What Causes Wrinkles?
By Sabrina Cooklin
Aging is a natural process that affects us on the inside and outside. As we get older, our skin may sag, age spots might pop up, and wrinkles might form around our eyes, mouth, and neck. But what causes those wrinkles and fine lines, and what is aging anyway?
PURA D’OR is here to help. Our mission is to help you age gracefully on YOUR terms. We care a lot about the stuff you put on your face, which is why we’re cruelty-free, formulated, developed, and bottled in the USA. All of our products are mineral oil, paraben, and artificial color free, among other things.
Keep reading to learn more about the aging process and your wrinkles. This in-depth guide will provide you with everything you need to know to look youthful longer.
What are Wrinkles?
Wrinkles are fold-like formations in the skin, typically on the face and neck where the skin is thinnest. Telomeres are basically “caps” on the ends of your chromosomes. As the telomeres shorten, the efficacy of cell reproduction decreases. When skin cells reproduce less, skin becomes thinner, less elastic, and less firm. Telomeres shorten naturally due to age, but the process can be sped up by stress, lack of sleep, drug use, and smoking. Telomere shortening is the reason why we age and eventually die of old age, causing wrinkles, age spots, and decreased bodily functions.
Wrinkles are most common around the eyes, mouth, and neck, and we’ll get to why in a moment. They may be more pronounced at night as gravity works its way throughout the day.
Why Do We Get Wrinkles?
There are quite a few causes of wrinkles, the most common being UV damage. Lighter skin tones are especially susceptible to sunburn and other damage caused by harmful UVB rays, but darker skin tones can be harmed by the sun, too. Both UVA and UVB rays damage skin, but UVB rays are closely linked to melanomas and other skin cancers. UV stands for “ultraviolet radiation” which eradiate the dermis layer of the skin, killing collagen and elastin cells. Collagen and elastin fibers are the “building blocks” of connective tissue, and as they break down, they cause a lack of skin flexibility. Sagging skin leads to wrinkles.
Another common cause of wrinkles is facial expressions. Crows’ feet (links in the outer corners of the eyes) and smile lines around the mouth are caused by laughing and smiling frequently. They say that those with crows’ feet have lived the ‘happiest lives,’ and they aren’t wrong. Expression lines usually pop up as we age due to decreased skin elasticity. It is much harder for the skin to “bounce back” the way it does when we are young. This inability of the skin to bounce back causes contours and folds in the face. The only way to prevent these would be to show absolutely no emotion, which is impossible. The next best thing is to use skincare products that increase collagen production, and to stay conscious of over-exaggerating facial expressions.
As most of us already know, smoking is detrimental to our health. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and is linked to many other types of cancers. The carcinogens in cigarette smoke harm collagen production and lead to a sunken-looking face over time. In addition, smoking diverts blood flow towards your lungs and heart, and away from your extremities, like your skin. Blood contains oxygen, which is necessary for skin cells to survive. If somebody smokes enough, they can permanently damage the amount of blood flowing to their skin. Cigarettes aren’t the only substance that’s harmful to your lungs and skin, though. Marijuana smoke can also cause lung cancer and affect how collagen is produced. If skin health and appearance is important to you, it is safest to avoid smoking in general.
Back to the telomeres. Quick biology lesson: telomeres protect chromosomes from free radicals. Chromosomes contain the DNA necessary to sustain life. As the telomeres shorten with age, the chromosomes are not able to reproduce their DNA sequences, and cells stop replicating in something called ‘apoptosis,” which means ‘cell death.’ As the skin cells slowly begin to die and the replication process slows, the cells become more spread out, leading to thinner, more fragile skin.
Not drinking enough water can lead to a shrunken, wrinkled appearance. Water is critical to sustaining life (we are mostly water, after all). If you don’t get enough of it, the water in less essential areas will be diverted to your major organs. The skin is an organ, but its main job is to protect the internal body parts, like your heart and brain, so water is pulled from the skin cells to be used for more life-sustaining functions. The effects of dehydration become permanent if you regularly do not hydrate your body enough. Carry a water bottle with you so it’s easy to reach.
Deficiency in certain nutrients, especially the Vitamin B complex and essential fatty acids, can tarnish the collagen and elastin production in the dermis layers of your skin. Vitamins and nutrients lube up cells, boost cell production, and reduce telomere shortening. Changing your diet is the best way to minimize this wrinkle factor, and you may want to consider taking supplements if it’s impossible for you to get those nutrients in your food.
Some medications will damage your skin’s functions, cause dehydration, or increase sensitivity to UV rays. Be sure to ask your doctor about the possibility of prescribed medications causing your wrinkles because you might be surprised!
Who is Most Susceptible to Wrinkles?
People with the above factors have susceptibility to wrinkles. The worst-case scenario would be somebody, let’s call him Bob. He is an older fellow who drinks only one glass of water a day, takes a bunch of medications, smokes like a chimney, laughs a lot, and works outside but never wears sunscreen. Don’t be like Bob!
Wrinkles in Women
The skin behaves differently in both genders, and as such, it is important to overview the differences. Women have fewer hair follicles and sebaceous glands than men around the mouth. These glands create the sebum, or oil, on your face. As a woman reaches menopause, the production of eggs ceases, and the levels of certain female hormones drop significantly. The drop in these hormones causes sebum production to decrease, leading to less supple skin and more wrinkles around the mouth.
Wrinkles in Men
Unlike women, men don’t experience any ground-breaking physical change like menopause. Instead, testosterone production begins slowing down over time. As testosterone levels drop, the natural bodily processes slow down, including skin cell production. So while men, who have a higher number of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, are less susceptible to wrinkles around the mouth, they are more likely to have deeper forehead lines. This is because men naturally have a larger muscular structure than women do, so when a man furrows his brow or raises them, a more severe fold is created in the skin. Think of your skin like a sheet of paper; every time it’s folded, a line appears. This is also why wrinkles in other areas, like the neck or eyes, appear deeper in men than in women… because they are!
