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5 Types of Wrinkles and How to Treat Them

Dr. Michele Anzilotti, MD, FAAD of New York City explains the different types of wrinkles, the ideal skincare treatments for each, and how to prevent from them from forming.

Article Overview

  • Wrinkles can be categorized into two types: static wrinkles, which are shallow lines visible at rest and caused by factors like dehydrated skin, loss of elasticity, and aging, and dynamic wrinkles, which are caused by muscle contractions during facial expressions.
  • There are five common types of wrinkles: forehead wrinkles, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, glabellar wrinkles, and crow's feet.
  • To improve the appearance of wrinkles, various skincare products and treatments can be used. For dynamic wrinkles, neurotoxin injections can help prevent muscle contractions, while injectable fillers can plump up static wrinkles. A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced is recommended for reversing the appearance of fine lines and the five types of wrinkles caused by glycation and collagen decline.
  • Prevention of wrinkles involves using broad-spectrum sunscreen and topical antioxidants daily to protect against environmental aggressors. Avoiding habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also help prevent wrinkles.
  • Skincare products like C E Ferulic and A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced have been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Professional treatments such as chemical peels and microneedling can also improve the appearance of wrinkles.

Wrinkles are a natural part of the skin aging process, but many people are surprised to learn that there are several types of wrinkles and that they can have different causes. The first step for improving the appearance of the most common types of wrinkles is understanding the factors that contribute to their development. From there, an effective skincare regimen that addresses the causes of the types of wrinkles you are experiencing is key for smoothing and rejuvenating the look of the skin.

We sat down with Dr. Michele Anzilotti of New York City to take a closer look at the various types of wrinkles, how to prevent their development, and the different skincare products and professional treatments that are most effective for improving their appearance.

SkinCeuticals: What Are the Most Common Types of Wrinkles?

Dr. Anzilotti: When talking about types of wrinkles, I think it’s first important to understand the difference between static wrinkles and dynamic wrinkles. Static wrinkles are shallow lines that are can be seen when the face is at rest, and they are generally caused by dehydrated skin, loss of elasticity, gravity, sun damage and aging. On the other hand, dynamic wrinkles are caused by muscle contractions, and are often called expression wrinkles. Smiling, squinting, puckering the lips, and similar facial movements cause creases when muscles are active, but they can become permanent as aging leads to loss of elasticity.

There are five types of wrinkles patients point out to me most often. They appear in rather specific areas of the face and actually have their own names, which don’t always indicate where they have formed.

Forehead wrinkles: These are the horizonal lines that run across the forehead. They generally begin as dynamic wrinkles, and become static wrinkles over time.

Nasolabial folds: Also called laugh lines, these are the folds that look like parentheses on the sides of the mouth. Nasolabial folds become more prominent due to collagen loss and the effects of gravity. It is important to know that while these are natural lines they deepen as a result of the aging process.

Marionette lines: Extending from the outer corners of the lips down the chin, these wrinkles can create a downturned mouth appearance that can express a feeling of displeasure.

Glabellar wrinkles: The vertical lines, or “worry lines” between the eyebrows that look like the number “11” generally begin as dynamic wrinkles, but can lead to static wrinkles that cause angry or pensive look over time.

Crow’s feet: These “crinkles” around the outer corners of the eyes are most prominent when smiling, and the relative thinness of the skin in this area makes them likely to become etched into the skin.

SkinCeuticals: What Causes Wrinkles?

Dr. Anzilotti: Generally speaking, there’s no single cause of wrinkles and a variety of internal and external factors lead to their development. Skin aging plays a key role, but there are several other elements that can accelerate the formation of the main types of wrinkles.

Lack of water: Low humidity, environmental aggressors, such as sunlight, air pollution, hot and cold temperatures, cigarette smoke, infra red radiation and inadequate hydration can all leave the skin lacking water—which accentuates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Sluggish cellular renewal: With age, the skin’s rate of cell turnover begins to slow. This can lead to a build-up of dull, dead cells that enhances the look of wrinkles—and prevents fresh, healthy cells from reaching the skin’s surface.

Repetitive facial expressions: A lifetime of smiling, laughing, squinting, and frowning causes wrinkles in areas where facial muscles are most active. Early on in the aging process, these types of wrinkles may only be visible when making certain expressions, but with time these lines can become etched into the skin and remain visible when the face is at rest.

The breakdown of supportive proteins: Young skin has a supportive matrix of proteins like collagen and elastin that is responsible for a smooth, plump complexion. Over time, the skin loses underlying support structure due to several internal and external factors. The effects of sun damage and gravity cannot be overlooked, but research has identified specific cellular-level processes that contribute to the loss of elasticity that leads to different types of wrinkles as well as sagging.

