Smoking, Retin-A and Wrinkles
when used properly can help reduce wrinkles and prevent further wrinkles from
forming. However, it is helpless as long as you continue to smoke. In fact,
nothing can stem the advance of wrinkles as long as you smoke. From your
picture, you are quite pretty. If you wish to stay that way you need to do two
things. First, you absolutely must stop smoking. (I suspect you know that since
you told us that you smoke.) Secondly, you must wear a sun block EVERY DAY that
protects from UVA. It is the UVA that is responsible for the wrinkles. Smoking
just increases the process about 20 times. There are 2 things that block UVA.
One is avobenzone and the other is Zinc Oxide. The avobenzone needs to be
reapplied every 1-2 hours and, therefore is not very practical. The Zinc Oxide only
needs to be reapplied if you rub it off. It did not used to be practical as it
made you look ghostly. However, it now goes on clear and does an excellent job
of protecting you. Recent studies have shown a 26% difference in wrinkle
formation in just 4 ½ years between those that used a UVA sun block daily vs
those who did so intermittently (when they "went out in the sun.")
Other studies have shown huge differences between the sun damage and wrinkles of
twins where one smoked and the other didn't.
Best Solutions for a Smoker
I am sure that you know what we are all going to say: if you want to age gracefully, the odds are stacked against you as a smoker. If you do nothing else, smoking cessation will be the best thing for your health and appearance. The other lifestyle modification to make is to avoid excessive sun exposure coupled with regular use of sunscreen SPF 30 or above. Use of Retin-A or other exfoliating agents encourages skin cell turnover, and when used consistently will be beneficial for skin maintenance. Microdermabrasions, facials, blading and other minor facial procedures help achieve the same goal. Lastly, Botox or Dysport helps diminish crows feet and can assist in minimization of these lines.