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This Is The No. 1 Cause Of Wrinkles, Says A Derm & It’s Not What You Think


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mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

By Hannah Frye

mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.

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Jodie Johnson Photography
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Fine lines and wrinkles come with age, and nobody is immune to the natural process of skin aging. However, delaying accelerated skin aging may be possible by addressing the factors that contribute to it in the first place–think UV rays, smoking, and stress.

That’s right, stress can contribute to the formation of wrinkles, and we’re not just talking about expression lines that come from a constantly furrowed brow.

How stress can lead to wrinkles.

While stress is a normal and expected part of life, it can actually trigger a hormonal cascade in your body. These hormones can then compromise the parts of your skin structure that keep it looking youthful and tight. “Stress hormones like cortisol break down our collagen and elastin and interfere with rejuvenation,” board-certified dermatologist Keira Barr, M.D.previously told mbg about wrinkles by age group.

How to address fine lines.

Here’s the thing–there’s no topical solution that can decrease stress. If there was, it would probably be sold out everywhere. You can, however, work to ease stress in your day-to-day life. So the first step is to find a stress-relieving activity you enjoy.

This could be walking your pet, doing a nightly yoga flow, embracing a longer self-care routine, practicing meditation, etc. While it may not seem like it, this can make a huge difference in your skin over time. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a list of 10 different natural remedies for dealing with stress to get you started.

Barr agrees: “Everyone has such a unique relationship with stress, and learning how to recognize the stressors in our lives and acquiring the skills and tools to navigate and manage those stresses is the most potent ‘wrinkle reducer’ I can offer my clients,” she says.

But on some level, stress is unavoidable. So you can also supplement with skin-supporting ingredients to protect your complexion and compensate for part of what is being lost.* So while priority No. 1 is mental health, you can turn to nutritional and topical support as No. 2.

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So the next step: Take a daily skin care-focused supplement. Again, stress is a major contributing factor to the breakdown of collagen (along with natural skin aging, as your natural production begins to slow down), so collagen supplements seem like a natural fit, as collagen supplementation has been shown to support natural collagen production levels in research.*

But you can also help support your body’s natural antioxidant defenses with other targeted beauty supplements–capsules with astaxanthin, in particular, have been shown to reduce wrinkles in as little as six weeks.* Good news: mbg offers a glow from the inside out bundle+, which features our beauty & gut collagen and cellular beauty+. That way, you can take advantage of both cutting-edge formulas to help reduce the size of wrinkles and fine lines while enhancing your skin’s hydration, elasticity and smoothness.*

The takeaway.

While keeping up with a topical skin care routine is essential for healthy skin aging, it’s not the only factor to pay attention to. After all, when asked about the causes of wrinkles, Barr said, “Stress can’t be emphasized enough.” And we wholeheartedly agree.

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