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Techniques for wrinkle reduction and achieving smooth, radiant skin

These strategies can help you get younger-looking skin.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Aug 1, 2023 • 8 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
Woman with Clear Skin
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Aug 1, 2023 • 8 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

As we age, our skin undergoes inevitable changes—it’s a natural part of life! However, with evolving skincare techniques and advancements in technology, there are multiple ways you can slow the visible signs of the aging process, should you desire. From top-tier treatments to ingredients that can help reduce your wrinkles, there are many dermatologist-tested strategies that can help you to age gracefully. 

Here, we’ll explain several proven-effective techniques to help you achieve younger-looking skin. Let’s dive in!

What causes wrinkles?

Wrinkles—those lines and creases that appear on our skin over time—are a natural part of aging that everyone will experience at some point in their lives. They are caused by a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Intrinsic factors

Intrinsic factors are those that come from within our bodies. As we age, changes naturally occur in our skin. This includes thinning of the epidermis (the outer layer of skin), loss of elasticity, increased skin fragility, and the formation of creases and lines in the skin. These changes can be influenced by hormonal status and certain diseases, which can speed up or exacerbate the development of wrinkles.¹

Extrinsic factors

Extrinsic factors, on the other hand, are environmental. They include exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as sunlight, and cigarette smoke. Both UV radiation and smoke can accelerate skin aging and contribute to wrinkle formation. A review of five observational studies found that facial wrinkles were more common in smokers than in non-smokers. The risk of moderate to severe wrinkles was more than twice as high in lifelong smokers compared to those who had been smoking for a shorter period.² 

So, while everyone will eventually develop wrinkles due to the natural process of aging, certain lifestyle factors and environmental exposures can accelerate this process. It’s important to consider these factors when creating a skincare regimen or lifestyle habits to minimize premature wrinkling.

Active ingredients in skin-smoothing formulas

No matter what intrinsic or extrinsic factors may be causing your wrinkles, you can try skin-smoothing formulas to reduce them. Let’s look at three ingredients that are proven to be effective in treating fine lines and wrinkles: Retinol, niacinamide, and collagen. 

Retinol

Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is widely recognized in the skincare world for its impressive anti-aging effects. This potent ingredient has been proven to significantly improve the appearance of fine wrinkles and sun-damaged skin. One study found that a retinol formulation noticeably improved fine wrinkles after just 12 weeks of treatment.³

Adapalene, a third-generation synthetic retinoid, has also demonstrated effectiveness in treating photoaged skin. One study revealed a significant improvement in wrinkles and other clinical features of photoaged skin in patients using adapalene, compared to a placebo. This study also noted that adapalene was very well tolerated by the patients involved, indicating its suitability for regular use.⁴

Tretinoin, another topical retinoid, also showed promising results in wrinkle reduction. It contributed to the improvement of fine wrinkles as early as the three-month mark. Research showed that after four months of use, tretinoin not only improved fine wrinkles but also coarse wrinkles and skin roughness.⁵ Tretinoin is often considered the gold standard topical treatment for aging concerns. 

As with all skincare products, it’s essential to use topical retinoids carefully, particularly at first, as they can cause skin irritation in some people. Always follow the usage instructions and speak with a dermatology provider before use. 

In fact, Curology’s Future-ProofRx, our custom formula designed for anti-aging, harnesses the power of tretinoin to deliver superior skincare benefits, including reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin texture. You can consult with our licensed dermatology providers, who will assess your skin and recommend skincare treatments that are personalized for you. 

Niacinamide

Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3, is another star player in the realm of skincare. A clinical study found that the application of niacinamide significantly improved fine lines and wrinkles, skin sallowness (yellowing), and elasticity.⁶

Collagen 

Collagen, a protein in the skin, plays a significant role in maintaining its youthful appearance. As we age, collagen production naturally decreases, leading to wrinkles and other signs of aging. To combat this, collagen supplements—both oral and topical—have become increasingly popular in the fields of dermatology and cosmetics.

A review of studies conducted between 2010 and 2020 aimed to compare the effects of oral and topical collagen on skin aging. Its conclusion was that both oral and topical collagen supplements appear to help delay the aging process, with no significant differences observed between the two forms. Collagen supplements were found to improve skin moisture, elasticity, and hydration when administered orally. Additionally, they reduced the appearance of wrinkles and roughness in the skin.⁷

Treatments for reducing wrinkles 

Aside from trying topical formulas or oral supplements, there are a couple of proven treatments that can help reduce your wrinkles and give you more youthful-looking skin.

