Wrinkles are a dreaded sign of aging that can diminish your smooth, supple skin. But, thanks to the array of advanced aesthetic treatments available today, we can now prevent wrinkles before they form.
Read on to learn about treatments that can effectively prevent wrinkles and protect your youthful appearance.
What Causes Wrinkles?
Wrinkles develop over time as a result of several factors, including:
Repeated Facial Expressions
The facial expressions you make throughout the day, from smiling to squinting in the sun, crease your skin. Even slight movements using your facial muscles create grooves under the skin’s surface. When you’re young, the skin simply smooths back out when the muscles relax. But, as the skin ages and loses elasticity, it develops wrinkles in the areas that crease from facial expressions.
Wrinkles from facial expressions, like smile lines and crow’s feet, are often called dynamic wrinkles or expression lines.
Lost Collagen and Elastin
Collagen and elastin are proteins that give the skin strength and elasticity. Unfortunately, collagen and elastin levels naturally decrease with age, leaving the skin more prone to sagging and creasing.
The aging process causes the skin to become thinner, making it more prone to wrinkles and damage. As the skin thins, it becomes more likely to remain creased, even if the facial muscles are relaxed.
Certain lifestyle factors can make you more prone to wrinkles, such as:
- Sun damage: UV rays from the sun damage the skin, contributing to a thinner, drier, and wrinkled appearance. In fact, UV exposure is responsible for up to 80% of visible signs of aging in the face.
- Smoking: Smoking can damage collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to premature skin aging.
- Nutrition: A lack of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet can exacerbate wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.
Types of Expression Lines
Several types of expression lines can develop over time, including:
- Forehead lines
Forehead lines are the horizontal wrinkles that develop across the forehead. They appear when you raise your eyebrows.
- Bunny lines
Bunny lines are the vertical and diagonal wrinkles on the nose’s sides and bridge. They appear when you smile, laugh, squint, or scrunch your nose like a bunny!
- Worry lines
Worry lines are the two vertical wrinkles between the brows, like an 11. They appear when you furrow your brows in a worried facial expression.
- Laugh lines
Laugh lines, or nasolabial folds, are shaped like parenthesis around the upper lip and tend to appear when you laugh.
- Crow’s feet
Crow’s feet are the small lines that extend from the outer corners of the eyes and often form when you smile.
- Lip lines
Lip lines are the small vertical wrinkles that can form around the mouth, particularly when you purse your lips.
- Marionette lines
Marionette lines are lines that extend downward from the corners of the mouth.
Neurotoxins to Prevent Wrinkles
Many cosmetic treatments can treat wrinkles after they appear. Starting earlier in adulthood to prevent wrinkles is a more effective strategy for maintaining smooth, youthful-looking skin.
Neurotoxins like Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin have long been used to treat facial wrinkles and folds. They work by inhibiting facial muscle contractions to keep skin smooth. While these injectables can reduce the appearance of existing wrinkles, they’re now being used proactively to keep the skin aging process at bay.
How Do Neurotoxins Work?
Neurotoxins are substances that alter the function of the nervous system. Injectable neurotoxins like Botox are injected into specific facial muscles to inhibit contractions that crease the skin. The untreated facial muscles aren’t affected and function normally, so the treatment can be customized according to your needs.
By preventing facial muscle contractions, neurotoxins keep the skin from creasing with day-to-day movements and expressions. Over time, this can prevent wrinkles from forming and slow the skin aging process.
If you’re interested in neurotoxins to ward off wrinkles, you have three options to choose from Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. Below, we’ll discuss how these injectables differ.
- Active ingredient: Clostridium botulinum type A
- Lasts for: 3 to 4 months
- FDA-approved for: Moderate to severe frown lines, forehead wrinkles, and crow’s feet
Botox is the most popular and widely-known injectable neurotoxin. It was FDA-approved in 2002 for moderate to severe frown lines and has since earned FDA approval for forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet. It’s now also used to prevent wrinkles in younger patients.
The active ingredient in Botox is the neurotoxin Clostridium botulinum type A. The formula also contains other proteins that coat and protect the neurotoxin, ensuring it’s appropriately absorbed.
