If you find yourself looking at photos from your younger days and reminiscing about your smooth, line-free skin, you’re probably wondering what caused the wrinkles you have now in the first place! While some wrinkling is inevitable (thanks, gravity!), there are plenty of things that can exacerbate wrinkles and make them come on sooner and more intensely than they need to.

What are wrinkles?

When the connective tissue in your skin (elastin fibers and collagen) break down, your skin loses elasticity. When your skin isn’t as strong or as flexible as it once was, it begins to sag and form those tricky lines we know as wrinkles.

What causes wrinkles?

As we mentioned, some wrinkling is inevitable as the aging process takes place. Not only does your skin lose moisture and elasticity, the fat that filled certain areas often diminishes, which allows these crevices to form. But if you’d like to slow down the visible signs of this process taking place, there are several things you can do by avoiding the leading causes of wrinkles.

Ultraviolet Radiation

U.V. light is thought to be the primary source of premature aging and wrinkling. It speeds up the aging process in your skin and encourages your connective tissue to break down, leading to wrinkles sooner than you need to get them.

Smoking

We often see smokers whose skin is aging at an accelerated rate, and this is because smoking reduces the oxygen content in your skin. Because cigarettes contain carbon monoxide, they kill the oxygen in your skin. This, combined with nicotine, reduces blood flow to your skin and this not only leads to wrinkles, but it can also make your skin look discoloured and dry.

In addition to smoking and U.V. light exposure, certain medications and dehydration can cause wrinkles to form or look more severe.

If your wrinkles have already formed, you still have options for treating them. Laser treatments, Botox and other fillers, microdermabrasion, and excellent skin care options can help treat and prevent wrinkles.