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Types of Face Wrinkles: 5 to Watch Out For and How They Form

Types of Face Wrinkles

While facial wrinkles are a normal part of getting older, not all wrinkles are created equal.

There are 5 main types that you will usually encounter, whether on your face or someone else’s.

They may be dynamic, which means they only appear with certain expressions or movements, or static wrinkles, which are there 24/7.

Let us take you through all wrinkle types, what you need to know, and how to get rid of fine lines in our list below.

Table of Contents

Let’s Meet Them Face to Face

Let_s Meet Them Face to Face

There are different types of fine lines and wrinkles and each are produced differently!

1. Permanent Elastotic Creases

Also known as elastotic wrinkles, these refer to the wrinkles that result from a loss of elastic structure in your skin mainly because of sun exposure – which usually starts off superficially and deepens through the use of the facial muscles.

It’s one of the subtypes of static wrinkles we mentioned. Now the name makes sense, right?

Put simply, the more you’re exposed to the sun, the faster and bigger the loss of elasticity in your skin. This is due to sun damage of the epidermis leading to damage in the elastin fibers.

And just like an over-stretched shirt or elastic band, when your skin can’t stretch and compress as quickly, you get creases or wrinkles.

You’ll mostly notice this on your…

Over time, these crease lines become more and more permanent.

Let’s take necklines for example.

They’re also referred to as neck bands or necklace lines because they appear as horizontal lines around your neck kind of like a necklace. However, some can encounter a neck wrinkle that’s vertical in appearance, too.

How Do You Prevent Them?

A good skincare regimen with high-quality sunscreen, ample hydration, the use of hyaluronic acid and retinol can help with wrinkle prevention. You can also try fractional laser resurfacing, which helps rebuild the collagen-elastic structure in your dermis.

Oh! And before we forget, avoid cigarettes, too! Your lungs, body, skin, and future self will thank you for this!

2. Atrophic Wrinkles

So, remember the collagen and skin thinning we talked about? Atrophic wrinkles or atrophic crinkling rhytids are caused by that gradual deterioration.

This is usually caused by aging or overuse of steroid cream. And you’ll accelerate it with excessive sun exposure, which is why it is so critical for you to ALWAYS wear the right sunscreen. 

Some examples of these atrophic wrinkles are the “11 lines” or the 2 vertical parallel lines you get in the middle of your eyebrows. or the lines you get around on your mouth.

It’s difficult to get rid of those parallel lines.

The Solution?

You should try incorporating proper hydration into your skincare regimen. Then, if you want to address those forehead lines, try a laser skin-rebuilding treatment.

3. Dynamic Expression Lines

We think you can guess what this one’s about. Ever heard someone say you shouldn’t frown too much or else you’ll get wrinkles? Well, they have a point.

Try and imagine people who have crow’s feet (aka crinkle lines) or smile lines. Notice how they’re often smiling or laughing? Or how about those frown lines?

There’s a reason these dynamic wrinkles are named after a particular facial expression.

Expression wrinkles occur when you make repeated facial movements resulting in muscle contraction. These can be very eye-catching depending on your skin tone.

You see, unlike other types of muscles, our facial muscles are DIRECTLY attached to our skin. This lets us make thousands of expressions, and even micro-expressions, too!

Here’s an Example

Let’s take a look at laugh lines (aka nasolabial folds).

The constant muscle contraction that happens due to your facial expressions makes wrinkles, such as marionette lines, permanent.

These expression lines run from the lower outside corners of your nose to the corners of your lips and appear ONLY when you smile or laugh because of the facial muscles you use for them.

  • Frown lines are one of the vertical lines you’ll get on your forehead from repeatedly furrowing your brows or frowning.
  • You’ll also get crow’s feet from either smiling or too much squinting.

Eventually, these expressions will start to become more, er, permanent, so to speak.

Dynamic wrinkles are affected by the action of the muscles beneath your skin. And sadly, this is an inevitable part of skin aging and loss of skin elasticity.

These constant aggressive facial expressions are usually the main cause of crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and marionette lines.

Is There a Solution?

Besides walking around poker-faced forever, the only thing you can do to prevent or lessen these dynamic expression lines is to resort to Botox or Dysport, which weaken the muscles’ force directly on your skin.

Botulinum toxic injections are meant to soften the lines of expression. With the right dose and areas applied, you can achieve a natural softer look that will help prevent deep, permanent wrinkles over time.

You can also invest in anti-aging products early! Eye creams are found to be very effective, not only in preventing crow’s feet, but they can also smoothen wrinkles around the mouth.

It’s inevitable but it’s better to spend most of your days smiling and get laugh lines rather than ugly frown lines.

4. Compression Wrinkles

There’s sense to those who tell you not to sleep with your face squished against your pillow.

Compression wrinkles result from compressing your skin for extended amounts of time. This is as easy as learning to sleep on your back or using a special pillow.

You’ll also notice this from the wrinkles forming above your knee. This is best addressed with some laser liposuction to help debulk your legs and rebuild your skin’s elasticity.

5. Gravitational Folds

Gravity does wonders for our life here on Earth, but it also has its long-term effects even on our fine lines. Gravitational folds refer to the natural sagging you’ll notice as you get older.

