Wrinkles are a natural part of aging, especially for the face, neck, hands and forearms. Although genetics mainly determine skin structure and texture, sun exposure is a major cause of wrinkles, especially for fair-skinned people. Pollutants and smoking, also contribute to wrinkling.
While some people welcome their wrinkles, as a sign of character, if your wrinkles bother you there are things you can do to minimize developing wrinkles.
The most helpful steps are to protect your skin from sun damage with protective closthing and skin care products with built in sunscreen, quit smoking and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Once you’ve done all that, you can try over-the-counter wrinkle creams and lotions that promise to reduce wrinkles, and prevent or reverse damage caused by the sun.
The Food and Drug Administration classifies these creams and lotions as cosmetics, which are regulated less strictly than drugs. This means that products don’t need to undergo rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness before approval to go on the market.
Because the FDA doesn’t evaluate cosmetic products for effectiveness, there’s no guarantee that any over-the-counter product will reduce your wrinkles.
If you’re looking for a face-lift in a bottle, you probably won’t find it in over-the-counter wrinkle creams. The benefits are usually modest at best. Here are some common ingredients that may result in some improvement in the appearance of wrinkles.
• Retinol: a vitamin A compound, the first antioxidant to be widely used in nonprescription wrinkle creams. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles.
• Vitamin C: another potent antioxidant that may help protect skin from sun damage. Before and between uses, wrinkle creams containing vitamin C must be stored in a way that protects them from air and sunlight.
• Hydroxy acids: Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) and poly hydroxy acids are exfoliants — substances that remove the upper layer of old, dead skin and stimulate the growth of smooth, evenly pigmented new skin.
• Coenzyme Q10: This ingredient may help reduce fine wrinkles around the eyes and protect the skin from sun damage.
• Peptides: This ingredient has been used in products for wound healing, stretch marks and now wrinkles.
• Tea extracts: Green, black and oolong tea contain compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea extracts are the ones most commonly found in wrinkle creams.
• Grape seed extract: In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, grape seed extract promotes wound healing.
• Niacinamide: A potent antioxidant, this substance is related to vitamin B-3 (niacin). It helps reduce water loss in the skin and may improve skin elasticity.
— Mayo Clinic News Network