Different types of wrinkles and what causes them

The fact of the matter is – if we are lucky enough to get older, we’ll get wrinkles. It’s just a reminder in case you spend a lot of time on social media. In theory, we might avoid them if we never laugh or frown or drink with a straw. That said, we love a good bish face from time to time, but it’s no way to go through life. While wrinkles aren’t the most joyous thing in the world, they show we’ve lived a life (as corny as that sounds). What are different types of wrinkles, and what causes them?

The difference between dynamic and static wrinkles

Not all wrinkles are created equal, and there are two main categories – dynamic and static. Dynamic wrinkles happen with facial expressions when we laugh, cry, or frown. Once our face goes back to its normal expression, these wrinkles disappear.

Static wrinkles happen over time and as our skin loses collagen and elastin. Gravity also plays a part. Our skin is unable to return to its normal position, and wrinkles form. They can get deeper over time.

Expression wrinkles


The muscle action underneath the skin causes expression wrinkles. We make the same expressions time and time again, and the muscles will expand or contract. Over time, it will cause expression lines and creases to become more permanent. Think crow’s feet and laugh lines.

Atrophic wrinkles

Atrophic wrinkles are due to the loss of elasticity. Collagen and elastin break down, and our skin gets thinner. The primary cause of elastotic wrinkles is UV exposure. However, atrophic wrinkles have other causes like age and various lifestyle factors (not using sun protection and smoking, for example). Atrophic wrinkles can be found on different parts of the body.

Elastotic wrinkles

Like atrophic wrinkles, elastotic wrinkles are due to the loss of elasticity and manifest as crepe-y and leathery appearance of the skin. The primary cause of elastotic wrinkles is UV exposure, which damages collagen and elastin and the skin’s ability to bounce back. Elastotic wrinkles look like tiny creases on the cheeks, lips, and neck.

Gravitational folds


Gravitational folds are, you guessed it, due to the effects gravity has on our faces combined with the decline of collagen and elastin. Skin will begin to sag, and gravitational folds will become more obvious. Think nasolabial folds or upper eyelids that can sag with age.

Compression wrinkles

Compression wrinkles are connected to the way we sleep. When we compress our faces against the pillow, we’ll wake up with fine lines on our faces and chest. Compression wrinkles can disappear during the day. However, if we sleep in the same position all the time, they can become permanent.

Dry wrinkles

As we get older, our skin tends to get drier. It doesn’t produce enough oil and it results in fine parallel lines on our cheeks and forehead. The best way to deal with dry wrinkles is to keep the skin hydrated.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • How we age and how our skin ages is a complicated process determined by various factors from genetics to lifestyle.
  • A consistent skincare routine with collagen-boosting ingredients can make a world of difference.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of hydrating and moisturising the skin.
  • Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Did we mention sunscreen?
  • Nowadays, the beauty industry has any manner of treatments from fillers, Botox, and lasers. Regardless of the social conditioning, wrinkles aren’t that bad. And if they bother you and you want to do something about them, that’s okay, too. It’s time we stopped being so hard on ourselves.
Roberta Striga