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Types of Facial Wrinkles

author image Chris Blank
Chris Blank is an independent writer and research consultant with more than 20 years' experience. Blank specializes in social policy analysis, current events, popular culture and travel. His work has appeared both online and in print publications. He holds a Master of Arts in sociology and a Juris Doctor.
Types of Facial Wrinkles
Facial wrinkles are a visible sign of the aging process.

According to the Mayo Clinic and MedlinePlus, several factors combine to result in facial aging: genetics, behavioral influences and normal facial expressions. Depending on your genes and how well you protected your skin when you were younger, you may not see significant facial wrinkles until you are in your 50s or even your 60s. However, eventually, everyone shows some signs of facial aging, often in the form of different types of wrinkles.

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Surface Wrinkles

Fine lines are the first visible sign of facial aging; they are often barely visible unless someone is standing very close to you. Surface wrinkles often disappear when the skin is stretched and are easily covered by light makeup, according to DermNet NZ. Surface wrinkles also result from the beginning stages of the intrinsic, or natural, aging process, AgingSkinNet explains.

Repeated facial expressions can cause fine lines, according to the Mayo Clinic. More commonly, surface lines are caused by external factors such as smoking or photoaging, or damage from the sun. In fact, heavy smokers often have as many facial wrinkles in their 40s than nonsmokers have in their 60s, according to "The New York Times."

Prominent Wrinkles

As the aging process continues, wrinkles become more prominent and may be difficult or impossible to cover with makeup, DermNet NZ states. These deep lines are often most noticeable around the eyes, mouth and neck, according to the Mayo Clinic. These wrinkles are often the result of fat loss underneath the skin surface related to intrinsic aging, which causes the face to lose plumpness and the skin to sag.

Photoaging breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis, or subsurface, skin layer. This also results in deep wrinkles. Smoking contributes to prominent wrinkles around the mouth by cutting the blood supply to the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Significant Lines and Folds

Another sign of intrinsic and external facial aging are lines that form between the nose and the corners of your mouth as the skin sags and fat deposits disappear from beneath the skin. These lines are called nasal labial folds. Along with loose skin along the jawline, these folds can cause a "jowling" effect in the lower half of the face. Deep forehead wrinkles and hollowed eyes and cheeks may also appear. Wrinkles resulting from repeated exposure to the sun may give the skin a "road map" appearance, especially along the back of the neck, the Mayo Clinic explains.

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