The Inevitable March of Time: Why We Get Wrinkles As We Age

November 8, 2023

We all know it's coming. One day you look in the mirror and notice those small lines around your eyes and mouth that weren't there before. Over time, they deepen and multiply. Your skin loses its youthful elasticity and plumpness. Yes, wrinkles are an inevitable part of ageing.

But why exactly do we get wrinkles as we get older? And more importantly, is there anything we can do to stop, or at least slow down, their progression? In this article, we'll explore the science behind skin ageing and wrinkle formation, and provide tips for preserving your youthful glow.

The Primary Culprit: Intrinsic Skin Aging

While sun exposure, smoking, and other lifestyle factors can accelerate wrinkles, research shows that intrinsic skin ageing is the primary culprit. Intrinsic ageing refers to the internal biological changes that naturally occur as we get older.

Our skin stem cells, which regenerate new skin cells, become damaged and dysfunctional. This leads to a loss of collagen, elastin, and other compounds that keep skin firm and elastic.

Senescent cells also build up in ageing skin. These are cells that have stopped dividing but refuse to die. They release chemicals that destroy healthy neighboring cells, destroying skin from the inside out.

Chronic inflammation throughout the body, called inflammaging, also takes a toll on our largest organ.

Fight Back: Lifestyle Changes to Slow Skin Ageing

While we can't stop intrinsic ageing, we can fight back by preventing further extrinsic damage from ultraviolet radiation, smoking, sleep deprivation, and other factors that accelerate wrinkles.

  • Use sunscreen daily, rain or shine. Seek shade during peak sun hours. Wear wide-brimmed hats and tightly woven clothes for added protection. Avoid tanning beds at all costs.
  • Kick the smoking habit for younger looking skin. Limit alcohol, which dehydrates skin.
  • Get your beauty rest. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Manage stress through yoga, meditation, or whatever works for you.
  • Eat a diet high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, fatty fish, nuts, and olives. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Supplement Your Skincare Routine

Topical skincare products help camouflage wrinkles and keep skin moisturised. But you can also fight wrinkles from the inside out. Evidence suggests supplements that counteract intrinsic aging may help preserve a youthful complexion.

Ingredients like glucosamine, alpha-ketoglutarate, glycine, and hyaluronic acid combat wrinkle-causing inflammation and collagen/elastin breakdown. Talk to your doctor about adding an anti-ageing supplement, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Turn Back Time on Wrinkles

While you can't completely stop time, you can slow it down when it comes to wrinkles. Protect your skin, your future face will thank you.