When it comes to wrinkles and signs of aging on your face, there are as many old wive’s tales and myths as there are realities. For example, one common myth states that your face has all the wrinkles it’s ever going to have by the time you’re in your mid-20s, they just haven’t surfaced yet. While you might have a few lines and wrinkles in your mid-20s, you can still develop different ones as you get older, especially if you don’t take good care of your skin.

Wrinkles develop because of either internal forces or external forces. While you can’t control the internal forces, such as your genes, you can do your best to limit wrinkles caused by external forces. If you’re wondering what causes wrinkles and what you can do to keep your skin looking youthful for as long as possible, get the full scoop below.

Sun Exposure

The sun might seem like a benign presence. The planet relies on it for warmth, light, and to help plants grow. But, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is the number one external cause of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Fortunately, you can reduce the impact the sun has on your skin simply by reducing your exposure to the sun.

Every anti-aging skincare routine should include wearing sunscreen on a daily basis. Usually, an SPF of at least 30 is recommended. You can ask your surgeon for a recommendation based on your skin type. Some types of sunscreen can be gentler than others, for example. You might also want to use one that won’t clog pores and make your skin break out.

Along with using sunscreen, you can protect your skin from the sun by limiting the amount of time you spend outdoors. The hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. tend to be the most intense when it comes to sunlight. If you can, avoid scheduling trips outside during those hours. If you do need to go outside, put on your sunscreen, wear sunglasses and consider wearing a big hat to shield your face from the sun.

Your Sleeping Position

It’s true — how you sleep can contribute to signs of aging on your face. Those sleep lines that appear on your face after a night of sleeping on your stomach or side can, with time, become permanent. The lines form thanks to pressure put on the skin night after night.

While changing your sleeping position might not sound like the most comfortable option, it can be the best option when it comes to reducing wrinkles that form while you sleep. It might take some time, but getting in the habit of sleeping on your back can be great news for your face.

Some pillows claim to help reduce wrinkles by providing a soft, smooth surface for your face to lie on. While a satiny pillow might feel great on your skin, it’s unlikely that it will do much to keep wrinkles away.

Facial Movements

Some wrinkles form as a result of facial movements made on a regular basis over time. Moving the muscles on your face causes a small indentation to form on the skin. After years of making the same movement, that indentation becomes fixed. Years of squinting can lead to crow’s feet in the corners of your eyes, for example.

If you want to reduce lines created by facial movements, you can try to reduce the amount that you move your face. A more reasonable solution might to receive injections that specifically target the muscles that move and contribute to the lines. One example is Botox, which blocks the signal sent to specific muscles on the face, easing the look of wrinkles, at least temporarily.


Before you have any type of plastic surgery procedure, one of the instructions your surgeon will give you is to quit smoking at least two weeks before the surgery. Cigarettes and other tobacco products disrupt the healing process and can increase bleeding during the procedure.

Smoking has another negative effect on your skin: it increases wrinkles. Since tobacco products interfere with your blood circulation, they usually speed up aging. Smoking can also make wrinkles around the lips more likely to appear, thanks to the repetitive motion of putting a cigarette between the lips.

Dietary Choices

What you eat can age you. For example, a diet that is high in sugar is more likely to lead to wrinkles, as sugar damages the collagen just below the surface of the skin. Sugary foods also increase inflammation in the body, which can also make your skin look older. Try to choose foods that are low in sugar but high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to get the best benefit for your skin.

Improving your lifestyle can help reduce the signs of aging on your skin. Even if you’ve been a lifetime smoker, sun worshipper or can’t get enough of sugar, making small changes can provide a great benefit. Another way to reduce the signs of aging on your skin is to consult with a facial plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Kyle Choe. Dr. Choe can recommend treatments for your skin, from injections to surgery, to help it look its best. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Choe, in the Virginia Beach area, call 757.389.5850 today.