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What causes wrinkles is a hotly debated topic that affects us all at some stage in life. Wrinkles can appear prematurely due to lifestyle factors and genetics or appear during the natural course of ageing. Whichever situation you find yourself in, there’s an abundance of conflicting information to decipher, and you’re likely to come across a few wrinkle myths and misunderstandings in the process. To help you target the cause of wrinkles and visibly smooth your complexion with anti-ageing skincare, the beauty experts at Lancôme have unpacked the truths and myths about what causes wrinkles.

what causes wrinkles

When do wrinkles start to appear?

Typically, wrinkles start to appear in your late 20s and 30s. Early signs of ageing tend to include fine lines around the eyes and mouth. This time frame can be greatly influenced by a number of factors, including:

  • Sleep and diet
  • Smoking
  • Sun exposure
  • Ethnicity and genetics

But when it comes down to it, what causes wrinkles? No matter your unique circumstances, our complexions undergo inevitable changes as we grow older. Skin becomes thinner, less taut and can struggle to retain moisture. In turn, complexions can appear dehydrated and dull with the onset of fine lines and wrinkles on the face.

Truths and myths about wrinkles

Separating fact from fiction can be complicated when it comes to wrinkles. Once fine lines begin to appear and settle, how to get rid of wrinkles can quickly become a skincare concern. Rather than hastily upending your diet, habits and current skincare ritual, take the time to understand what causes wrinkles and how to choose suitable anti-ageing ingredients and formulas for your complexion. Follow along as we highlight important truths about wrinkles and dismantle common misconceptions.

Myth: Wrinkles are determined only by genetics

Genetics are an important contributing factor in when wrinkles appear and the form they take – but they aren’t the whole story. Our genetic makeup certainly impacts our complexions, from the colour of our skin to how easily we tan, freckle or burn. But genetics aren’t the only predictor of fine lines – interventions like sun protection can make all the difference in how to prevent wrinkles from forming prematurely.

Truth: Sun damage can accelerate fine lines and wrinkles

UV exposure is a skin stressor that can cause cumulative damage in skin and lead to visible signs of ageing like wrinkles.1 In fact, sun damage is one of the primary causes of premature signs of ageing, so it’s worth taking the time to find an SPF you love to apply daily. Combine an SPF-infused moisturiser like Rénergie Multi-Lift Day Cream with sun-safe habits like seeking shade and wearing a hat.


skin hydration

Myth: Wrinkles are “reversible”

The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles can be minimised with skincare and changes to lifestyle habits. However, depending on how deep-set wrinkles are, they may still be visible. This is because skincare and lifestyle approaches help to plump, hydrate and firm complexions – not renew completely. Alongside practicing consistent skincare and sun protection, take time to appreciate the inherent beauty of ageing skin. Wrinkles don’t have to be seen as a flaw or blemish to fix.

Truth: Skin dehydration emphasises wrinkles

Hydrating skincare steps are an effective method for how to reduce wrinkles. Formulas imbued with hydrators like hyaluronic acid, peptides and glycerin can make skin appear immediately more radiant, firm and plump. This is because dehydrated skin is often dull and lacking elasticity, which can define and draw attention to wrinkles. Support and nourish dehydrated skin with our #1 serum, Advanced Génifique. A potent formulation of hyaluronic acid, vitamin Cg and prebiotics work to give skin an instant boost of hydration.

Myth: All wrinkles are the same

Not all wrinkles are made equal – in fact, most wrinkles fall into two categories: static and dynamic. If you’re wondering how to get rid of wrinkles, understanding which type you are dealing with is an important first step:

  • Dynamic wrinkles are only visible during facial expressions like smiling, laughing, squinting and frowning. You might notice dynamic wrinkles in the form of forehead lines when your brow is furrowed or “smile lines”.
  • Static wrinkles are visible when your face is at rest. Look in the mirror and try to relax your facial expression. If wrinkles are still visible, these are static wrinkles.

Static wrinkles are formed in ageing skin due to a loss of collagen and elastin, meaning skin doesn’t “bounce back” from facial expressions and lines are etched into our complexions over time. Static wrinkles can also be influenced by a loss of volume, meaning skin sags and folds – this is common with under eye wrinkles.

serum for skincare

Your skincare routine for wrinkles

The depth of wrinkles on your skin can help inform your skincare approach. There are two focus areas to prioritise in the products and ingredients you select:

  • Hydration. Humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin can lend complexions an instant plumping effect, helping to lift and firm the skin’s appearance.

  • Collagen boosting. Ingredients like vitamin C can help to stimulate collagen synthesis, helping to fortify and support the skin over time.

With these priorities in mind, see our recommended skincare for wrinkles below, featuring products from our Génifique collection.

  1. Cleanse. In the morning and evening, prep the skin for following skincare steps using a gentle, skin-comforting cleanser like Crème Mousse Confort Face Cleanser.

  2. Serum. Dispense Advanced Génifique Serum into your palm and lightly pat into skin. Vitamin Cg and hyaluronic acid combine to plump and brighten the skin.

  3. Day cream. Use a light-textured, radiant moisturiser for daytime, like Génifique Day Cream. Disperse evenly over your face and neck.

  4. Night cream. Opt for a night cream infused with rich, potent ingredients to nourish your skin while you rest. Advanced Génifique Night Cream contains triple ceramides, pre and probiotic fractions and hyaluronic acid to plump, hydrate and reduce fine lines by 20%.**

**Cosmeto-clinical study, 82 women after 8 weeks

Face wrinkles can be reduced with the right skincare; next, learn about what goes into the best anti-ageing serums and how to choose the right one for you.


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