Once you understand how skin wrinkles actually form, it becomes pretty clear how you can erase them without spending a fortune on topical creams, patches or surgeries.
First, just to get us all on the same page, it’s important to understand that wrinkles begin to form when we’re in our teens. Yes, astonishing but true. And here’s why.
Our personalities and habits are pretty well set in place throughout our childhood. We have characteristic frowns, smiles, looks of disapproval or disgust, concentration. These do not tend to change as we get older, barring accidents or traumas. So, holding patterns of facial muscles are pretty well set by our teens.
What do facial muscles have to do with wrinkles? Think about it – a muscle can puff up and stretch the skin on your arms if you lift a lot of weights. But a muscle also pinches skin when you contract it in a frown, for example.
Over time, facial muscles will get tighter or shorter around areas that get a lot of pinching. Between the skin and the muscle is a thin layer of connective tissue or fascia and this also can start to get set and dry out along patterns of pinching.
Now you have muscles and fascia that are working to pull skin together around facial patterns. Slowly, over time, as these work together to draw the skin above them into a wrinkle, what happens? Skin that is tightened get less circulation. Uh oh.
When we’re kids, our faces are often very animated. The muscles and fascia and skin can be pinched but then they are stretched open in wonder or peace or the deep relaxation of sleep. Then the circulation can flow easily through the skin and repair or refresh the muscles and skin, restoring the fullness of a child’s face.
Over time, as our patterns of expression get set in, the ability of the circulation to flow and repair as easily is lessened and lessened. With lack of sufficient hydration, dietary no-no’s, smoking, trauma, etc., it becomes an uphill battle for the blood supply to restore the fullness of the skin. Wrinkles are the result, the result of time and habits.
Obviously, the best time in life to prevent wrinkles is in our teens. Daily facial massage – especially around areas where wrinkles can be seen with different facial expressions – is a real help. Use olive oil, which skin and muscles love, or almond if the skin is naturally dry or sensitive, or coconut if you like that one.
Besides a good morning or evening rub after washing the face, we do well to drink enough water to keep the cells hydrated, as well as to avoid garbage food. If you’re young, start now to preserve that precious face. Older? Roll up your sleeves.
Okay, we now understand how these things form and, if you’re young enough, you can avoid getting wrinkles with simple common-sense practices. But for those of us longer out of our teens, our massage practice needs to be more focused and specific.
Think for a minute about those wrinkles that form above the top lip, the ones seen on the elderly mouths. Those can come over time from smoking, drinking soft drinks through a straw, pursing the lips in thought or disapproval, these kinds of motions that pinch the lips together. (I wouldn’t rule out kissing, since it’s so lovely, but it’s easy to see how it can contribute to those little lines above the lips.)
First, select the kind of oil that you like best. Sophia Loren always said that her lack of wrinkles into her 70s and 80s was thanks to daily facial olive oil rubs, and most skins like this oil, as do all muscles. If you live in dry zones, you may want to make a blend of oils and rose water for more hydration besides what you get from drinking enough water.
Let me share with you a blend that I’ve used since my 30s that I believe has helped keep the wrinkles on my 70+-year-old face at bay: Into 2 ounces of rose water, add 3 ounces of organic peanut oil, 2 – 3 ounces of organic olive oil and a tablespoon of liquid lanolin. Older skin would appreciate an ounce of wheat germ oil as an anti-aging assist. Dryer or more sensitive skin would like an ounce of sweet almond. There’s 7 – 8 ounces of facial bliss that help to restore the vitality of the skin and help rub out the wrinkles according to where they are on the face.
(P.S., Why the peanut oil? Good question. Peanut oil is a food for connective tissue, most of which we think of as around the joints. But remember the fascia, the thin connective layer between the skin and the muscles? This layer helps maintain the lift and tightness of the skin, along with the muscle tone. This blend is also perfect as a full body massage oil, with the peanut assisting other joints in some degree of arthritis prevention, according to the Edgar Cayce readings from which I’ve adapted this formula.)
The Daily Beautification of Your Precious Face
With the morning or evening regimen, first wash with a gentle soap/cream/cleansing lotion, using either a wash cloth with good fibers or a circle of sponge or loofah to wash away dead skin cells. Use a nice deep circular motion over forehead, cheeks, chin and throat.
