Why Do Wrinkles And Fine Lines Happen On My Face? What Causes Wrinkles?

wrinkles and fine lines

Wrinkles and fine lines are associated with aging. They are the tell-tale sign of our age.

The first wrinkles usually appear on our faces, particularly on the areas where the skin tends to fold naturally during facial expressions.

Wrinkles can also appear on parts of the skin that are commonly exposed to the sun, such as the neck, back of your hands, and arms.

These wrinkles, or to be more precise the crease lines, develop faster and become more pronounced as the skin becomes thinner and less elastic due to aging.

Several factors are involved in these aging processes that result in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, age spots, and abnormal pigmentation. 

Read on to have a clearer understanding of why these signs develop and the role of collagen and elastin in the appearance of fine lines on your face. 

Wrinkles: The lines of our life 

Wrinkles is the term most commonly used to refer to a sign of aging, though wrinkles may appear in several other forms including smile lines, creases, skin folds, and so on. 

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Some of us develop vertical lines on the forehead that we call the “11” while some develop fine lines along the outer corner of the eyes that we call the crow’s feet. [1]

Depending on where the signs of aging appear and how they look, they have been named differently.

Let’s take a quick look at the common signs of aging that can crop up on your face. 

  • Worry lines that create an “11-like” appearance between the eyebrows
  • Forehead lines that run horizontally across your forehead
  • Crow’s feet that are formed at the outer corners of the eyes in a slightly radiating fashion
  • Bunnies that etch the bridge of your nose between the eyes horizontally
  • Lip lines that form vertical hatches along the perimeter of your mouth
  • Laugh lines sometimes called nasolabial folds, that create parenthesis or a bracket-like appearance around your upper lip
  • Marionette lines that frame the chin a bit vertically, and develop over a period of time causing the cheeks to droop and forming jowl wrinkles 

These signs of aging look more like folds and furrows that can be categorized into 2 basic types: dynamic and static.

Let’s learn what dynamic and static wrinkles mean and how they are different from each other.

  • Dynamic wrinkles develop due to the ‘dynamic’ or repeated contractions and relaxation of the facial muscles. For example; if you pucker your lips frequently, you would get dynamic wrinkles called lip lines.
  • Static wrinkles occur as a result of the loss of elasticity of the skin coupled with the effect of gravity. Wrinkles that appear with jowls are usually static.

The idea behind learning the difference between dynamic and static wrinkles is to understand the role of collagen in the development of these signs. 

Since static wrinkles are more likely to occur due to the loss of collagen, they tend to become more pronounced as age increases.

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However, that doesn’t mean dynamic wrinkles are independent of the effects of collagen loss. These signs become deeper with aging as the reduced collagen production affects the efficiency of the skin to regenerate itself. 

Here is a brief discussion about the role of collagen and elastin, the 2 major components of the skin matrix, in the development of wrinkles and fine lines. 

Role of collagen and elastin in the development of wrinkles and fine lines

According to Rosalba Martone, the Perricone Director of Education, “Collagen provides skin with strength & firmness. It’s the most abundant protein found in the skin, making up about 80% of our skin. Elastin allows the skin to expand/stretch and bounce back providing a tighter appearance. It gives skin its structure. Together, they’re essential for warding off fine lines, wrinkles and a loss of firmness.” [2]

Collagen and elastin are the 2 major components of our skin matrix that help us have facial expressions or bend and stretch without ease. 

Collagen gives stable structure and firmness to the skin. Collagen is considered the driving force behind the firm, youthful skin. It keeps the skin elastic and plump. 

Collagen is formed by fibrous tissues called fibroblasts. [3]

These cells can grow new collagen more easily in younger people when there is always an abundance of new collagen available to keep the skin firm and elastic. 

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However, as we age, collagen production reduces. As a result, the skin begins to lose its firmness and becomes less elastic. The skin can no longer retract back to its original state after it has been stretched during normal movement and facial expressions. [4]

With repeated movement of the facial skin, it retracts less than when we are younger. The result is our skin no longer sits tightly over the underlying tissue. 

This marks the beginning of the signs of wrinkles and fine lines. 

The loss of elasticity of the skin becomes more pronounced over time and the skin becomes less firm, causing the signs of aging to appear. [5]

Elastin is a protein present as a network of elastic fibers in the connective tissues.  It is a major component of the dermis and accounts for the firmness and elasticity of the skin.

According to the skincare experts at Skinbiotonix, “Elastin is composed of soluble tropoelastin, that is highly cross-linked to form an insoluble complex and contains primarily, glycine and valine and modified alanine and proline residues. Elastin helps keep skin flexible but tight, providing a bounce-back reaction when pulled. It also helps keep skin smooth as it stretches during various activities like talking, laughing, smiling, and eating. Elastin fiber breakdown due to UV damage, age or disease results in loss of elasticity and formation of fine lines and wrinkles.” [6]

Elastin is essential for maintaining the youthfulness of our skin. The loss of elastin due to aging can reduce the ability of the skin to bounce back like an elastic band. This is why we develop wrinkles and fine lines on the face. [7]

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Conclusion and Treatments

There are several treatments that could stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin and restore the youthful appearance of your face. Some of these treatments include Botox, dermal fillers, and chemical peels. 

These are non-invasive, non-surgical treatments that are safe and effective for reducing wrinkles and fine lines.

Following proper skincare routines such as using sun protection, adopting healthy dietary habits, avoiding smoking and alcohol intake, and reducing mental stress can further enhance the benefits of these treatments and help you look younger for years to come.

References:  

  1. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/skin-ages#1
  2. https://www.perriconemd.com/blogs/forever-young-blog/why-collagen-elastin-are-essential-for-youthful-looking-skin
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/skin/occderm-slides/ocderm3.html
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/
  6. http://skinbiotonix.com/ROLE-OF-COLLAGEN-ELASTIN-FOR-SKIN-HEALTH/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6540032/

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