods that contain added sugars, fats, and chemicals—can cause premature skin aging, among other health issues.
- Avoid facial exercises. Facial exercises, aka ‘face yoga,’ aims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles through repeated facial movements; however, we know that repeated muscle movements also cause dynamic wrinkles to form. Therefore, facial exercises are only going to worsen certain lines and wrinkles, rather than ameliorate them.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking causes vasoconstriction, a process where your blood vessels shrink and cut off oxygen to your tissues. (Vasoconstriction is the reason long-time smokers’ skin appears less vibrant and heavily wrinkled.) Smoking also reduces your body’s ability to produce collagen, which can impact your skin’s elasticity and thickness.
Ready to refresh your skin? Visit Dr. Garazo in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Henry Garazo offers patients in the Hagerstown and Frederick area a range of skincare services and products, including custom facials, microneedling, BOTOX & fillers, and more. He has been named one of “America’s Top Plastic Surgeons” by Newsweek Magazine for 11 consecutive years and “Best Plastic Surgeon” in the tri-state area by The Herald-Mail‘s Community’s Choice Awards for 3 consecutive years. Schedule your skincare consultation with Dr. Garazo online or by calling (301) 791-1800.