Mark Twain once wrote, “Wrinkles merely indicate where smiles have been.” They are an inevitable (and often unwelcome) part of the aging process. As we get older, we start to see creases, folds or ridges in our skin. The first wrinkles to appear on our face tend to occur as a result of facial expressions – those crinkles around your eyes when you smile. But, sun damage, smoking, dehydration, some medications, and many other factors can also cause wrinkles to develop.
As we age our skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic and the ability to protect itself from damage decreases. There are two types of wrinkles – surface lines and deep furrows. Typically wrinkles appear on the parts of the body that receive the most sun exposure including the backs of hands, face, neck and tops of forearms. Most of us don’t look forward to these lines of wisdom – preferring instead to retain the youthful glow of younger years.
Aside from aging, these are the factors most associated with premature wrinkles:
- Smoking – scientists suggest that the link between regular smoking and accelerated aging of skin is due to a reduced blood supply to the skin.
- Facial Expressions – people who repeatedly smile, frown, or squint will develop fine lines and wrinkles earlier than other who do not do these facial expressions so often. That’s because each time we use a facial muscle, a groove forms under the surface of the skin. When we’re young the skin springs back, but as we get older our skin loses its flexibility and springing back becomes harder and less frequent, resulting in more permanent grooves.
- Fair Skin – people with light skin tend to experience a higher level of sun damage, which can speed up the development of wrinkles.
- Hairstyle – some hairstyles provide more shade for the face and neck than others.
- Clothing Choices – people who tend to wear hats and long sleeves usually develop wrinkles later in life compared to other people of the same skin type.
- Occupation – if your job is mostly outside, you’re exposed to more sunlight and harmful UV rays, such as, fishermen, farmers, sailors, golfers, landscapers, etc.