What Causes Wrinkles, Why Do We Get Them, & How Does Wrinkled Skin Form?

what causes wrinkles

Have you ever found yourself looking in the mirror and wondering when those tiny lines started to become full-on wrinkles? How and why did that happen?

In your 20s, you can stick to a simple skincare regime that minimizes breakouts and keeps you hydrated. But as you get older, you'll find that what used to work just isn't up to the challenge anymore. Just as you develop with age, your skincare routine should adapt too.

The most important thing to consider when you want to tackle wrinkles is what causes them in the first place. Luckily, we've got you covered!

In this article, we show you what causes wrinkles, how the aging process works, and how sun damage, diet, and other lifestyle factors cause your skin to wrinkle.


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Types of Wrinkles


Before we dive into the details about how facial wrinkles form, let's start with the basics. There are two types of wrinkles: dynamic wrinkles and static wrinkles.

When we look in the mirror in our 20s, we tend to see only dynamic wrinkles. These are the fine lines and wrinkles that only appear when we make certain gestures and facial expressions. This is because our skin naturally moves with our muscles, letting wrinkles and dimples form when we smile, laugh, squint, or frown.

As we get older and our skin loses its elasticity and flexibility, it cannot bounce back from facial expressions so easily and these wrinkles become permanent. These are the less welcome static wrinkles that many of us wish to avoid.


More helpful reading: How to get rid of forehead wrinkles


Aging: The #1 Cause of Facial Wrinkles


So what causes your skin to lose its natural elasticity and flexibility? As you'd expect, the passing of time and the number of birthdays you've had is the number one cause of aging skin. Natural skin aging due to the passage of time is known as intrinsic aging.

Let's take a closer look at how this process happens:


The Structure of Your Skin


Collagen fibers make up 80% of the dermis, which is the lower layer of your skin. Collagen is responsible for the overall strength and structure of your skin.

This dermal layer also contains fats, nerves, blood vessels, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and elastin. GAGs are water-binding molecules that retain moisture in the skin, which is essential for your skin's flexibility and overall plump-ness. You will know the main GAG in the skin more familiarly as hyaluronic acid. 1

Elastin is another key component in healthy, youthful-looking skin that you should be aware of. Elastin is, as the name suggests, responsible for your skin elasticity.


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How Skin Changes Over Time


When we are young, our skin is full of collagen, elastin, and GAGs, and our bodies continue to produce and replace more of these vital proteins and acids every day. However, once we reach our mid to late 20s, our skin produces approximately 1% less collagen each year. Our elastin and GAG supplies also dwindle, resulting in skin that becomes gradually weaker, drier, and less flexible. 2

For women, menopause causes a sudden drop in hormones that drastically impacts the skin. Studies show that most women will lose approximately 30% of their collagen during the first five years of menopause, and another 2% per year thereafter. 3


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Loss of Fat & Skin Cells


As we age, our skin cells divide more slowly than before. This makes the skin thinner and more prone to damage from external forces like UV light and pollution (more on this later). This can cause wrinkles as well as other signs of aging like pigmentation, lesions, and bruising easily. 4

Over time we also tend to lose some of the natural fats that keep skin plump, resulting in skin that is looser and prone to sagging. Our sebaceous glands also begin to produce less sebum, resulting in fewer natural oils to maintain hydrated, plump skin.


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Thanks to the decrease in collagen and elastin, your skin will lose its ability to bounce back from gestures and expressions, allowing dynamic wrinkles to become static (e.g. frown lines, laugh lines, and crow's feet). The loss of moisture and fat enables this process further. Due to cells dividing more slowly with age, skin also becomes thinner and begins to sag. This, combined with the natural forces of gravity, causes wrinkles and allows features like jowls and smile lines to form.

why do we get wrinkles 

More helpful reading: How to get rid of sagging jowls


Why Some Skin Wrinkles Faster


Of course, the cause of wrinkles goes beyond the passing of time. Some people maintain naturally smooth skin longer than others, and this is not just down to good genes!

The second form of skin aging is extrinsic aging, which accounts for the environmental and lifestyle factors that can damage your dermis and speed up the aging process. Let's take a closer look:


1. Sun Damage & Blue Light Damage


As we are sure you are aware, exposure to ultraviolet light via the sun's UVA and UVB rays can cause an extreme amount of damage to your skin if proper precautions are ignored.

Aside from the risk of skin cancer, sun damage also causes premature aging of the skin. This is because exposure to UV light encourages free radicals to build up in the body, and these dangerous molecules break down collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis.

