Wrinkles are one of the biggest giveaways of ageing. And, while they are a completely natural part of life, it's understandable if you'd like to avoid the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
The good news is that this is possible — yes, there are ways to prevent lines from forming!
And, there's even a way to treat and reduce the appearance of wrinkles that have already formed.
To understand what wrinkles are, how they occur and what causes them as well as a few tips, we've created a handy guide on all of the above so you can tackle wrinkles head-on.
As we age, we go through a natural ageing process where the skin becomes drier and less elastic.
This loss of flexibility or elasticity causes creases, fine lines and wrinkles on the skin. Much of this is determined by our genes, also known as intrinsic ageing.
Unfortunately, there's not much we can do about genetic-related ageing.
Some people are more prone to forming wrinkles, while some research suggests that people of colour often have firmer and smoother skin, which is possibly due to a thicker compact dermis that protects against fine wrinkles.
Extrinsic ageing, on the other hand, refers to the environmental and lifestyle factors that cause premature ageing and wrinkles.
Some of the main extrinsic ageing causes include sun exposure, sun damage, dehydration, smoking, medication or repetitive facial expressions.
Let's explore a little more about these extrinsic ageing factors.
The most common cause of skin damage and wrinkles is exposure to ultraviolet rays that prompt the formation of free radicals that damage your skin elasticity.
Sun exposure causes fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, broken capillaries, and pigmentation, all of which contribute to the appearance of skin ageing.
Along with a host of other health problems, smoking can cause more fine lines and wrinkles as well as sagging skin.
One side effect is known as the "smoker's pucker", which refers to the deep lines and wrinkles around the lips caused by the repeated use of muscles to drag on cigarettes.
The chemicals in tobacco are also thought to block collagen production and damage the elasticity of the skin giving you wrinkles.
Frowning, squinting and smiling can all contribute to wrinkles.
Squinting a lot is thought to be the most common cause of crow's feet whilst frequent frowning can cause those deep wrinkles on the forehead and around the mouth.
Preventing wrinkles might not be a big concern in your teens and 20s but often as you get older, it can become more of a priority.
There's nothing wrong with looking after your skin and attempting to future proof it against fine lines and wrinkles.
Ahead, you'll find nine ways to prevent and reduce the formation of wrinkles.
Wearing sunscreen every day is the best way to prevent sun-damaged skin and in turn, wrinkles and fine lines.
For extra protection, wear sun-protective clothing and sunglasses alongside your sunscreen and be sure to pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF50+ for the highest protection possible.
Consistently using a hydrating moisturiser with protective antioxidants helps to trap water in the skin, which adds extra moisture to your skin texture and can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It's important to understand that moisturising won't actually prevent wrinkles, but it is a key step in a skincare routine that includes anti-ageing products and it will help keep skin looking plump and full.
Studies have shown that consuming a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables might just prevent skin damage that can lead to premature skin ageing.
Further studies have found links between diets high in sugar and processed food that can accelerate premature ageing.
Ditch the unhealthy snacks, add in more fruit and see the benefits.
Bonus tip: This goes without saying but we should all be drinking water to help maintain skin elasticity.
Sleep is critical for your overall health and your skin is no exception.
We should all be aiming for between six and eight hours of sleep each night, preferably in a routine where wake-up time and bedtime are the same most days.
While sleeping, your body goes through a repair process and creates new collagen in the process.
Collagen is incredibly important for your skin as it keeps it plump and smooth and in turn, helps prevent wrinkles from forming.
If you are currently struggling to get more sleep try setting yourself an alarm to go to bed. Sleeping more can have additional benefits like helping to reduce stress.
Protection from UVA and UVB rays is important, but blue light is now considered to be equally harmful to your skin.
With the amount of time spent on digital devices — from phones to iPads and laptops — we are getting a lot of blue light, which penetrates the outermost layer of your skin down to the collagen and elastin in your dermis.
This can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
You can help counteract this with over-the-counter products like Software's Vitamin C + Ferulic Serum — which stimulates collagen, reduces fine lines and firms skin — as well as prescription anti-ageing formulas.
Tanning puts you at risk of skin cancer and also speeds up signs of ageing skin.
Sun tanning or skipping UV protection can lead to premature wrinkles and sunspots on your skin.
Opt for a self-tanner or spray tan to keep your skin healthy and free of sun damage.
Prevention is often better than the cure, so making your skin health a priority as soon as possible can ensure that your skin is looking its best as you age.
Software's personalised prescription anti-ageing treatment takes a customised approach to your specific skin needs.
Simply answer a few questions in our text-based quiz, upload a few selfies of your skin and a local Software doctor will create a customised formula just for you.
Using ingredients like prescription retinoids, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, Software's anti-ageing treatment increases skin firmness, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles, while also hydrating and plumping the skin.
While sleeping on a silk pillowcase won't reduce the appearance of wrinkles, it can prevent crease marks from forming on the skin while you're sleeping.
Silk doesn't create friction on the skin as much as cotton or linen can, which means you won't wake up with lines indented on your face from your pillowcase.
The second thing to note is that silk won't absorb the skincare products that you wear to bed. It absorbs less moisture, which means your products will actually sink into your skin properly and not end up on your cotton pillowcase.
Plus, silk pillowcases are great for your hair so you won't wake up with a frizzy mane either.
Once wrinkles have already formed you might be looking for wrinkle treatments or ways to reduce fine lines on the skin.
There's a number of ways you can do this, with some more invasive than others. Here are a couple of techniques that treat wrinkles:
Photo credit: Getty Images