Wrinkles are a natural component of the aging process. Over time, your skin becomes thinner and has difficulty retaining moisture. While elastin fibers help maintain your skin’s elasticity and collagen fibers provide a supportive structure for your skin, they are depleted over time. This causes your skin to become less flexible and resilient and encourages the formation of wrinkles. Although wrinkles are an inevitable part of life, there are many ways that you can slow the aging process and preserve your skin’s youthful appearance. Explore five simple ways to ward off the signs of aging chosen by Orange County surgeons. 1. Protect Skin from the Sun Frequent sun exposure is one of the primary causes of wrinkles and premature aging. When your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, it breaks down the elastin and collagen fibers that are found in the deeper layers of your skin. As a result, your skin loses its strength and elasticity, which contributes to premature wrinkling and skin sagging. For this reason, protecting your skin from the sun is essential to preventing wrinkles. Before you go out in the sun, you should always wear sunscreen to shield your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. 2. Eat a Healthy Diet Eating a balanced diet can improve the health of your skin and prevent wrinkles. Omega-3 fatty acids can nourish your skin and may help to keep your skin looking plump and youthful. Food sources containing omega-3 fatty acids are also high in protein, which is an essential building block of the skin. Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help provide your skin with essential antioxidants that fight free radical damage. Antioxidants can minimize cellular damage caused by free radicals and can help your skin look younger. 3. Don’t Smoke Smoking accelerates the natural aging process and contributes to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. This unhealthy habit can cause your skin to age in a variety of ways. The nicotine found in cigarettes narrows the blood vessels in your skin and impairs blood flow. When your skin is not receiving an adequate supply of blood, it does not get as much oxygen as it needs and it is deprived of vital nutrients. The thousands of chemicals found in tobacco smoke also damage the elastin and collagen fibers in your skin, causing it to age prematurely and sag. The repeated facial expressions made while smoking can also cause wrinkles to form around your lips and eyes. 4. Get Enough Sleep When you do not get enough rest, your body produces higher amounts of the hormone cortisol. This stress hormone can break down your skin’s cells and cause the outer layer of your skin to become dry. When you are sleeping, your body produces increased amounts of human growth hormone (HGH), which can improve your skin’s thickness and elasticity. For this reason, making sure that you get an adequate amount of sleep each night can help prevent aging and keep your skin looking youthful. 5. Apply Topical Treatments Moisturizers and creams that contain specific ingredients can also help to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are natural fruit acids that gently exfoliate dead skin cells and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and are known for their anti-aging properties. They work by slowing the breakdown of collagen and increasing skin’s thickness and elasticity. Vitamin C, particularly L-ascorbic acid is also effective in the prevention of wrinkles. This version of Vitamin C penetrates the outer layer of your skin and can protect against damaging ultraviolet light, while also increasing the production of collagen. To find out more about skin care and how we can help you look your best, contact us at our Newport Beach, Orange County office for a consultation.