Botulinum toxin (Botox)

Botulinum toxin, or Botox, is a relatively safe, popular treatment for reducing facial wrinkles, used by qualified professionals. It targets areas like frown lines, crow’s feet, forehead creases, and even wrinkles around your mouth and on your neck.⁸ However, it’s essential to consult with a dermatology provider for personalized advice before treatment.

IPL therapy

Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, is a skin treatment that uses a bright light to improve the look of your skin. Originally, it was used to help with skin issues like broken blood vessels. Now, it’s also used to make your skin look younger and more refreshed. It can help to lessen wrinkles, especially around the eyes, and even out skin tone by reducing unwanted pigmentation. The light used in IPL can be adjusted to suit your specific skin needs.⁹

As with all skin treatments, it’s essential to talk with a skincare professional before starting IPL. This is because the therapy should be performed by a trained expert to make sure it’s done safely and effectively, and it might not be the best option for everyone.

How to prevent wrinkles in the future 

There are several strategies you can implement to help keep your skin looking youthful and radiant. A key factor in wrinkle prevention is protecting skin from sun damage, which is known to accelerate skin aging. This includes avoiding unnecessary sun exposure and diligently using sunscreens to block or reduce your skin’s exposure to harmful UV radiation. Incorporating certain skincare products into your routine can also help prevent wrinkles. For instance, topical retinoids have been shown to inhibit collagenase synthesis (an enzyme that breaks down collagen) and promote collagen production, helping to maintain your skin’s firmness and elasticity. Antioxidants are also beneficial as they can reduce and neutralize free radicals—harmful molecules that can damage your skin.¹⁰

Check out our comprehensive guide with expert advice about the steps you can take today to help maintain your skin's youthful appearance for years to come.

Start your journey towards more youthful skin with Curology 

If you're looking for a way to combat early signs of aging while promoting healthy, radiant skin, consider exploring Curology's Future-ProofRx for anti-aging. This prescription-strength formula is customized to your specific concerns and includes potent ingredients such as tretinoin and niacinamide.

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

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FAQs

How can I reduce my wrinkles and look younger?

Reducing wrinkles and achieving a youthful look involves a combination of treatments and preventative measures. Botox is a viable option for immediately smoothing out specific facial lines and wrinkles and helping to minimize future ones. Collagen supplements, both oral and topical, can help rejuvenate your skin as well. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is another non-invasive treatment that helps improve skin texture and reduces wrinkles. In your skincare routine, you can also consider incorporating retinoids and niacinamide. Always consult with a dermatology provider to tailor the right approach for your skin.

What are the best wrinkle-reduction procedures?

There are several effective wrinkle-reduction treatments such as Botox, IPL therapy, and skincare ingredients like retinoids and niacinamide. However, the best procedure for you depends on your skin type, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Consult with a skincare professional to determine what’s best for your skin.

How can I reduce wrinkles without Botox?

There are numerous alternatives to Botox for wrinkle reduction. This includes IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) therapy and skincare ingredients like topical retinoids and niacinamide. Laser treatments may be another option. However, everyone's skin is unique, so it’s crucial to consult a dermatology provider to get advice tailored to your skin type, lifestyle, and specific needs. They can help determine the most effective approach to reducing your wrinkles.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Manríquez, J.J., et al. Wrinkles. BMJ Clin Evid. (2014, December 22).

  2. Manríquez, J.J., et al. Wrinkles. BMJ Clin Evid. Ibid.

  3. Mukherjee, S., et al. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. (December 2006).

  4. Mukherjee, S., et al. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. Ibid.

  5. Mukherjee, S., et al. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. Ibid.

  6. Bissett, D.L., et al. Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatol Surg. (July 2005).

  7. Al-Atif, H. Collagen Supplements for Aging and Wrinkles: A Paradigm Shift in the Fields of Dermatology and Cosmetics. Dermatol Pract Concept. (2022, January 1).

  8. Satriyasa, B.K. Botulinum toxin (Botox) A for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles: a literature review of clinical use and pharmacological aspect. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. (2019, April 10).

  9. Barikbin, B., et al. The Efficacy of IPL in Periorbital Skin Rejuvenation: An Open-Label Study. J Lasers Med Sci. (2019, December 1).

  10. Ganceviciene, R., et al. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. (2012, July 1).

Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

*Cancel anytime. Subject to consultation. Results may vary.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Meredith Hartle, DO

Meredith Hartle, DO

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