  • Free radicals: These unstable molecules damage cells throughout the body, and when damage to skin cells accumulates the result is wrinkles (as well as discoloration, loss of firmness, and potentially skin cancer). The main sources of environmental free radicals are UV rays, infrared radiation (IRA), and pollution. An excellent defense against environmental free-radical damage is a daily vitamin C antioxidant.
  • A.G.E.s: Short for advanced glycation end-products, A.G.E.s are the result of the glycation process, which occurs when excess sugars bind to collagen and elastin. A.G.E.s make collagen and elastin brittle and vulnerable to breakage, which compromises the skin’s underlying support structure—and leads to the formation of several types of wrinkles as well as sagging, crepiness, and dullness. External aggressors such as UV rays, pollution, and lifestyle choices can accelerate the glycation process.
  • MMPs: Matrix metalloproteinases are enzymes that degrade the skin’s collagen and elastin. Young skin naturally contains MMP inhibitors, but the production of these protein regulators declines with age. Sun exposure stimulates MMPs, which also compromise the skin’s production of new collagen.

SkinCeuticals: Are There Are Treatments That Can Help Reverse the Effects of Aging on Wrinkles?

Dr. Anzilotti: There are several ways to improve the appearance of wrinkles, but the ideal treatment depends on their depth and type.

  • Minimizing the look of fine lines can be as simple as exfoliating and moisturizing regularly.
  • For expression-related wrinkles or dynamic wrinkles, neurotoxin injections can help prevent the muscle contractions that lead to these lines, and injectable fillers can plump up any furrows so called static wrinkles that have become etched into the skin. (SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier can help maintain the results of these professional treatments.)
  • Deeper wrinkles and folds caused by collagen loss can be smoothed with more dense injectable fillers that are often placed deeper within the skin to replenish its underlying support. Skincare-wise, A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced helps reverse the appearance of fine lines and the five types of wrinkles (forehead wrinkles, nasolabial folds, marionette wrinkles, glabellar wrinkles, and crow’s feet) that may result from glycation and the decline of collagen.

SkinCeuticals: How Can We Prevent Wrinkles From Forming?

Dr. Anzilotti: The number-one way to prevent visible signs of aging is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and topical antioxidant such as vitamin C topical antioxidant daily. Together, these products offer comprehensive protection against the environmental aggressors that promote skin aging. Avoiding habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also help prevent different types of wrinkles. Professional treatments such as chemical peels and neurotoxin injections (such as Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin®, and Jeuveau®) can help maintain smooth, line-free skin as well.

SkinCeuticals: Which Skincare Products Are Proven to Help Reduce the Visible Appearance of Wrinkles?

Dr. Anzilotti: Skincare can play a major role in minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to providing outstanding protection against environmental damage, C E Ferulic has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines by up to 27% and wrinkles by up to 36%.

I’m also excited about the latest SkinCeuticals innovation, A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced. This groundbreaking corrective cream targets the five main types of wrinkles with a new-and-improved formulation that features a higher concentration of Proxylane™ than before for 20% more wrinkle-fighting power, plus the addition of pomegranate extract for even more potent antioxidant benefits. To help reverse the visible signs of aging impacted by glycation, this advanced version also includes glycyrrhetinic acid to enhance radiance, HEPES to promote cellular turnover, and niacinamide for skin soothing and barrier support.

SkinCeuticals: Are There Any In-Office Skincare Treatment That Can Help Reverse the Effects of Aging on Wrinkles?

Dr. Anzilotti: Fortunately, there are many professional treatments and procedures that can help improve the appearance of different types of wrinkles. Superficial peels such as those formulated with glycolic and tricholoacetic acids as well as salicylic and retinoid acids are effective when performed as a series. Other treatments such as microneedling with radiofrequency or platelet-rich plasma and ultrasound- or radiofrequency-based skin-tightening can significantly improve the appearance of wrinkles as well.

SkinCeuticals: What is an Ideal Skincare Routine for Treating the Visible Appearance of Different Types of Wrinkles?

Dr. Anzilotti: Every skin, and the types of wrinkles it may develop, is different. Integrated skincare is the best approach for dealing with wrinkles and my best advice is to schedule a consultation with a SkinCeuticals professional who can recommend the ideal combination of at-home skincare and office-based treatments.


  • C E Ferulic or Silymarin for oily/blemish-prone skin
  • H.A. Intensifier
  • A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced or Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
  • Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50


  • Resveratrol B E
  • Retinol
  • A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced or Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
  • A.G.E. Advanced Eye

To discover the ideal skincare routine for correcting all types of wrinkles, use our online Routine Finder, visit one of our SkinCeuticals SkinLab locations, or schedule an appointment with a SkinCeuticals Skincare Professional for a one-on-one consultation.

Next: What Causes Fine Lines + Wrinkles

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