What Your Wrinkles Say About You
Wrinkles… the most obvious sign that you are aging. When the fine lines that once only appeared when you were angry and frowning, now no longer bounce back to the elastic, supple young skin. When the folds appear on the sides of your eyes like a crow stepped on it and left a mark and they can now never be washed away… But enough with the poetics, the point is that wrinkles are a natural part of aging, and aging itself is a natural process!
Aging gets way too much unnecessary flak and stigma, and lots of that can be attributed to the media and marketing of skincare products. Many popular skincare products market themselves as “rejuvenating” and promise youthfulness. Products are seen to stimulate collagen production, and retinoids are said to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. All these are accompanied by advertisements of young women with clear, fresh, and glowing skin, no pores, and no facial lines to speak of. Meanwhile, the media, especially social media, praises celebrities who have “barely aged a day” and share the secrets of actresses and models well into their fifties who still have poreless looking skin and just a few slight wrinkles, no one looking a day over thirty-five. All these reinforce a culture that does not value the beauty of aging and growing older and makes mature women feel like their worth is depleting because the lines in their skin are sinking deeper. It’s ridiculous to suggest that your age makes you less worth it.
So let’s talk about wrinkles in a much more nuanced and fun way! The best way to change attitudes and perceptions of aging is to understand the science behind wrinkles and the types of wrinkles you can expect to see showing up as you mature!
How are wrinkles formed?
Wrinkles are essentially fine lines and grooves in your face that become more prominent with age. It is caused by thinner and less elastic skin. Collagen production in the dermis decreases year-on-year after you turn twenty, and it ceases after forty. As collagen production slows down, collagen and elastin fibers also start to become thicker, clumpier, and looser which is how the skin becomes inelastic and brittle. The thinning of skin occurs as the fat cells in the subcutaneous layer shrink. The combination of thinning skin with a loss of elasticity results in wrinkles.
What are the types of wrinkles?
There are 7 types of wrinkles that you can expect to see:
1. Forehead lines
These lines run horizontally across your forehead and are most obvious when you raise your eyebrows.
2. Worry lines
These lines create an “eleven” between the brows when you furrow it. It is called worry lines because you make this expression mostly commonly when you are worried.
This line occurs across the bridge of the nose horizontally between the eyes
- Crow’s feet
Aptly named as they resemble a crow’s foot and can be found at the outer corners of the eyes
4. Laugh lines
These are the lines that can be seen when you laugh, around your mouth, and the eyes. They are also called nasolabial folds.
5. Lip lines
These are vertical lines that run down the sides of the mouth.
6. Marionette lines
Resembling the lines of a marionette puppet’s face, these lines frame the chin vertically. You can also see these as the cheeks sag and wrinkles around the jowls form.
Apart from these 7 types, there are also two categories of wrinkles dependent on what process caused it to form. They are namely dynamic and static wrinkles.
Dynamic Wrinkles: dynamic wrinkles are primarily caused by the repetition of facial movements and expressions. For example, if you drink out of a straw frequently you will likely develop lip lines from the repeated puckered action. Or if you squint your eyes often you will probably develop worry lines.
Static Wrinkles: these wrinkles are caused by a loss of gravity in the skin, largely due to the reduced elasticity that comes with a loss of collagen and age. Jowls develop mostly due to gravitational forces.
What Do Your Wrinkles Say About You?
Now the more fun stuff! The types of wrinkles you develop that tell a lot about you, namely our most common emotions, resting facial expression, and even how sincere we are. Sound like New Age pseudoscience? Not really! Since wrinkles are in fact a result of facial expressions you discern what emotion you feel the most!
If you have crow’s feet and laugh lines…
You are probably a happy person whose natural disposition is to smile! Laugh lines and crow’s feet are the creases that form when you smile and laugh, so if you find yourself developing these lines, you are probably a ray of sunshine! In fact, crow’s feet might be a sign that you’re all-around a lovely person as you can appear more sincere and genuine.
If you have marionette lines, lip lines, and worry lines…
You probably have the resting b*tch face, also known as looking moody and displeased. Marionette lines, lip lines, and worry lines are the wrinkles that form from frowning or generally looking unhappy as the mouth is usually downturned. Some people tend to furrow their brow even when they are not stressed or worried, it might just be their natural disposition. The formation of these lines can make your RBF look even more severe, but it’s not a sign that you’re a nasty person! You probably just don’t have a naturally happy disposition but that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Isn’t it fascinating how wrinkles can tell you so much about a person? Yet all we think when we see them is “old” and “saggy”! Wrinkles are the lines of our life, they unconsciously tell our story and can signal to people what sort of a person we might be. It’s worth considering what facial expressions you make if you would rather not have certain wrinkles and want to start being strategic about where your wrinkles will form. Just remember that as long as your wrinkles are forming naturally and not from detrimental external sources such as smoking or being in the sun too much, they are marks of life and you should wear them with pride!