Time and gravity take their toll on faces, reducing the skin’s elasticity and causing it to wrinkle and sag. Excessive exposure to sunlight, smoking and other environmental hazards worsen the wrinkling process. While nothing can remove wrinkles permanently, a number of procedures are available to hide telltale lines. Facelift surgery is the most long-lasting, but non-surgical procedures are effective for shorter periods. A dermatologist can recommend the best wrinkle-removing procedure for every skin type, problem and budget.
Freeze Them With Botox
Botox, the commercial name for botulinum toxin type A or B, is purified botulism toxin that is commonly injected into muscles in the forehead that cause vertical frown lines and horizontal forehead wrinkles. The Botox blocks nerve signals, relaxing those muscles and preventing them from contracting; this works to smooth out the creases between the eyebrows. While administering Botox is not a surgical procedure, it should be performed by a dermatologist or licensed professional.
Fill Them Up
Other injectables are soft-tissue fillers that plump up lip lines, nasolabial folds from the nose to the mouth and marionette lines on the chin. Fillers that produce nearly immediate results use hyaluronic acid gel or even self-donated fat. Another type stimulates the production of collagen and takes longer to show results. These fillers generally last from six months up to three years. Like Botox, they should be administered by trained professionals.
Resurface Them With Microdermabrasion
For larger areas, a procedure called microdermabrasion takes off a fine outer layer of skin using aluminum-oxide crystals, revealing clearer skin underneath. This process gently exfoliates the surface layer of skin using the crystals to abrade the skin and vacuum-suction to remove the dead cells. The process may require several treatments to show results. Microdermabrasion is not the same as dermabrasion, which is a more invasive surgical procedure.
Peel Them With Chemicals
An acid applied to the outer layer of skin removes the epidermis, revealing the smoother skin underneath. A superficial peel -- often called the lunchtime peel -- and a medium peel that exfoliates the outer layer of skin generally contain glycolic acid. A deeper peel consists of trichloroacetic acid or phenol and removes damaged skin cells from the middle skin layer. The chemicals cause the skin to peel over the next few days and new, fresh skin appears.
Beam Them With a Laser
LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. When used on facial skin, a laser produces an intense beam of bright light that vaporizes skin cells, stimulating formation of collagen and encouraging new cell growth. The physician who administers the laser can control where the beam focuses on targeted areas and how deeply it enters the skin. The process smooths fine lines and wrinkles, fades brown spots and flattens upper lip lines. After the procedure, the skin peels and new, pink skin forms that will lighten to normal coloring.
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- To reduce the chances of premature wrinkles, make sure to always protect your skin from the sun, according to the Mayo Clinic. Sunscreens and moisturizes containing a sun protection factor of 30 or better can reduce your exposure to damaging UV-rays. Also, consider wearing hats, long sleeves and sunglasses during prolonged periods of sun exposure.
- The Mayo Clinic also recommends using a moisturizer each day. As long as it combats dryness, don't worry about the cost. Less expensive lotions often have the same effect on the skin as their costly counterparts.
As a long-time newspaper reporter and staff writer, Kay Bosworth covered real estate development and business for publications in northern New Jersey. Her extensive career included serving as editor of a business education magazine for the McGraw-Hill Book Company. The Kentucky native earned a BA from Transylvania University in Lexington.