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5 Ways Your Skin Changes as You Age


Your Skin Develops Wrinkles

As your skin ages, wrinkles become unavoidable.
As your skin ages, wrinkles become unavoidable.
Steffen Thalemann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Each decade of aging brings new changes to your skin. And all of us will develop the most telling evidence of age -- wrinkles.

Until your 20s, your face is mostly free of wrinkles. However, you'll begin noticing the appearance of what doctors call motor wrinkles, which are creases and wrinkles that occur due to muscle and skin movement. The most obvious areas of motor wrinkles are around the eyes, especially if you've had a lot of exposure to the sun's rays or spend an inordinate amount of time squinting at a computer monitor.

As you enter your 30s, you'll notice deeper wrinkles around your eyes. The flesh there experiences more than its share of motor wrinkles due to the high level of motion around your eyelids and facial muscles, as well as frequent exposure to the sun.

In your 40s, lines will begin to appear around your upper lip. Smokers and those who experienced sun-related damage will notice these lines sooner and see more noticeable wrinkles. Smokers, especially, will see creases as they purse their lips around cigarettes.

In your 50s and later decades, wrinkles become more prominent as your skin begins to sag. This is where you'll see the benefits of having used good sunscreen and moisturizers at a younger age. If you didn't take good care of your skin, however, you'll see accelerated development of wrinkles and other skin deterioration.

Using moisturizers that get progressively thicker and richer will help keep your skin hydrated and slow wrinkling as you age. Filler injections and Botox will also reduce creases. The sooner you start these treatments, the less you'll need as you get older. You can apply retinol-based creams to increase the rate at which your skin cells regenerate, and increase collagen, too.

Of course, some people avoid all of the fuss regarding signs of skin aging, and especially wrinkles. They say that wrinkles add character to your physical appearance, and that it's better to simply accept skin deterioration and grow old gracefully.

Regardless of your take on that philosophy, your skin condition is a good indicator of your overall physical health. Better skin might mean a longer, happier life - and keeping wrinkles at bay for a few more years might just be a nice perk.

For more information about your skin and other related topics, take a look at the articles below.

Related Articles


  • American Academy of Dermatology. "Causes of Aging Skin." (June 4, 2010)
  • American Academy of Dermatology. "Mature Skin." 2000. (June 4, 2010)
  • Bouchez, Colette. "Timeline of Your Face: How You Age." WebMD. Feb. 12, 2008. (June 4, 2010)
  • Bryner, Jeanna. "7 Ways the Mind and Body Change with Age." (June 4, 2010)
  • Coleman, Naomi and Stout, Liz. "How Your Skin Changes During Your Thirties, Forties, and Fifties." Mail Online. (June 4, 2010)
  • Fries, Wendy C. "Age and Dry Skin." WebMD. Nov. 10, 2009. (June 4, 2010)
  • Gibson, Lawrence E. "Thin Skin: What Causes It?" Mayo Clinic. Sept. 26, 2009. (June 4, 2010)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Age Spots (Liver Spots)." March 20, 2009. (June 4, 2010)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Aging: What to Expect as You Get Older." Aug. 9, 2008. (June 4, 2010)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Easy Bruising: Common as You Age." May 26, 2009. (June 4, 2010)
  • Medline Plus. "Aging Changes in Skin." Aug. 10, 2008. (June 4, 2010)
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. "Anatomy of the Skin." Feb. 19, 2008. (June 4, 2010)


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