The Anatomy of a Wrinkle

Wrinkles are not one-dimensional and here are the five main factors that contribute to them.

There’s no way around it: Wrinkles will come for us all. You can inject, stretch, smother, and sand your skin down, and that won’t stop the skin from aging. Wrinkles are natural — and inevitable.

So, it’s pointless (and full of false hope) to ask, “How can I prevent wrinkles?” The real, useful question to consider is this: How can we intelligently balance surrender and will along the way? Turns out, the road to health is, well, healthy. And the proof of real health is all about the final destination.

Wrinkles are not one-dimensional. While they are a natural part of aging, a lot of factors do contribute to how your skin ages.

Here are the five main factors that contribute to wrinkles — as well as the most outdated solutions for wrinkles that ultimately backfire, and how they compare with the new, medi-holistic solutions that deliver the best long-term results.

1. Muscle Tension

Old strategy: Botox.
It might provide the illusion of short-term change, but stop for a moment and think critically about what you’re doing. Botox decreases positive blood flow, which contributes to muscle atrophy. Poor circulation is the enemy of muscles. Sagging, weak muscles in your face create the exact opposite result of what people who get Botox are looking for. Plus, seriously, why would you inject and comatose your third eye?

New strategy: Chill out.
Learn to relax and unclench your face. Yes, this is a life skill and it requires practice. When you learn to relax your facial muscles, other unmentionable things will unclench, too. Receive the priceless full-body benefits of having a relaxed face (and bum). Funny how both ends of your body are interconnected.

You can also learn to train your facial muscles in a healthy manner; think of it like weightlifting for your face. Try a facial micro-current device, a noninvasive piece of equipment that uses a low-level current of electricity to gently stimulate the muscles in your face. It’s good for you, it will strengthen facial muscles to create the look of a natural “facelift,” and it feels great, too.

2. Topical Dehydration

Old strategy: Superficial hydrating serums and ineffective moisturizers.
Too often, astringent essential oils are loaded into natural moisturizers and facial oils, decreasing their ability to hydrate. Wrinkles are more apparent on dry skin. Not to mention, dehydrated skin can make your face feel stiff like cardboard. (From a marketing perspective, products that intentionally reduce the effectiveness of their natural moisturizers by lacing them with alcohol create a dependency; it makes you continue to think you need more and more of the product, when in truth, it’s a big source of your skin’s dehydration.)

New strategy: Optimize water content with smart, science-backed products.
Swap out harmful (or at best useless) products for a three-part layering sequence of densified hydrophilic hydrating mist; a serum packed with revitalizing dermal nutrients; and a lipid-rich barrier cream. This combination will maximize topical water levels. Fresh skin cells hold more water, so make sure more is continuously being inspired by dermal nutrients. Superficial wrinkles can be plumped and softened dramatically simply by optimizing water content. Your Origin Set does this!

3. Collagen and Elastin Volume Loss

Old strategy: Laser treatments.
Leave the lasers to Dr. Evil in Austin Powers. Some day, we will look back on the idea of blasting our faces with lasers and shudder in horror that we were ever so cruel to our skin. (That day is today.) Lasers destroy more collagen than they create long term.

Our skin is not like the muscles in our biceps; when we break it down, it does not grow back stronger. That’s not how skin works. When you damage your skin with treatments like lasers, the skin can never bounce back 100 percent. You might see an immediate reaction that appears to be new plumpness, but that’s trauma induced inflammation, fluid (not the beneficial kind) and the stretching out of soft tissue that is difficult to undo; it’s your skin trying to protect itself from the harm you just subjected it to. And any perception of improvement is completely temporary. Every time you hurt your skin, it bounces back less and less. Your face is not a hamstring. It does not need to be torn down to rebuild.

New strategy: Defend, don’t attack.
Step up and protect every bit of collagen you have by applying and reapplying sunscreen and minimizing unnecessary UV exposure. You should be your skin’s greatest protector. Not its enemy.

4. Muscle Atrophy

Old strategy: Nothing. Or Botox.
You know the saying: Use it or lose it. It’s true for the muscles in your body, and the muscles in your face. As we age, all of our muscles lose strength, if we don’t actively work to strengthen them. Yet, many people do nothing to improve their facial muscle health. Or if they do anything at all, they inject more and more. They continue overusing Botox, which reduces blood flow to the very muscles that need more blood flow. It’s completely backward.

New strategy: Micro-current sessions (home or spa) and face yoga.
Yes, you can do yoga for your face, just like you can do yoga for your body. And a gentle micro-current machine can help work those facial muscles, too. Unlike Botox, micro-current won’t stop your muscles from moving. (Would you expect to get stronger muscles by being on forced bedrest all day? That’s what Botox does to our faces!) When done regularly and over time, micro-current and face yoga truly lift, tone, increase longevity, and volumize muscles in a natural, harmless way.

5. Dermal Thinning

Old strategy: Break it down.
It’s shocking that skincare professionals still use harmful treatments, such as lasers, chemical peels, traditional retinol, micro-needling, and microdermabrasion. The goal is to rebuild thickness, but ironically, these procedures lead to accelerated thinning instead. This is Skin 101, yet so many popular treatments fly in the face of the science of skin health.

New strategy: Build it up.
Instead of breaking your dermal layer down, build it up. Increase and fortify your dermal thickness via topical dermal nutrient absorption and metabolization. This will delay and minimize dermal thinning related to the normal aging process, including dermal thinning from menopause.

And why is dermal thickness important?
Because our dermal layer literally creates the quality and glow of our epidermis. In short, our dermal layer is the wind beneath the wings of our epidermis. Wrinkles are very much directly linked to the vitality of our dermis.

Our dermis is our skin’s unsung hero and it deserves more. The bottom line: Out with the old, in with the new. The new medi-holistic solutions lead to healthy skin that is truly resourced and preserved.

Once healthy skin is achieved, only then consider lightly garnishing with the old strategies (if you must), rather than serving them as the main course. Your skin will reward you with deep luster, glow, and gorgeous texture— making the inevitably of some wrinkles absolutely and utterly beautiful.

Keep learning about what the new paradigm shift means for your skin…practically.
Harm to heal is OUT and Nourish to Heal is IN.
Real healing is a beautiful process.
Check out my other skin related blog entries: