Here is the cold, hard, brutal, medical truth: Wrinkles are a normal and expected part of aging. As your skin ages, all seven layers begin to deteriorate, ultimately thinning the skin and allowing it to cave inward on itself, which creates fine lines and wrinkles.
So whether you’re 28 or 88, you should put fighting wrinkles on the top of your to-do list because they will occur (if you don’t have them already), or they will get worse (if you already have them).
The Natural Approach to Wrinkle Reduction
Obviously, you can see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon about eliminating wrinkles. But why take such a drastic approach when there are plenty of simple and safe ways to minimize wrinkles? First, try a natural approach to wrinkle reduction that features any or all of these following tips:
Sleep on your back. This tip comes straight from the American Academy of Dermatology, which warns that sleeping on your face or side can cause “sleep lines”—a nice term for “more wrinkles.”
Practice sun safety. Avoid the sun, when possible, and wear lots of sunscreen when you do go out. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 20 to 30, and make sure it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Also, when outdoors for extended periods, cover up with long sleeves and a hat with a brim. And, of course, do not get a tan and stay away from tanning salons.
Quit smoking. Not only is tobacco terrible for your health, it appears to break down collagen and elastin. In other words, it tears skin apart from the inside. And although there is no medical evidence documenting the effects of second-hand smoke on skin health, avoid it to be on the safe side.
Take omega-3s. Begin taking a high-quality omega-3 oil supplement, such as fish or squid oil. Omega-3 oils offer many well-known cardiovascular benefits, but research shows they also promote healthy skin. Try 1 to 2 grams daily.
Consider kudzu. Kudzu is a climbing plant originating in China and Japan that contains a number of compounds that have been shown to support collagen production and improve the skin’s natural support structure, thus helping to fend off wrinkles. Take 150 mg of kudzu extract daily.
Exfoliate first. Youthful skin is constantly in the process of shedding dead skin cells and replacing them with new cells. As skin ages, it gets slower and slower at this process, which contributes to wrinkles. Help your skin to slough off dead skin cells by using an exfolianting face wash at least twice a week, if not daily. When selecting a good facial wash, look for one that contains moisturizers and exfoliating particles that are round and, thus, gentle to the skin. Definitely avoid exfoliants that contain ground seeds or shells, since such particles will have sharp and jagged edges that are very harsh and damaging to the skin.
Follow up with a moisturizer. After you exfoliate your skin, apply a thick layer of an anti-aging moisturizer to your damp skin to lock in the moisture. Quality moisturizers can reseal the moisture barrier in the skin and protect that barrier for at least eight hours.
Eat your antioxidants. Foods high in antioxidants will knock out free radicals that damage the skin. In general, eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure a high antioxidant intake. Specifically, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, oats, kiwi, pomegranates, and blueberries are some of the most antioxidant-rich choices you can make.
Supplement your antioxidant intake. Even the best diet in the world won’t provide you with all the nutrients you need every day to stay healthy and combat wrinkles. So, take a high-quality multinutrient formula that includes the antioxidant vitamins A, C, D, and E, beta-carotene, lycopene, and coenzyme Q10, as well as vitamins K and B3 (niacin). Also, consider taking natural beauty-focused supplements that include key nutrients proven to increase skin hydration, support collagen production, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Pick particular products. Avoid skincare products that contain these harmful ingredients. Look for products with alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) or retinoids, which can help eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. Just be sure to test such products on your arm before you put them on your face, as some people are allergic to these substances.
Try tea. Drink at least one cup of green tea every day. Green tea contains lots of antioxidants, which promote healthy skin. Plus it helps you stay hydrated, another important step in maintaining skin health. And as a bonus, there is some evidence that green tea can even help you lose weight.
Use C and see. Find a face cream with vitamin C (look for “L-ascorbic acid” on the ingredient list). There is new evidence that vitamin C can boost collagen production, and that’s good for your overall skin’s appearance as well as preventing wrinkles.
Spritz away. Hyaluronic acid, particularly in a water-based spritz for the face (such as 85 percent hyaluronic acid plus rose water) can prevent surface dehydration of the skin. Use this regularly to fight wrinkles, and definitely use it whenever you’re in a very dry environment, such as on an airplane.
Maintain a healthful lifestyle. That means things like getting plenty of sleep (seven to eight hours), exercising regularly (30 to 45 minutes six days per week), and reducing stress. Simply put, a healthy lifestyle promotes healthy-looking skin.
Investigate prescription options. Ask your dermatologist about skincare products that contain “idebenone” or “growth factors” or “pentapeptides.” These are all chemical compounds that have been shown to restore youthfulness to the skin of the face. You will likely need a prescription for these products and you should definitely get medical guidance from your doctor on how best to use them.