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Aesthetician's Guide to Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Lines, creases, wrinkles – whatever you call them, we will all deal with wrinkles at one point or another. Wrinkles are evidence of a well–lived life – like smile lines...

Lines, creases, wrinkles – whatever you call them, we will all deal with wrinkles at one point or another. Wrinkles are evidence of a well–lived life – like smile lines from big grins or crow’s feet from laughter - and without intervention, everyone will develop lines or wrinkles on their skin to some degree.  

While lines are a common and natural part of aging, many people want to erase their wrinkles or at least blur the appearance of fine lines to make them less noticeable. There’s no shame in desiring smoother, more youthful-looking skin, and minimizing wrinkles can help you achieve this goal.  

Skincare has come a long way, and there is a myriad of treatment options to smooth lines and wrinkles. Let’s iron out the facts about why wrinkles occur, how to prevent wrinkles from forming, and how to treat existing wrinkles to achieve your dream skin. 

What Causes Wrinkles?

If you’re wondering “Why am I getting wrinkles?!”, here’s some good news: lines are an extremely common skin concern and are due, in large part, to the natural aging process. Let’s take a quick look at your facial anatomy to better understand why wrinkles occur. 

Why We Get Wrinkles with Age?

Your skin changes with age just like the rest of your body. Here’s a quick breakdown of how your facial anatomy changes as you get older.  

Muscle Loss

Your skin is much more than meets the eye. Beneath your skin is a network of tissue, muscle, and bone that provides structure to the face. With age, we lose vital fat stores and bone mass. We also lose muscle mass and muscle tone – in other words, these muscles get smaller and weaker. When we lose these structures, there is less scaffolding holding up the skin, causing it to appear slack or saggy, and causing the skin to fold in on itself, creating wrinkles. 

Loss of Collagen and Elastin

Collagen and elastin are two essential proteins naturally produced in the body. These proteins make skin plump, bouncy, and able to snap back into place when stretched. With age, we lose existing stores of collagen and elastin. Beginning around age 20, we also produce 1% less collagen and elastin each year. With existing stores depleted of much-needed collagen and elastin and less new collagen and elastin being created, our skin is significantly less elastic, making it more prone to wrinkles.  

Genetics and Wrinkle Formation

Just like other aspects of your health and appearance, your genetics play a significant role in when – and where – you'll develop wrinkles. Some of us are more likely to develop wrinkles due to genetics, just like some are more prone to lose hair. If your family has a history of deep-set or prominent wrinkles, you may be more likely to develop wrinkles as well.  

In the same way, where your family members have developed wrinkles could indicate where you will develop lines, because wrinkles are caused in part by facial features and their movement. If you share the same wide smile as your mother, you could inherit her smile lines as well. 

Environmental Factors That Cause Wrinkles

Your skin is your shield from the outside world, and facing the elements may take a toll on your skin’s appearance. Environmental factors – from sun damage to humidity and pollution - play a large role in the formation of wrinkles. 

Wrinkles Caused by Free Radical Damage

One environmental factor that can harm skin health is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by environmental aggressors like UV exposure (sun damage), pollution, smoke, and even exposure to blue light from screens. These free radicals attack healthy cells and weaken them, causing oxidative stress which then shows on the skin as discoloration, uneven texture, wrinkles. 

Climate and Humidity Factors That Contribute to Wrinkles

Climate and humidity are other environmental factors that can change your likelihood of developing wrinkles. Extreme hot or cold temperatures, dry air, and wind can dehydrate skin, leading to wrinkles. Consider how the skin around your eyes may become dry, itchy and irritated during bitter winter months – this is likely because of the combination of low temperature, dry air, and wind drying out skin. Over time and without intervention, wrinkles will develop. 

Lifestyle Factors That Cause Wrinkles

If thinking about how genetics and environmental factors may be to blame for your wrinkles, try not to freak! There are plenty of lifestyle factors within your control that can impact wrinkle formation, and luckily, you can change your habits to slow the formation of wrinkles. 

Skincare Habits

Your daily skincare habits affect your skin's looks and feel. While skincare companies may often overpromise their impact on wrinkles, (think of those pricey miracle products that claim to erase wrinkles overnight), there are some skincare products that can help ward off fine lines. Gentle exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, revealing fresh skin. Sun protection is another key in preventing wrinkles, as free radical damage from UV rays contributes to visible signs of skin aging. Other anti-aging active ingredients like retinols, peptides, and hyaluronic acid, can be helpful in preventing new wrinkles and improving the appearance of existing wrinkles.  

