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Wrinkles are more or less an inevitable fact of life. Based on genetics, the environment and level of skin care, everyone gets wrinkles at some point in their lives. There's no specific age when wrinkles set in - in fact, some people begin to get the kind of wrinkles in the corners of the eyes (called "crow's feet") as early as 20.

This article discusses the biology of what a wrinkle is.

Wrinkles and the biology of the skin

The skin is composed of three layers: the outermost layer, called the epidermis (this is the part that wrinkles), the dermis, and the subcutaneous or lowest layer of the skin.

During youth, a person's epidermis stretches and holds large amounts of moisture. This is due to the levels of fibers called elastin and a protein, collagen, contained in the dermis. In addition, a layer of fat in the subcutaneous level of the skin gives the face a plump look.

Over time, the dermis loses collagen and elastin. Thus, the skin becomes less elastic and stretchy, as well as less thick. The dermis begins to have difficulty moving adequate amounts of moisture up to the epidermis. The epidermis starts to sag, and wrinkles form. People who moisturize regularly or whose skin produces larger quantities of sebum will not suffer from wrinkles until a later age.

Mechanical lines and wrinkles

Another type of wrinkles exists, called the mechanical line. These types of wrinkles are formed when the face goes through repetitive types of motions. Squinting can cause crow's feet. Smiling or frowning can cause laugh lines or a frown line in the forehead.

These types of wrinkles are sometimes treated with BOTOX® injections. The serum paralyzes the muscles that have contracted to form the wrinkle. But BOTOX® is only approved by the FDA for injection into extremely limited areas of the face.

The anti wrinkle ingredient Argireline or acetyl hexapeptide-3 also works to relax the facial muscles that cause these types of wrinkles.

Read on to learn about prevention of wrinkles.

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