Anyone who has studied their face in a magnifying mirror might be guilty of over-analyzing — nit-picking at wrinkles, clogged pores, discoloration, and other aspects we may consider to be “flaws.” First of all, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having these so-called imperfections. The filtered faces we see on Instagram are just that: filtered. We’ve all been affected by skin conditions at some point, and if you haven’t, well, then you’re a darn unicorn.
In order to either accept these aspects of your face or take measures to change them, you need to thoroughly understand what you’re seeing. Here, we’re going to delve into the world of wrinkles — specifically the two types that exist: resting and dynamic.
In short, resting wrinkles appear even when you’re not moving your face. Dynamic wrinkles show up when you make expressions. For example, when you smile, crow’s feet lines may appear around your eyes and then go away when you stop smiling. These are dynamic ones.
“People look into the mirror before they make expressions, they can see lines in their face. Those are the static wrinkles or resting wrinkles,” echoes NYC-based plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer. “When they move their eyebrows or close their eyes or frown, and those wrinkles get worse or they see newer wrinkles, those are the dynamic wrinkles. That is from the underlying muscle moving.”
If you decide that you want to smooth the appearance of wrinkles, there are both topical and injectable treatments you can try. Usually, resting lines can be blurred with the right creams, lotions, and serums, whereas dynamic ones that are moderate or severe are often treated with injectable facial wrinkle reducers.
Treating Dynamic Facial Wrinkles
“When patients come into our office, we treat their wrinkles in different ways,” Dr. Shafer notes. “You want to treat the dynamic wrinkles with an injectable wrinkle reducer. That is going to prevent the muscle from squeezing and reduce the amount of movement in the face and the dynamic wrinkle you get from it.” It can be done on certain areas of the face, such as around the eyes (crow’s feet) and the forehead. Wrinkle reducers are temporary – they don’t last forever. They’re prescription treatments so be sure to talk to a doctor about the risks and benefits.
Injectable facial filler is another an option for facial lines such as laugh lines (the ones that straddle your mouth). During this treatment, a professional (such as a dermatologist) injects the lines with hyaluronic acid. This temporarily plumps the skin and minimizes the appearance of the lines.
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Options for Resting Wrinkles and General Skincare
He explains that resting, or static wrinkles can also develop. “The static wrinkles are etched in the skin,” he adds. “That’s from years and years of movement in the skin and the stress in the skin.” That said, if your resting wrinkles are not severe, then a topical product can work just fine.
“Skincare products can actually rejuvenate the skin, as well as help those resting wrinkles [visibly] improve,” Dr. Shafer says.
Everyone has different skin — be it sensitive, dry, oily, combination, or something else. So make sure when shopping that you’re picking products that make sense for you. If signs of aging and dehydration are a concern, then Dr. Shafer has ideas on what to look for.
“Find skincare products that can help to rejuvenate the cells,” he says. “You don’t want to just cover them up with makeup or camouflage them; you want to treat the underlying issues. Make sure that at the cellular level, you’re improving the skin, and there is a biologically active ingredient. These types of ingredients can help with skin quality, texture, and elasticity — everything that is important for having nice, smooth skin.”
Popular anti-aging skincare ingredients include retinol (aids skin turnover), hyaluronic acid (super hydrating), and vitamin C (brightening). You can also look for products that target different areas of the face. “For eyes, you want a specific cream for that area because it’s sensitive, thinner skin,” Dr. Shafer notes. “You want a general rejuvenating serum for the whole face. It’s also important for prevention to have an SPF.”
When it comes to his favorite skincare brands, Dr. Shafer calls out SkinMedica, Sente, and SkinBetter. “You want to find one that doesn’t irritate your skin, doesn’t make you feel greasy, or have other issues,” he advises. “Women want products that you can apply and easily add makeup, as well.”
No matter how you decide to handle the lines and skincare on your face, know there are effective options; and as with any other treatments, talk to your doctor to decide what’s right for you.
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