What Causes Wrinkles


In This Article:

We know it's frustrating: You look in the mirror and see the first signs of fine lines and wrinkles. They're around your eyes, your mouth, even your forehead—and they're starting to set in. Depending on how much sun exposure you've had and how diligently you've protected your skin from sun damage, wrinkles can start showing up as early as your mid-twenties. Regardless of age, the concern and anxiety you have about your wrinkles can result in lots of money wasted as you try to stop them from getting worse.
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Recommended Anti-Aging Products

  • Fact: Anti-wrinkle products that can't live up to their claims are a waste of your money and will do nothing but cause you disappointment.

Before you can spend your money wisely on products that can make a significant difference, you need to know the causes behind what you're really fighting. The Paula's Choice Research Team is here to help you understand the story behind the wrinkles you see on the surface of your face.

What Causes Wrinkles?

How your skin ages and wrinkles is a very complex series of events, but the primary factors are:

  1. Sun Damage
    Repeated exposure to the deadly, carcinogenic rays of the sun or tanning beds destroys collagen, elastin, and produces abnormal skin cells that cannot behave like young skin. It is the major cause of wrinkling.
  2. Genetics
    Your skin color effects how your skin handles sun damage. If you have inherited a darker skin tone, then you will be less vulnerable to the sun's impact on your skin.
  3. Chronological Aging
    Every year we get a little older and those added years negatively influence our skin, just as they do for the rest of our body.
  4. Hormone Loss
    Menopause changes the texture and elasticity of skin. The most common sign? Skin becomes crepey, thinner, and doesn't bounce back when pinched.
  5. Fat and Bone Depletion
    Your skin is supported by both fat and bone. As you age, some of that support is lost, which causes skin to sag.
  6. Muscle Movement
    The parts of your face you use the most wrinkle the fastest and deepest. Plus, facial muscles lax over time, causing further sagging.
  7. Disruption of Skin's Protective Barrier
    Unprotected sun exposure decreases vital substances in skin (such as ceramides and lecithin), leaving your skin more vulnerable to damage by the sun, smoke, air (oxygen), and pollution.

What About Collagen?

So, you're at the cosmetics counter and the anti-wrinkle product you're thinking of buying claims it can build collagen, resulting in firmer, less-wrinkled skin. That sounds great, but is it really possible?

No! Putting collagen in a skin-care product may sound like it can rebuild the collagen in your skin, but it absolutely cannot! Collagen as an added ingredient in a moisturizer can't make more collagen or bond to the collagen already in your skin. It just isn't possible, no matter what the claims on the label say.

However, your skin does need collagen because it gives your skin its strength, resilience, and structure. The truth is your skin actually loves making collagen already! It's when the collagen becomes damaged by the seven reasons above that wrinkles begin to appear. Topically-applied collagen won't fix the problem, but there's a lot you can do to help repair the damage and bring your skin to a healthier, younger-looking state.

Any anti-wrinkle product worth your time and money is one that can help your skin function as younger skin. Keep in mind that to accomplish that, it takes an entire skin-care routine, not just one product. Carefully choose skin-care products that include lots of antioxidants, ingredients that can put back into skin what it has lost, ingredients that help generate normal cells again, and, of course, SUNSCREEN!

If you don't know where to start, don't worry! The Paula's Choice Research Team can help you find well researched and well formulated products at Beautypedia.

A couple more facts you need to know:

  • Fact: There isn't a miracle vitamin, plant extract, or any other ingredient anywhere in the world that can change one wrinkle on your face. Stop looking for one ingredient that does it all, because that just leads to disappointment. Just like your diet requires a variety of foods for you to be healthy, your skin needs a variety of ingredients to repair damage, strengthen its barrier, and make healthy collagen.

  • Fact: There are thousands of anti-wrinkle products available around the world with claims that are either misleading or just plain false about what they can do for your skin. Look for products that provide research to support their anti-wrinkle claims.

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Anti-Aging Products.

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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