Understanding What Causes Wrinkles

Understanding what causes wrinkles can help you decide how to reduce them. To begin with, the process of wrinkling is comprised of various parts. For many people it is a combination of these factors that contribute greatly to increased wrinkles. Although not all the factors can be avoided, many factors can be prevented with a little knowledge and common sense.

Wrinkles are an inevitable part of life as we age. For some people it becomes a serious enough issue to consider cosmetic procedures, but for most, a good wrinkle cream can do wonders to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Let's take a brief look at the different factors that cause or accelerate wrinkling.


AGEs, or Advanced Glycation End products, are directly involved in protein degradation which results in wrinkles. Glycation occurs when sugar molecules bond with skin collagen making the collagen more rigid and less elastic, and is caused by a rise is blood sugar levels in the body. This increase can be caused by a diet high in simple sugars, like white bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. AGEs in cells contributes to the formation of free radicals, resulting in even more oxidative damage. Collagen is especially vulnerable to AGE formation and damage due to its slow turnover rate. As facial skin ages, it thins out and becomes dry, fragile, and wrinkles with age.


In essence, you are what you eat. The most comprehensive study linking diet to premature wrinkles was published by researchers from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 2001 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Briefly, the Monash study revealed less skin wrinkling in the elderly who had higher intakes of total fat, mono-unsaturated fat, olive oil and olives, fish, reduced fat milk and milk products, vegetables, eggs, and water.


Another great reason to not smoke is the wrinkles it can cause. Smoking enhances all the small lines around your mouth just from the actions of inhaling from the cigarette and blowing out the smoke. The frowning and squinting from the smoke irritating your eyes takes its toll on facial skin after a while as well.

Smoking also causes blood vessels to narrow in the layers of your skin. When this blood flow is restricted less oxygen and nutrients are able to reach the skin, causing a thinning effect which can lead to premature wrinkles.

Smoking may also harm collagen and elastin which give your skin its elasticity. In fact, scientific studies show that heavy smokers are almost 5 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop premature facial wrinkles.


Vitamin A provides a temporary boost in the production of collagen and can lend the skin a more youthful appearance for a while. Alcohol affects skin by destroying the body's supply of Vitamin A. This also reduces the skin's effectiveness as the first line of defense against bacteria and infections. Over time, the lack of oxygen and nutrients allow the formation of harmful free radicals, damaging the collagen and elastic fibers that keep the skin strong and flexible. This usually results in premature wrinkles.


Your face is unique in more ways than one. Facial muscles are the only ones in the body that attach to bone and skin. Every time we smile, frown or squint our facial muscles pull on our skin from underneath, making it crinkle. Younger skin has enough elasticity to snap back into place after each expression, but as skin ages and collagen breaks down, the skin gives in to the pulling force and develops a wrinkle.


Ironically, the only place we don't want to lose fat is where fat loss occurs naturally as we age. The loss of fat from the central parts of our faces seems to speed up the appearance of aging. As our features lose definition, laugh lines and crow's feet begin to appear.


Unfortunately, some families are more susceptible to wrinkles. Additionally, people with blue eyes and fair skin are more prone to sun damage, which can cause wrinkling.


Activities that expose a person to the sun (or ultraviolet rays) such as farming, sailing, golfing, and using tanning booths greatly increase the odds of your skin having more wrinkles.


Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information presented on this site is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.
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