Wrinkles are pretty much inevitable as you age. Before we discuss what causes wrinkles, let’s talk about your skin. Your skin actually has 3 layers – the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. The epidermis is the outer most layer of skin and a barrier to the outside world. The dermis is the second layer, which contains connective tissue. The bottom layer, the subcutaneous tissue contains fat cells, which provide insulation to the body.
As you age, your epidermal cells become thinner and less sticky, making the skin look thinner. The barrier function does not work as well, allowing more moisture to be released, making your skin dry and the skin less able to repair itself quickly. Less collagen is produced and elasticity wears out, causing the skin to wrinkle and sag. In the bottom layer, the fat cells shrink with age and this leads to more wrinkles and sagging because the fat cells cannot fill in the damage from the other layers of skin.
90% of symptoms of premature aging are because of exposure to sunlight, ultraviolet light, and UVA or UVB rays. This is why it is so important to know how to shield your skin from the sun at a young age or you will be setting yourself up for a lot of wrinkles. Sunlight greatly affects your dermis, the middle layer of your skin. Effects from the sun causes collagen to break down faster than it would with simply growing older.
Free radicals also cause wrinkles. Free radicals are defined as unstable oxygen molecules that have only one electron instead of two. Free radicals can come from the environment, sunlight, air pollution and smoking. There is a reason they say smoking greatly affects your skin, making you look older much faster and it is because of the free radicals.
Hormones can also cause wrinkles. Hormonal effects of menopause or decreased estrogen production can decrease collagen and make your skin sag and age faster. It is also shown that your muscle use can cause wrinkles. You’ve probably heard of frown lines or laugh lines and it is actually something that can happen. So watch your habitual facial expressions because they can cause skin to lose elasticity. This especially happens in the corners of your eyes as you use the tiny muscles. Eventually they permanently contract; causing frown lines and crow’s feet.
Lastly, gravity unfortunately is a cause of wrinkles, making the skin lose and sag. This can cause jowls and dropping eyelids.
Did you know what causes wrinkles or were you surprised by some of these? Share with us your stories!