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Does Dry Skin Cause Wrinkles?
The myth about dry skin causing wrinkles persists because dry skin looks more wrinkled than skin that isn't dry. It’s that simple.
Those with normal to oily skin are sometimes perceived as having fewer wrinkles, but that's because they have their own built-in moisturizer, which creates the appearance of a smoother skin texture. When skin is dry or dehydrated, any amount of wrinkling or flaws will look more exaggerated.
Applying a moisturizer makes wrinkles look less apparent which helps skin look younger, but that’s not the same thing as giving skin what it needs to be renewed, rejuvenated, or feel protected. Facts are always better than myths when it comes to taking the best care of your skin, so let’s get to the facts—starting with what really causes wrinkles.
What Does Cause Wrinkles?
Endless studies refer to the causes of skin aging as being either “extrinsic” or “intrinsic”. Extrinsic refers to external things in the environment and intrinsic factors are those things happening in the body that eventually impact skin’s appearance.
Extrinsic aging is primarily about sun damage from unprotected sun exposure but it also includes environmental assaults such as ongoing exposure to pollution and smoking (including exposure to secondhand smoke). This is exceedingly bad for skin in the short term, and most definitely the long term.
Intrinsic aging involves various influences such as repetitive muscle movement (that’s why those smile and frown lines set in and show up first), midlife changes, fat depletion, fat loss and fat pad movement, and illness. Oh, and let’s not forget, just getting older every year will bring about wrinkles!
What research makes abundantly clear is that skin aging and wrinkles are made far worse and will appear far sooner because of extrinsic aging factors. The biggest culprit? Without question, sun damage from cumulative years of unprotected sun exposure. A great deal of research indicates that 80% to 90% of “aging” we see is a result of unprotected sun exposure!
That brings us to the “backside” test of aging.
The "Backside" Test of Aging
How can you know for sure that not protecting your skin from the sun is causing your skin to look older with the appearance of wrinkles, sagging, crepey skin, and uneven skin tone, showing up faster than anyone would want? Easy! The "backside" test of aging.
Here's how it works: If you are over 35, simply compare the parts of your body that rarely, if ever, see the sun with the parts of your body exposed to the sun without protection or that you routinely tanned (even a little tan is a killer for skin).
Look at your backside, inner arms, and abdomen. Those areas that haven’t seen the sun very much have minimal to no signs of "aging." They look young! The areas that have seen the sun without protection look older, less firm, more wrinkled, less smooth, and have less bounce back. Now you’ve seen just how strongly unprotected sun exposure and wrinkles are connected.
Fact: Sun damage begins the first minute unprotected skin is exposed to daylight!
What You Can Do to Help Dry Skin and Wrinkles
While almost any moisturizer will improve the appearance of wrinkles, your skin deserves much more than just a temporary fix. To make long-lasting significant changes, your skin needs a far more advanced formula containing state-of-the art ingredients proven to significantly fight the signs of aging, including the appearance of wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and loss of firmness.
Antioxidants, skin-restoring ingredients, skin-replenishing ingredients, and during the day a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater are all fundamental to achieving the most impactful, skin-changing results and here’s why.
- Antioxidants help fights the environment’s daily assault on your skin. The remarkable benefits they provide to help skin face damaging elements with minimal harm are without comparison in the world of skincare.
- Skin-restoring ingredients are able to help skin look substantially transformed, renewed, and restarted on many levels. They are an astounding group of distinctively effective ingredients that helps reignite skin’s younger-looking appearance.
- Skin-replenishing ingredients are substances that skin has lost and can’t make more of due mostly to unprotected sun exposure, getting older, and using skincare products with harsh or skin-aggravating ingredients. Giving these substances back to skin is the primary way to help keep it feeling supremely hydrated, soft, and radiant. Those wrinkles bothering you now will take on a smoother, more plumped appearance, revealing a youthful appearance and glow you may have thought was lost forever—but there’s one more critical step: Sun protection!
- Sun protection is always the icing on the cake. As significant as all these ingredients are to improving skin in the short term and long term, it’s still critical to use an effective sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher 365 days a year. We know the topic of sunscreen might not quite as sexy as the latest anti-wrinkle miracle ingredient is, but without sunscreen, you have no chance of helping your skin resist wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.
References for this information:
Aging, August 2015, issue 7, pages 1457–1469
Clinical Cosmetic Investigative Dermatology, June 2013, issue 6, pages 221–232
Dermato Endocrinology, July 2012, issue 3, pages 227–231
Clinical Dermatology, January-February 2011, issue 1, pages 3-14 and pages 37-42
Journal of Dermatology, August 2004, issue 8, pages 603-609
Journal of Pathology, January 2007, issue 2, pages 241-251
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, November 2012, issue 5, pages 1013-1024
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, June 2005, issue 4, pages 215-223
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About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!