4 Surprising Things That Are Giving You Wrinkles (And How to Fix Them)

Woman drinking a green smoothie from a straw

There are plenty of well-known rules and remedies for anti-aging. We all know eye cream is a necessity and retinol is a game-changer. We’ve been told to schedule facials monthly and wash our makeup off before bed. But there are a few common wrinkle-causing actions you’re probably doing on the regular—without even realizing it. I know, we were scared when we first heard too.

I spoke with Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group about the aging factors that are prevalent in our daily routines. She explained, "Pretty much anything that causes the facial muscles to contract can cause deep wrinkles with repeated use—just like a paper creases deeper and deeper every time it's folded, your skin responds the same way by making deeper and deeper wrinkles. Some causes of wrinkles are obvious (smiling leads to crow's feet), but some are lesser-known, usually because you don’t even realize you’re using your facial muscles.”

Here are the daily activities that are most certainly causing fine lines.

1. Eye Makeup Application

“Next time you’re applying eye shadow, mascara, or eyeliner, look at the face you’re making in the mirror. Most people raise their eyebrows up high and create lines across their forehead. With time, those lines will remain when your face is at rest.”

2. Pursing Lips

“Similar to smoker's lines around the mouth, little lines can form with repeat pursing of the lips. The tighter you purse your lips, and the harder you contract those muscles, the deeper the lines.”

3. Tech-Neck

“Tech-neck is a new term that has popped up for wrinkles around the neck from staring down at your phone all day. Pay attention to the creases and folds that form when you’re peering down at your email—a wrinkly neck is sure to age your appearance quickly.”

4. Squinting

“If you’re squinting to read things clearly, you’ll not only strain the muscles in your eyes, but you’ll develop many more fine lines around them. Much like classic crow's-feet, repeating squinting and contraction of periocular muscles eventually lead to many lines around the eyes. So, pay attention to what makes you squint—an outdated weak prescription, walking around on a sunny day without sunglasses, etc.”

Simple Fixes

When I asked about simple fixes, Nazarian answered, “That’s easy—these lines are classified as ‘dynamic wrinkles,’ meaning they’re caused by muscle contractions. Those types of wrinkles are candidates for neurotoxin injection (with either Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin).”

She continued, “Oftentimes I notice that getting these injections trains the person to stop making the repeated movements, and they require fewer injections over time.”

If you’re not into injections (I feel you), it’s best to try to do these movements as little as possible. Drink straight from your glass, visit the eye doctor frequently, and keep off your phone as much as possible. If, like me, your phone is a part of your job, try to hold it at eye level each time you check your email (or Instagram, more likely). Also, invest in your skincare routine. There are products with ingredients that pack a really effective punch.

Below, find our anti-aging essentials.

SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 $88
Vitamin C
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster $50
Hyaluronic Acid
SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator $178 $151

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