Does Dry Skin Cause Wrinkles?
You may have heard through the grapevine that dry skin causes wrinkles. It’s a common belief of many since dry skin often appears more wrinkled compared to its oilier counterparts. Good news: There’s no truth to the rumors. Dry skin—whether inherited or acquired—doesn’t cause wrinkles. We repeat—dry skin does NOT cause wrinkles. (Go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief. We’ll wait.) Ahead, we’re setting the facts straight on the connection between dry skin and wrinkles—plus, helpful tips on how to keep signs of skin aging at bay!
What’s the Connection Between Dry Skin and Wrinkles?
Listen up dry-skinned folks: You don’t have to curse your skin for causing wrinkles (yay!), but you’re not out of the red zone just yet. While dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles, it certainly accentuates them. When skin is dehydrated or dry, issues like wrinkling, creping, sagging, and flaking will appear more exaggerated. Contrarily, skin that’s hydrated can look plump, moist, and smooth, making wrinkles—if any—appear less obvious. So, if you want your wrinkles to be less likely to catch public eye, apply moisturizer religiously. Not only can doing so help camouflage your wrinkles, your skin will look healthier and will be more hydrated because of it.
Important: Keep in mind that applying basic moisturizer to your skin is just a temporary way to make wrinkles appear less apparent. To help reduce their appearance over time, you’ll need an action plan that involves anti-aging formulas, lifestyle changes, and—in some cases—professional intervention. But don’t fret—more on that below!
So, What Does Cause Wrinkles?
So if dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles, what does? We’re glad you asked. Here are a few factors that can cause wrinkles to crop up on your complexion:
1. Intrinsic Aging: Fact of life: We all get older every day. As we age, our skin naturally loses moisture, breaks down collagen and elastin—two key components of skin that appears plump and youthful—and undergoes a slower rate of cellular turnover.
2. UV Rays: One of the biggest reasons why wrinkles appear is due to unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays. You know the collagen and elastin we just spoke of? These damaging rays can get a head start on breaking them down, which speeds up the natural aging process and makes wrinkles and sagging more likely to appear prematurely.
3. Smoking: Think lighting up won’t affect your complexion? Think again. Smoking can damage collagen and elastin, as well, leading to accelerated signs of aging like loose, sagging skin. You might not notice any harmful sides effects now, but the more you smoke—and the longer you smoke—the more skin wrinkling you’re likely to have down the line. To learn more about the skin care side effects of smoking, read this!
4. Pollution: Air pollution is one of the leading causes of skin wrinkling, but many don’t take the proper precautions to protect themselves. Pollution—from city smog to second-hand smoke—causes free radicals to form which can latch onto collagen and break it down.
5. Menopause: During menopause, many women experience a deficiency in their main estrogenic hormone, B-Estradiol, which can cause a break down in the supportive fat that lies beneath the skin’s surface. Thus, it’s possible to see sagging and a wrinkled appearance as a result of menopause.
6. Repeated Facial Expressions: Frequent and exaggerated facial movements—think: squinting and frowning—can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Since skin loses its flexibility as it ages, the grooves that form as a result of these facial movements may no longer spring back in place.
How Can You Help Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles?
As you can see, wrinkles are caused by a combination of factors—some of which can be controlled and others that (unfortunately) can’t. While we can’t turn back the hands of time or make UV rays disappear altogether, there are steps we can take to help reduce the likelihood of premature skin aging and/or help reduce the appearance of any wrinkles already on our complexion.
1. Quit Smoking: We get it: It’s not easy to quit smoking cold turkey. But it’s surely worth it as far as your skin is concerned. By cutting the habit, you’ll significantly reduce your chances of premature skin aging.
2. Wear Broad-Spectrum SPF: You can’t stop the sun from shining, but you can keep your skin protected from harmful rays that can wreak havoc. Wear broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher each and every day—even when it’s cloudy. Need help picking a formula? We’re sharing a few of our favorite sunscreens, here!
3. Incorporate Antioxidants into Your Routine: Antioxidants, like vitamin C, help scavenge free radicals caused by daily environmental aggressors like pollution, UV rays, and smoke. For the best anti-aging results and protection, apply antioxidants onto skin in tandem with SPF.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet: To date, numerous studies have been conducted to determine whether or not certain foods boast wrinkle-fighting abilities. Some nutrients that may benefit the skin include antioxidants, vitamins A, C, D, and E, omega-3-fatty acids, and certain proteins. It’s yet to be proven if there is, in fact, a definitive link between diet and wrinkles, but it never hurts to eat a well-balanced diet anyway, right?
5. Look for Wrinkle-Fighting Formulas: In addition to antioxidants applied topically, reach for formulations boasting retinol—an anti-aging powerhouse—and/or hyaluronic acid. Whether it’s day cream, night cream, eye cream, or serum, these ingredients can help skin look suppler and less wrinkly.