What is the Difference Between Fine Lines and Wrinkles?

What is the Difference Between Fine Lines and Wrinkles?

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Are you curious about fine lines starting to form around your eyes or are you beginning to notice deeper wrinkles? Whether you are just beginning to notice early signs of aging or already have an anti-aging skincare routine, learn more about fine lines and wrinkles and steps you can take to have healthy-looking skin at any age.

What are fine lines?

Fine lines are often one of the very first signs of aging. As skin begins to age, fine lines may begin to appear around the eyes and other areas on the face. These shallow lines tend to form along expression lines that appear when you smile, laugh or frown.

What are wrinkles?

While fine lines are superficial and closer to skin’s surface, wrinkles are more deep-set.I As you age, many fine lines may turn into wrinkles as skin loses elasticity and firmness.

What causes fine lines and wrinkles?

Over time—and with exposure to UV rays and pollution—collagen and elastin in the skin may become damaged which causes skin to gradually lose its firmness and elasticity. As this happens, fine lines can form that may eventually turn into deep-set lines and wrinkles. Skin often becomes dry or dehydrated with age which can also cause lines to appear more visible. While there are some steps you can take to help prevent early signs of aging, fine lines and wrinkles ultimately happen to every skin type. Whether your skin is oily, dry, or acne-prone, you will begin to see wrinkles at some point in your life. Even though age is a key factor in causing lines and wrinkles, there are external aggressors that can have a major impact on your skin’s appearance.

  • UV Rays
    Sun damage is the most common cause of skin damage and wrinkles. In addition to leading to lines and wrinkles, the sun can also contribute to other visible signs of aging like dark spots.II Using a daily SPF with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection is the most important step you can take to help defend skin from early signs of aging.
  • Pollution
    If you live in a city or are regularly exposed to high levels of pollution, your skin can experience damage. Free radicals in exhaust, fumes and smoke can cause damage which can lead to visible signs of aging. Look for formulas with pollution protection to help defend skin from these external aggressors.

What are the different types of wrinkles?

While wrinkles can occur on the neck, chest, forearms and other parts of the body, most are found on the face. Not only is the face expressive but it also often has the most exposure to the sun and other environmental aggressors. Some of the most common types of facial wrinkles are:

  • Forehead Lines
    Forehead lines, or frown or worry lines, are horizontal lines across the forehead and vertical lines between the eyebrows. Stress, worry and frowning can all contribute to how forehead lines form.III
  • Smile Lines
    Smile lines, or marionette lines, usually form on the sides of the mouth and can be related to laughing and smiling.
  • Crow’s Feet
    The delicate skin around the eyes is often one of the first places to show signs of aging. Crow’s feet is another name for the lines that form around the outer corner of the eyes. In addition to the skin around the eyes being delicate, squinting can also lead to crow’s feet forming.

What is the difference between static and dynamic wrinkles?

The difference between dynamic and static wrinkles essentially comes down to whether they appear for a moment or last over time.

  • Dynamic Wrinkles
    Dynamic wrinkles are creases that show when you are making facial expressions like smiling, laughing or frowning, but then disappear shortly after.
  • Static Wrinkles
    Static wrinkles are lines that are visible even when you are not making expressions. Over time, dynamic wrinkles often become static wrinkles.

What is the difference between expression lines and sleep wrinkles?

While expression lines affect everyone, how you sleep can also impact how lines form on your face.

  • Expression Lines
    Expression wrinkles form along the dynamic lines that appear when you laugh, smile or frown and are the most common.
  • Sleep Wrinkles
    Sleep wrinkles form in a slightly different pattern based on how your face is positioned when you sleep.IV If you routinely sleep on your side or stomach you may develop sleep wrinkles in addition to expression lines.

How do you care for fine lines and wrinkles?

The best thing you can do to help care for skin is to help prevent damage by wearing sun protection every day. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen in the morning and reapply throughout the day, especially if sweating or swimming. In addition to daily sun protection, look for formulas with pollution protection and antioxidant protection to help defend skin against other external aggressors.

How can you help visibly reduce wrinkles and fine lines?

While you may not be able to reverse fine lines and wrinkles, there are ways to make them less visible. If your skin is dehydrated, use a moisturizer or hydrating serum to help smooth and plump skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines. For deeper-set lines, use an anti-wrinkle serum which can help improve skin’s elasticity and firmness. An eye cream or serum can also help treat the delicate skin around the eye area where early lines and crow’s feet often first appear.

What are the best skincare ingredients for fine lines and wrinkles?

For younger-looking skin, look for formulas with potent ingredients to help visibly smooth and plump. Some of the most trusted anti-aging skincare ingredients are:

  • Vitamin C
    Vitamin C is a trusted ingredient known to help improve fine lines and wrinkles and smooth skin’s texture. Within skincare formulas, Vitamin C is also known to help boost radiance and provide antioxidant protection.
  • Retinol and Pro-Retinol
    Retinol and Pro-Retinol are derivatives of Vitamin A known to help visibly reduce fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging.
  • Hyaluronic Acid
    Known to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, Hyaluronic Acid is used in formulas to help smooth and plump skin.
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What are the best products for fine lines?

If you are just beginning to notice the early signs of aging, start a routine that can help hydrate skin and defend against further damage. Eyes are one of the first places to show early signs of aging and adding an anti-aging eye treatment can help visibly smooth, brighten and de-puff the eye area. In addition to a gentle cleanser and toner and your daily moisturizer, you may want to add a Vitamin C serum or other targeted formulas to help visibly reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Never skip SPF during the day and help skin restore overnight with a nighttime facial oil.

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What are the best products for wrinkles?

As fine lines begin to deepen, you may want to add more targeted treatments to your routine. Follow your gentle cleanser and toner with a treatment essence to help prime skin and prepare it for targeted serums or a wrinkle filler. Swap your daily moisturizer for an anti-aging moisturizer to help replenish moisture while also helping smooth skin. Several times a week, try an overnight face mask to help visibly firm skin.

I Mootoo, R., Basile, S., Stroever, C., & C. Oresajo. “Consumer Perception of Fine Lines and Wrinkles.” Global Cosmetic Industry, 181(7), 56-51.
II “Aging Skin.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 19 Dec. 2018.
III Department of Health & Human Services Australia. “Wrinkles.” Better Health Channel, Department of Health & Human Services, 31 May 2015.
IV Anson, Goesel MD, FACS; Kane, Michael A.C., MD; and Val Lambros, MD FACS. “Sleep Wrinkles: Facial Aging and Facial Distortion During Sleep.” Aesthetic Surgery Journal Volume 36, Issue 8 (2016): P. 931-940.

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