Wrinkles and fine lines develop due to several factors, the primary cause is the natural ageing process. As we age, connective tissues in the skin, primarily collagen and elastin which are found in the second layer of the skin (dermis) begins to breakdown. Collagen and elastin fibers play significant roles in keeping skin healthy and young-looking by capturing and holding moisture in the skin. As collagen and elastin fibers erode, fine lines develop and skin starts to sag.
Smoking, sun exposure, repeated facial expression, and poor nutrition all speed up the aging process.
Smoking does not do your health including your skin any good. Tobacco smoke produces at least 4,000 chemicals, many of which are poisonous while at least 50 are known to cause cancer1. It’s time to break the habit if you want to salvage your health and your skin from further damage.
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation causes skin to dry up, and damages collagen and elastin fibers. UV rays have been observed to significantly speed up skin wrinkling and sagging. Frequent and unnecessary exposure to sunlight is the main cause of premature aging.
Fine lines and wrinkles often start to develop creases in areas of the face used for facial expressions. With natural ageing, the skin’s elasticity diminishes* and slowly, lines that form whenever you smile or frown become permanent.
Poor eating habits deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Skin likewise becomes poorly nourished and experiences difficulty keeping hydrated.
One of the most essential nutrients to help protect your skin from developing fine lines and premature aging is Vitamin C. Most topical skin care products will contain a certain amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant thus, effectively preventing cellular damage, including on skin cells, by fighting off free radicals. Free radicals can be found within our bodies through food that we eat or through our surroundings, including pollution. Free radicals can combine with cells, causing cells to become damaged or to die.
Vitamin C helps bind a collagen and elastin fiber which is important in maintaining healthy tissues, gums, skin and cartilages. When these fibers are strongly bound, the skin has higher moisture absorptive capacity and becomes more capable of holding in nutrients and water.
In order to take advantage of the skin protecting benefits of Vitamin C, it must not only be derived from topical skin care products but also from your diet. Vitamin C boosts* our immune system, and aids in maintaining the healthy and normal functioning of cells including skin cells.
In a study2 conducted by Cosgrave, et.al., it was concluded that people who consumed higher amounts of Vitamin C in their diets developed less fine lines and wrinkles than people who consumed more fat and carbohydrates in their diets. In addition, it was also shown that people with diets high in omega-3 rich or linoleic acid rich foods are also less prone to skin wrinkling.
Green and leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits are all rich in Vitamin C. However, Vitamin C from foods is often easily lost from food storage, cooking, or processing. Foods rich in linoleic acid include many nuts, salmon, and other fatty fish.
Skin care products that contain Vitamin C should be stored and kept way from direct sunlight and must not be exposed to air.
1Note: “What’s in a Cigarette?” American Lung Association. Retrieved from: http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/whats-in-a-cigarette.html Accessed on: 24 Nov 2013
2Note: Cosgrove, Maeve, et. Al. “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women” 2007 American Society for Clinical Nutrition. October 2007: vol. 88, p. 480. Retrieved from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/4/1225 Accessed on: 4 Jan 2014.