There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of facial wrinkles. The most obvious factor is aging. As the body ages, it slows down production of the key proteins and other substances that contribute to a strong support system within the skin. Collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which each contribute to the firmness, elasticity, and hydration of the skin, decrease in quantity as we age. This leads to the skin becoming duller, looser, and sagging, and ultimately leading to the development of lines and wrinkles. While age is a huge factor in the accumulation of wrinkles, there are also things that can speed up the degradation of these helpful substances within the skin and make wrinkles appear prematurely. Sun exposure, lack of water, poor diet, pollution, and even lifestyle habits including smoking, can also cause or exacerbate wrinkles.
Types of wrinkles
Though all wrinkles may appear the same, there are actually several distinct types. Understanding the difference between wrinkles is essential to understanding how to treat and prevent them, as they are generally categorized by the manner that they develop.
For many years, it was though that there were only two different types of wrinkles, dynamic wrinkles and static wrinkles, though we now know that there are additional, different types within these two categories.
Dynamic wrinkles are the creases and lines which are caused due to repeated facial movements during the expressions we make. When we’re young and our skin is healthy, these lines appear when we make certain expressions—such as smiles or frowns. However, these lines begin to linger and then become permanent as those essential substances begin to decrease within the skin. Some examples of dynamic wrinkles include crow’s feet, the vertical creases between the brows, and the lines in the forehead.
Static wrinkles can appear anywhere in the skin and face and are a product of gravity, rather than active facial expressions. As the skin loses its plumpness, the skin sags and develops folds and wrinkles. They typically appear in parallel lines and will typically develop around the lips, cheeks, neck, and chest.
There are 5 other types of wrinkles, most of which can be divided into the categories of dynamic and static wrinkles.
This type of wrinkle can be categorized as a static wrinkle, and describes a group of wrinkles in areas where the skin has wrinkled. Their appearance could be described as crinkles and they typically run in fine lines parallel to each other. An easy way to identify atrophic crinkling rhytids is to stretch the skin where they appear, to see if the crinkles disappear. The wrinkles are caused by the loss of collagen and elastin and will go away if the skin is stretched.
These wrinkles appear most commonly on the forehead and chest and are dry wrinkles that run in parallel lines. They develop due to a lack of moisture, a result of the epidermal glands becoming less active, and secreting less oil. This is a typical stage in the aging process and affects the skin, as it is harder to stay hydrated when there is not enough oil present.
This type of wrinkle is caused by a combination of years of repeated crease lines appearing in the skin and also, the loss of collagen. They most often appear in the cheeks and upper lip area, or as horizontal lines at the base of the neck. Sun exposure will exacerbate the appearance of these lines, and any other environmental factors that disturb the production of collagen, such as smoking, will also contribute to the appearance of these wrinkles.
Dynamic expression lines
As the name suggests, these lines are caused by facial expressions. Expressions that are known for causing wrinkles to appear over time include: frowning, smiling, squinting, and pursing the mouth. When the skin is young and healthy, these lines are temporary and only appear when the expressions is being actively made. However, as skin loses firmness and density, then they begin to linger until they become permanently visible.
As the name implies, this type of wrinkle is caused by the effects of gravity. When the skin begins to sag due to age or other factors that contribute to loss of volume, such as weight loss, then these creases and folds become more prominent and eventually, permanent. The most common of these folds are nasolabial folds – the lines that appear from the corner of the nose and connect down to the corners of the mouth. Marionette lines are also a common type of gravitational fold, and appear at the corner of the mouth and go downwards to the chin.
How to prevent wrinkles
Though some wrinkles, such as gravitational folds, are essentially inevitable unless you’ve won the genetic lottery, there are ways to prevent or delay the appearance of most wrinkles. It’s always important to get an early start at wrinkle prevention, as preventing lines from appearing is always easier than trying to reverse them.
The best ways to prevent wrinkles is to pay close attention to your skin and sun care routine. Sun exposure is very harmful to the skin, so always be sure to wear a high SPF sun block. Ingredients such as vitamin A, Retin-A, and AHA or BHA can all help keep your skin producing the important nutrients that keep it looking firm and youthful. A healthy diet, including drinking a lot of water and consuming fats such as omega-3 fatty acids can also keep the skin looking healthy for longer.
Best ways to get rid of wrinkles
If you’re already starting to see the effects of age in your skin, then it may be the right time to take some more permanent measures. Chemical peels, thread treatments, and creams can all help diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles, while also helping further damage to your skin. Dermal fillers are also great treatment options to reverse the signs of aging. Dermal fillers are available with a number of ingredients, though hyaluronic acid fillers are becoming increasingly popular and are very often the filler of choice. Hyaluronic acid fillers plump the skin by adding volume to depressions in skin while also providing much needed hydration, effectively smoothing out most kinds of wrinkles.