What’s the explanation behind them? The tissues above the wrinkle deflate and when you combine this with loss of elasticity from the aging process, you get sagging skin that and gravitation wrinkles.


Dermatologists will usually fix this by inflating those specific areas using injectable fillers (ala dermal fillers) or fat grafts to add volume to your lines and wrinkles.

While hyaluronic acid fillers are a good option, most also use tightening treatments like: 

  • thermage 
  • ulthera 
  • other radiofrequency heat

These are meant to replenish the collagen loss leading to skin sagging.

What’s in a Wrinkle?

What_s in a Wrinkle

You get wrinkles when your skin loses the firmness and elasticity it used to have when you were younger.

But what’s the explanation behind it?

Well, your skin is made up of different layers:

  • Epidermis
  • Dermis
  • Hypiodermis

At the surface or top is the layer called the epidermis, which, without you noticing, renews itself once a month with the gradual shedding of your dead skin cells.

This layer eventually becomes thinner and thinner and this once-a-month-replacement becomes slower and slower as we get older.

Now the 2nd layer is the dermis, which is a thick layer that has all the essential components of your skin from your blood vessels to heat and touch receptors, sweat glands, and hair follicles.

Approximately 80% of this layer is made up of collagen.

What’s collagen? It’s a framework of connective tissues that give your skin its firmness. It is woven with elastin which, you guessed it, gives it the elasticity or the ability to stretch and reform.

Still with us? Great. So, this collagen and elastin are processed by the fibroblast cells in your dermis. This means the fibroblast cells constantly create and replace collagen and elastin.

Where the Wrinkle Starts

Over the years, various factors like excessive sun exposure, your genes, or your choice of skincare products cause the connective tissues (the collagen and elastin we talked about) in your skin to become disordered and renew more slowly.

And since it makes up 80% of your dermis, it’s no wonder the effects of this slow deterioration are so obvious.

It starts wrinkling whenever you stretch or compress the skin and has a difficult time snapping back into shape. This is what we call wrinkles.

Why Do We Get Wrinkles?

Like we’ve mentioned, there is a biological process behind why you start getting expression lines, smoker’s lines, lip lines, marionette lines, etc. Here are a few:

  • Besides the loss of elasticity of your skin, air pollution, UV rays from the sun, and exposure to free radicals will also accelerate and worsen those deep wrinkles.
  • You might not notice how your environment takes a toll on your skin texture, but IT does. Those wrinkles may have started forming long before you realized it.
  • Genetics plays a role in whether you’re more prone to getting wrinkles or not. Perhaps, forehead wrinkles or elastic wrinkles run in the family.
  • Lifestyle and skincare factors affect whether you’re more likely to get lines and wrinkles because of the oxidative stress they cause, even with all other things equal. Some of these are lack of hydration, which leads to dry skin, smoking, and nutritional deficiencies.

Can I Stop All These Types of Wrinkles?

Can I Stop All These Types of Wrinkles

This is a difficult question because, for the most part, wrinkles are inevitable as a natural part of aging.

However, you can control and to a certain extent prevent some of the different types of wrinkles we’ve talked about from becoming deep lines or being more visible.

Here are a few wrinkle treatments you can do!

#1 Target Stubborn Wrinkles

Let’s take your lips.

You’ll notice a wrinkle or fine lines start forming there as you get older because of a combo of contraction, dehydration, and aging.

Sooooo… while you may not be able to control the other 2 contributing factors, you can manage this with a skincare routine that also hydrates your lips!

#2 Sunscreen, Sunscreen, and More Sunscreen!

We’ve repeatedly talked about how UV damage and sun exposure are some of the biggest contributors to that wrinkle on your cheeks or mouth. While you can practice sun avoidance, this isn’t the most practical solution.

So make sure you ALWAYS wear the right sunscreen (at least SPF 30) even when you’re not going out or when it’s cloudy and ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE STILL YOUNG. Your future self will thank you!

#3 Anti-Aging Heroes to the Rescue!

There are some youth-boosting ingredients and skincare products you can incorporate while you do your wrinkle treatments:

  • Retinol is derived from vitamin A and encourages faster cell turnover. Another ingredient that works to exfoliate dead skin cells is glycolic acid.
  • Hyaluronic acid is excellent for a massive boost of hydration. It incorporates moisture into your skin AND locks it in. So if you want a more supple and plump appearance, hyaluronic acid is a critical ingredient for your wrinkle treatments.
  • Antioxidants will specifically fight free radical damage. It also helps your skin heal and repair, while supporting your collagen and elastin reproduction. Peptides are made up of amino acids that will also help your skin needs to fight off that wrinkle.

Make your skincare routine moisturizer heavy and try to use eye creams and night creams to prevent crow’s feet and wrinkles around your mouth from forming.

#4 Eat the Right Foods

Not only will you be in great shape and feel great, but you’ll also get one step closer to a wrinkle-free appearance if you eat the right kinds of food.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to get those anti-oxidants and ensure you’re getting ALL your vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin C can also help prevent those creases because of the antioxidants that give you a more youthful appearance.

Final Words

These different types of wrinkles may be considered a badge of honor for some, but it doesn’t mean you have to endure them if you don’t want to.

Get one step closer to the appearance you want by knowing about your enemy so you can fight those creases off!


July 29, 2021 – Added internal link

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.