Many of us aren’t much bothered by getting older. With age comes maturity, and when we look back, we often find that we have far better self-confidence than we had when we were younger. Many of us aren’t bothered by lines and wrinkles either, but when they make us look angry or annoyed, or much more tired or haggard than we feel, we start looking for answers. Why do we get them and what can we do to freshen up our appearance?
There are many different names for lines and wrinkles in different parts of our face. Here’s a short list of the most common ones:
· Crow’s feet: Lines or wrinkles that radiate from the outer corners of our eyes
· Forehead wrinkles: Horizontal lines or wrinkles on our forehead that become extra prominent when we raise our eyebrows
· Frown lines: Lines or wrinkles between our eyebrows that appear when we frown
· Glabellar lines: Another name for frown lines
· Marionette lines: Lines or wrinkles from the corners of the mouth down towards the chin
· Nasolabial folds: Wrinkles from the nostrils to the corners of the mouth
· Laugh lines: Another name for nasolabial folds
· Smile lines: Another name for nasolabial folds
· Smoker’s lines: The fine lines around our mouth that appear when we purse our lips and that are typical for smokers
What’s the difference between lines and wrinkles?
The words lines and wrinkles are often used interchangeably. Generally, when people talk about lines they mean the lines that are formed when we make facial expressions. These lines are called dynamic lines. With time they can become static, meaning that they are still there when our faces are relaxed. A typical example that is common also in younger people are the frown lines (or glabellar lines) between our eyebrows. Lines are mainly caused by changes in the skin as we age and of course muscle movements.
Wrinkles are sometimes called folds because they look like folds in our skin. Similar to lines, wrinkles are dynamic when we are younger, meaning that they disappear when our face is at rest. With time, wrinkles can become static and still be there even when we relax our faces. Typical examples are nasolabial folds (also called smile lines or laugh lines).
Like lines, wrinkles are caused by changes in our skin (and by muscle movements), but deeper wrinkles are also caused by changes in the underlying structure of our face. We lose some of our facial volume with age as facial fat decreases. Also, fat pads tend to descend towards the jawline, leading to a change of facial proportions. There is also some bone resorption that leads to volume loss. These changes can contribute to more prominent wrinkles, like deep nasolabial folds.
Changes in our skin that come with age
As already mentioned, both lines and wrinkles are connected to changes in the skin as we age. Scientists have discovered that the amount of collagen in our skin starts decreasing at the age of approximately 18.1 Collagen is a protein that provides structure and support to the skin, so the skin becomes thinner and weaker with the loss of collagen.2,3
If you’re in your 20s and feel your skin has started to change and age, and you can see frown lines appearing, there’s nothing strange or unusual about that. It’s simply natural skin aging.
Other changes in the skin are connected to hyaluronic acid, a molecule that binds large amounts of water and keeps moisture in the skin. With age, the hyaluronic acid content in the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, decreases and ultimately disappears completely.4 In the deeper layer of the skin, the dermis, the hyaluronic acid is still there, even as we get older, but it binds stronger to the tissue.4 Scientists believe that this means that the hyaluronic acid in the dermis has reduced ability to bind water and moisturize the skin.4
So, basically, our skin ages. Can we stop it from doing that?
How to prevent premature aging of the skin
We can’t do much about our genetics, but we can affect our lifestyle. A balanced lifestyle with enough sleep and less stress is good for both our physical and mental health. When it comes to the skin, scientists have been able to establish that certain lifestyle factors can contribute to premature aging.
One is smoking, as you probably already know. Smoking can impair the skin’s collagen production and also destruct the collagen that is already there.5 This will affect the skin on the whole face (it’s not just about smoker’s lines).
Another lifestyle factor that can lead to premature skin aging is too much exposure to the sun. Sunlight is good in many ways but too much of it can lead to loss of skin collagen.6
A high sugar intake can also break down collagen in our skin – the effect is called glycation. So, if you want to avoid premature skin aging, it can be a good idea to cut back on sugary foods.7
Skincare routines that can help
No skin is the same but there are some general tips that can help our skin feel smoother and less dry.
Firstly, our skin (and bodies) didn’t develop with harsh detergents, soaps and hot water applied to it throughout the day. So, be kind to your skin. Use mild soaps and cleansers and not more than necessary.
Secondly, apply a cream or moisturizer to your skin after washing or when it feels dry. It can be tricky to find a cream or moisturizer that works for you, so a good idea is to take advice from a dermatologist, especially if you have certain skin issues like eczema, acne, or inflammatory issues.
Consulting a professional can not only help your skin but also be cheaper in the long run since you’ll get expert advice on what works for your skin before investing in products.
Aesthetic treatments for the skin
There are different types of aesthetic treatments that can be used to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and refresh the skin. Galderma has developed injectable treatments that target two of the main changes in the skin that come with age – the loss of collagen and the loss of hyaluronic acid in the skin.
Restylane® SKINBOOSTERS™ is a treatment for dry skin where micro droplets of stabilized hyaluronic acid are injected into the skin. The skin becomes more hydrated, elastic and radiant, and results last for up to 12 months.8-11
Sculptra® is another injectable treatment that activates the skin’s production of collagen. It has been shown to increase the collagen content in the skin with up to 66.5%.12-14
You can read more about Restylane® SKINBOOSTERS™ and Sculptra® on our website and our Instagram and Facebook channels. You can also contact a qualified healthcare practitioner who can assess whether these treatments can improve your skin.
Aesthetic treatments to combat specific lines and wrinkles
Injectable treatments can also be used to treat specific lines and wrinkles, such as crow’s feet, frown lines and nasolabial folds.
Fillers are a type of injectable treatment and they can be used in two ways to combat lines and wrinkles. Since fillers add volume, they can compensate for facial volume loss that comes with age, for example in the cheek area. By augmenting the cheeks, wrinkles such as nasolabial folds may become less prominent. A filler that can be used to correct for age-related changes in the mid-face is Restylane® LYFT™.15
Fillers can also be used to fill specific lines and wrinkles. To make results look as natural as possible, there are fillers with different properties. The Restylane® fillers that we have developed at Galderma have varying firmness and flexibility so that healthcare practitioners have many fillers to choose from.16
Here are two examples of fillers that can be used to fill lines and wrinkles:
· RESTYLANE®: This is a classic filler that is firm and has a low flexibility. It can be used when more support and structure will provide the best result.16,17
· Restylane® REFYNE™: This is the softest and most flexible of all Restylane® fillers. It can be used to treat very dynamic lines and wrinkles or more superficial wrinkles, for a refined result.16,18
A qualified healthcare practitioner will know what filler to use and where, for the best possible result. And he or she will always individualize the treatment.
Read more about Galderma’s products for aesthetic treatments on our website or check our feeds on Instagram and Facebook.
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2. Farage MA et al. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle) 2013;2(1):5–10.
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4. Stern R, Maibach HI, Clin Dermatol. Mar-Apr 2008;26(2):106-22.
5. Morita A. J Dermatol Sci. 2007 Dec;48(3):169-75. Epub 2007 Oct 24.
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7. Danby FW. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):409-11.
8. Gubanova EI et al. Poster presented at IMCAS 2015.
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13. Goldberg D et al. Dermatol Surg 2013;39(6):915–22.
14. Moyle GJ et al. HIV Med 2004;5(2):82–7.
15. Restylane LYFT IFU
17. Restylane IFU
18. Restylane REFYNE IFU