Fine Lines & Wrinkles
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Fine Lines & Wrinkles

Smooth as a baby’s bottom. Not saying we necessarily want to correlate that to our faces, but the idea is the same. Fine lines, fine wrinkles, and crepey skin can disrupt the surface of our skin — let’s fix that.

The Skinny


When you think plastic surgery one of the first things to come to mind is probably cosmetic procedures to reduce fine lines, fine wrinkles, and loose, sagging excess skin — Botox® anyone? Skin aging is a hot topic and skincare is a major market. Anti aging serums, retin-A, hyaluronic acid, broad spectrum uva/uvb sun protection, topical retinoids, and the list goes on, all claim to be anti-aging. Aging happens, but fortunately skin wrinkles and fine lines can be rejuvenated with a cosmetic procedure. Of note, if you’re thinking a little bigger than just the lines and wrinkles, check out our Facial Skin Laxity page.

The Specifics


What is the anatomy of the skin and how does it lead to fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin?

Let’s get under the skin. There are three main layers of skin with each serving a slightly different purpose.

The Anatomy of Aging Skin

Aging Skin vs Younger Skin Cross Section Illustration

At the top lies the epidermis, which contains your melanocytes or skin pigment producing cells. Next comes the dermis, containing fibroblasts for collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin are two critical proteins for skin structure. Collagen provides the latticework on which the body builds its tissues. Elastin gives the skin its elastic, snap back abilities. Finally, the hypodermis contains connective tissue and fat tissue. Skin cells are constantly being lost and replicated-the average person loses hundreds of thousands of skin cells an hour.

  • Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Fine lines and wrinkles occur as skin collagen and elastin break down over time from aging, daily wear and tear from pulling on the facial structure by facial muscles, sun exposure, environmental factors, and skin damage. Fine lines appear first, usually around areas of high use like the mouth and eyes. With time these fine lines evolve into deeper creases called wrinkles.
  • Crepey Skin: We all love crepes, but it’s doubtful many of us would consider crepey skin a positive. This type of skin appearance is correlated to loss of elastin fiber integrity. Basically, when elastin stops functioning properly the elastic snap back property of our skin is lost, thus the pastry look. Thin, wrinkly skin primarily affects older individuals, however, genetic predispositions, sun exposure/sun damage, dry skin, poor sleep or diet, and significant weight changes can cause crepey skin appearance in people of any age.

What causes the fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin to appear?

The takeaway from the above paragraph is collagen and elastin are critical to skin tone, tightness, and appearance. We’re all going to age. And one of the joys of aging is loss of collagen and elastin integrity.

As with anything in life, when the foundation starts to go so too does the overlying structure. Fine lines and wrinkles will happen to everyone as they age. Crepey skin will as well, however, crepey skin is more likely to occur in younger individuals with certain risk factors. Skin damage, sun exposure, weight changes, stress, poor sleep and diet, and certain medications and medical conditions can contribute to the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin.

What are the most common types of fine lines and wrinkles?

Let’s play a name game now. Who wouldn’t want to specifically study and identify every line, crease, and wrinkle on their face?

  • Bunny Lines: Think Nicole Kidman. These are the wrinkles that appear triangularly and horizontally at the corner of each eye and spread down the nose when you scrunch your nose.
  • Crow’s Feet: We probably don’t need to review this one, but these are the lines that form on the outside corners of the eyes and spread towards the temples.
  • Glabellar Lines (a.k.a. Frown Lines): If you’ve been chronically scowling or concentrate really intensely when you read, you may notice vertical creases between your eyes… just tell people you’re very serious about life.
  • Forehead Lines: These are the large horizontal creases running across the forehead between the temples. You may be more prone to these if you spent a lot of time being surprised.
  • Lip Lines (a.k.a. Smoker’s Lines or Lipstick Lines): You don’t have to have been a smoker or worn lipstick to develop the vertical lines running across the lips.
  • Marionette Lines: The vertical lines that run from the corners of the mouth to the chin. These can cause people to mistakenly search for strings connecting you to a puppeteer.
  • Nasolabial Folds (a.k.a. Laugh Lines): These are the parenthetical lines running from the base of the nose to the corners of the mouth. If you don’t want people to think you were happy and enjoyed your life then these need to go.

Who may wish to seek treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin?

Whether we realize it or not, most of us estimate each other's age by observing the appearance of our faces. One of the first places to show signs of aging is the face which is basically a visual history of our time on earth. If you are looking to correct signs of premature, or just normal aging, a treatment to smooth and lessen fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin is a good (and more effective) choice than anything you can get over the counter.

How can someone treat fine lines and wrinkles?

So, now it’s time to figure out how to get rid of those fine lines and wrinkles. You’re in luck. There are a lot of options, and determining which is best for you begins with continuing your self education. Dermal Fillers and injectables, BoNT-A injections, Laser Skin Resurfacing, microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, chemical peels, Facial Fat Transfer, and Microneedling will all improve and smooth skin, although their approaches differ slightly.

To better understand the treatment options outlined above, check out our compelte guide to Dermal Filler & Injectable Solutions.

How can someone treat crepey skin?

Since crepey skin can be a little more multifactorial than fine lines and wrinkles, the available treatments differ slightly.

Learn more by reading our guide to Skin Smoothing Solutions.

The Takeaway


We all experience muscle contractions and we all make facial expressions. Regardless of our skin type or skin color, fine lines, fine wrinkles, and possibly crepey skin will appear as part of the aging process from years of use and sun exposure. Anti aging skincare can be helpful, but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t require repeated trips to the drug store it's probably time for a cosmetic procedure.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Academy of Dermatology Many Ways to Firm Sagging Skin
  2. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Skin Tightening americanboardofcosmeticsurgery.org
  3. Uwe Wollina Treatment of Facial Skin Laxity by a New Monopolar Radiofrequency Device PubMed.gov
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