Normal process: How skin changes and where wrinkles come from 

THERE IS NOTHING BAD IN AGE CHANGES IN THE SKIN AND BODY – while in a healthy person they occur gradually, reflecting, among other things, changes in metabolism and the work of internal organs. The processes that are typically associated with aging, such as loss of firmness and pigmentation, can also occur for some external reasons. Our body works every day to fulfill its functions – how to make this work even more harmonious, we figure it out together with the experts: the head of the cosmetology department of the Austrian health center Verba Mayr , the cosmetologist Natalia Novitskaya, the chief doctor of the Icon Lab aesthetic cosmetology center Sona Kocharova    and an orthopedic dentist of the Smile SPA Clinic of Aesthetic and Functional Dentistry Sergey Kovalchuk.

How wrinkles are formed

Wrinkles appear for a variety of reasons. For example, mimic – due to active facial expressions when we frown, squint or laugh. As a result of the work of muscles on the skin, a hall is formed, which eventually turns into a wrinkle. Neck wrinkles can appear from improper sleeping position. With a sharp decrease in weight, especially if you have recovered before that, the skin may simply not have time to contract – then sagging and wrinkles also appear . The condition of the skin is influenced by various diseases, hormonal disorders, smoking, insufficient moisture, exposure to ultraviolet radiation; the main age-related factor in the appearance of wrinkles is a decrease in the production of collagen and elastin, which are responsible for the smoothness of the skin and complexion.

The benefits of many of the ingredients in anti-aging cosmetics are not scientifically proven, and they tend to have minimal or no effect. Only a few ingredients have been proven effective, meaning they actually make the skin smoother. For example, peptides (short protein molecules) in creams or injections are one of the safest ways to reduce the number and depth of wrinkles. Cosmetologist Natalya Novitskaya notes that peptides stimulate the production of intercellular protein, resulting in a renewal of the dermis – the layer of skin in which collagen and elastin are produced. These procedures have no side effects, but for a noticeable result they need to be carried out regularly.

Another option is retinoid products . These are biologically active forms of vitamin A that accelerate the process of cell renewal in the connective tissue. Retinoids are part of anti-aging creams and serums that are used in courses; when using them, side effects are not excluded – irritation, peeling, increased skin sensitivity. Polyphenols – powerful plant antioxidants – can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles by protecting the skin from free radicals that damage skin cells. At the same time, according to Natalia Novitskaya, it is important to understand that antioxidants coming from outside disrupt the body’s internal defense system against free radicals, and before using a cream with polyphenols, it is important to assess whether there is a real need for external antioxidants. Therefore, a consultation with a doctor in this case will not be superfluous.

Tightening and reducing the number of wrinkles with a laser is a radical method that is not suitable for everyone. The essence of the procedure is to warm up the dermis, the deep layer of the skin. Thermal stimulation of fibroblasts – the cells of this layer – produces collagen and elastin (by the way, fibroblasts can also be stimulated with peeling or massage). This is a serious procedure, after which the recovery period usually takes from five days to a week. Laser procedures are contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation or in the presence of cancer and blood clotting disorders.

Why do age spots appear

Pigmentation is the result of increased production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. A number of factors contribute to this “staining”: from heredity and exposure to the sun to problems with internal organs, skin injuries and taking hormonal drugs. Before trying to remove a dark spot, it is important to understand the reason for its appearance, otherwise the effect of the procedure may be very short or even absent. Natalia Novitskaya explains that each phototype has its own resource of being in the sun without a reaction from melanocytes , cells that produce melanin. For example, for a person with the first phototype , that is, white skin and red hair, this resource will last for five minutes, and with the second phototype (dark hair and a little darker skin) – for ten. After that, skin cells begin to produce melanin (and if it does not cope with protection, then a sunburn occurs).

The consequences of sun exposure or ultraviolet radiation – this pigmentation, which may be non-uniform, and overdrying the skin; burns are the most dangerous – they dramatically increase the risk of melanoma , the most dangerous malignant skin tumor. Therefore , everyone needs sunscreen all year round, just like sunglasses on sunny days. If after the vacation the skin is dehydrated, then intensive nutrition and deep hydration will not interfere with it.