Botox can start working within one to three days, with the full results becoming visible within 10 to 14 days. Depending on the patient, the results can last for three to four months.
Completing a Botox treatment session takes around 10 minutes, and no anesthesia is required. Plus, you can return to your normal activities immediately after receiving Botox, making it a convenient option for wrinkle prevention.
- Active ingredient: Clostridium botulinum type A toxin-haemagglutinin
- Lasts for: 3 to 4 months
- FDA-approved for: Moderate or severe glabellar lines
Dysport is FDA-approved to treat moderate or severe glabellar lines, also known as frown lines. As a neurotoxin that blocks nerve impulses, it can be used to prevent wrinkles.
The active ingredient in Dysport is Clostridium botulinum type A toxin-haemagglutinin. It contains the same primary neurotoxin as Botox, but the formulation differs slightly. Dysport has a more petite protein coat and is more diluted than Botox. As a result, the Dysport formula spreads more rapidly than Botox, making it an excellent option for larger areas of the face, like the forehead.
Dysport is an effective option to prevent frown lines, forehead lines, and wrinkles in the mid-face area. Like Botox, it’s a quick treatment that requires no downtime. Dysport treatments are recommended once every three to four months to keep up your results.
- Active ingredient: IncobotulinumtoxinA
- Lasts for: 3 to 4 months
- FDA-approved for: Moderate to severe glabellar lines
Xeomin is an injectable that’s FDA-approved for moderate to severe glabellar lines. Its active ingredient is incobotulinumtoxinA, a purified form of Clostridium botulinum. It’s a newer option than Botox or Dysport, but it is still highly effective for wrinkle treatment and prevention. With Gwyneth Paltrow as a celebrity spokesperson, Xeomin is gaining attention in anti-wrinkle injections.
Unlike Botox and Dysport, Xeomin doesn’t contain additional proteins to surround the neurotoxin. With only one ingredient and no protein additives, Xeomin may help prevent antibody resistance. Additionally, due to its lack of a protein coat, Xeomin spreads faster than Botox.
Xeomin treatments are recommended every three to four months, and no downtime is required.
What Are The Benefits of Preventing Wrinkles?
Rather than treating wrinkles after they form, preventing wrinkles with neurotoxins can provide several benefits, including:
More Effective Rejuvenation
Signs of aging, including wrinkles, can be more effectively prevented than corrected. After wrinkles have already formed, it may be difficult to fully smooth the skin with injectables alone. The results of anti-wrinkle treatments can also vary significantly from person to person.
However, you can preserve your youthful skin for years to come by undergoing neurotoxin injections when the skin is still smooth. In the long run, preventative wrinkle treatments may even eliminate the need for more invasive rejuvenating treatments later in life.
Weakens Facial Muscles Over Time
Neurotoxins inhibit nerve signals that cause facial muscle contractions. By receiving neurotoxin injections from early adulthood, the facial muscles will remain weak from a lack of activity. Unlike the muscles in other areas of your body, weak facial muscles are good, as they won’t dramatically crease the skin with facial movements.
By keeping the facial muscles weak with preventative injections, you likely won’t need as much Botox to maintain your results as you age.
One of the most common concerns people have before receiving aesthetic treatments is that their results will appear unnatural. While WellMedica has the expertise to achieve naturally rejuvenated results, preventative neurotoxin injections are a fantastic way to retain an authentically youthful look.
Spend Less Time at the Clinic
Some people assume that you’ll spend more time in the clinic over time by receiving injections to prevent wrinkles. However, since neurotoxin injections are quick, usually taking just 10 minutes with no need for downtime, they’ll save you from more time-consuming treatments in the long run.
When Should I Start Preventative Wrinkle Injections?
Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are approved for use in adults aged 18 and older. So, you can start receiving preventative wrinkle injections as young as 18. However, most patients wait until they see the earliest signs of wrinkles – around age 25 to 30. You can effectively curb wrinkle formation by starting to receive neurotoxin injections in your late 20s or early 30s.
Start Your Wrinkle Prevention Journey Today
Time is of the essence to preserve your smooth, youthful skin. Dr. Dima Ali at WellMedia Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Medicine can help determine the right neurotoxin for wrinkle prevention needs. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation!