Why Are Some Wrinkles Deeper Than Others?

If there’s anything we find ourselves or elder members of our families complaining about as they age, it’s crow’s feet - the facial wrinkles that start appearing over time and have us scrambling for the closest anti-aging cream. The reasons why forehead wrinkles are shallower than wrinkles around our eyes has largely been unknown - until now.

Studies carried out by a research team led by Yuichi Tamatsu, of Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences in Japan, may shed some light on the matter. After studying the skin of 58 Japanese cadavers, they found that the difference lies in the oil-secreting glands just below our skin, called sebaceous glands. These glands secrete sebum, an oily or waxy material that lubricates the skin and helps to protect it from water damage.

This means that wrinkles in the face are deeper where there are fewer sebaceous glands. And yes, you guessed it - this means the outer corners of the yes. In addition to this, the team admitted that there are many other factors that could play a role here. Moreover, given that this study was restricted to Japanese skin, “it remains unknown whether lighter or darker types of skin would show similar tendencies."

While this isn’t entirely groundbreaking for skin health, the team did advise that hydration is the key to skin metabolism, toxin processing, nutrient delivery as well as maintaining skin elasticity. In addition, sun protection, a healthy diet, regular exercise and good sleep ware all "important components in ensuring optimal skin metabolism, which manifests in attractive skin."


Nitin Chauhan, M.D., facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and otolaryngologist, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Ashani Weeraratna, Ph.D., assistant professor, molecular and cellular oncogenesis program, Wistar Institute, Philadelphia; July 1, 2015, Clinical Anatomy, online

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