If you do not like age spots, then biorevitalization is suitable from salon procedures : injections of hyaluronic acid stimulate skin renewal, providing nutrition and hydration. Another option is bioreparation . The procedure includes injections based on hyaluronic acid, but in combination with vitamins, peptides and amino acids. As a result, collagen and elastin are produced more actively, the protective properties of the skin are increased and cell regeneration is accelerated. According to Sona Kocharova , home care is also necessary. In the cosmetic arsenal, not only a moisturizer, but also a nourishing cream will come in handy.

Doctor Sona Kocharova draws attention to the fact that in the case of a predisposition to increased pigmentation it will not be possible to get rid of the spots once and for all, but good results can be achieved with the help of a laser. The effect is achieved due to the non-contact point effect of the laser beam on the skin. The laser coagulates the pigment, that is, “brews” it – the process resembles how the protein in an egg folds during boiling. After that, the pigment rises to the surface of the skin and exfoliates after a while . This effect is painless, but you should not expect a high result after the first procedure. It will appear only after five to six sessions (the exact number of procedures will be determined by the cosmetologist). However, with diabetes mellitus, cancer, the presence of a pacemaker, as well as pregnant women and those who are not yet eighteen years old, laser procedures will have to be abandoned.

Another way is to use hydroquinone: when applied, it blocks the production of melanin. However, there are a couple of nuances: hydroquinone is a strong chemical and should not be used for too long, and after the procedure, one should not be in the sun (as is the case with a laser), otherwise pigmentation may increase. If you opt for exfoliating your skin, a medium or deep peel will help lighten the dark areas . Natalya Novitskaya notes that these procedures should also be done in the autumn-winter period in order to reduce the effect of ultraviolet radiation, and in any case, apply a sunscreen to the skin.

What causes the skin to become flabby

Disruption of metabolic processes, decreased production of hyaluronic acid, which is involved in skin hydration , and constant stress are common reasons why skin looks flabby. The growth of elastin and collagen fibers slows down, and the tissues do not have time to recover. By warming up the dermis, laser and photo procedures stimulate fibroblasts (connective tissue cells), and the production of collagen and elastin is enhanced. Injections of hyaluronic acid fillers or fillers can also reduce the laxity or appearance of a fold (eg, nasolabial), but they wo n’t change the core of the process . There are exercises that train the muscles of the face – they give a good effect, but they will have to be performed regularly.

Orthopedic dentist Sergey Kovalchuk draws attention to the fact that sagging skin on the face is often associated with pathological abrasion of teeth, when hard tooth tissues – enamel and dentin – decrease. Moreover, if the first is erased rather slowly (enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body), then the second leaves many times faster. As a result, the bite decreases, the height of the lower third of the face decreases – and the soft tissues (muscles and skin) begin to sag. On both sides of the chin, areas of sagging skin form, the nasolabial folds become more noticeable, and saliva collects in the lowered corners of the lips, provoking dry skin and cracks in these places.

Incorrect bite, incorrect placement of a filling or crown, the habit of biting nails and even some diseases can lead to pathological abrasion of teeth. In this case, it is worth going to the dentist’s office; sometimes you need the participation of other specialists – for example, a neurologist. Manifestations of abrasion can be obvious as early as twenty-five to thirty years and contribute not only to sagging skin, but also to the development of problems with the temporomandibular joint. Bruxism (overexertion of the chewing muscles in a dream) is also called night grinding of teeth; while sounds have not always, but abrasion of enamel occurs. In this case, a good prevention is wearing a special plastic mouth guard at night, which is individually made in the clinic.

Why does the skin get rough

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation and free radicals damage the nucleus and structure of skin cells. The latter lose their ability to regenerate and exfoliate – and horny masses begin to accumulate on the surface. Peels with alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, apple, citric, tartaric) contained in fruits and berries provide a slight exfoliating effect and remove dead skin cells. Novitskaya recommends having exfoliating products with fruit acids at home, as well as occasionally doing professional peeling in salons. Sona Kocharova adds that hormonal disruptions, viral diseases and allergies can also provoke increased keratinization of the skin, so if the above appeared too abruptly, it is better to undergo a medical examination first.

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