Lax, loose, sagging skin – all are symptoms of wrinkles. Learn exactly what is a wrinkle, what causes them, and what can you do to prevent and treat wrinkles. We break it ALL down in this week’s blog.
What is a Wrinkle?
The formation of wrinkles is related to your skin’s collagen and elastin, two proteins found in your skin. Collagen provides strength to the skin structure and elastin provides the snap or resiliency, allowing the skin to move about and conformation as required. When the elastin fibers undergo changes that cause them to lose their resiliency or snap, the skin no longer is able to return to its original state. As a result sagging and crinkling occur in a pattern that is wrinkles.
What Causes Wrinkles?
The following are the main contributing factors to wrinkles.
The skin is an excellent record keeper. Every moment we spend in the sun adds up like money in the bank. The problem is the payoff- namely skin damage in the form of wrinkles. The sun tops the list for causing damaged skin. Overtime, the sun’s ultraviolet light (UV) damages the elastin figures, causing them to break down. Just one really good sunburn is all that’s needed to produce the wrinkles seen on sun lovers, though it will take 15-20 years to show themselves
We know smoking is bad for your health, but a life-long smoking habit will also wreak serious damage on your skin and contribute to aging. Not only does smoking contribute to wrinkles around the eye and mouth area, but smoking also does the following:
- Generates free radicals and nitrosamine (carcinogen chemical compounds)
- Decreases the amount of blood flow to the skin
- Creates a sallow complexion
- Weakens blood vessels and immune system
Many people think that UV light is the cause of free radical damage in skin, but pollution can generate tremendous amount free radical damage as well. Pollution generates oxidative stress in skin, which forms free radical damage. Free radicals chip away at cell walls and DNA. Eventually, the skin cell function is significantly impaired and eventually dies. These multiple breaks also causes elastin and collagen to break down, making the skin sag, lose its vitality and youthful, elastic quality.
How Can You Treat and Prevent Wrinkles?
Young skin is supple and smooth, firmly draped over the underlying structures of the face. With age and increases in accumulation of UV radiation the dermal matrix becomes damaged and disorganized. The amount of collagen decreases, elasticity is compromised and the skin becomes thin, less firm, allowing wrinkles to develop.
For many decades the approach to wrinkles was moisturization. The belief was that by plumping up the dehydrated surface, superficial lines would decrease. While this was true, actual firming of the structural underpinnings has only been answered by the introductions of retinoids. This class of compounds (including retinoic acid, retinol and retinyl palmitate) proved effective against wrinkles. Unfortunately, undesirable side effects, such as irritation, parallel the degree of effectiveness on wrinkles; the more effective the compound, the more irritating it proved to be. Today the technology of pentapeptides creates the underlying firmness without the irritation of Retinoids.
“Antioxidants provide protection against pro-oxidative environment to which human skin is exposed, in particular, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, smoke, and air pollutants… Among marine resources, seaweeds represent one of the richest sources of natural antioxidants.” 
Seaweed is a natural anti-oxidant that can help protect your skin from environmental factors, including UV light, smoke, and air pollutants, which all contribute to wrinkles. Seaweed is also rich in 12 vitamins, 42 trace elements and minerals, 18 amino acids, and contains Alginic Acid, a polysaccharide know maintain water in skin cells, therefore helping to lock moisture into the skin.
There are even different types of seaweed that help directly with skin aging, such as Ulva lactuca. This type of seaweed is a source of Marine Elastin Protein that helps prevent the breakdown of elastin in the skin. It also helps increase vitality and brightness of skin complexion.
Zinc Oxide acts as a natural physical sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays. It is a micronized mineral that forms a physical barrier on the skin, shielding skin from damaging environmental aggressors, while also soothing skin and absorbing excess oils. A “face shield” with a combination of zinc oxide and seaweed can help prevent damage to the skin, and thus prevent wrinkles from developing in the long run.
Skin protection is one of the key factors to preventing wrinkles, and next week we’ll share even more tips on how you can make sure you’re protecting your skin to prevent wrinkles! Have any questions regarding aging skin? Leave them for us in the comments below!
 Se-Kwan Kim, Ph.D. Marine Cosmeceuticals, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, April, 2013