When you fight wrinkles, dermatologists say, you're fighting
destiny. Dozens of techniques have been promoted as
wrinkle-busters. Many are useless. Nevertheless, there are some
things you can do to offset the effects of time, sun and
The sun causes an abnormal distribution of elastin and collagen,
vital components of the skin's thickest layer. The result: Skin
begins to lose its structural integrity. Most forty something
have acquired 75 percent of their sun-damaging exposure before
they were 18-at a time when the dangers of tanning were not
known. Now, most people know to use sunscreen liberally, to wear
hats and cover-ups, and to avoid the "working on a tan" sun
baking. And don't assume you're safe because you're in the shade
under a tree or a beach umbrella:Concrete and sand can reflect most of the sun's harmful rays.
While facial exercises may not give you better skin, overall
body exercise probably will, dermatologists say. You do, as a
matter of fact, get a look of health when you do exercise. You
get better color because exercise temporarily increases your
blood pressure and helps you get more blood 0 the skin, which
brings more oxygen and nutrients to your facial skin.
A regular cleaning regimen will do your skin a world of good. A
gentle washing with mild soap and warm water is enough. Too much
cleaning and scrubbing can dry your skin, making wrinkles more
Not only does it slow the flow of oxygen to your skin, the
constant puckering motion of dragging on a cigarette wrinkles
your upper lip.
USE TREATMENT THAT WORK
Make sure you consult a qualified dermatologist or plastic
surgeon before deciding on any procedures. These include
surgical options such as a facelift, and nonsurgical ones such
as botulinum toxin type-A (BTA), microdermabrasion, laser and
TRY KEEPING A RELAXED FACIAL EXPRESSION
Remember when your mother warned you not to make a face-it might
freeze that way?
Well, she had a point. Exaggerated facial expressions connected
with strong emotions can eventually cause changes in the tissues
under the skin. Laugh lines are just that.
An exercise in futility
Just as everyone wants the perfect flat stomach, many people
would love a quick way-short of a surgical facelift-to firm up
their faces. That's the hook behind a recent spate of articles,
books, videos and even tiny devices touting facial exercises as
a vital addition to the daily fitness routine. Promoters say
these exercises can minimize wrinkles, eliminate under-eye bags
and firm double chins. They can, according to the promises,
restore or maintain that youthful profile.
But do they really work? Probably not. The only thing that's
going to push those wrinkles out is if you increase the volume
of your face, like blowing air into a balloon. Unfortunately,
you can't pump up tiny facial muscles with exercise. And no
amount of heavy jawing can improve skin tone. Looking for the
real cause of skin wrinkling and aging? It's not muscle laxity.
It's more due to damage from the sun.
What else causes sagging and wrinkles? One culprit is the
inevitable effect of gravity acting over time on the connective
ligament-like tissues that hold the fat pads of the face in
place. Facial exercises, which work on the muscles
underneath the skin and not on the skin or connective tissue
itself, do nothing to reverse these wrinkle- and jowl-making
sources, he adds. In fact, exercises are probably unnecessary
because-except in cases of facial paralysis, burns, stroke or
trauma-constantly moving facial muscles tend to stay toned.
Practice relaxing the muscles, not toning them. Toning is
happening already every moment of the day.