The Truth About Wrinkles
Worry creases. Laugh lines. It doesn’t matter what you call them, wrinkles and fine lines are an inevitable sign of aging1. While there’s no escaping them, there are ways to slow their appearance by avoiding certain stimuli, and even ways to help reduce the appearance of the ones that are already there. But first, let’s look at what causes them.
Is There a Difference Between Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Though fine lines and wrinkles are often synonymous with each other, there is a difference in level of severity.
Fine lines are generally considered to be the starting point of the much deeper wrinkle and they typically make their debut first, signifying the earliest signs of aging and/or sun damage.
Wrinkles are considered to run a little deeper, and are caused mostly by muscle contractions under the skin and appear when you make facial expressions, like frowning, squinting or smiling. Over the course of our lives, those repeated movements create folds, or wrinkles.
Within the wrinkle category, there are actually 2 different kinds: dynamic and static. Dynamic wrinkles occur only with movement, i.e. when you smile, little wrinkles (or “crow’s feet”) appear on the outer edges of the eyes. If those crow’s feet stick around after you stop smiling (and your face is resting), that’s considered a static wrinkle.
Smoking can cause wrinkles and skin damage. We all know smoking is bad for our health, but did you also know it’s bad for your skin? Nicotine deprives the skin of oxygen, causing it to deteriorate over time. Other chemicals found in cigarettes can cause damage the skin’s underlying elastin and collagen. While the physical act of smoking can result in dynamic wrinkles over time.
There are two types of wrinkles: dynamic and static. Dynamic (or active) wrinkles appear when we use muscles to form facial expressions, such as frowning or furrowing the brow. Static wrinkles are the ones that develop as we get older when natural substances like collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid decrease in production.
Poor diet can contribute to wrinkles. Unhealthy foods that contain excessive sugar can cause the protein fibers of your skin (including collagen and elastin) to become stiff over time — eventually resulting in wrinkles. Avoiding sugary foods and sticking to a diet high in fruits and veggies that contain antioxidants can help repair and protect your skin.
Frown lines may mean vision problems. Rather than indicating age or sun damage, frown lines might actually mean it’s time for an eye exam. Many people overcompensate for poor vision by squinting. This repeated contraction can cause wrinkles to develop on the forehead and between the brows over time. If you address eye issues soon enough, you’ll be able to soften the appearance of fine lines on the upper face.