4 Common Causes of Wrinkles

There are many things in our life and environment that cause wrinkles and aging of the skin. In fact, sometimes it seems like every single thing you do causes wrinkles. But, there are a few major factors that everyone should be aware of when it comes to aging skin. In other words, the following list contains factors that are proven to cause wrinkles, and what you can do to prevent them. Remember, your skin is a delicate organ that takes a lot for your body. So, the following list highlights the most common causes of wrinkles.

The Most Common Causes of Wrinkles

There are a lot of reasons that wrinkles form, but there are a few culprits that are more common than others.  Our list of common causes of wrinkles is far from comprehensive, but it gives you a good starting place.  If you’re looking for further resources, check out articles from the mayo clinic here, or our article on 9 easy wrinkle fixes.

Natural Aging

Obviously, you probably already know this. But, as we age, our skin naturally stops producing so much collagen. Then, because it’s not as thick with collagen anymore, it starts losing moisture faster. And, this lack of collagen and moisture actually lead to more wrinkles appearing. In addition to that, your skin stops producing natural oils, so it dries out and wrinkles form faster.

Finally, natural aging often comes from a decrease in fat in the deepest layers of your skin. Our skin contains something called ceramides, which are waxy lipids that keep the skin plump and youthful. But, different things in our environment like free radicals break down these waxy fats. So, our skin starts wrinkling, forming crevices, and becoming loose and saggy.

UV Rays

You’ve heard this before, but the sun is one of the biggest factors in aging skin. Specifically, UV light breaks down the skin over time. Ultraviolet radiation can get into your skin cells and actually disrupt the DNA of them. And, that causes damage and wrinkling. In addition to that, UV light actually breaks down the connective tissues holding your skin firm and in place.

And, this is a problem because those connective tissues help keep your skin from sagging. So, the more sun exposure you get, the less elasticity and collagen is left in your skin. And, that means you’ll start wrinkling and getting saggy skin around your eyes and jaw. In addition to that, that makes skin lose its flexibility, so it’s prone to more damage.


There are enzymes in cigarettes that actually break down your skin cells over time. So, when you smoke, you’re going to wrinkle faster than you’re non-smoking friend. Not to mention, smoking dehydrates your skin, which leads to more wrinkles forming faster. Another point is that cigarettes actually change the blood supply to your skin. So, without that blood supply, your skin misses out on vital nutrients and oxygen. And, that causes wrinkles to form even faster.

Facial Expressions

Obviously, one of the main things that causes wrinkles in your skin is simply moving your face over and over again. And, that’s why you see wrinkles appear around your eyes first. Because, we blink hundreds of thousands of times a day. Not mention, we’re constantly rubbing our eyes, which also causes a breakdown of collagen. Other things like smiling lead to wrinkles too, you probably know of them as the parenthesis that can form around your mouth. Basically, skin loses its flexibility as you age, so it can’t go back into place after a while.

Bottom line, there are only some things that you can do to prevent aging. Obviously, you can’t stop smiling and squinting for good. But, you can cut down on your need to squint with reading glasses and sun glasses. And, you can avoid the sun, which is one of the biggest causes of wrinkles in people. Of course, you can also skip smoking and save yourself years of aging. But, there are things like genetics and natural aging that you can’t control. However, taking care of your skin with anti-aging creams and by eating healthy does help reduce aging.

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