March 18, 2015 Emmy Graber Spotlight

The Life of A Wrinkle, Explained

Here at MDC, we would love to think that we have all the answers for you. However, there are certain issues that require the insight of a pro. Today we asked Boston-based dermatologist Dr. Emmy Graber to help us with a question we have been  asking ourselves for quite some time: Where the heck do wrinkles come from and how do we keep them away? Take it away Doc!

It shows up unannounced and out of nowhere. All of a sudden we wake up one day and we see it: a wrinkle.The panic hits you instantly and a flood of questions starts taking over your brain. Where did it come from? Why did it show up in that particular spot? Will it get worse?  There are many different causes of wrinkles, and each person may see the wrinkles pop up in different areas of the face. Unfortunately, wrinkles will worsen with time but there are things that you can do to halt their progression and sometimes you can even erase them! Read on!

The Life of a Wrinkle
Causes of Wrinkles

The underside of our skin contains collagen and elastin fibers that support our skin so that wrinkles do not form. Over time, the collagen and elastin begin to break down, causing the top layer of the skin to become less supported and less firm, resulting in the likelihood for wrinkle formation.

When we use the muscles in our face to make facial expressions, the skin also moves. Doing these repetitive motions over time can cause wrinkles to crease into the skin. Most of these wrinkles that arise from facial movements are seen in the upper part of the face.  When we look surprised (by raising our eyebrows), lines will eventually form on the forehead. When we make a face that indicates concentrating or scowling, we contract muscles around the eyebrows, leaving us with lines between our eyebrows.

When Wrinkles Might Show Up

Wrinkles can show up at different times in our life. Some people notice wrinkles in their 20s, while others don’t notice wrinkles until their 40s. Excessive sun exposure and cigarette smoke can also make collagen and elastin fibers break down much faster and lead to premature wrinkles. If you are very expressive with your face, you may develop wrinkles sooner than others who do not move their facial muscles as much.

What To Do

There are many things that can be done to halt or reverse wrinkles. Most importantly, protect yourself from the sun with a great sunscreen such as L’Oréal Paris Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion. Other treatment options depend on factors such as how bad the wrinkle is, where on the face it is and the cause of the wrinkle. Over-the-counter products such as creams and serums (try SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5) and washes (L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser) may help some wrinkles. You can also see a dermatologist to talk about certain treatments such as lasers, chemical peels, fillers and Botox. There are many places that offer these treatments but be sure to see a board-certified dermatologist to ensure that you are being treated by the most qualified and experienced professional.

What are your methods for blasting wrinkles? Spill your secrets in the comments below!

Photo: iStock


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    About the Author: Dr. Graber is a Boston-based dermatologist specializing in acne, acne scars and cosmetic dermatology.