The natural aging process causes everyone to develop wrinkles, especially on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, like the face, neck, hands, and forearms.
Want to learn where they come from? Read on.
For most, wrinkles develop between the ages of 40 and 50 as the skin loses moisture and thickness.
As you get older, your skin naturally becomes weaker, less hydrated, and less stretchy, causing lines to form.
Other causes include:
- exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, like sunlight
- squinting, smiling, frowning
- lack of sleep
- excessive cosmetics
- poor diet
Sun exposure appears to be the biggest cause, especially in people with fair skin. A
Wrinkles may also be caused in part by smoking and an unbalanced diet.
Over-the-counter (OTC) skin creams containing vitamin-A derived retinoids, antioxidants, and a protein called collagen can reduce fine wrinkles and even out skin texture and color.
So before you seek medical treatment, you might want to try home remedies, some of which are scientifically proven to improve the appearance of wrinkles.
Generally speaking, there are two major types of wrinkles.
These develop from repeated facial movements. If you pucker your lips around a straw frequently, for example, you might get lip lines.
These result from a loss of elasticity and the takeover of gravity. Wrinkles that come with jowls are static.
There are plenty of simple home remedies that may help prevent wrinkles.
Aloe vera has numerous healing properties. An older
Bananas contain natural oils and vitamins that can boost skin health.
Experts recommend applying banana paste to the skin:
- Mash a quarter of a banana until it becomes a smooth paste.
- Put a thin layer of the banana paste on your skin.
- Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
Foods rich in health-benefitting nutrients are often referred to as “superfoods.” There are many superfoods that appear to prevent wrinkles and boost overall health.
Many superfoods, such as those in the following list, may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles:
- chia seeds
- egg whites
- sweet potatoes
While egg whites might contribute to a small improvement in the skin’s appearance, the thin membrane that separates the white from the shell is more effective.
However, people who are allergic to eggs should avoid using them to treat their wrinkles.
Applying small amounts of essential oils mixed with a carrier oil on wrinkles may help reduce them. Often, essential oils are applied in specific combinations that heal skin without causing irritation, so long as they’re diluted with a carrier oil.
Carrier oils include:
- almond oil
- fractionated coconut oil
- argan oil
- evening primrose oil
Here are some essential oils that may help improve the appearance of wrinkles when used in different combinations with a carrier:
- carrot seed
- clary sage
- ylang ylang
Some people are sensitive to essential oils, which are highly concentrated. Before using an essential oil, perform a patch test:
- Apply a small amount to the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, check if there’s any sign of irritation.
- Avoid using it if you experience redness, burning, or stinging.
Always use a carrier oil when applying essential oils.
While research suggests there are health benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil and dilute any essential oil with a carrier oil so it doesn’t burn your skin.
Many people turn to massage to prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In fact, the use of a handheld facial massage device may help prevent wrinkles by increasing proteins that keep the skin smooth.
A daily facial massage for 3 to 5 minutes done with your fingers can give the same effects on the skin. It can also reduce stress, a common cause of wrinkles.
Many spas and massage salons offer facial massage treatments. At home, you can give yourself a facial massage by applying firm pressure with your fingers to either side of your face and moving them in circular strokes.
Research suggests that consuming olive oil may protect the skin from developing more wrinkles. Olive oil and its byproducts, like the stems and leaves, contain compounds that can increase the skin’s collagen levels.
In an older
The researchers also found that vegetables, like broccoli and tomatoes, and legumes, such as lentils and beans, may have a similarly protective effect against wrinkles.
All of these foods can be part of a balanced diet, so it’s safe for most people to consume them. But be cautious and read labels if you have any food allergies.
Topical vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps create collagen in the skin. It can be found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, such as rosehips, chili peppers, guava, and kale.
Applying a topical gel containing vitamin C can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of sun damage on the skin.
In a small
All people in the study showed less wrinkling and signs of sun damage on the side of their faces treated with vitamin C gel. The vitamin C gel hydrated the skin, increased collagen production, and decreased inflammation.
Like vitamins, minerals are micronutrients found in the foods you eat that your body needs in small amounts. In the skin, minerals help filter sunlight, promote healing, and prevent damage.
Zinc and selenium are two minerals that are especially important for skin health. Using a topical cream containing zinc and selenium can block some UV radiation, helping to protect the skin from the sun damage that causes wrinkles.
Dietary supplements containing selenium may provide the same protective effects. However, if you eat a healthy diet, chances are you get enough zinc and selenium.
Zinc can be found in:
Foods containing higher amounts of selenium include:
- sunflower seeds
Getting too much zinc and selenium can harm your health, so talk with a doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
Probiotics and yogurt
Research suggests that regularly consuming probiotics, such as those found in yogurt or sold as supplements, may reduce the appearance of wrinkles and boost the skin’s overall health.
Silk or copper-oxide pillowcases
Preventing and reducing the appearance of wrinkles may be as easy as choosing to sleep with the right pillowcase.
Silk contains proteins and is hypoallergenic, so it’s easy on the skin. A copper-oxide pillowcase can reduce fine lines in the skin.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your skin, you may want to visit a doctor that specializes in conditions of the skin (dermatologist) for further treatment.
The dermatologist will examine your skin visually. They’ll probably ask you questions about your health and lifestyle habits, such as your time spent in the sun and if you smoke.
Some treatments a dermatologist might recommend for wrinkles include:
- prescription topical vitamin A retinoids
- prescription topical antioxidants and collagen
- OTC wrinkle creams
- laser skin resurfacing
- light source and radiofrequency treatments
- chemical peel
- dermabrasion or microdermabrasion
- soft-tissue (dermal) fillers
- skin-tightening techniques, such as ultherapy
- facelift surgery
While wrinkle treatments can improve your skin’s appearance, the best way to avoid wrinkles is to protect your skin from the sun. Limit the time you spend outside when it’s sunny out, wear protective clothing, like a hat and long sleeves, and apply a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Lifestyle choices also affect your skin’s appearance. Apply moisturizer to your skin regularly to help keep it hydrated. Avoid smoking, which can dry and wrinkle your skin. Stick to a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods.
Wrinkles may be a natural part of the aging process, but there are many ways to prevent them and reduce their appearance. You may want to try some home wrinkle remedies before heading to a doctor.
Erica Cirino is a writer, artist and researcher who works globally. While on assignments in places as far-off as the South Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Circle, she covers science stories that often meet at the intersection of human and wildlife health, and environmental conservation. In particular, Erica is highly focused on uncovering the depths and health effects of the global plastic pollution crisis.