Laugh lines are not funny.
January 22, 2008 10:51 PM   Subscribe

I'd like your real-life testimonials for wrinkle treatments that actually work. Bonus points if your skin is brownish.

I'm in my 20s and starting to get naso-labial folds, or laugh lines, from my nose to my mouth. Ack. Right now they're pretty faint, and kind of look like the ones in this photo. Close to my nose there's a shallow fold about 1/2 an inch long, and the rest of the way down to my mouth it's like a slight darkening of my skin in the shape of my future wrinkle. Waah, what do I do? Right now I use a powder compact to tone down the darker colour, but it gets kind of cakey. Liquid foundation is even worse- it creases.

I have about the same skin tone as the person in this photo. Olive-brown with yellow undertones, with slightly darker patches around my eyes and mouth. So I'm particularly seeking melanin-friendly remedies.

Oh, and I scar easy, plus I'm a cheapskate, so no plastic surgery and no weird injections. But creams, masks, scrubs, you know, topical stuff like that- fire away!
posted by pseudostrabismus to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Check out what Paula Begoun has to say about anti-wrinkle products and other skin care products. (She reviews cosmetics by reviewing their ingredients, saying whether they can possibly do the things they claim. She published a book for many years with these reviews. Later she started selling her own line of products; they are offered at the bottom of the linked page. I haven't used her stuff, I don't know if it's any good, but you can safely ignore it and just look at her advice about what ingredients to look for and which ones won't really help.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:31 PM on January 22, 2008

Are you sure you don't just have extremely chapped lips? Where do you live?

I as a later-20-something Chicagoan have recently been worried about the FEELING of such lines but then I realized that the super-cold weather was getting the best of me.

You probably just need to use lotion on and around your mouth. Maybe get a humidifier.
posted by macrowave at 12:34 AM on January 23, 2008

Sunscreen. Won't help with fine lines you already have, but will prevent the creation of future damage. Slather it on. The Aussies have a campaign called Slip! Slap! Slop! (slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, slip on some sunscreen. And make sure you've got enough on. Scientists say we put way too little on for it to have its intended affect- you need something like a shot glass full to cover just part of your body. Forget about this cheesy 15 SPF stuff you get in your moisturizer: get 50 SPF from REI or Target (get the baby formula).

My dermatologist, who is a woman who likes to wear makeup, goes a little crazy when I mention Paula Begoun and her various enterprises- CostmeticsCop web site, Beauty Bible, Idiot's Guide to Make up and the like. My doc says that she is just plain wrong, and that her line of products are full of lies and misinformation: she uses some of the most harmful ingredients possible in her supposedly healthy makeup. She actually is trying to get the Beauty Bible pulled from our public library. Talk about a book ban, huh?

(disclaimer: IANADermatologist. I know jack about make up, and very very rarely wear it.)
posted by arnicae at 12:40 AM on January 23, 2008

It's not just skin products, but the routine you choose. Here's a good routine.

-Exercise to open pores and internally warm and loosen the skin. (if your gym has a steam room, take your skin regimen there and do a post steam routine, nothing better.)

-Wash your face with warm water, and a good neutral ph soap.

-while the skin is still warm, apply a mild astringent with cotton, which will clean and steralize the pores.

-Immediately rinse with cold water which, combined with the astringent, will close the pores tight.

-Immediatley apply a good moisturizer containing Lipoic Acid, DMAE, CoQ10, and C esther. (The DMAE will actually tighten the underlying muscle structure, which helps eliminate creases.) Skin Eternal Cream by Source Naturals is great and pretty cheap. Use it, and you'll say "wow!"

-Check out Dr. Perricone. He is a leading researcher antiaging. He also does a lot of great work for PBS. He has a line of vitamins and creams, but he also tells you what ingredients to look for if in store bought products if you can't afford his stuff. Try to catch his PBS segments, they are really informative.

-Use a sunscreen with alpha hydroxy. it will gently slough off dead skin cells during the day and will help you avoid harsh scrubs, which can age the skin.

