Wrinkles, furrows, creases, crows feet, elevens, lines, etc. Whatever you may call them, wrinkles have a big impact on beauty culture. As a matter of fact, one of the top requests an esthetician or skincare company will receive from customers is on how to help get rid of or prevent deep set wrinkles. There are endless promises to help get rid of wrinkles, but is it ever really possible to avoid them? Today, we want to dive into this ever evolving discussion and explore a full spectrum approach to treating wrinkles.
By: Hayley Wood, L.E. N.T.P.
IN THIS POST:
- What is a wrinkle?
- A holistic approach to treating wrinkles
- 3 ingredients that can help treat wrinkles
- At-home practices to help reduce wrinkles
For as long as we can think back, there has constantly been a discussion going on within the skincare industry on how to best approach and understand the topic of aging. On one hand, aging is considered a gift and not a guarantee for everyone. Some people view their wrinkles as a blessing time has given them that others don’t always get to experience.
However, there is the other side to that: the struggle to accept how your physical body is aging, especially if the signs of aging happen much sooner than expected due to a variety of health reasons.
Many, if not most, of us feel both sides of this discussion. So before you keep reading, we want to acknowledge that our intention with this article is to share professional insight as to how to support your skin health at any age and not to create shame around having wrinkles. We know that how we care for our skin looks different for everyone, so follow along to see if one of our supportive practices is right for you.
RELATED: Treatment Tips for Melasma from a Holistic Esthetician.
What is a wrinkle?
It is also important to acknowledge that the skincare industry does give confusing information on how to treat wrinkles. Like all skin concerns, the best way to know how to treat it is by understanding what causes it to begin with.
The first question we will answer is what is a wrinkle? A wrinkle is a crease in the skin that creates a line, plain and simple. It can start out as a fine line at the very surface of your skin. Eventually those fine lines can become deeper and more noticeable, which results in being more difficult to treat. The depth of our wrinkles can happen gradually and for many reasons. Let’s break down four common causes.
Facial muscle movements
Our facial muscles develop movement patterns that create creases in the skin and over time, wrinkles start to set in. With each expression and every time you chew, talk, swallow, kiss and breathe, you are creating movements in your facial muscles that impact the skin’s appearance—just like how a crease deepens in a leather shoe after many years of use.
Diminishing elastic and collagen fibers
The elastin and collagen fibers in our skin start to diminish with age, so the skin loses the ability to bounce back and look full. Imagine a baby with full cheeks and how quickly it bounces back when you squeeze them. The cutest visual that also demonstrates how great our elasticity and collagen production is when we are young.
Decreases in hydration
Hydration in the skin also decreases with age, which impacts the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The skin is actually 64% water, with fluids that help retain hydration and smoothness to the skin. Hydration in the skin also comes from a balance of naturally occurring oil from our sebaceous glands that help nourish the skin.
Slower cell turnover
Slowed cell turnover as we age decreases our skin’s ability to recover quickly from damage and environmental exposure. This is why babies have such fresh skin and we start to notice changes during times of growth such as our teen years. The older we get, the slower our turnover tends to get as well.
A holistic approach to treating wrinkles
So what can you do? There are many treatments out there to help treat wrinkles that you have probably heard of such as peels, lasers and even microneedling. However, a lot of the well-known procedures to help treat wrinkles can be invasive, expensive or just plain inaccessible to many people. Which is why we wanted to provide you some accessible and easy to use options that are easy to incorporate into your routines.
Prevention as “treatment”
Prevention is the easiest way to avoid or delay most skin conditions. However, with something like wrinkles, there are factors that you cannot prevent fully. The reality is that our bodies are changing slowly every day, whether we notice it or not.
Bodywork to support your whole body
One of the first things you can do to help your skin health is consider the whole body. We all have different vulnerabilities in our bodies due to illness, injuries and areas where we hold stress. When we are in a state of stress, we tend to compress ourselves like a deflated balloon with bricks of tension in our shoulders, back and neck. This can eventually block or reduce flow of oxygen and blood circulation to our faces, which is needed for a radiant complexion. A few things you can do to help with this include:
- Dry brushing for full body circulation and lymphatic system support.
- Daily stretching to help create space and loosen tensions in stressed areas.
- Diaphragmatic breathing for grounding and de-stressing.
