How anti-wrinkle or anti-aging treatments actually work is a complex issue, as there are so many types of treatment in the market today. Each one works differently, but almost all of them fall into 4 main categories. So, we’ll explore each in turn:
To make this even more complex, there are several types of creams! Anti-wrinkle creams target dry skin, frown lines, eye wrinkles and more.
Hydrating or moisturising creams essentially plump-up your skin, making wrinkles less noticeable, and sometimes making them disappear entirely. They often use ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerine to draw water into the top layers of the skin and keep it there.
Exfoliating anti-wrinkle creams chemically weaken the epidermis, encouraging it to flake away and expose newer, fresher looking skin underneath. This can also have a positive effect on uneven skin pigmentation.
Antioxidant anti-wrinkle creams work to eliminate the ‘free radical’ chemicals which cause rapid aging of the skin by attacking collagen, elastin and even the DNA of your skin cells.
Sun protection anti-aging creams incorporate a sunblock, reflecting or absorbing the UV A and B rays which contribute to rapid skin aging, and also skin cancer. To have any real effect, look for products which are SPF 15 at a minimum, against both UVA and UVB rays.
One of the advantages of hydrating anti-wrinkle creams is that they typically work to improve the strength and resilience of the epidermis – the outermost layer of skin – and often contain other protections as well. However, they often fail to fulfil the promise they make to do away with wrinkles entirely.
Anti-wrinkle serums use several techniques, but most use proteins to ‘hack’ the normal function of your skin cells, signalling them to produce more natural collagen and/or elastin, and restore a youthful resilience to your skin. Many have ingredients which also work as anti-wrinkle creams.
Silicone anti-wrinkle patches contain similar ingredients to anti-wrinkle creams and serums, but do not rely on being absorbed by the skin quickly when applied. Rather, you typically apply them at night before bed, and the silicone patches keep the application fresh and moist, while preventing it from simply brushing off onto your pillow and sheets.
However, they also rely in the smooth silicon patch to shape your skin slightly, effectively moulding it to a smooth shape as it hydrates and expands. This same technique is often used by plastic surgeons to minimise post-surgery scarring.
Anti-wrinkle patches come in different shapes and sizes, but are most often made to be applied to the face and the decolletage. Many are re-usable, as well.
Finally, we come to anti-wrinkle injections, the real heavy-lifters of the anti-aging treatment world. Injectable anti-wrinkle treatments chemically relax the fine musculature which underlies much of your face, preventing the skin from bunching up and stretching to the extremes it normally would. This is effective in two ways.
First, it relaxes the facial muscles in the short term, which reduces the appearance of any wrinkles that may already be present.
Second, regular use minimises the skin stretching which actually causes small wrinkles to generate, often delaying the appearance of such wrinkles entirely for many years.