What is a free radical? RenewSkin Inc. explains.

On top of sun exposure, you should also be aware that your laptop, TV, and phone screen also emit a type of ultraviolet radiation known as blue light. This blue light also causes skin damage by breaking down collagen and elastin, causing skin to wrinkle prematurely.


More helpful reading: Does blue light damage skin?


2. Smoking


Smoking cigarettes is not just bad for your health, it will also drastically speed up the aging process. Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals, many of which will cause signs of premature aging like smoker's lips, crow's feet, and hyperpigmentation.

Nicotine causes blood vessels throughout the body to shrink and tighten, cutting off oxygen supplies to the skin and impacting your skin color and quality. The toxins in cigarettes also seriously accelerate the decline of collagen and elastin in the body. Combine this with the repeated facial expressions of puckered lips and squinting eyes that come with smoking, and you've got the perfect recipe for premature wrinkles.

cause wrinkles


3. Drinking Alcohol


Drinking alcohol causes dehydration, inflammation, and premature aging. Alcohol consumption creates enzymes in the body that break down collagen and elastin fibers, allowing fine lines and wrinkles to form more quickly and easily for alcohol drinkers over their sober counterparts.


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4. Dehydration


Dry skin wrinkles faster than well-hydrated skin, so if you don't drink enough water or keep your skin moisturized with a good skincare routine, you'll find your skin ages sooner than you'd like!


More helpful reading: Does drinking water help your skin?


5. Poor Diet


A diet rich in fruits and veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, and wholegrain carbohydrates can help you achieve healthy, youthful skin from the inside out. On the opposite end of the scale, overconsumption of sugary junk food can have a disastrous impact on your complexion – not only causing breakouts but wrinkles, too.

Sugar damages your natural collagen supplies through a process of glycation. When we digest too many sugars through candy, soda, or refined carbohydrates, our body goes through inflammation and free radicals are produced – which proceed to damage your natural collagen.

how do wrinkles form


More helpful reading: Is sugar bad for your skin?


9 Ways to Prevent & Treat Wrinkles


If you're worried about wrinkles, the good news is that there are plenty of actions you can take to prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles.

As always, it is best to take care of your skin as early as possible in order to prevent wrinkles from getting too deep – fine lines are much easier to treat than deep, coarse wrinkles! However, there are treatments available to help reduce deep wrinkles too. Let's take a look:


1. Sun Protection


Sun protection is absolutely essential if you want to maintain youthful-looking skin! Try to avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen every day to keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays. We recommend wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.


More helpful reading:



2. Collagen & Elastin Boosters


When it comes to preventing and treating fine lines and wrinkles, the main issue to address as you get older is your declining collagen and elastin supplies. Thanks to decades of research and advances in skincare, there are now plenty of ways to increase collagen in your body.

These include:

  • Topical skincare products containing peptides or growth factors that stimulate collagen production. However, the downside of topical solutions is that they may not be able to penetrate deep enough into the skin surface to be truly effective
  • Collagen foods that support the skin and boost collagen production by providing the body with a bioavailable version of this protein
  • Collagen supplements that trigger collagen production from the inside out. Look for pills, powders, or drinks that contain hydrolyzed collagen peptides for maximum absorption
  • Collagen-boosting treatments like LED light therapy, collagen injections, or dermarolling


Taut Premium Collagen Drink is a liquid collagen supplement specially formulated to supercharge and replenish your skin's collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Every bottle is packed with 13,000 mg of hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides, along with elastin peptides, hyaluronic acid, grape seed extract, vitamin C, ceramide, and vitamin B6.

Drinking one bottle per day over the course of three weeks can rejuvenate your complexion from the inside out, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and giving you smoother, fuller skin. The combination of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid boosts your skin's elasticity and moisture content, improving its resistance to the aging process. Antioxidants vitamin C and grape seed extract support your body's production of collagen while also protecting and preserving your skin against free radical damage.

Try it today as a natural and effective way to reduce wrinkles, with no need for needles or a surgical procedure!


More helpful reading: The best collagen treatments for face rejuvenation!


3. Antioxidants


A balanced diet and a skin care regimen packed with antioxidants can go a long way in fighting the free radicals that destroy your skin's vital proteins. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and veggies to keep your supplies topped up. Incorporate antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E in your skincare routine through serums and masks.

If you want an extra boost, a supplement like Masquelier's French Pine Bark OPC can help. Tests have shown Masquelier's French Pine Bark to be significantly more powerful than vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than vitamin C as an antioxidant.

