A woman with dynamic and gravitational wrinkles around her eyes

5 Types of Wrinkles + How to Treat & Prevent Each

There's no cure — but you can definitely do something about fine lines and wrinkles.

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2 minute read

Wrinkles may be a sign of a life well-lived, but let’s face it: many of us would prefer they be a little less obvious. While there’s no miracle cure (sorry), there are ways to treat — and better yet, prevent — some types of lines and wrinkles.

The first step? Understanding what causes wrinkles in the first place. Here’s our guide to the five main types of wrinkles, and what you can do about them.

How do wrinkles form?

Quite simply, a wrinkle is a linear indentation or furrow on the skin’s surface — but how they end up there can get a little more complicated. We’ve covered what happens to your skin as you age, but basically, wrinkles form due to the complex interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors. Intrinsic aging involves the natural aging process influenced by genetic factors, while extrinsic aging is driven by environmental exposures, lifestyle choices, and external stressors.

These factors lead to structural changes within the skin:

  • Collagen degradation: a reduction in the crucial protein that provides structural support to the skin
  • Elastin breakdown: the fibers responsible for skin elasticity degrade, leading to a loss of resilience
  • Hydration loss: reduced moisture content in the skin contributes to the development of fine lines and wrinkles

Dr. Pimple Popper's Wrinkle Treatment + Prevention Picks

What are the types of wrinkles?

Dermatologists typically categorize wrinkles based on various factors, including their causes, characteristics, and locations. The two primary categories are dynamic wrinkles and static wrinkles:

  • Dynamic wrinkles: formed during facial expressions due to repetitive muscle movements.
  • Static wrinkles: visible even when the face is at rest, indicative of aging-related changes.

Sometimes, wrinkles can be a combination of dynamic and static — and the result of both natural and lifestyle factors. Below, we break down five of the most common wrinkle varieties, and how to treat (and prevent) each type.

Dynamic expression lines

Category: dynamic
Location: forehead, between the brows, around the eyes
Cause: repetitive expressions like laughing, frowning, squinting
Also called: worry lines, laugh lines, crow’s feet, frown lines
Skincare: retinoids
Lifestyle change: stress management
Derm option: Botox

 

SLMD Skincare to try: Retinol Resurfacing Serum

Atrophic Crinkling Rhytids

Category: static
Location: around the eyes, on the cheeks
Cause: reduction in collagen and elastin production
Also called: fine lines
Skincare: alpha hydroxy acids, hyaluronic acid
Lifestyle change: sun protection
Derm option: dermal fillers, chemical peels

 

SLMD Skincare to try: AHA/BHA Swipes, Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer

Permanent elastic creases

Category: static Location: sun-exposed zones like the face and neck
Cause: too much sun, leading to elastin breakdown
Also called: elastotic wrinkles
Skincare: antioxidants, sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection
Lifestyle change: sun-safe habits, avoid smoking
Derm option: laser treatments, chemical peels

 

SLMD Skincare to try: Bright Future Vitamin C Serum, Dual Defender SPF 30

Gravitational folds

Category: static
Location: predominantly on the cheeks and jowls
Cause: gravity pulling down aging skin
Also called: Gravity lines, marionette lines
Skincare: peptide-based creams, hyaluronic acid
Lifestyle change: standing on your head (kidding)
Derm option: surgical facelifts and neck lifts

 

SLMD Skincare to try: Facial Moisturizer w/Vitamin C

Compression wrinkles

Category: dynamic and static
Location: usually on the face, chest
Cause: position while sleeping or using technology
Also called: sleep wrinkles, tech neck
Skincare: moisturizers with glycerin/hyaluronic acid
Lifestyle change: silk pillowcase, switching up sleep position, adjusting device height
Derm option: laser treatments

 

SLMD Skincare to try: Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Dr Sandra Lee

Dr. Lee's Last Word

I always tell patients: try not to dwell on your wrinkles — aging is a privilege! But there are ways we can minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles that bother you. Remember: it’s easier to prevent than to treat…so wear sunscreen and take care of your skin!

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