Each of us has our own unique skin goals, the checkpoints on our ‘ultimate glow’ mood boards that we’re working towards. With such a diverse range of what we all want from our skin, no two people’s aims are necessarily going to be the same. We know that often deciding where to work backwards from when you’ve got the end of the journey in sight can be an overwhelming prospect. To help out, we thought we’d pull together some of the goals we hear most commonly from our Tropic community and guide you through those first steps on the journey to your dazzling destination. Welcome to Glow Academy...
Managing the appearance of FINE LINES AND WRINKLES is a smooth skin goal for many people, so here’s all your need-to-know basics at a glance.
SO, WHAT EXACTLY ARE FINE LINES AND WRINKLES?
As the years go by, our skin can’t remain a blank canvas forever. It starts to pick up marks and traces of who you are and where you’ve been – a scar from that time you fell off the swings at school, the recurring pimple that seems to think you’re old friends, and fine lines and wrinkles that show the passage of time. They say there are only a handful of things you can be sure of in life and these last two definitely make the list for everybody. Some love them, some would prefer to cover them up, and we say ‘you do you’. For those who’d rather keep them lowkey, we’ve got some advice for you.
Before we get started, we’ll quickly explain the difference between the two. Fine lines are essentially wrinkles with their training wheels on, which tend to develop when you enter your 30s as small creases around the edges of the mouth, eyes and forehead. Over time, these creases begin to deepen and appear more widespread across the face, becoming fully fledged wrinkles.
WHAT CAUSES FINE LINES AND WRINKLES?
Collagen, or rather the lack of it, plays a starring role in the story of fine lines. Making up around one third of your body’s entire protein content, it provides structure and support to skin, bones, muscles and ligaments. Essentially, if it’s in your body, chances are collagen helps hold it together – there’s a reason it literally takes its name from the Greek word for glue.
A natural part of the ageing process is the loss of collagen, as its production slows down in the body. With this comes a gradual reduction in skin’s firmness and elasticity, and as natural fats and oils diminish and provoke dryness, fine lines start to occur. Eventually, repeated muscle movement and looseness of skin deepens them, resulting in wrinkles.
Although this is unavoidable, there are certain accelerating factors we can take control over, which impact how soon we’ll start to see wrinkles popping up. We’ve all chased that elusive perfect tan, but unprotected sun exposure from a young age can cause cell damage which prematurely wrinkles skin. Meanwhile, the chemicals in cigarette smoke are known to interfere with collagen synthesis so if you’ve been a smoker for many years, it’s likely that you’ll start to see fine lines develop earlier.
HOW CAN I REDUCE THE APPEARANCE OF FINE LINES AND WRINKLES?
- Stay protected against the effects of UV rays year-round by applying a broad-spectrum SPF daily (stick to SPF15 at minimum, but we recommend SPF30 and above). To stay extra sun-safe, plenty of other skincare and makeup products like natural moisturisers and foundation come with inbuilt SPF capabilities too, so fold them into your daily routine to up your protective power. The rest is simple – try not to head out in the middle of the day and always stay covered with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when you’re enjoying a sunny stroll.
- Moisturiser never goes amiss whatever your skin type, but in the case of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s important to get the timing of your application just right. As mature skin tends to be on the dry side, you should aim to lock in moisture as quickly as possible after showering. Apply a facial moisturiser and body cream within two minutes of towelling down to replenish your nourishment, for plumper skin from top-to-toe.
- If you’re noticing that your time in front of the television feels more like squinting at some vaguely human-shaped blurs, you might see wrinkles gradually appearing more prominently on your forehead. With age comes strain on the muscles in this area, as the lenses in our eyes become less flexible and vision grows out of focus. A simple pair of reading glasses can make all the difference in helping to avoid that furrowed brow.
- Even if you’ve spent years smoking, quitting at as early an age as possible can help ward off any further premature development of fine lines. We know it’s not as simple as clicking your fingers and being done with it, but take a look at the options that are out there and talk to a doctor or pharmacist who can help you figure out what works for you.
- You know the phrase, ‘you are how you sleep’...something like that, anyway. Smushing our face into pillows on the nightly actually also affects wrinkle formation due to the repeated pressure it places on skin. To safeguard your slumber, try to always sleep on your back with your hands nowhere near your face, and use silk pillowcases instead of cotton options to reduce the friction rubbing against your skin if you do happen to roll over whilst you doze.
WHICH INGREDIENTS ARE GOOD FOR FINE LINES AND WRINKLES?
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Vitamin C – A permanent resident in the antioxidant hall of fame, this is great at reducing the impact of age spots that develop through oxidation.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) – These exfoliating superstars work hard to clear away layers of dead skin cells and reveal a smoother, fresh complexion below.
Retinol derivatives – We recommend choosing plant-derived bio-retinol options as they have the same collagen-boosting, skin-plumping effects as pure retinol without the skin irritation it often brings.
THE FINE LINES AND WRINKLES FAQ
Should I change my diet to help with fine lines and wrinkles? While there’s no magical diet that will suddenly banish wrinkles, making sure to eat healthily can help keep skin feeling buoyant and plump to prevent them from early development. Keep cupboards overflowing with fruit and veg like peppers, papayas, spinach and blueberries as they’re packed with antioxidants that help to prevent collagen loss and improve elasticity.
And what’s banned from your shopping list? Foods high in sugar, like cookies, cakes and cereals, and foods that are high-glycemic (causing an increase in blood glucose) such as white bread and white rice. The sugar molecules in these foods can actually attach to collagen proteins and distort them, impairing their supportive function.
Is makeup bad for wrinkles? There’s nothing innately wrong with makeup that leads to new wrinkles forming, but it’s important to be mindful of how it can make previously existing ones appear. If it’s a smooth matte vibe that you’re after, don’t apply heavy layers of powder and full-coverage foundation, as these can end up just sitting in the creases of wrinkles and making them more visible. Go for a light or medium coverage option for a more sheer look instead, or see how you feel about switching things up by swapping out foundation for a lightweight tinted moisturiser or BB cream.