aged woman with eye wrinkles

What causes wrinkles? – 5 things you never knew

People often associate crow’s feet and laugh lines with getting older. After all, as your skin ages, it loses elasticity and can start to show wrinkles and fine lines and is an undeniable part of getting older…right?

But these physical signs of aging sometimes have nothing to do with aging at all. Other lifestyle and environmental factors can take a toll on your physical appearance, including a poor diet, lack of sleep, and chronic stress. It’s not just your imagination; those wrinkles in the mirror could have more to do with your daily habits than you think.

The following 5 things are probably the biggest culprits of wrinkles; read on to see what you can do about them.
1 – The sun
It should come as no surprise that harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun, particularly in Australia, is one of the biggest causes of wrinkles.

UVB is responsible for the majority of skin cancers. UVA is longer wavelength radiation that is lower energy than UVB but is 100 times more common than UVB. It penetrates deep into the dermis of the skin and damages collagen, elastin and blood vessels.

This damage reduces our skins elasticity, which over time give it a thin, crepey (like tissue paper) appearance. Protect your skin every day by applying at least a SPF30 moisturiser even before you leave the house.
2 – Pollution
You may not think it makes much of a difference, but the environment in which you live plays a big role in your skin health. Pollutants that land on your skin can lead to free radical damage and accelerate the signs of ageing.

A study published in 2010 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed that women living in an urban setting had more wrinkles and age spots over a 24 year period than those living in a rural setting.

To counteract this, make sure to wash and cleanse your face every morning and night to remove those particles of pollution
3 – Sleep
We all know that not getting enough sleep can make you feel generally unrefreshed. Studies have also shown that lack of sleep affects healing and recovery.

In regards to skin, studies have also shown that lack of sleep affects the pH of skin, which in turn affects hydration, leading it looking dry and lacklustre. Sleep is also a time when toxins get flushed from your skin.

So make sure to get at least 7-8 hours sleep a night and your skin will thank you for it.
4 – Stress
Personal or work stress can take a toll on you mentally and emotionally but it also affects you physically. Chronic stress leads to increased levels of cortisol which affects the ability of the skin to hold moisture.

Chronic stress can also raise insulin and sugar levels in our blood, which in combination with increased cortisol, can weaken collagen and elastin in your skin. These “supporting structures” then start to sag, leading to wrinkles.

It’s difficult to lead a stress-free life, but try your best to make time for you to relax, whether that be going for a walk, reading a book or if need be, seeking help with a counsellor.
5 – Sugar
Apart from the causing weight gain and obesity, sugar can also damage your skin. As stated above, stress causes our blood sugar to increase but any sugar we eat also adds to this.

Sugar, when it gets broken down in the body, can bind to proteins in our body and affect our collagen and elastin, therefore worsening wrinkles. It also causes the production of other toxic products that cause premature ageing.

Try to cut out any added sugar in your diet. Try to minimise any of the white starchy foods such as white bread, pasta and rice. Also, beware of foods labelled “Low-Fat”; they are inevitably  high in sugar. When reading the nutritional information, aim for foods with sugars of 5g or less per 100g serving.


skin care level

Changing Skin As We Age

The following is a Q&A session with Dr Eoin Mc Donnell, Cosmetic Physician, and Dermal Therapist Sam Noske, of Rewind Skin & Laser Centre
1- What are the most common treatments you perform on patients in their 20s/30s/40s/50s+?
Lip fillers are becoming more popular at a young age and many are starting anti-wrinkle injections early for wrinkle prevention. We also find we are doing mild skin peels, anti-acne treatments and LED therapy. For men in their 20’s, the main issue is acne and skin peels are the mainstay of treatment

In this age group we perform anti-wrinkle injections and fillers and may introduce skin needling for collagen induction. The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy see an increase again in acne and also pigmentation changes so in this age group light-based devices in the form of IPL and laser start becoming very useful.

In men, Post-acne scarring (PAS) treatments are one of the main issues and we would use a combination of skin needling and fractional laser once their active acne has settled. In all groups we recommend a good at-home skin regime using a good cosmeceutical range containing active ingredients.

Treatments are mostly similar to people their 30’s with an increase in treatments to deal with the increasing hormonal changes. Pigmentation and redness is a more prevalent issue and laser and IPL are fantastic treatment methods with little downtime.

Volume loss increases, necessitating the need for volume replacement with either fillers or thread lifting.

In this age group, replacing lost volume and stimulating collagen in a natural way is key through dermal fillers, collagen induction therapy and thread lifting. We are more aggressive with laser and light based therapies for sun damaged skin which improves fine lines and wrinkles, vascular problems such as rosacea and visible blood vessels and evens out skin irregularities and pigmentation.
2- How does the skin of someone in their 20s differ to someone in their 50s?
In our 20’s our skin is still full of healthy collagen and elastin and has a high cell turnover rate. Our skin generally hasn’t been subjected to the ageing process of slowing metabolism, volume loss in our facial fat pads or facial bone loss that all happens as we get older. So generally we are just needing to treat for conditions such as acne or possibly skin sensitivity.

By the time we are 50 our skin has been subjected to years of extrinsic factors such as sun and environmental damage, alcohol and smoking, plus intrinsic factors such as illnesses, hormonal changes and the natural volume loss in our skin, facial fat and bone that occurs as part of ageing.All of this, along with decades of facial muscle movements, can lead to fine lines, wrinkles and furrows in the skin, increased pigmentation and visible blood vessels with loss of skin clarity from decreased skin cell turnover as we age.

Without regular treatments, the use of good quality products and a healthy lifestyle then all of the above factors will accelerate our skin ageing.All skins are very different, however, generally speaking, in a 20 year old skin we are looking at preventive treatments and developing good lifestyle habits where as with a 50 year old skin we are looking at correcting the skin damage.
3- What are preventative treatments you would recommend to people in their 20s?
If the person has healthy skin then we would recommend beginning to include a good quality at-home skin regime. Not only will this help get them in the habit of looking after their skin but it will also help to maintain their youthful glow.By using a quality brand with active ingredients including a vitamin A then their skin will love them for it.

We always recommend a Vitamin A, but emphasise using a scientifically backed range…we stock Ultraceuticals including the doctor-only recommendation Ultraceuticals MD range; all Australian-made, with research and development behind every product.
4- At what age should people change their skincare routine?
We don’t think skincare routine is age dependent, more so dependent on your skin’s needs. Ensuring you are seeing a dermal therapist or skin professional regularly will ensure you are on the right track and make sure you are using what you need on your skin, not just what the new buzz products on the market are.

Unfortunately, the market is flooded with new products on a daily basis which have little or no scientific evidence behind them.
5- Are there certain treatments you would never perform on ‘young’ skin?
We don’t agree with anything too aggressive on young skins, unless indicated, and we can generally get away with more regular mild treatments with less potential to damage their skin.
6- At what age should people start having regular professional skin treatments?
In a perfect world, we would recommend regular skin treatments from as soon as they start to notice the hormonal changes, such as getting little spots or possibly developing acne. We want to minimise these as much as possible through regular treatments, use of good products on their skin and most importantly developing good lifestyle habits.

Not only can it be very embarrassing at such an impressionable age, but we want to best prevent or reduce any post acne scarring which is harder for us to treat later on in life once the scarring has occurred.

For those blessed with great skin, then we believe at about 25 is good to start maintenance programs for collagen synthesis (skin needling or laser) and increasing cell turnover with mild skin peels.