There are a number of causes for wrinkles, folds which appear in the skin over time. Though they're often a natural part of aging, there are some steps which people can take to reduce them, and some products purport to limit wrinkling and erase lines. These products work with varying degrees of success, and people who are interested in them should consider talking to a dermatologist about their options.
As people age, their skin undergoes a number of changes. The cells in the epidermis, the upper layer of the skin, start to divide more slowly, making it difficult for the skin to repair itself, and the epidermis thins. Both process make skin more papery and fragile, and they contribute to water loss. When the skin is not able to stay as moist, dehydration can contribute to the formation of wrinkles.
Wrinkling is also associated with a loss of skin elasticity, another thing which occurs over the course of time. Muscle movements can also hasten the formation of wrinkles, with habitual muscle movements creating creases which will eventually become permanent. The face and hands are often heavily wrinkled for this reason, because they are used abundantly over the course of someone's lifetime.
The skin's supply of nutrients is also interrupted by the aging process, and activities such as smoking can make this problem even worse. This contributes to wrinkles. They also become pronounced because fat cells shrink with age, and they no longer act as a form of natural filler which keeps the skin plump and tight.
Damage from sunlight is a big cause of wrinkles, especially in areas where the ozone layer is thin. Wearing sunscreen can protect people from lines and prevent skin cancers. Natural hormonal changes which occur with age are also a cause of wrinkles, especially in women, as changing hormone levels can lead to issues such as skin dryness.
Caring for the skin well in youth can reduce the ravages of aging. Regular moisturization is strongly recommended to keep the skin moist and elastic, and using a moisturizer with SPF protection can also prevent sun damage. In sunny climates, wearing hats and loose-fitting garments with lots of coverage will also reduce exposure to UV radiation and the development of future lines.