Before we get into how to iron out wrinkles, it's first important to understand what causes them in the first place. New York City dermatologist Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD points to three major causes: the sun; movement of the facial muscles in the forehead, mouth, and around the eyes; and environmental toxins like cigarette smoke and urban pollution.
Wrinkles don't form overnight, but rather come about slowly over time, thanks to repeated exposure to one or all of these elements. If you're looking to prevent your skin from wrinkling, he suggests sunscreen (ideally one that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, with a protection factor of SPF 30), a retinoid cream (which, yes, you can even use on sensitive skin, thanks to groundbreaking new formulations), and preventive Botox (...take that one as you will).
While the idea of being able to get rid of your wrinkles with stuff you have lying around in your kitchen sounds fairly amazing, Dr. Mudgil wants you to take it with a grain of salt: "Home remedies like DIY masks and peels don't really do much in terms of wrinkle prevention," he says. But if all those pricy lotions and potions aren't for you there are still a few home remedies for wrinkles worth taking for a spin. Keep scrolling to find out more.
1. Tweak your diet
We've all heard about the "gut-skin connection," and what you're munching on could potentially impact the firmness of skin. "I'm a big believer in consuming a protein-rich, well-balanced diet, which is good for your entire body including your skin," says Dr. Mudgil. "A diet high in antioxidants also helps your body naturally fend off environmental toxins, which can prematurely age us." To get a whole bunch of antioxidant-rich food in one-fell swoop, sip on Vanessa Hudgens' favorite smoothie which is made with acai berries, blueberries, banana, and coconut oil.
2. Sleep on a silk pillow case
While not all dermatologists agree with the wonders of silk pillow cases (according to Dr. Mudgil, "this is basically all hype—no real role in wrinkle prevention here"), NYC-based dermatologist Kaveri Korgavkar, MD is a fan, noting that they can help by "decreasing friction" between your face and the sheets. As NYC-based dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum MD put it, “While there is no scientific evidence, decreasing the friction between the skin and the pillowcase could also potentially minimize fine lines.” So, I'll take it. And while we're on the subject of fighting wrinkles while you snooze, the best sleep position to keep fine lines away is on your back.
3. Slather on an antioxidant mask
Just as eating an antioxidant-rich diet can be great for your skin, antioxidants can also be beneficial when you apply them topically, too. "Any peels or masks that contain antioxidants like turmeric, berry peels, or green tea are helpful in combating environmental toxins that contribute to our skin aging," says Dr. Mudgil. If you want to try a turmeric treatment for yourself, borrow a tip from Katie Holmes' facialist and try this easy, at-home "miracle mask" recipe:
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add enough water to form a paste.
3. Massage onto skin and leave on for 10 minutes.
4. Rinse with tepid water.
4. Try an oil
When it comes to wrinkle reduction, the common theme here is that "antioxidants work." Which means that antioxidant-rich natural oils may have some benefits in keeping them at bay. "The benefit of oils are principally their antioxidant abilities," says Dr. Mudgil. "In addition to functioning as emollients, Lavender, rose hip, jojoba, [and other] oils have antioxidants, which help the body combat environmental toxins." Dr. Korgavkar has also seen people use argan and coconut oils, but notes that these "don’t work anywhere near as well as topical retinoids and sunscreen."
5. Manage your stress
If you, like me, furrow your brow at your computer screen every time you get a frustrating email, you know that eventually those lines stick around for good. So take a page out of clean beauty guru Sophia Roe's book, or, erm, journal, and write down the things that ail you. “Stress journaling is a seven-day practice that entails writing down all factors of active stress in your life, and after that seven-day period, going back and identifying the major red flags and addressing them one by one,” she told Well+Good retreat goers last year. Or, if the thought of writing down all of your anxieties makes you even more anxious (#itme), try Jonathan Van Ness's go-to yoga flow, or stick around the gym for a few additional ab exercises (there's a core-stress connection, FYI), or do whatever works for you to chill the F out and stop wrinkling your forehead.
6. Sip some collagen
You've likely heard the hype surrounding collagen and wrinkles, and that's for good reason. Studies have shown that oral collagen ingestion increases skin hydration and skin elasticity and improves facial moisture, which ultimately helps out with wrinkles. And, you know, sipping on some added H2O in general definitely can't hurt, either.
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