Never, ever, ever press or rub around the eyes or temples. The skin tissue around the eyes is too delicate and can easily tear with too harsh a pressure. We would do well to appreciate those smile lines around the eyes, as they are only positive ones on the face.
When you rinse your face, it should feel clean and almost squeaky. If it feels like a film is still coating the skin – like so many commercial soap products do – get another brand. Castile soaps generally are thorough cleansers and leave no coating or residue on the skin.
Dry the face and apply a small amount of oil that you’ve rubbed over your palms. (The blend I described above needs to be shaken each time, as the contents do separate since there are no junky chemical emulsifiers added.)
Spread the oil over the forehead, cheeks, chin and throat, swiping a little over the eyes but not deeply. Use circular motions with your fingertips to bring up the circulation in these areas and to move the underlying muscles around.
Notice that the throat is included with the daily facial massage. There’s no reason that this skin should be allowed to go slack over time if you give it some attention and circulation to keep the skin, muscles and connective tissues healthy.
When massaging the forehead, remember that the muscles that pull the eyebrows up in surprise or down in a frown are vertical muscles. These will relax if you rub across them, left and right, back and forth. Go right up to the hairline and down into the eyebrows with cross rub motions, targeting the muscles underneath the skin.
The cheeks are easy to rub in circles, and make sure to pay a little more attention to the areas in front of the ears where the jaw muscles can get tight with all the stress of living in the 21st Century. Rub up and down on the nose and alongside it, opening the mouth to allow a fuller circulation into a part of the face that hardly moves at all on its own.
To work the muscles around the lips, pull them across the teeth in a closed smile and rub all around the lip border with a fingertip, nice and deep, bringing up some good circulation round and round. Back and forth across the top of the lip and that muscle right under the nose that can get tight and hold wrinkles. If you have lines just starting to form here, you may want to double the massage time to really get the circulation going.
Last, give the throat some nice circular rubs along the side of the neck and front where the vocal cords are. With your thumbs together underneath the chin, press along the underside of the jaw line all the way up to the ear. Do this a few times. It helps stimulate an immune reflex point that we all need these days.
Finish up with a once-over rub of the whole face with your palms on cheeks and fingers on forehead. Visualize the circulation flowing through all the cells of the skin and muscles, refreshing, rejuvenating, revitalizing them all. Feel the youth and beauty flooding into the cells. Mmmmmm.
For More Specific Treatment
To work existing wrinkles in the forehead and around the mouth, you can follow the general facial massage – which only takes a minute – with a more specific treatment of the individual wrinkles.
Dip a Q-tip into the oil and press it against the side of the jar so it doesn’t drip. Using a magnifying mirror or just getting close to a mirror, place the tip at the end of a wrinkle with one hand and, with the fingers of the other hand, spread the wrinkle open. Press deeply into the wrinkle with little back and forth motions all along the wrinkle to specifically bring up the circulation along that line.
There’s an interesting cosmetic acupuncture treatment for wrinkles that does basically the same thing. With tweezers, tiny filament needles are inserted all along a wrinkle to bring up the blood where it has been pinched off. But you can do the same thing with a Q-tip and nourishing oil. It just takes some time, some patience and lots of love.
So how long will all this take before I see results?
Remember there are seven layers of skin, the oldest on top and the newborn cells at the base. The oil-and-massage regimen you adopt will immediately benefit the new cells but it can take anywhere from 30 up to 45 days for those cells to become the top layer.
During this self-love time, your regimen is helping release the holding patterns of the muscles and fascia underneath. Imagine how you’ll feel when you start to see the results! And believe me, it will show to others, too, in a happier, healthier face.
So be patient. And to be honest, don’t you want to just keep doing a face-healthy regimen for the rest of your days? Taking off a day a week here and there does no harm, but making face-loving massage a regular part of your life will go a long way to letting a more youthful glow shine from your face at everyone you meet.
If you’d like some extra assist on the DNA level, I’m offering readers of this article a steep discount on Trinfinity8 anti-aging remote sessions for facial rejuvenation. Send me an email with ‘Wrinkles’ in the subject line, and I’ll tell you all about it. Are you worth it? You bet!