Let’s talk about wrinkles for a minute. Fighting them is a billion dollar industry – from lotions and creams – to injections and lasers. Over a lifetime, a woman will spend a year’s salary – nearly $50,000 – on skin care. And it’s not just middle-aged people who are worried about frown lines and crow’s feet. According to the American Society for Plastic Surgeons, Botox injections for people in their 20s has risen nearly 15 percent! So let’s get some facts about wrinkles – what causes them and where they’re likely to show up first:
We’ll start with smiling – does it cause lines, like the little parentheses on either side of your mouth? No. Dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch says that smile lines are caused by age-related collagen loss. That causes our cheeks to lose elasticity, and start to sag – and that’s what creates smile lines. So you could be a sad sack and still get them.
Another question: Where do wrinkles show up first? Most of our faces start wrinkling on the left side, first. That’s because it’s the side that gets the most sun when we drive and sun damage is a major cause of wrinkles.
So: Who wrinkles faster? City slickers, or country folk? It’s people in the city. That’s because city dwellers are exposed to more air pollution – which is a major cause of skin aging.
So, what can you do? Here are two proven ways to fight wrinkles, according to Dr. Jonny Bowden, author of The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer.
First, limit your exposure to free radicals. Those are chemically unbalanced molecules that attack our cells and damage our DNA. They speed up aging and create defective cells, which cause cancer. The top two ways to avoid free radicals? Avoid smoking, and slather your skin with SPF 30 sunblock. Dr. Bowden also recommends loading up on blueberries and blackberries that are packed with antioxidants, which fight free radicals.
And, skip the sugar! A sugar-packed diet will destroy the collagen and elastin in your skin, which leads to wrinkles, and dull, saggy skin. Sugar should be no more than 10 percent of your daily calories. For the average person, that's about one can of regular soda – or six Hershey’s Kisses.