Though signs of ageing are completely normal, it can be frustrating when lines and wrinkles begin to appear, making you look older than you feel. There’s no reason to feel embarrassed or less confident, but of course we understand it’s not always that easy! Read on to find out what fine lines and wrinkles are, and what causes them.
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What Are Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Fine lines are one of the first indicators that visible signs of ageing are appearing on your skin. Fine lines often start showing up on the skin once you are 25, and they are the first form a wrinkle will crop up in. They are shallow, superficial marks, and do not run any deeper than the top layer of the skin. The corners of the eyes, corners of the mouth and between the eyebrows are commonly affected by fine lines. Wrinkles, on the other hand, are deep set creases, ridges or folds within the skin that form after fine lines do. They are a natural part of ageing, and are permanently visible even when your face muscles are at rest. Wrinkles often become prominent during your 50s/60s. As fine lines and wrinkles are formed in the same way, they have similar causes too.
What Causes Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles are an inevitable part of the ageing process. A host of internal and external factors contribute to the decrease of collagen and elastin levels in the skin as we age. As collagen and elastin proteins are the building blocks of the skin, it becomes more difficult for the skin to bounce back to its original, plumped shape. Day to day life causes lines to show up on the skin, which eventually deepen. Though you can take steps to prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles, every skin type will experience them at some point.
The biggest cause of premature skin ageing, excess sun exposure is not good for the skin. UVA rays can penetrate deep Into the skin, causing damage to previously healthy skin cells. This results in damage to collagen and elastin proteins. The reducing level of collagen makes it harder for the skin to bounce back into position after a facial expression, accelerating the ageing process.
As well as the ageing process, the facial expressions you make everyday contribute to the lines on your face. As you blink, talk, chew, laugh etc., the muscles in your face contract, causing a temporary crease in your skin. As these movements build up over time, the mark on your skin will no longer be temporary.
If you smoke, your skin receives less oxygen and decreased blood flow compared to a non-smoker. Smoking also stimulates MMP’s within the skin, which are enzymes that target and break down collagen protein. Therefore, giving the appearance of “smoker’s skin”. Increased skin laxity will cause more sagging, dropping and fine lines and wrinkles. Physically smoking multiple times per day also contributes to fine lines and wrinkles by the mouth and eyes due to increased muscle contraction.