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If we played the word association game with beauty problems then wrinkles would equal old. Just as eye bags equal tired and freckles equal sun-damage, wrinkles are instantly synonymous with ageing. From the age of about thirty when we start to see the buggers creep up in the corner of our eyes and forehead (we were always warned about frowning in our 20s but alas, paid no attention!) we reach for every product with the words ‘anti-wrinkle’ on it we can find.
But are they really that bad? We’ve been poking around in a few recent studies and it seems wrinkles actually have a bit of a bad rep. Research from the Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology Journal found that jowls (or sagging skin) were the most ageing feature about the face, while crow’s feet and creasing were actually the least.
Thinking about it, we’d agree - even those in their 20’s can have wrinkles, but they still look young. It’s down to the firmness of the skin, as sagging skin totally alters the shape of your face.
Skincare brands have caught onto this too. The Kiehl’s Super Muiti-Corrective range that launched last year is just one of many anti-ageing ranges that has turned to focus on plumping skin, rather than just smoothing it over.
So what actually causes the skin to sag? Collagen and elastin act as the skin’s scaffolding, which keeps it taught and springy. As we age, our skin’s delicate structure deteriorates; meaning it starts to sink southward. With that in mind we’ve pulled together our top tips to firm things up:
- Wear an SPF – daily!
It’s a broken record, we know, but wearing a sun cream daily will help to protect the skin’s collagen and to prevent it from breaking down so quickly.
- Keep fit
Try to keep your weight constant - too much loss or gain stretches your skin’s elastin, which causes droopiness and reduces its ability to bounce back. It’s a complete myth that running causes skin to sag (damn it, that’s our favourite excuse!) – it’s probably more down to UV exposure whilst exercising (again, slap on some SPF).
- Avoid sugar (impossible – so just cut it down)
If you’ve got a super sweet tooth try not to cry but processed sugars break down the skin’s collagen, making skin droop. Try including protein rich foods in your diet such as fish and nuts that help to replenish lost proteins and firm things up a bit. If you can’t cut the sugar out, try to cut down.
- Use a firming serum
Serums are crafty things and sink much deeper into skin than moisturisers, so firming ingredients like collagen, peptides and antioxidants can sort out any damage at a much deeper level. Worth the investment.
So wrinkles or sagging – whose side are you on?