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Ageing & Our Skin: Debunking 5 Common Myths About Wrinkles

Most of us have heard the expression that says we use more muscles to frown than we do to smile. Although this is debatable, often we’re told that not using our muscles at all will help us to avoid wrinkles. The thing is, unless you’re the genuine brooding type, this isn’t really a feasible idea.

Not to mention it’s complete rubbish.

That’s not to say smiling has no effect on wrinkles. It does. But there’s no single thing in particular that causes them, unfortunately. Trust us, if there was, we’d have found it by now!

The truth is, wrinkles are normal and natural, whether we like it or not. They are simply a result of our skin losing volume and elasticity as we age. However, knowing that wrinkles are normal doesn’t stop us from wanting to get rid of them, or even prevent them from forming in the first place.

We can’t wave a magic wand and make ourselves look young again. Skincare routines, non-invasive treatments and surgery can all help us to feel (and look) more youthful. But knowing the ins and outs helps, too.

That’s why we’ve taken five of the most pervasive myths about wrinkles, and done the research. Because knowing is half of the journey.


Myth No. 1: My parents have wrinkly skin, so I’ll get wrinkles, too

We inherit lots of things from our parents. Hair colour. Eye colour. Skin tone. Sometimes even their temper or bad habits.

Wrinkles, though? Not as much as you’d think.

There are things that contribute to the appearance of wrinkles. And this can include your skin type (which can definitely, though not always, be inherited). However, around 80% of the visible changes we see to our skin as we age don’t come from genetics. In fact, those changes come almost entirely from sun damage.


woman sits outside in grass, tree behind, lens flare from sunlight

Since we know quite a lot about sun damage, and protecting our skin from the sun, there are actually quite a few things we can do. Starting a good skincare regime early in life can make all the difference. Especially when we’re consistent and maintain that routine for… well, pretty much forever.

So instead of gazing into the depths of your parents’ wrinkles and despairing, try these few tips instead:

  • Wear sunscreen. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. In fact, we’ll tell you every day if we have to. Sunscreen can prevent far more damage than you can ever imagine. So slap on the SPF (at least 50, preferably) and keep reapplying it throughout the day.
  • Work with your skin to find the right antioxidants, serums and moisturisers for you. And then make sure you apply them every single day.
  • If you apply a product to your skin and it burns, don’t think “no pain no gain”. That’s not how skincare works. If it itches, burns or inflames your skin, wash it off and don’t use it again.
  • Fact: You don’t know better than a dermatologist. The people who write the “how to use” section of your favourite serum are qualified to do so. Which is why sticking to the instructions is important.
  • Remember that your skin changes. As we get older, our skin has different needs, so adapt your routine accordingly.

Wrinkles are somewhat inevitable. But whether or not your parents have wrinkles shouldn’t be the deciding factor for how you take care of your skin. That’s your decision.


Myth No. 2: If I have a perfect skincare routine, I won’t get wrinkles

Take a look at your skincare routine. The chances are, you’ve put some effort into trying products that work for you and your skin type.

Now take a look at your favourite celebrity’s skincare routine. It’s probably different, and you’ve wondered why that is.

It seems like the answer is to switch to their routine, and drop your own. Clearly they’ve got some secret you can get in on…

No. The truth is, every single person on this planet has different skin. Which means they need a different skincare regime. There’s no one and done perfect routine that will make everyone wrinkle-free. It’s just not possible.

If trial and error has served you so far to create your daily routine, then keep at it! Honestly, that’s the best way to find out what works for you, and what doesn’t. And as it happens, we’ve already come up with a handy guide to figuring out your skin type, which is a great place to start.


woman with blue hair and tattoos sits pensive on couch, wall and fairy lights in background

Myth No. 3: Moisturising will save my skin from wrinkles

Moisturiser is truly a wonderful thing. We’re forever grateful that it exists. But it’s not a miracle worker. Nothing is.

That’s not to say you should skip moisturising altogether. No, it’s an important step in any good skincare regime. It just won’t prevent wrinkles from forming.

However, your moisturiser can definitely lessen the appearance of your fine lines. Up to a point, anyway.

Moisturiser and SPF are two of the most important things you should have in your skincare routine. The former helps water to stay in your skin, keeping it hydrated and looking plump. The latter protects your skin from sun damage, which dehydrates the skin, among other things.

Hydrated skin tends to look firmer and plumper. That doesn’t mean your wrinkles are gone, simply that they’re not as visible. So stick with the moisturiser, please. It’ll help, it just won’t cure.


Myth No. 4: Wrinkle treatments that work cost a fortune

Take a moment to think about wrinkles as if you were a big business entrepreneur. Most of us don’t like wrinkles, and would go to great lengths to prevent them. So naturally, offering something that can smooth them out and give you back your youth… that’s big money, right there. And why charge a small price for a (supposedly) big result?

It’s nonsense, of course.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of treatments available that claim to erase wrinkles and give your skin a new lease of life. But how often have you seen actual evidence that any such offering works?

What we can say for certain is, we’re constantly making groundbreaking new discoveries about products and ingredients that work well for our skin. But the ingredients available aren’t fancier if you pay more. And you can get great results without breaking the bank.

The most effective skincare routines to reduce wrinkles are surprisingly simple. It’s better for your skin if you don’t apply twenty-two products each evening, and it’s certainly better for your wallet.


woman in large hat, arms and back exposed, faces dock with boats away from camera

Myth No. 5: I only need an SPF on sunny days

This is by far the most important thing we can ever tell you. SPF is for every day of the year. We know we harp on about it. And we know that this is Britain. And the rain pours down more often than the sun shines… but it’s the truth.

When you’re outdoors and you feel that warm, golden sunny glow on your skin, take it as a warning! Apply sunscreen and reapply it every two hours. Even if it’s cloudy. It could honestly make the difference between not just the appearance of youth and the appearance of age, but life and death.

Sunscreen can reduce your chances of developing skin cancer, which is a very serious business. It also happens to be the best anti-ageing product you’ll ever invest in, preventing your skin from damaging UV rays.

In fact, a good SPF also allows your skin to repair itself, which in turn prevents more damage.

Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen: one that protects your skin from UVA, UVB and other light sources. If you do your research, you’ll find that there are sunscreens that contain antioxidants too, which we know are beneficial. Sun damage isn’t reversible, so prevention is the only option here.

And if you want a tan, go fake. Trust us.


Look After Your Skin & Keep Smiling

So that’s it, myths debunked.

Of course, there are more myths about wrinkles than we can count, but we know you don’t have all day. Instead, we’ll finish with this:

When you feel like a teenager in your head, it can be frustrating to watch your body change and age. Fine lines and wrinkles can seem like they appear overnight, but really they’re creeping up on us, slowly but surely.

It’s better to take care of your skin from an early age and prevent what can’t be cured. But if you’re only just beginning to see the signs of ageing, it’s not too late to get started on a good routine. There’s no such thing as too late, really.

Be realistic about what you can do to look and feel more youthful. Drink plenty of water. Make sure you get eight hours of sleep. Find the skincare routine that works for you. All these things can help you to feel better about your skin. (And there are plenty of other treatments for fine lines and wrinkles available if you’re still not happy.)

And remember: it might take more muscles to smile than you think, but a smiling, confident person is always beautiful.