Known as one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, it neutralizes excess free radicals and toxins, protects your vascular system, and enhances circulation throughout the body. This helps improve the delivery of vital nutrients to your skin, protects your skin's vital proteins against free radical damage, and improves skin's suppleness and overall quality.


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4. Hydrate!


Before your skin begins to dry out and wrinkle any further, it's important to keep it hydrated not only by drinking plenty of water but also by incorporating some seriously hydrating skincare products into your routine.

Hyaluronic acid is the ingredient not to miss, and luckily you can find it in an array of topical products and supplements to keep your supplies topped up.

One way to avoid dry skin and premature wrinkles is to use daily hyaluronic acid supplements like Taut Hydrate. Our specially formulated capsules contain a potent combination of clinically proven plant-based hyaluronic acid (Hyabest (S) LF-P) and grape seed extract, designed to work in tandem to hydrate, plump, and protect your skin.

Replenishing your dermis with hyaluronic acid from within can help combat wrinkles and moisture loss, keeping skin full, plump, moist, and radiant.


More helpful reading: How to use hyaluronic acid


5. Retinol


Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that you will find in many anti-aging serums thanks to its wrinkle-fighting properties. Retinol works to speed up cell turnover and stimulate collagen formation, which in turn strengthens your skin and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

If you're tempted to add it to your skincare routine, be aware that it can be harsh on the skin too. Start slowly and with a low dosage, and only use it once or twice a week to allow time to adjust.


6. Chemical Peels


Regular exfoliation is key to reducing the appearance of fine lines! Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, preventing their build-up which can lead to clogged pores and a dull, ruddy skin tone. Removing that top layer also helps speed up cell turnover, which softens the appearance of fine lines.

Chemical peels are a great option for deep exfoliation, and they can be a very effective part of your anti-aging skincare routine. Ask your dermatologist about chemical peels to find the perfect option for you.


More helpful reading: Skin care for women over 50


7. Dermabrasion & Skin Resurfacing


Another wrinkle-busting tactic is dermabrasion, which uses a surgical device to remove the top layers of your skin in order to reveal younger, healthy skin below.

Laser skin resurfacing is another option that uses short, concentrated beams of light to remove skin layer by layer. There are two types of laser resurfacing: ablative laser resurfacing and non-ablative laser resurfacing.

Ablative laser skin resurfacing removes deeper layers of skin and stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers, but the downside is that it is an invasive treatment with some recovery time required. Your face will feel as if it is very sunburned and will require bandages for a number of days.

Non-ablative laser resurfacing uses a fractional laser, meaning it only focuses on alternating areas of skin, causing less painful after-effects and requiring less downtime.


More helpful reading: Types of facial


8. Dermal Fillers


Dermal filler injections are used for deep wrinkles on the face and neck to literally fill them in, plumping up any indented areas of skin to make them less noticeable. Soft tissue fillers like Juvéderm or Restylane use hyaluronic acid to do this.

While face fillers are effective at reducing and even removing wrinkles, their results are temporary, lasting approximately 6–12 months.


9. Botox


Botox is another injectable treatment for wrinkles, but this option differs in that it uses a toxin (botulinum toxin) to freeze muscles in the face, preventing the facial contractions that cause wrinkles in the first place.

Botulinum toxin has been FDA-approved to target the main areas where wrinkles develop in reaction to facial movements: frown lines (or '11' lines), forehead wrinkles, and crow's feet.

Botox can be a useful treatment to help skin stay smooth and wrinkle-free, but the downside is that you need to keep up multiple treatments per year to maintain your results.

what causes wrinkled skin


More helpful reading: How long does Botox last?


Fight The #1 Cause of Fine Lines & Wrinkles With Taut


Whether it's the passage of time or one of the various extrinsic factors causing your skin to wrinkle faster than you'd like – the reason at the heart of each wrinkle is the destruction of your collagen and elastin supplies.

For anyone looking for the best place to start reducing and preventing wrinkles, we recommend our Intense Transformation Program. This bundle contains a three-week supply of our Premium Collagen Drink, offering you a daily dose of the collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants your skin needs to remain plump, smooth, and strong.

Over three weeks, you can provide your dermis with everything it needs to stave off wrinkles and keep its youthful radiance. Try it today to transform your skin from within!

Did you know that you can subscribe and save on a selection of Taut products? Browse our subscription offers today.



  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27378089/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1606623/
  3. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/skin-care-during-menopause
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3840548/