Keep your skin young   

Keep your skin young


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 heredity: 

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 prominent. 


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.


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 chemical peel. 


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.

Happy reading,

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