Facial Wrinkles: A Closer Look at the Types, Causes, and Treatments

    Facial Wrinkles: A Closer Look at the Types, Causes, and Treatments

    Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and begun to notice facial wrinkles forming? Perhaps as days go by, they become more prominent and you eventually become concerned about them. Wrinkles may be inevitable as we age, but why do they happen? And is there something we can do to prevent or even undo them?

    Out and About with Facial Wrinkles

    Wrinkles are lines and creases that appear on the skin, and they are a natural part of the aging process. Some wrinkles can deepen into crevices or furrows, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and neck.

    Although genetics plays the most important role in skin structure and texture, exposure to light is a leading cause of facial wrinkles. This is especially true in people with fair skin. Pollutants and smoking are also factors in wrinkle formation.

    Furthermore, there is often some asymmetry in wrinkles because people are likely to smile or frown more on one side than another. Some may also sleep on either the right or left cheek.

    You may find the appearance of wrinkles bothersome. But there are many options you may consider. Some effective wrinkle treatments include medications, skin resurfacing techniques, fillers, as well as surgery.

    Types of Facial Wrinkles

    Facial wrinkles are classified into three different types, namely, dynamic wrinkles, static wrinkles, and wrinkle folds.

    Dynamic Wrinkles

    Dynamic wrinkles take place due to the contraction of the muscles attached to the overlying skin. With each muscle contraction, such as when you smile, laugh, or squint, the skin is pulled together. This forms lines between the muscles.

    The most common places for dynamic wrinkles are:

    • Between the brows
    • On the forehead
    • On the cheeks near the outer corners of the eyes (crow’s feet)

    Every individual is born with this type of wrinkle, and they become deeper and more visible as you age.

    Static Wrinkles

    Static wrinkles form due to other factors that may come into play such as the following:

    • Sun damage
    • Smoking
    • Genetics
    • Poor nutrition
    • Long-tern dynamic wrinkling

    Wrinkle Folds

    This type of wrinkle is caused by the sagging of the facial structures. This, in turn, results in deep grooves between the nose and mouth known as the nasolabial groove.

    Several factors contribute to skin laxity or drooping:

    • Reduction in the number of fat cells beneath the skin (subcutaneous tissue).
    • Dermal collagen and elastin fiber loss reduce cutaneous strength and elasticity.
    • Gravity causes the lax tissue to sag.

    Moreover, fine lines and wrinkles appear as a result of irregular dermal thickening and a reduction in the level of water held by the epidermis.

    What Causes Facial Wrinkles?

    There are several reasons why wrinkles form and become more prominent. These include:


    As people age, skin cells divide more slowly and the dermis begins to thin. The dermis is a network of elastin and collagen fibers that provide support and elasticity. As it loosens and unfolds over time, depressions on the skin’s surface form. Aging skin is also less capable of retaining moisture, less efficient at secreting oil, and heals more slowly.

    Facial Muscle Contractions

    Small muscle contractions are known to cause forehead lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet. Smiling, frowning, squinting, and other repetitive facial expressions enhance these facial wrinkles. These expressions, combined with gravity, result in wrinkle formation over time.

    Sun Damage

    Excessive sun exposure can cause photoaging or the skin’s premature aging. UV light causes collagen fibers to degrade, which then leads to the production of abnormal elastin.

    When UV light causes damage to skin tissue, it produces an enzyme called metalloproteinase. This enzyme is responsible for the formation and reorganization of collagen. However, some healthy collagen fibers are disrupted during the process, culminating in solar elastosis or the disorderly formation of fibers.

    Facial wrinkles form as the rebuilding process is repeated over and over again, becoming less efficient each time.


    Smoking can speed up the natural aging process of your skin, causing facial wrinkles. This could be due to the effect of smoking on collagen production.

    What Are the Treatments Options for Facial Wrinkles?

    The most effective way to prevent wrinkles is to use a high SPF sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) on a daily basis. There are a variety of cosmetic creams and anti-aging products available to help conceal wrinkles and age-related changes.

    In addition to topical applications, traditional methods of skin resurfacing include dermabrasion and chemical peels.

    Other surgical treatments include:

    Key Takeaways

    Everyone will eventually get wrinkles as it is a natural process of aging.
    Before committing to any wrinkle treatment, it is important that you match the solution to your type of facial wrinkles. Consult your dermatologist for the best anti-aging solution for you.

    Learn more about Skin Care and Cleansing here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Aug 22, 2022