Does Moisturizing Prevent Wrinkles?

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Wrinkles are a natural and inevitable part of getting older. As the skin ages, it becomes thinner, dryer and loses its elasticity, causing wrinkles to emerge. However, Medical News Today notes that environmental and lifestyle factors can bring on premature wrinkling. Smoking, dehydration, heavy drinking and sun damage from UV rays can cause wrinkles to develop. There are many anti-aging moisturizers on the market, all claiming to prevent or reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Cosmetics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recognize the antiwrinkle moisturizers and lotions sold over-the-counter as having any medical value; as such, they are classified as cosmetics. They are not regulated or tested and so need evidence to back up their claims of effectiveness. MayoClinic.com dismisses them as unlikely to make any noticeable difference to wrinkles.

Effects

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, cosmetic moisturizers can help hydrate the skin and prevent tearing or bruising, but have no effect in preventing the onset of wrinkles themselves. A study of a moisturizing cream containing the hormone estrogen did appear to smooth out wrinkles by stimulating collagen production and repair; however, this was only the case in areas not exposed to the sun, reports UMMC, making it redundant as a facial moisturizer.

Topical Retinoids

Topical retinoid creams and lotions, derived from vitamin A and available only by prescription from your doctor, may be able to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, notes MayoClinic.com. Often found commercially as Retin-A, Retinova or ReTrieve, amongst others, topical retinoids are to be applied daily once the skin has become accustomed to it, notes DermNetNZ. Possible side effects are redness, itching and increased photo sensitivity.

Antioxidant Creams

University of Maryland notes that excessive exposure to sunlight can cause antioxidants to deplete in the skin. This can allow free radicals to damage skin cells and make it more prone to sun damage and wrinkling. Applying antioxidant creams with coenzyme Q10 or alpha-lipoic acids can help restore the skins immunity to these damaging effects.

Considerations

MayoClinic.com states that excessive dry skin can lead to wrinkles as the skin cells shrivel. Moisturizers can be beneficial in helping to lubricate the skin and masking fine and wrinkles. Prevent the onset of wrinkles by quitting smoking and heavy drinking. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and protect yourself from sun damage by stating covered up and wearing sunscreen or moisturizers containing SPF daily, even in winter.

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