Every time you smile, frown, laugh, or squint, lines form on your skin as the facial muscles are stretched. When you were young, thanks to the aid of collagen and elastin, these lines simply disappeared. Collagen and elastin diminish as you age, however, resulting in reduced skin elasticity and moisture. Many years of repeated facial expressions can turn temporary lines into permanent ones.
Consider the following types of facial wrinkles:
- Frown lines form between the eyes. The skin between the eyebrows folds when you frown or make a concerned facial expression.
- Bunny lines form at the bridge of the nose when you repeatedly scrunch up your face. The term sounds cute and endearing but the lines can add years to your appearance.
- Crow’s feet are also known as laugh lines or smile lines. They are deep wrinkles that form at the corners of the eyes when you laugh or smile.
- “Expression wrinkles” is the umbrella term that defines lines that form when you repeatedly make the same facial expressions.
- Accordion lines are wrinkles that form around the mouth as people smile. The lines start at the cheeks and run out to the corners of the mouth.
- Gravitational folds appear prominently on the cheeks, neck and chin when the skin loses its firmness. The folds are formed as the skin pulls away from the underlying muscle and fat, forming features like a double chin and jowls.
- Atrophic crinkling rhytids are lines that are parallel to each other. They occur on different areas of the face but disappear when the skin is stretched. The lines are usually caused by excessive sun exposure.
You can’t stop the aging process, but you can make efforts to slow the break down of collagen and elastin and minimize early wrinkles by limiting your time in the sun, wearing sunscreen when you go out, and refraining from smoking.