Wrinkles are fine creases in the skin that give it an uneven or lined appearance. Most commonly found on the face and hands, wrinkles are caused by the loss of collagen and elasticity through age, weight loss, or skin damage. There are many treatments available that can reduce wrinkles in size and depth, from home remedies that use kitchen cabinet ingredients, to cosmetic procedures that can cost thousands of dollars but promise staggering results. Ultimately, deciding which method to use in order to reduce wrinkles depends on time, budget, and how important smooth skin is to the individual.
Home remedies are among the most basic and natural methods to reduce wrinkles, but are often useful only for temporary or very small skin creases. Since skin smoothness depends on adequate fat and moisture in the skin, some home-care advocates suggest rubbing the affected area with coconut or olive oil nightly. Others recommended indulging in a short facial massage and stretching session at least once a day, to increase skin flexibility and ease muscle strain caused by repetitive or habitual movements such as squinting.
For those looking for more advanced treatments, creams and gels specifically formulated to reduce wrinkles may be the next step. Most of the creams contain ingredients that stimulate cell reproduction, causing an increase in cellular turnover. Retinol, an easily-absorbed vitamin A solution, is often one of the main active ingredients in anti-wrinkle creams. Additionally, highly acidic solutions such as alpha-hydroxy acids are also used to help remove dead skin cells and promote healthy new ones, which can lead to a reduction in wrinkles.
Several outpatient cosmetic procedures have become popular ways to reduce wrinkles. Some people may opt for Botox® injections, which deliver a powerful muscle relaxant to the area surrounding the wrinkle. These injections tend to work best on wrinkles caused by repeated or habitual facial movement, such as laugh lines, forehead wrinkles, or crow's feet. Unfortunately, too large of a dose can lead to temporary facial paralysis and loss of expression.
Another common cosmetic procedure to reduce wrinkles is the use of chemical peels. These masks are a solution of highly potent acids that work to smooth the skin, burning off the damaged top layers. Chemical peels are usually performed under medical supervision, and can carry serious side effects. At the very least, sensitivity to sunlight and skin reddening are quite common, although more problematic issues, such as permanently lightened skin, can occur.
The most drastic method to reduce wrinkles involves full facial surgery. In a face lift, the skin covering the face is surgically tightened to reduce wrinkles and give a more youthful look. Although this has been the standard wrinkle removing surgery for decades, newer, laser-based procedures are gaining in popularity. In laser resurfacing treatments, wrinkles are burned away by carefully focused laser beams, allowing new, healthy skin to grow.
Preventative measures can go a long way to stopping wrinkles before they require outside help. A sunscreen should always be worn on the face, even in mild or cloudy weather. Care should be taken to ensure proper hydration and nutrition in order keep the skin properly nourished with vitamins and water. Additionally, smoking should be avoided all costs, while an adequate amount of sleep will give facial muscles a chance to relax and prevent wrinkles from forming. By taking care of skin in youth, how to reduce wrinkles may not become a serious concern in the future.