What happens to make us appear older?
- wrinkles form – Not all wrinkles are created equally
- our skin sags or becomes lax
- we lose soft tissue volume
- our skin thins and appears dull – Where did our youthful glow go?
- we lose bone mass
What makes us age faster?
- genetic factors
- sun exposure
- squinting into the sun
- less than ideal eating patterns
- hormonal changes
The great news is that only the first four are beyond our control. The remainder we can influence and when better than today to start! Luckily, we can also reverse some of the signs of ageing that we may have inadvertently allowed to show on our skin.
Not all Wrinkles are Created Equally
Wrinkles are essentially fracture lines in the skin and are usually the earliest signs of ageing. Everyone gets them.... and no one wants them! Eradicating wrinkles is not always straight forward as there are actually 3 types of wrinkles, each with different treatment options.
These are our crow’s feet, frown lines, forehead creases and lines around our mouths. They develop because each time we smile, laugh or frown, our skin remembers and creases in exactly the same way. Eventually a permanent line remains even when the muscles are at rest (see Static Wrinkles below). The wrinkles can be improved with Botox, Dermal Fillers, Thermage, Deep Chemical Peels, Laser Resurfacing and Dermabrasion.
These wrinkles are due to a lack of elasticity of the skin caused by sun damage, smoking, etc (see list under “What makes us age faster?”), or from prolonged dynamic wrinkling. Static wrinkles are visible regardless of muscle contraction. They appear as the classic “crepiness” and multiple cross-hatches usually seen around the eyes, cheeks and mouth. Avoiding the aggravating factors mentioned will slow the formation of this type of wrinkle, and treatments that can reduce the appearance of these include Thermage, Chemical Peels, Dermal Fillers, Laser Resurfacing and Prescription Creams.
Skin Fold Wrinkles
The third form of wrinkle is the skin fold wrinkle, often due to sagging of the skin and underlying facial structures, causing especially the nasolabial folds, that is, the groove from the nose to the corners of the mouth, to deepen. If mild, theses grooves can be camouflaged using Dermal Fillers, but eventually would benefit from the skin tightening procedures, Thermage (Non-surgical Facelift) or a Surgical Facelift.
Most people have a combination of all three types of wrinkles. It is reassuring to know that regardless of the cause or the type of wrinkle, there is a solution that can be tailored just for you.
Where did our youthful glow go?
Youthful skin has an elasticity and radiance which becomes more difficult to maintain as we grow older. There are a couple of weapons in our armoury to combat the thinning and dulling of our skin, and to understand how they work you should have a basic understanding of why this occurs.
Your skin is made up of deeper new, healthy, plump cells which become flatter, dryer and damaged as they progress outwards towards the skin’s surface. The most superficial layers are shed every day, and younger cells take their place. When we are born, the time for a cell to go from the deepest basal layer to the surface of the skin, to be shed, is about 30 days. By the time you reach 6o, the process takes about 60 days. Thus as you age your complexion becomes dull and life less because the cells on your skin’s surface are, in fact, older.
Chemical Peels, Laser Resurfacing, Dermabrasion and Topical Prescription Creams address this problem by causing uniform destruction and shedding of the old damaged superficial cells. This allows healthier deep cells to surface while they are still young and fresh. Thermage also revitalises the skin by increasing the blood flow to the skin as well as replenishing its collagen.
As a result you will see improvements in some or all of the following: large pore size, loss of skin vitality, roughness, discolouration, fine or static wrinkles, dynamic wrinkles and loss of skin tone.
Despite their similarities, each treatment works slightly differently and therefore yields a different degree of improvement. No one treatment solves all the problems. In general, deeper treatments yield greater improvements but they impose longer recovery periods. Sometimes a series of more superficial treatments may be preferred, yielding good results but with less downtime.
To optimise their results, many people choose to employ two or more complementary treatments, for example, Botox for dynamic wrinkles, chemical peels for resurfacing dull skin and a prescription cream to reverse sun damage and uneven pigmentation.