When we are young, we don’t have wrinkles because the skin does a great job of stretching and holding in moisture. The dermis (middle layer of the skin) has an elastic quality thanks to fibres called elastin that keep the skin looking and feeling young. A protein in the dermis called collagen also plays a part in preventing wrinkles.
Starting in our 20s and over time collagen production gradually declines. With fewer reserves of both collagen and elastin our skin becomes fragile, thinner and cannot hold moisture;
The fat in the innermost layer (subcutaneous layer) that keeps the skin looking plump also begins to disappear leaving the epidermis layer (outermost layer) sagging which leads to fine lines and wrinkles.
However it’s not just a case of internal factors as external factors such as sun damage, smoking and facial expressions play a major part in aging.
Our faces begin to show wear and tear from muscle activity related to squinting in the sun too much or even smiling. It’s good to know that fine lines and wrinkles make their appearance in areas that experience more muscle movement and the creases become more obvious as we mature.
So don’t panic, age is not necessarily at fault. Although you may find the lucky ones who either have good genes or more sebum (natural skin oil) and don’t have a single wrinkle in their 50s or 60s.
Now we have the scientific details out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the different types of facial wrinkles.
- Forehead lines
The forehead is the first area on a person’s face that begins to wrinkle. There is a reason behind this: the rest of the face has fat deposits which help to prevent wrinkles however the forehead has no fat underneath.
- Drooping Eyebrows
As we age, gravity can be unkind – things start to sag that didn’t sag before and the skin below our eyebrows is no exception! If our eyebrow muscles are strained and overworked, they begin to slide down.
- Crow’s Feet
Smile. Go on. Now look in the mirror. See those lines at the corner of your eyes? What do they look like? The feet of a bird? Crows feet. That’s what those little creases are called.
- Tear Trough
Also known as dark circles underneath the eyes. As the skin here is rather thin, it has a tendency to show effects of aging sooner rather than later.
- Nasolabial Folds
Commonly known as smile lines or laugh lines, these folds are the lines on either side of the mouth that run from each side of the nose to the corner of the mouth and are more prominent when you smile.
- Marionette Lines
Yes, this is the actual cosmetic term. Try not to laugh – this isn’t puppet talk! These are two very distinct lines that run from the side of the mouth down to the chin.
Eventually, everyone will have some wrinkles. It’s a natural part of aging.
We’ll be discussing what can be done about these rather uninvited wrinkles in our next blog post!