Diets for Healthy Skin

You’ve probably heard that you are what you eat – and for your skin, this is at least partially true. Your diet and hydration can impact how your skin looks. For even, glowing skin, remember to eat a balanced diet high in healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants found in produce, which will protect and enhance skin. Staying hydrated is crucial for healthy, radiant skin – so drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol and smoking which can dehydrate skin. 

Smooth Skin Sleep Habits

While we’re discussing lifestyle factors, don’t sleep on how your nightly routine can impact your skin. Sleep habits can play a large role in the formation of wrinkles. To avoid fine lines and creases, be sure you’re getting enough sleep – 7-9 hours is ideal for most adults – and try to sleep on your back if possible. Side or stomach sleepers tend to have more prominent wrinkles, as sleeping with your face against the pillow causes friction, and tugs on your delicate skin. You can also try out a satin or silk pillowcase, which offers a slippery, soft texture and reduces pulling on the face to reduce wrinkles. Whatever bedding you use, be sure to wash sheets regularly to avoid breakouts and keep skin clean.  


How Facial Expressions Create Wrinkles

Of course, the most obvious link to wrinkles is your facial expressions. This is implied in how we distinguish wrinkles on the face: ‘frown lines’, ‘smile lines’, and ‘laugh lines’ are all common terms to describe wrinkles caused by repeated facial movements.  
You may develop lines between the eyebrows – sometimes called ‘11 lines’ - from squinting or furrowing your brows, or parallel horizontal lines across the forehead from raising brows when surprised. Crow’s feet often develop on the sides of the eyes from squinting or smiling, causing the delicate skin surrounding eyes to crease. 

Neck wrinkles, sometimes called ‘tech neck’, are on the rise. These deep-set wrinkles on the neck are caused by repeated movement of the neck, causing skin to fold on itself and create a crease. Just as the name implies, ‘tech neck’ or neck wrinkles may be attributed to looking down at a computer screen or handheld device like your phone.  

All of these repetitive movements and expressions are inevitable – after all, we shouldn’t avoid smiling just to decrease our likelihood of smile lines! - so don’t stress too much about how your expressions can cause wrinkles. Instead, let’s look at practical steps you can take to prevent wrinkles from forming, and what you can do to treat existing wrinkles.  

How To Prevent Wrinkles

The best way to combat wrinkles is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. While you can’t control your facial anatomy or genetics, there are plenty of preventative measures you can use for those factors within your control, like hydration, skincare, and using clinically proven anti-aging treatments.  

Keep Skin Hydrated

First and foremost, hydrate! Hydration is vital for all bodily functions – from digestion to wound healing – and your skin is no different. To get a glowing complexion and minimize the appearance of lines, hydrate inside and out. Drink plenty of water and cut back on dehydrating factors like alcohol and caffeine when possible.  

Lock in Moisture 

You can also amplify hydration by sleeping with a humidifier, which will infuse the air with moisture while you sleep. Layering on hydrating ingredients can also help. NuFACE proprietary IonPlex blend combines glacial water and ions to quench thirsty skin – try Supercharged IonPlex Facial Mist to use during your skincare routine or throughout the day for a quick refresh. Hyaluronic Acid is another helpful anti-aging ingredient, as it can attract and hold up to 1000x its weight in water, helping to lock in moisture and plump skin, which will help keep skin from developing lines.  

Skincare That Prevents Wrinkles

In addition to hydrating ingredients, keep an eye out for products that will enhance collagen and elastin production. Red light is a well-researched therapy that promotes cell turnover and improves collagen production, for line-free, youthful looking skin. Additionally, packing in antioxidants and using SPF each day will combat free radical damage from the sun and other environmental aggressors to keep lines at bay.  

Microcurrent for Wrinkles

You can also tone and tighten the skin and muscles before lines form with microcurrent technology. This treatment works to actively sculpt the muscles that support the skin to prevent it from becoming slack or sagging and causing wrinkles. If you are looking for a microcurrent device to help tone and sculpt facial muscles and prevent wrinkles, consider the NuFACE MINI+. This FDA-cleared device is clinically proven and has a sleek, easy-to-use design, making it ideal for microcurrent newbies.  