If you have suffered from an injury or a physical trauma of any sort, it is likely that your muscles need some support and training to help you have optimal mobility and circulation. This is where bodywork can be really useful to the health and well-being of your whole self. An underrated benefit to massage is how soft and refreshed our faces look afterward. It’s amazing how the wrinkles between your brows will eventually soften when a pain in your body is finally addressed.
RELATED: The best body tools.
Other holistic lifestyle treatments for wrinkles
Other lifestyle suggestions that help support the health of your skin include a daily diet full of diverse, whole-food ingredients, nervous system regulating habits, daily movement and restorative sleep. However, life can often get in the way of having consistency with the above lifestyle choices. Which brings us to the next topic: products and ingredients in skincare that can help reduce the look of wrinkles.
3 ingredients that can help treat wrinkles
Daily skincare maintenance is a key component to supporting your skin for long lasting results. There are certain ingredients that are known for helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Let’s review the top 3 and our favorite products that you can try.
To help with cell turnover: retinol
Retinol is the synthetic or natural derivative of vitamin A, a powerful ingredient with antioxidant properties used in skincare for wrinkles and fine lines support. In fact, it is the most researched ingredient for collagen regeneration and cell turnover out there (read more about retinol in our deep dive here).
There are more potent forms of retinoids available via prescription to help with more severe skin conditions such as melasma, acne and scaring. As powerful as retinol and prescription retinoids are for treating wrinkles, there are some contraindications especially for breastfeeding and nursing mothers. That’s why many natural skincare brands incorporate alternatives to retinol such as bakuchiol and Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract.
Pro Tip: Any vitamin A rich product should only be used at night, and should be spaced out depending on skin barrier sensitivity.
Clean beauty retinol options
Maya Chia The Straight A | $125
Check out my review with before and after photos here.
Clean beauty retinol alternatives
BLÜH ALCHEMY Botanic-Retinol Cell Renewal Concentrate | $140
Save: Use code TNK15 to save 15% off sitewide at BLÜH ALCHEMY.
One Love Organics Botanical A Bio-Retinol Night Serum | $78
Note: This is the most sensitive-skin friendly / good for reactive skin.
To help with skin hydration: hyaluronic acid
One of the first signs of dehydration in the skin is the visibility of fine lines. That’s why the moisture binding humectant known as hyaluronic acid has become such a popular ingredient. However, we often forget which formulation it works best in order to help support hydration in the skin.
There are different molecular weights to consider when opting for this ingredient in your routine. In a cleanser, it will just get washed off and in a moisturizer, it’ll probably be too little to actually benefit the skin. Instead, a product with different molecular weights such as a hydrating mist or serum is where the real benefits of hydration can be restored in your skin.
Make sure to follow up your HA product of choice with a moisturizer, facial oil or balm rich in omega fatty acids to help retain the moisture in your skin. This will compensate for some of the dehydration our skin cells go through.
Pro Tip: In addition to supporting any wrinkles and fine lines, hydration will help the integrity of your skin’s barrier, which can help prevent premature wrinkles and sensitivity.
Clean Beauty Hyaluronic Acid options
Josh Rosebrook Hydration Boost Concentrate | $65
SAVE: Use code NEWKNEW15 to save 15% on your first order at AILLEA. Some exclusions apply.
OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum | $88
SAVE: Use NEWKNEW for 10% off at OSEA
For prevention and protection: vitamin C
The GOAT vitamin for skincare is definitely vitamin C. It works beautifully with many other ingredients such as vitamin E and ferulic acid to combat all signs of premature skin aging. It is known as an antioxidant powerhouse to brighten, tighten and protect the skin by supporting the process of collagen synthesis in the skin.
It is also naturally occurring in many beautiful natural skincare ingredients such as acai, goji berry, camu camu and kakadu plum. Synthetic forms also work, and have been tested to visibly treat wrinkles and dark spots. A morning dose of vitamin C through a serum, oil or balm is wonderful wrinkle care for just about anyone.
Pro Tip: Some synthetic forms of vitamin C can be unstable and cause irritation. Introduce slowly into your routine if you have a sensitized barrier.
Clean beauty vitamin C options
BLÜH ALCHEMY Multi-C Serum | $140
Save: Use code TNK15 to save 15% off sitewide at BLÜH ALCHEMY.
For overnight wrinkle treatment support
Silicone pads from SiO BEAUTY are a great option for anyone looking to take their wrinkle support to the next level. These pads are 100% medical grade silicone and are reusable. Place them anywhere you’d like to occlude moisture after doing your skincare routine and you can remove them after a night’s sleep.
