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Preventing wrinkles and aging skin without a face cream

Whether we like it or not, getting wrinkles on our face seems to be a fact of life. But aside from what happens naturally, you can take action to keep younger-looking skin longer without a face cream for wrinkles.

According to Dr. Maggie Moses, a Marshfield Clinic Health System dermatologist, the major signs of facial aging are:

What factors cause aging skin

Woman looking at wrinkles on face wondering about a face cream
The major signs of facial aging are sagging skin, wrinkles, freckling, sunspots, and uneven skin tone and texture.

When it comes to what causes aging skin, two preventable factors stand out.

“Significant exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or indoor tanning and smoking are the two worst things you can do to your skin,” she said. “Aging skin from smoking also shows more in women than men.”

Smoking reduces blood flow through the skin’s small blood vessels resulting in wrinkled, older looking skin.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can decrease the skin’s immune function. Ultraviolet B rays are the rays that burn skin, while ultraviolet A rays can travel through window glass to penetrate the skin.

These ultraviolet rays causes DNA damage at the cellular level, causing elastin and collagen to break down. Collagen is a protein in the body that keeps the skin’s structure. Freckling, sunspots, blood vessel blotchiness, irregular texture, sagging and wrinkles can result. This is also how precancerous and cancerous skin lesions form.

Tanning beds and sun exposure can produce similar affects and may be slightly worse. They use ultraviolet A rays, which go deeper into the skin compared to ultraviolet B rays, and are more intense because exposure occurs in less time.

Stress and lack of sleep also can impact how your skin looks and ages.

Preventing wrinkles on your face

Dr. Moses offers many healthy ways you can add to your daily routine to keep your face looking younger:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Wear sunscreen and lip balm with SPF.
  • Stop using tanning beds.
  • Wear sun protective clothing and hats.
  • Reduce stress and get enough rest.
  • Quit smoking as soon as possible.

You should also moisturize your skin with a moisturizing cream to reduce skin dryness. Some products that are particularly helpful for anti-aging are those that include alpha hydroxy acids, niacinamide, or Vitamin C. Vitamin A-based creams are another mainstay for anti-aging as they can help to reduce wrinkles and improve complexion and color.

Other treatments requiring a provider’s expertise include prescription creams, injectable fillers, Botox, lasers, light treatments, chemical peels and microdermabrasion. These treatments can help improve problems like superficial blood vessels, uneven skin pigmentation, tone and texture by inducing new collagen production. Most of these treatments are available at Marshfield Clinic Health System.

Although aging skin is a natural part of life, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start healthy habits to improve the skin’s appearance for a younger more natural look.

Watch this video for more on preventing aging skin.

For aging concerns, talk to a Marshfield Clinic Health System provider.

Schedule appointment Find a dermatology provider

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3 responses to “Preventing wrinkles and aging skin without a face cream”

  1. Susan

    Thank you!

  2. Susan

    Would it be possible to let us know which sunscreens (brand name) the Dermatologists are recommending?

    1. Kirsten Shakal

      Hi, Susan. I shared your question with a dermatologist, and she actually doesn't like to recommend specific brand names because there are a lot of good products out there, she said.

      She also added, "Basically, look for an SPF between 30-50 and labelling that states 'broad spectrum' and/or 'UVA/UVB' protection. Also look for a formulation that fits your skin type: For example if oily or dry skin or sensitive skin, then something that is formulated for that skin type. Some patients prefer certain types for convenience — for something fast there are sprays, for something that avoids messy hands or targets small areas, there are sticks."

      Here is another Shine365 blog post that may interest you: https://shine365.marshfieldclinic.org/cancer-care/safeguard-your-skin-with-sunscreen/ -Kirstie

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