How to Treat Wrinkles 

If you already have a few lines and wrinkles, you’re in good company. Most people begin to develop wrinkles in their mid to late 20s, with wrinkles becoming more prominent in their 30s and 40s. While wrinkles aren’t a cause for alarm, you may want to diminish the look of wrinkles and find ways to improve your overall skin texture. Skincare has come a long way, and in addition to the lifestyle factors and skincare ingredients listed above, you can take extra steps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles that have already formed.  

Skincare Ingredients That Smooth Wrinkles 

In addition to hydrating skincare, peptides and antioxidants can be especially helpful at treating lines and wrinkles. Peptides are short chains of amino acids that help boost collagen and elastin production, making skin appear plumper and promoting elasticity. Antioxidants fight oxidative stress from blue light, pollution, and sun damage. And antioxidants don’t just fight wrinkles, but they can address other signs of aging like discoloration, uneven texture, and loss of firmness. Consider antioxidants like your skincare vitamins and take them regularly for best results. Common antioxidants found in skincare are vitamin E, vitamin C, green tea extract, and retinol (a retinoid derivative of vitamin A). To get the most out of your routine, look for formulas that combine multiple antioxidants to improve skin health.  

Skincare Treatments for Wrinkles

While past generations had to pick between topical skincare that didn’t do much and intensive treatments (like laser resurfacing or injectables) with major drawbacks, we now have a plethora of safe, noninvasive treatments for wrinkles and other skin concerns.  

Microcurrent Therapy for Wrinkles 

One of the most common and well-researched wrinkle-fighting treatments is microcurrent. Microcurrent is an FDA-cleared, clinically proven therapy that uses gentle electrical currents to re-energize the skin and facial muscles. As discussed previously, wrinkles on the skin’s surface are often a result of loss of muscle tone and contour beneath the skin. Microcurrent devices treat the root of the problem – the facial structures – to effectively treat lines and wrinkles on the skin’s surface.  

You don’t have to go to a medical spa for this ultra-effective treatment. NuFACE is the #1 facial device brand in the US* and has a variety of at-home microcurrent and LED red light devices to easily and effectively treat wrinkles in minutes. NuFACE Devices + Microcurrent Activators work hand in hand to hydrate, conduct microcurrent, and treat from the skin down to facial muscles for instant and long-term skin-smoothing results you’ll love. 

You can choose the microcurrent device that’s right for you – like the MINI+, which is great for beginners and those who want to take treatments on-the-go. Or if you’d like more advanced, customizable treatments, you may want to consider the TRINITY+, which offers the ability to tailor your facials with interchangeable LED red light and microcurrent attachments and 25% more microcurrent power.  

Red Light for Wrinkles

In addition to NuFACE Microcurrent Devices, the LED red light Wrinkle Reducer helps to visibly reduce lines and wrinkles using a combination of red, amber and infrared light. This well-researched technology helps improve cell turnover, stimulate collagen and elastin, and improve overall skin radiance. The result is a more youthful complexion in just minutes a day. 

Adopting new skincare technology can be challenging, but the experts at NuFACE have created step-by-step guided treatment tutorials that you can follow along with on the free NuFACE Smart App. This intuitive tool also allows you to set custom treatment reminders and track your progress in the Selfie Tracker, so you can watch those wrinkles disappear before your eyes.  

The Bottom Line

Fine lines and wrinkles are a natural part of aging, and without intervention, we will all develop wrinkles eventually. Various factors contribute to when and where you’ll develop wrinkles, from genetics (thanks, dad!) to the climate and your dietary habits. With mindful changes to your daily habits, you can delay or prevent the onset of wrinkles, and there are many solutions to help you soften existing wrinkles. 

If you’re looking for a proven way to treat fine lines and wrinkles, consider leveling up your skincare routine with NuFACE. NuFACE Microcurrent Devices are clinically proven and FDA-cleared to go beyond traditional skincare and address the root cause of skin aging beneath the surface. By toning and lifting the facial muscles, promoting cell turnover, and improving elasticity, NuFACE can help you achieve the youthful skin of your dreams at any age.  


*NPD. (2022). U.S. Full Year Sales.


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