Wrinkle Treatment Options for Young People?

I noticed wrinkles appearing under and around my eyes when I turned 19. I'm now close to 20, and they seem to be getting deeper. This is making me depressed. I was a smoker, but I have recently quit. I drink a lot of water everyday. I don't want Botox because im too young for that. Is there anything out there that isn't harsh that I can use on my skin? What are my options for wrinkle treatment at this point?

Doctor Answers 6

Simple options will work the best

The simple things will serve you very well, especially in your late teens/early 20s:

1) It sounds like you already are drinking plenty of water-- staying hydrated is key to keeping skin from drying out. Lots of water, less coffee and sodas.

2) Sun Avoidance: We all love the sun, but it can cause severe damage to your skin, especially around the eyes. Use a daily moisturizer with sun block already in it (spf 35 or better) and use it every day, even when it's cloudy (UV rays still will get through the cloud cover and damage your skin)

3) Healthy diet, no smoking, don't be around cigarette smoke, and alcohol in moderation

4) Once you've taken these simple steps, the next set of options include noninvasive topical skin care. I personally like the Obagi line of skin care, which includes a multi-step regimen each morning and evening. The steps include cleansers, moisturizers, and retin-A. Retin-A is the key step that should help your skin, as it will help increase the cell turnover rate and thicken the dermis, both of which will improve the appearance of your skin. The downside is that when you first start Retin-A, your skin will get pretty red as it gets used to the product, but this usually resolves by 6 weeks.

5) Other topicals I like include Neocutis, which I have found helps soften wrinkles around the eyes, but you need to see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to be evaluated for this.

6) Botox can help soften lines around the outsides of the eyes dramatically, but I would work diligently with steps 1-5 first before considering Botox. While I think you're probably a little young to start on Botox, there are women not that much older than you using it with very nice results.

7) The next level of treatments will include chemical peels and lasers, both of which are more invasive and may or may not require some downtime. My guess is that if you do steps 1-5 for 6 months or so, you likely will be able to avoid peels or lasers, but if not, there are a variety of options and your surgeon will need to see you for an evaluation.

Hope this helps. When in doubt, at your young age, keep it simple and non-invasive. As plastic surgeons we all love to operate and offer patients surgery, but in your case, it is likely way too early-- there will always be time for that later.

Good luck!

Dr. Salemy

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Avoiding wrinkles while you're young

Thanks for your question.

Prevention is key here. Everyone eventually develops wrinkles, but you can delay their formation and improve the elasticity and appearance of your skin as well as avoid skin cancer with basic prevention.

  • Minimize sun exposure - use a good suncreen
  • Do not smoke - Congratulations on quitting
  • Engage in good (not necessarily expensive) skin care including moisturizers

Some of wrinkle formation is dependent on factors you can't control - the thickness and elasticity of your skin, etc.

For patients that are concerned about wrinkles on the forehead, Botox can be an excellent way to control or prevent the formation of those wrinkles even at an early age.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles in Your 20s

The top five suggestions to avoid wrinkles in your twenties:

  • Minimize sun exposure
  • Reduce or Minimize exposure to smoke and occupational steam/smoke/heat
  • Use Retinoids regularly
  • Avoid harsh creams or chemicals on face
  • Use sunscreen

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Many wrinkles can be prevented

As a young woman there are many things you can do to minimize the development of wrinkles. First of all, become religious about sun avoidance. You will be amazed at how all the sun worshipers start to drop off the youthful looking curve what they turn 45. Good hydration, medical grade skin care and, yes, Botox even in your early 20's will prevent you from developing wrinkles. But the most important thing above all else is sun avoidance!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Consider medical-grade skin care

First, congratulations on quitting smoking! That is one of the single best things you can do for your health and appearance.

Please remember that some wrinkles are expression lines and can actually add beauty to the face. I keep photos of my smiling young children in the room where I inject Botox and fillers to remind patients that some "wrinkles" can in fact be beautiful.

It is never too late to start a good skin care regimen but at your age your skin will respond very quickly. A plastic surgery medical spa, owned and operated by a board certified plastic surgeon, will have a full spectrum of treatments and products to help with anti-aging and maintaining youthful skin.

People of all ages will often see a dramatic improvement in skin texture and appearance by using medical grade skin care products including a high quality, chemical free sunblock with an SPF of 45 or more.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Retin-A can help wrinkles at a young age

I am shocked that you would have significant wrinkles at 20. But, smoking and sun exposure exacerbate it. Retin A may be a good option for you at this time if you truly have fine lines.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.