Literally, every human over the age of the Riverdale cast has fine lines in someplace (they’re a perfectly normal, natural part of growing up, folks), however, it seems as though the general feeling towards those wrinkles is still GTFO.
It goes without saying but beauty standards are bullshit, but we know you’re here to find out how to get rid of wrinkles in the fastest, cheapest way possible, and the MC beauty team aims to please.
Let’s start for a second by addressing how they form in the first place. No surprises here: It’s an unholy duo of lifestyle factors and genetic predispositions. What contributes to them that you’re personally responsible for?
- Laughing & Frowning (creases skin and over time those divots settle in)
- Smoking (no shocker here)
- Sun exposure (breaks down the structural collagen in skin, leaving it wrinkle-prone)
So basically: Stop clowning, frowning, smoking, going outside, and smirking and you’re good. Kidding of course, except for the smoking part.
Real solution: Talk to a professional, and luckily for you, we did that for you with tips and tricks from the experts who agree that prevention is just as important as treatment.
Your Cheat Sheet to Fine Line Treatments
Moisturizers and serums high in hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and retinol give you immediate and longterm results for cheap.
Botox injections give you total line-smoothing results that last 3-4 months, and they work after just a few days.
Dermarolling smooths lines within a few months of once-weekly treatments that are minimally painful.
Fraxel lasering resurfaces your face for smoother, brighter, non-wrinkled skin. It’s moderately painful, but the most effective.
Option One: Topicals
Full transparency: your trusty eye cream may not be doing you any favors if they don’t include one of the ingredients listed below. We love a good eye cream, but also know that serums or moisturizers can accomplish the same thing. Just check the packaging to make sure the products are safe to use close to your eyes. Check for these ingredients:
“The best intervention is a wonderful vitamin serum and retinol appropriate for the depth of wrinkles and your skin sensitivity,” says Dr. Michele Koo, double board-certified plastic surgeon. Derms love vitamin C, MC loves vitamin C, and for a good reason: The little antioxidant “softens rough patches, shields your skin from damage, and fades acne scars and dark marks,” says Dr. Mona Gohara, board-certified dermatologist. Vitamin C is potent but effective, it helps prevent fine lines while smoothing the ones you’ve got by stimulating your collagen production.
The cons: It’ll take a few months to see any impact on your lines, and even then, don’t expect miracles. “The anti-aging aspect is really just an added bonus to vitamin C’s list of pros,” adds Dr. Gohara.
C.E.O Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream
Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid
Argan Pro-Retinol Eye Cream
Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum
Proof, courtesy of S + Co Beauty, that retinol works on even the deepest wrinkles.
“Retinol is the only ingredient in skincare that both increases collagen production and stops collagen breakdown,” says Dr. Gohara. Translation: It tricks your cells into thinking they’re younger than they are, so they work faster to create fresh, bright, non-wrinkled skin. And that means your dark spots, wrinkles (even deep ones), scars, and acne will all diminish, too.
Consistency is key, it might take at least three months to see results, Dr. Koo recommends using retinol every night. Don’t freak out if you experience some dryness, flakiness, or possibly even breakouts (if you’re acne-prone) within the first month of use. Yes, it sucks, but you need to tough it out for the anti-aging results.
To help mitigate the side effects, start off slowly: Use a retinol one night a week for one week, twice a week for two weeks, three times a week for three weeks, and then every other day for, well, life.
Acne Treatment Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1%
Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil
Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules
0.6% Pro-Retinol Repair+Renew Waterless Advanced Treatment
It’s lightweight, ultra-hydrating, works immediately, with absolutely zero irritation. “The little molecule acts like a sponge in your skin, pulling in water from the air to plump fine lines and smooth your face,” says Dr. Gohara. The only downside? It’s temporary, and it won’t help with deeper lines or wrinkles.
Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier
Hyaluronic Hydration Myst
Hydrating Floral Mask
Option Two: Botox
Ah, yes—good ol’ Botox. “Botox temporarily paralyzes the muscles that make you squint, which causes your wrinkles and fine lines to relax and soften,” says Dr. Gohara. It’s super effective (it starts working within a few days), and as long as you go to an experienced, board-certified dermatologist, you won’t end up with the cliché “frozen” face you see in movies.
The only downside: It’s temporary. Though it totally depends on your rate of metabolism, you’re looking at 3-4 months of line-smoothing action before the Botox wears off. Plus, it can cost around $500 per treatment area (though costs vary by region), which may not be feasible for everyone.
Option Three: Microneedling
Microneedling (a.k.a. dermarolling) involves puncturing tiny holes into your skin with a needle-covered roller to stimulate collagen production. “You’re essentially damaging your skin to create newer, younger skin,” says Dr. Gohara.
Before-and-after results from microneedling, courtesy of Next Health.
“It sounds barbaric, but it’s the most effective way we currently have to treat fine lines and wrinkles fast.” And don’t worry—the procedure is fast and only moderately irritating, despite how it sounds.
The cons: It takes 4-6 weeks of once-weekly treatments to see some brightening and smoothing results, but even longer for fine-line reduction. It’s also too harsh for most sensitive skin types, like those with rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or any type of inflammatory condition.
And, yes, you can microneedle yourself at home, Dr. Gohara, and most derms warn against it, but if you use a proper needle size, you can limit the damage. But still, Save the deep face-puncturing for the professionals, okay?
Option Four: Lasers
And now for the laser portion of our wrinkle treatments: Fraxel. Fraxel (which is a brand name for a whole class of lasers used to resurface your skin) is magical, face-changing, and pretty freaking painful (basically like a hot rubber band snapping your face over and over again).
Before-and-after results from a resurfacing laser, courtesy of Premier Medical Spa.
In case you haven’t noticed, most anti-aging treatments just damage your skin to make it “better.” Yay for technology! As you’d expect with, you know, shooting lasers into your face, there are some downsides: Your skin will look and feel badly sunburned for a few days and then have a sandpapery texture for a week or two.
But after that? Bright and smooth as a baby angel—or, like, as bright and smooth as you 20 years ago, before life hit you in the face.
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