At-home practices you can do to treat wrinkles
Skincare-related practices focused on wrinkle care aren’t always about anti-aging. It is also about supporting the facial muscles that impact our skin health. From facial yoga to manual lymphatic drainage, the benefits of facial massage are endless.
It can be a really empowering experience to feel the muscles of your face and give them some love. We also tend to store emotions in our muscles, even in our faces, so facial massage can help with stress relief in more than one way.
The face and neck have a total of 68 muscles that often get unintentionally neglected from daily care. We think of massaging our backs and shoulders, but not often their connecting body parts like our faces.
Another reason to consider facial massage as well is because it provides better circulation and oxygen flow to help our skin feel and look more vibrant. Here are a few practices that can help you exercise your facial muscles to support your radiance.
Facial gua sha
This practice originated in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a way to help decongest stagnation in the body. When applied to a facial practice, it can be really beneficial to helping prevent and lessen the appearance of wrinkles. Facial gua sha is meant to help with microcirculation in the skin. Facial gua sha also includes the neck as part of the practice to help with posture that often cuts off the flow of our lymphatic system pathways.
Gua sha tool recommendation
RELATED: Check out our full post on the best gua sha and facial tools.
A microcurrent facial treatment creates stimulation for the muscles in the face with low-level electrical pulses for a non-invasive, and often relaxing way to lift and sculpt the face. Those pulses signal our natural communication between our muscles and cells to help them work more efficiently.
Think of it like pilates but for the muscles of the face, so the toning feels subtle but has a wonderful impact on the appearance of the skin. Consistent use of microcurrent will also help create natural energy, ATP, in our cells for a vibrant glow. This sought-after facial procedure is now available for home care use to help with wrinkle maintenance. Just make sure to avoid if pregnant or if you have any metal implants in the face.
At-home Microcurrent recommendation: 7e wellness is incredibly user friendly as the device connects to an app, which helps prevent misuse with personalized instructions.
LED red light therapy
This may not fall under a facial massage procedure, but it is a light therapy that can be a relaxing way to support the skin post massage. Red light therapy is a wonderful way to help stimulate collagen in the skin and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the skin. It can also be used as a way to help skin recovery from injury and to prevent potential scaring. There are no real contraindications for LED therapy other than making sure to avoid it if you are light-sensitive.
At-home LED therapy recommendation: SolaWave is a 5 minute at-home facial treatment that includes red LED light therapy, microcurrent, vibrational massage and therapeutic warmth. Be sure to avoid it if you have a pacemaker, metal implants in the face or are pregnant.
What from this full spectrum approach to wrinkle care will you try first? Let us know what you decide to incorporate into your routine!
TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.
EmilyJuly 1, 2022
You mention using silicone pads after skincare, however they are meant to be used on clean dry skin. Otherwise they will fall off. That’s the problem I have with them, I don’t want to skip my skincare.
Lisa FennessyJuly 5, 2022
Hi Emily! You are right, that is so annoying! I just double checked and they do say apply to clean skin with nothing on your skin. I don’t think I’m willing to skip my skincare routine either. Maybe if we do our evening skincare routines at 4pm then my 9pm we could apply them without trouble? lol. xo, L
Lynn HuyckAugust 20, 2022
Thank you so much for all of your hard research and information!
Have you looked into Ursa Major products? I am very curious about what you find out. It seems like a good company and healthy products for skin.
Lisa FennessyAugust 29, 2022
Hi Lynn! Yes! Love their products! TNK approved. I especially love their new Mountain Glow Golden Serum. xo, Lisa
Lori EstelleDecember 20, 2022
Do you recommend any specific targeted products for around the eyes as well as lip area?
Nicolle MackinnonApril 25, 2023
Hi Lori! We spoke to Hayley, and here’s what she said: “The Apoterra Vitamin C regenerative balm is great for both!”
MelissaMarch 19, 2023
LOVE your column. I’ve recommended it to friends 😊 Please recommend a simple streamlined mature skincare routine for me as I’d like to be more proactive. My skin is dry/sensitive and I’m a 63 year old GMA of young granddaughters 💕 Thank you Melissa
Lisa FennessyApril 10, 2023
Hi Melissa! Thanks for reading! I keep my current skincare routine documented here. I update this post every three months so you can follow along and try some of my faves. Hope this helps and if not, you can check out this post too which is more of a template you can fill in with what works for you. AND if those options do not work, you can always email me and I can help. xo, L