It is much easier to prevent wrinkles than trying to get rid of them once they’re already there. Basically, do the opposite of all the things that cause wrinkles. Drink more water, quit smoking, use sunscreen religiously, and research the effects of any medications you are on!
If you are a vegan or vegetarian (good for you!), you might have some difficulties sourcing nutrients commonly found in animal products, such as essential fatty acids. Try eating more seeds and legumes, or consider a supplement.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is the only time that the cells in your body can regenerate. If you are consistently getting fewer than eight hours of sleep a night, you’re not only super tired all the time, but you’re also harming your skin and other organs. Toxins build up over the day and are flushed out of the skin at night. That toxin flushing process doesn’t happen without enough shuteye, so if you’re sleep-deprived, it can cause acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles.
Stress causes high adrenaline levels. While stress is part of our everyday lives, too much can cause your telomeres to shorten more quickly and can lead to signs of premature aging, like white hairs, sagging skin, and wrinkles. Make sure that you are sleeping enough and consider meditation and/or yoga to help relieve some of that stress. Even a simple activity like reading, writing, painting, or going for a walk can be a form of stress relief. Take some time to take care of yourself before you literally worry yourself sick.
Are Wrinkles Reversible?
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’ve already noticed some wrinkles popping up in your complexion. Luckily, wrinkles are reversible, but it may take some effort to get rid of them naturally.
Count Those Sheep
Sleep is a preventative measure, but it’s also been shown to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sleep is like magic healing for your body. After a good night’s sleep, you’ll probably notice a glowy complexion in the morning. Put down your phone before bed and get some rest; that TV show can wait. Using a silk pillowcase also has benefits for the skin. Most people are active sleepers, meaning they roll around a lot in their sleep. This rolling motion can cause the fabric pillowcase to tug on the skin, stretching it out. Silk allows more of a ‘glide’ across the pillow, reducing the friction between your face and pillow. Also, the pillowcase is great for your hair for the same reason!
Skincare is a more hands-on approach to treating your wrinkles. But, before we get into the products, let’s talk about some important ingredients to look for.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip seed oil is an ancient medicinal skincare product used to reduce the appearance of scars, scratch marks, and wrinkles. It contains many essential fatty acids like Omegas 3, 6, and 9 that help regenerate the skin’s microbiome and balance the pH level. Rosehip seed oil also contains a naturally occurring retinol, Vitamin A, that helps to increase skin cell production, as well as Vitamin C, which lightens dark spots and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Our 100% organic rosehip seed oil is cold-pressed, unrefined, and has no additives, so you can rest assured that it’s safe and effective.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant crucial to skin health. An antioxidant prevents the skin from oxidizing, hence the name anti-oxidant. While oxygen is great for the skin internally, it can cause water evaporation and increased sensitivity to UV rays. Vitamin C increases collagen production, evens the skin tone by lightening dark spots, and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
For more sensitive skin, we recommend the PURA D’OR 20% Vitamin C Serum formulated with a natural retinol base and vegan hyaluronic acid. This powerful Vitamin C serum increases cell thickness, skin elasticity, and firmness, and reduces the appearance of ﬁne lines and wrinkles. It’s also infused with natural, plant-based ingredients.
For those who want to take a more serious approach to anti-aging, our 25% Vitamin C serum with a derma roller is for you. The .25mm microneedles are safe to use at home but create an environment where the Vitamin C Serum can be easily absorbed for maximum efficacy. This product is best for those with age spots, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. The serum contains ferulic acid, an antioxidant that helps boost the effects of Vitamin C. This heavy-hitter may help you reverse signs of aging.
Gold Argan Oil
Argan oil is a cult classic for both hair and skin. It is deeply hydrating and helps restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier, keeping water in and free radicals out. It also protects the skin and hair from sun damage and is an antibacterial and antifungal that helps fight acne at the source. Most importantly, Argan oil has known anti-aging effects and softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Argan oil really is a one-all!
PURA D’OR 100% Argan Oil is sourced from Morocco and is cold-pressed, unrefined, and contains zero additives. Our oil is gentle for all skin types and won’t cause breakouts, even on oily skin. You can use it on your hair for revitalizing dry scalp and encouraging hair growth, on your body to reduce dryness, and on your face for a whole plethora of benefits. That’s the PURA D’OR difference.
Jojoba oil has been used for centuries for the face, skin, and hair. It has many anti-aging benefits, including gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizing for those with even the most sensitive skin. In addition, it’s an excellent makeup remover that lifts dirt and makeup from your pores without leaving your face greasy or clogging your pores. Jojoba oil is ultra-moisturizing and can be added to any skincare routine to leave you with a glowing complexion.
Our USDA Organic Certified 100% Pure Jojoba Oil is perfect for aging skin. Jojoba oil contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that all assist in collagen production and moisture retention. Extra moisture helps plump up the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
So Now You Know
We hope this article provided you with everything you need to know about helping your aging skin. Most importantly, eat healthily, get enough sleep, wear sunscreen, stay away from smoking, and use our effective PURA D’OR products for best results.
Want more PURA D’OR? Be sure to visit our homepage, where you can learn more about us and our products. We’ve partnered with the Eden project to plant one tree for every bottle purchased. We’ve planted over 160,000 trees, and we won’t stop until we hit 10 million within the next decade. PURA D’OR believes in Mother Nature. After all, she gave us everything we are.