-Do a gentle routine each night before bed, and perhaps run a humidifier.
posted by Blingo at 2:09 AM on January 23, 2008 [6 favorites]

Strange, one of my classes just went over a product that remove wrinkles last night. Retinova (random google link) is a cream my professor seemed to believe removes wrinkles quite significantly. It's prescription only, and not available in all countries (I think it is in the States) Oh, also, when you get a sunscreen make sure you get one that protects against UVA as well as UVB because UVA causes more wrinkles.
posted by fermezporte at 5:32 AM on January 23, 2008

Do you sleep on your side? If you do, try to get into the habit of not smushing your cheek towards your mouth at night. Place your face on the pillow such that the area with the lines forming in it is not compressed at all, instead try to get it to pull a little. Or, sleep on your back.
posted by Eringatang at 7:19 AM on January 23, 2008

arnicae: very interesting about Begoun. I will stop recommending her.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:08 AM on January 23, 2008

Keep hydrated. I spent three weeks in Germany about two years ago not knowing the word for tap water (leitungswasser; asking for "wasser" in restaurants results in being brought a bottle of mineral water) and only drank wine, beer, diet Coke and coffee when I went out to eat....all dehydrating ( I drank water in my hotel rooms). I've noticed the effects on my skin ever since.
posted by brujita at 10:23 AM on January 23, 2008

I'm pretty skeptical about claims that skin creams, especially anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle creams, make but apparently the Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect has been shown to have some effectiveness and it's not expensive. I think they sell Boots products at Target.

Essentially the best things you can do for your skin to prevent future damage are: wear sunscreen and don't smoke.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:27 AM on January 23, 2008

I agree with brujita on keeping hydrated. Also, when I wash my face and then put on lotion, on days where I'm not feeling lazy, I try to do this facial massage (using the wash or the lotion as the lubricant) I saw Eva Scrivo do on Martha Stewart's show.
It helps. I don't know how. In my head, it's Martha Stewart's Magical World of Martha, but it's probably because of increased blood flow or some science voodoo.

posted by spec80 at 2:32 PM on January 23, 2008

Look for lotions and cleansers that contain glycolic acid. They're excellent for exfoliating, which is the main problem with wrinkles... you need to gently exfoliate and not tear the skin. Mario Badescu makes great skin care stuff; I use it religiously.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:32 PM on January 23, 2008

if you don't have sensistive skin, any perscription strength
(retin-a, renova) renews cell generation, get them in cream form as opposed to a gel if you don't have acne prone skin. glycolic acid peels may marginally help too.
posted by flaneuse at 1:50 PM on January 24, 2008

i agree with those who have suggested kicking up your is not about one element to fight the banes of aging, it is a lifestyle. keep hydrated, i mean it. go days with 4 glasses of water a day and your skin will show it. also, moisturize like it is going out of style. i have the same skin tones as you, however, i have combination skin. i wash my face in the morning (in the shower) and moisturize. i wash at night and moisturize. pick a great moisturizer. i use L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise Futur-e and not only has it refreshed and hydrated my face, it also prevents breakouts. however, this could be completely dependent on skin type.

what i love about the moisturizer is it has spf and vitamin e. vitamin e is a natural healing ointment. i have bought those cheap bottles of vitamin e capsules at the grocery stores and put them under my eyes overnight. the following morning, my eyes look refreshed. this is especially helpful if you scar easily. if you have a wound, nix the neosporin and break open a vitamin e capsule and put that under the band aid.

as for makeup, well, this is where it gets pricy and for a good reason. makeup lines like mac and shiseido use hydrating elements in the chemical compounds of their makeup, it isn't just about the color or shade to them. i used covergirl and maybelline before and they completely dried out my skin. if mac and shiseido are far too pricy, try neutrogena. it is still pricy, but nowhere near the $30/compact mark.

also, and this was my mom's household trick, get vaseline and spread a thin layer on your face 3 times a week and leave on overnight. i've tried it, especially during the dry winter months, and it worked....greasy, but worked.

good luck!
posted by dnthomps at 3:04 PM on January 25, 2008

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