Ladies, look at your mothers. Gentlemen, look at your fathers. The wares of time are inevitable--or are they?
Let's glimpse into your future. Stand in front of a mirror with your face completely at rest. Not many wrinkles, if any, right? That's because you are still young! #Blessed. But, how will time transform your face? Show me a beaming smile. Great, now let me see you mean muggin. Whoa!! Furrows across the forehead, creases between the brows, lines around the eyes. Where did those wrinkles come from? These are called dynamic wrinkles, wrinkles that appear only with muscle contraction. Contrast this with static wrinkles, wrinkles that are present even at rest. Over time, dynamic wrinkles transform into static wrinkles and static wrinkles deepen. But how?
There are two drivers of wrinkle formation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging, the internal changes programmed by your genes, is inevitable. Over time, collagen production decreases and the body's ability to repair itself wanes. But extrinsic aging, the changes induced by your behavior and environment, is modifiable. Proper preventive techniques can halt wrinkle formation.
To understand the techniques for prevention, you must first understand the extrinsic sources of aging, the most common being UV rays, smoking and muscle contraction.
1. UV RAYS. Photodamage--injury induced by UV rays--is a significant cause of skin aging, especially in the fair-skinned. The most effective way to prevent UV facials is to avoid direct sun exposure by seeking shade and donning a wide-brimmed hat. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ will block both UVA and UVB that damage skin. Incorporate SPF into your daily routine by using a morning moisturizers with built-in SPF.
2. SMOKING. Cigarette smoke induces premature aging of all your organs, including your skin. I offer several modalities to help you quit smoking including: cognitive behavioral therapy, nicotine replacement and the prescription medications Chantix® and Zyban®.
3. MUSCLE CONTRACTION. Contracting your facial muscles--smiling, frowning, squinting, etc.--produces small folds in the skin. Each repeated contraction will deepen the crease. When this crease becomes present even without facial expression, this dynamic wrinkle has transformed into a static wrinkle.
An astute 19th century German, Justinus Kerner witnessed a ravenous outbreak of "sausage poisoning," a delicious illness that left its victims paralyzed. Botulism was deadly; nevertheless, Kerner pondered: is there possible therapeutic benefit to preventing muscle contraction? Would it be possible to purify the toxin and inject precise quantities in precise locations to prevent muscle contraction? Could it be the fountain of youth so many have dreamed of..? @Aphrodite
Botox, or Botulinum toxin, is a purified neuromodulator. Simply put, Botox prevents communication between nerves and muscles, thereby decreasing muscle contraction. Botox is an art. The right number of units in the right location can inhibit full-force muscle contraction while still maintaining your facial expressivity. The goal isn't to eliminate your ability to show emotion; the goal is to slightly weaken facial muscles, thereby preventing wrinkle progression. A single session of Botox can soften your dynamic wrinkles. Regularly scheduled Botox sessions can prevent dynamic wrinkles transformation and static wrinkle deepening. Be proactive; don't wait for your wrinkles. #PreventiveBotox
Painting, the Fountain of Youth by Lucas Cranach