By Shannon R., SELF magazine
Aging may be inevitable but there are some things you can do to help slow down the clock a bit (at least when it comes to your skin!). Here are the most common types of wrinkles and how to treat them (and even prevent them in some cases).
What are the most common types of wrinkles?
According to a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2006), researchers at the University Hospital of Liege, Belgium determined that there are four distinctly different types of wrinkles that you'll (eventually) have to face.
1. Atrophic Crinkling Rhytids - fine lines on the face that are almost parallel to each other.
Where they occur: They show up on different areas of the face and body but tend to disappear when skin is stretched transversally (this just means they shift when your body posture changes). These wrinkles are associated with loss of elasticity.
What you can do: Since these wrinkles are due to the loss of collagen, you need to protect your skin by using sunscreen. You can also use moisturizers to temporarily plump the skin and diminish the appearance of these fine lines.
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2. Permanent Elastic Creases - Crease lines in the skin that become increasingly permanent over time, especially with sun exposure.
Where they occur: They show up most frequently on on the cheeks, the upper lip and the base of the neck.
What you can do: Sun exposure and smoking make this type of wrinkle worse. Don't smoke, minimize sun exposure and use a sunscreen to prevent this kind of wrinkling.
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3. Dynamic Expression Lines - Wrinkles that are caused by facial muscle movement.
Where they occur: Commonly referred to as frown (or smile!) lines and crows feet.
What you can do: These wrinkles respond best to Botox or other similar injectable wrinkle treatments.
4. Gravitational Folds - As the name implies, these lines are due to the effects of gravity and become increasingly obvious as skin begins to fold and sag.
Where they occur: The location of these wrinkles is related to the thickness of skin. While I would have thought this means that thicker skin shows more folds, surprisingly the researchers said that a plumper face may show fewer gravity folds than a lean face.
What you can do: Cosmetic surgery (like face lifts) are the most effective at removing these kinds of wrinkles.
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My best skin-saving advice is to minimize sun exposure, wear sunscreen and don't smoke. Moisturizers can help temporarily "fill in" and plump wrinkles but if you are looking for more permanent results you may want to consider cosmetic procedures like Botox or face lifts.