It’s one of the mysteries of the universe – what causes wrinkles and why do some people get them earlier than others?

Wrinkles seem inevitable, like death and taxes but the popular belief is that there are two types of aging that affect the skin, leading to the onset of wrinkles. The first is the loss of substances such as collagen, elastin and fats from the dermis and subcutaneous tissues which occurs with the passage of time, as well as factors such as menopause and thinning skin in women.

Environmental damage is believed to cause the second type of aging. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun or the use of sunbeds, smoking, free radicals and pollution can all alter the biological function and chemical structure of the skin, leading to premature sagging and wrinkles.

However, some schools of thought believe aging to be linked to genetics, in terms of the timing and likelihood of wrinkling.

Researchers have found that the MC1R gene controls melanin production and skin pigment. A certain gene variation can make you look more youthful – or can actually impede your DNA repair.

Whatever the theories, the sun is definitely Public Enemy Number One when it comes to the skin, especially on the harsh Highveld, and even people with higher amounts of melanin in their skin should always wear a sunscreen regardless of their parents’ tendency to wrinkle early or not. Also, a healthier lifestyle including drinking water and avoiding sugar improves the look of the skin.

Whatever you swear by to banish wrinkles – whether it’s sleeping on silk pillowcases to prevent deep furrows forming on the face and body or putting on expensive retinol creams to turn back the clock – Medi-Sculpt Clinic offers wonderful facial treatments to combat wrinkles.

The clinic’s skin mantra is: smoothness, strength, firmness, even tone, hydration and protection from disorders; and the head of the clinic, Dr Anushka Reddy, also offer results-orientated therapeutic skin products tailored to suit your skin’s specific needs, and designed for you to apply at home.

Chemical peels and non-invasive laser treatment, such as those offered at the clinic, can build collagen and improve the skin’s appearance. A liquid facelift can also work wonders and the use of Botox is very popular to help prevent wrinkles.

Perhaps, despite your genetics, searching for the Holy Grail of a wrinkle-free existence is easier than you thought?