Does Dry Skin Cause Wrinkles?
Is dry skin prone to wrinkles? The fact of the matter is you can’t escape the aging process no matter what skin type you have (we’re all in this together!). As we get older, the skin loses collagen at a rate of one percent per year and is subjected to glycation, oxidative stress, and fluctuating hormones — this is what is known as intrinsic aging, a genetically determined process. Extrinsic aging also contributes to dry, aging skin. Factors include sun exposure, smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, consuming alcohol in excess, facial expressions, poor sleep habits, and environmental factors. In fact, there's a study that indicates exposure to pollution influences skin aging.
So, do people with dry skin get wrinkles? Sure — but so do those with other skin types! The belief that dry skin causes wrinkles is nothing more than a myth so if your skin is on the drier side, you can relax. What’s true is that dry skin appears to be more wrinkled because it’s producing less oil than other skin types, so lines are more prominent. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of dry skin, including what you can do to take care of it.
Characteristics of Dry Skin
Those with a dry skin type produce less sebum (oil) than usual, resulting in a lack of hydrating and protective lipids to safeguard against external stressors like pollution, for example. Dry patches typically appear on the cheeks, around the eyes, under the jaw, and on the lips. The skin feels tight, itchy, and rough and has a crepey appearance. It can become scaly, flaky, chapped, and form cracks and fissures in more severe cases.
With age, dry skin typically becomes more apparent because of the low levels of oil and lipids. Add collagen loss to the mix, and you’ve got fine lines, wrinkles, and dry patches — quite possibly, prematurely. Other factors that cause dry skin include skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis, and metabolic issues such as kidney disease or diabetes. Don’t freak out if you have dry skin. The blueprint to aging gracefully with any skin type is a solid skincare routine and healthy lifestyle habits, and that’s something anyone can do.
Taking Care of Dry Skin
While an oil-based moisturizer will reduce the appearance of dryness and wrinkles, a full skincare routine composed of products containing quality active ingredients is the key to taking care of dry skin. Dry skin tends to be sensitive (there’s a high prevalence of sensitive skin in the U.S.), so it’s important to avoid harsh detergents, soaps, artificial fragrances and colors, and other potential irritants. If the skin’s barrier function is disrupted, pollutants, allergens, and micro-organisms can pass through the skin more easily and nobody needs that. Some additional tips:
- Wear SPF: A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be worn every day — even in the winter and on cloudy days. Don’t forget your ears, neck, and hands. Ideally, sunscreen should be reapplied every few hours. If you wear makeup, consider mineral powders and sunscreens to satisfy this requirement.
- Choose the Right Ingredients: The best ingredients for dry skin restore and replenish moisture, as well as diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Look for products formulated with hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, urea, glycerin, plant butters and oils, and aquaporins.
- Wear Antioxidant Protection: Use a serum with antioxidant protection to neutralize skin-damaging free radicals, correct the signs of age, protect against the sun, brighten and tone, and help the skin repair itself. Look for ingredients like vitamin C, flavonoids, niacinamide, coenzyme Q10, resveratrol, and vitamin E. Even though retinoids effectively fade skin spots, improve texture, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production, they may be too intense for dry skin. It’s best to gradually introduce retinoids into your skincare routine or avoid them altogether.
- Wash Up With Lukewarm Water: Hot water depletes the skin of its natural oils, so opt for tepid H20 instead.
Invest in a Humidifier: Low humidity can be trying to the skin, so place a humidifier in the areas of your home where you spend the most time — especially the bedroom. Clean the humidifiers regularly to avoid bacteria buildup.
- Protect Your Face: Cold temps can aggravate dry skin even further, so it’s a good idea to wrap a scarf around your face. Just make sure it’s made out of a non-irritating material and is washed with hypoallergenic detergent. As if you needed another excuse to go shopping.