• Wrinkles: What to expect after 20, 30

    No, there is no secret to avoiding wrinkles altogether. But we can tell you this: where and when you'll probably start to see wrinkles, how to avoid wrinkles, and how to take care of your skin to keep it as healthy (and youthful) as possible. Here, KennethHowe, MD, of WexlerDermatology in New York City, analyzes it all.

    What are the causes of wrinkles?

    According to Dr. Howe, wrinkles have many different causes.

    • Genetic factors, like your inherited skin color and skin elasticity
    • Photodamage, i.e. how much sunlight our skin has been exposed to
    • Smoking, which damages collagen and therefore speeds up the aging process of the skin
    • Habitual facial expressions, like raising your eyebrows and squinting to read something in the distance
    • Sleep position, sleeping on your stomach or on your side can cause lines on your face.
    • Bad habits, such as fists against the jawline, can cause folds in the skin.

    There is not much we can do about genetics, but we can control the lifestyle factors that cause wrinkles. Wearing sunscreen to protect your skin Quitting smoking can help reduce the accelerated aging of the skin. Beyond that, here's a decade-by-decade guide to when wrinkles tend to appear (and what you can do about it).

    When Do Wrinkles Tend to Appear?

    In 20s...

    Wrinkles can begin to appear as soon as you reach your twenties. At the age of 20, horizontal lines on the forehead begin to appear. These appear in the middle to upper part of the forehead and are caused by habitually raising your eyebrows," says Dr. Howe. Of course, that doesn't mean you should stop raising your eyebrows. Now that would be ridiculous. Some women decide to be treated with Botox in younger women, as Dr. Howe calls it, to help slow down the process of those lines appearing.

    In 30s...

    In our thirties, we begin to see more lines because we spend more time in the sun and squint more. Dr. Howe says that crow's feet start to appear in your 30s, and that sun damage and frequent squinting (due to not wearing sunglasses in strong light) hastens the appearance of these lines. Are there any other lines that can begin to show? Frown says Dr. Howe. In my opinion, these lines are the strongest indication that it's time to start Botox. The presence of visible frown lines between the eyebrows at rest often indicates that other aspects of facial aging have begun, such as mild skin laxity of the eyebrows. If left untreated, the cascade of aging within the skin will accelerate.

    To help combat the small lines that appear, Dr. Howe recommends the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. As the essence is prepared, it goes on very lightly and moisturizes the skin beautifully. Its key ingredient, Pitera, a patented extract from sake fermentation, supplements the skin's own natural moisturizing factors, allowing the skin to retain more moisture. The result is healthier, more moisturized skin.

    In 40s...

    In your forties, you will notice that lines become deeper and more pronounced. In your 40s, you'll notice that the lines you're scowling at become deeper and more accentuated (if not treated) with accompanying skin laxity. Dr. Howe says. To help slow down the signs of aging, Dr. Howe recommends using RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream . "It's the closest thing on the market to a prescription-level retinoid effect," he explains. "It contains a powerful dose of retinol (vitamin A), which fights wrinkle formation by stimulating collagen production in our skin." It is also formulated for sensitive skin.

    In 50s...

    Finally, in your fifties, lines start to appear around your mouth from smiling, talking and basically living. "We treat them with lasers, fillers, and Botox," says Dr. Howe.

    How can I prevent wrinkles?

    Being a non-smoker can really help you have healthier skin, says Dr. Howe. Don't forget that smoking contributes to skin aging in two very important ways," he says. One is that it reduces the collagen content of the skin. This is a global effect and is present throughout the body. It results in thinner, more fragile skin. Secondly, the act of smoking exposes certain areas (such as the skin around the mouth) to repetitive motion, causing the skin to wrinkle and wear down.

    What does not cause wrinkles? Washing your face (or rubbing lotion into it) in a downward motion. "Pulling your face downward doesn't cause wrinkles," says Dr. Howe.