Q: Are smile lines caused by smiling?
Not entirely. "Smile lines are the result of age-related collagen loss, which causes cheeks to lose elasticity and sag, producing those telltale folds," said Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch. "But repeated muscle movements exaggerate them." A skin doctor can inject hyaluronic acid fillers to lift the cheek or, for a quick temporal fix, use a topical wrinkle filler.
On which side of your face do wrinkles usually show up first?
The left side. "Collagen breakdown and wrinkling typically happen more rapidly on that side of the face for Americans," said dermatologist Mona Gohara of the Yale School Medicine. The culprit? Driving. The sun's aging UVA rays penetrate the car's window. One solution is to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen 365 days a year.
When is the best time of year to start using a retinoid?
Spring or summer. This gold-standard wrinkle reducer often is irritating, an effect that can be exacerbated by dry air and cold temperatures. Your skin is better able to tolerate the powerful ingredient in moister, warmer weather, but keep in mind that retinoids increase sun sensitivity, so slather on a lotion with SPF every day. "If you find that your skin gets red or flaky when the mercury drops, try decreasing your retinoid use to every other day, or layering a retinoid under a plain moisturizer," advises Heidi Waldorf, a dermatologist in New York City.
Does skin type impact the pace of wrinkling?
Skin type actually has nothing to do with how fast you develop wrinkles, reports Waldorf. "Women with oily skin have more sebaceous glands. Although this might create the appearance of denser or firmer skin, it won't affect the development of lines," she said. Where and when you start to see fine lines is a result of both lifestyle factors whether you smoke or drink, and how much sun exposure you've had, for example and genetics.
Can layering makeup help cover up wrinkles?
Nope. "Too many women try to fill in fine lines with layer after layer of foundation and concealer," said celebrity makeup artist Carmindy. "But all that does is create cakiness and accentuate skin imperfections." The best bet for mature skin is a sheer, light-reflecting liquid foundation. "Luminescence makes skin look young by eliminating the dark shadows in wrinkles," she said.
Do fair-skinned women wrinkle more easily than those with dark completions?
Yes at least when it comes to photoaging. Although sun exposure ages all skin tones and ethnicities, the specific effects may vary a bit. "Darker skin has a higher amount of melanin, which slows the development of fine lines and wrinkles resulting from sun exposure," said Jeanin Downie, a dermatologist in Montclair, N.J.