Updated on November 3, 2020
We’re all familiar with the usual suspects: crow’s feet and laugh lines, subtle crinkles and deeper folds. But, did you know there are six categories of creases? From fine lines to more prominent pleats, here are the different types of wrinkles that can pop up as you age — and how you can use gentle products as a super simple solution.
1. Expression Lines
Expression lines are otherwise known as dynamic lines. Unlike the muscles in the rest of the body (which are connected to our bones), facial muscles are attached to our skin tissue (Byrdie). When we smile or frown, the muscles beneath the skin contract and expand, causing temporary creases and expression lines.
As we repeat these expressions over time, the creases deepen and become more permanent facial fixtures, taking the form of fine lines between our brows, crow’s feet in the outer corners of our eyes and laugh lines around our mouths. While expression lines certainly add character, we appreciate the desire to plump their appearance. To slow down the formation of expression lines, look for ingredients that increase elasticity in the skin. Products with botanical peptides or hibiscus give the appearance of more plump, wrinkle-free skin.
2. Elastic Wrinkles
These wrinkles appear as time goes on thanks to natural loss of elastin, as well as too much sun exposure. Basking in the sun may seem harmless in our younger years, but this dangerous past time can wreak havoc on our skin. UV rays damage collagen fibers (the protein that gives the skin its structure) and elastin (the protein that helps the skin bounce back), contributing to the appearance of tiny creases on the cheeks, upper lip and neck (The New York Times).
They are also made worse by a poor diet, excessive sun exposure, poor skin care habits and other variables. You typically spot them on your cheeks, upper lip and base of your neck.
Incorporating exfoliating peels into your skin care routine is an effective way to combat the appearance of these wrinkles. For example, a gentle exfoliating peel with lactic and glycolic acid will gently dissolve dead skin cells to reveal younger-looking skin beneath.
3. Gravitational Folds
Do you struggle with sagging skin? If so, you aren’t alone. As we age, gravity takes its course, causing the tissue that gives our skin its elasticity to gradually deflate. The result: skin that appears to fold and droop.
“Because of gravity skin losses, some of the ligamentous attachments to the underlying fascia start sagging,” explains Dr Hooman Khorasani, Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgeon. “An example of this is the lower face jowls and upper eyelid skin and drooping brow.” These lines occur with more advanced age, particularly in our 50s and 60s.
As mentioned, hibiscus is fantastic for giving the appearance of smoother, more lifted skin. Other ingredients worthy of a mention include acacia, for moisturizing and firming, edelweiss for giving a lifted appearance around sagging skin, and paprika, to revitalize the look of skin.
4. Dry Wrinkles
As we grow older, the epidermal glands responsible for secreting oil begin to shrink (The New York Times). Without its protective layer of oil, the skin loses its ability to stay moisturized and takes on a dry, crepey texture, forming fine parallel lines on the forehead and décolletage. To replenish your skin’s moisture, we recommend adding our Strawberry Rhubarb Masque to your weekly skin care routine. This delicious smelling treatment plumps and soothes dehydrated skin for an enriched and radiant looking complexion.
5. Compression Lines
Compression lines are the latest category of wrinkles to be discovered. After a deep night’s sleep, these tiny pleats appear on the face, neck and chest and are caused by compressing your face against your pillow while you sleep (Byrdie).
While these grooves often disappear during the day, if you don’t alter your sleeping habits, they can eventually stay put long term. Aside from sleeping on your back, we recommend applying rich, hydrating moisturizers before bed. Shea butter, Argan oil and grape seed oil are examples of super moisturizing ingredients that result in the appearance of smoother looking skin.
6. Crinkle Lines (or Atrophic Crinkling Rhytids)
If you’ve started noticing thin, delicate lines appearing on places like your neck or eyelids, these are fine static lines. These types of wrinkles typically appear on skin that is thin and they disappear almost completely when the skin is stretched.
“The cause for these lines is gradual loss of elastic fibers and collagen fibers caused by aging and UV light,” says Dr Khorasani. “Sun avoidance is the best preventive method … They may also be improved by the use of fractional laser resurfacing to help rebuild the elastic structure in the skin.”
Which wrinkles cause you the most concern? Let us know in the comments below or on social media. To find out more, use our Spa Locator to find a spa for in-person or virtual consultations on our skin care products and the product or ingredients that best suit your needs.
This post was originally published in February, 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.