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Is There a Difference Between Fine Lines and Wrinkles?

Think of fine lines as baby wrinkles.
June 27, 2022

Fine lines and wrinkles are two common signs of skin aging that in case you haven't realized — are likely to appear on your face one day. Skin naturally loses moisture and elasticity as you age and as fat in the deeper layers of your skin breaks down, lines become more pronounced. 

It’s totally possible to embrace aging skin while addressing fine lines and wrinkles so if you fall into that category, keep reading to learn the difference between fine lines and wrinkles along with our best anti-aging tips to confront them.

What Are Fine Lines and Wrinkles?

Chances are you already know what wrinkles are and you might lump fine lines into the same category but, they’re actually different. Think of fine lines as baby wrinkles — they’re not wrinkles yet but create the basis for them. 

Fine lines are created when you continue to make the same facial expressions — leading to repeatedly contracting muscles, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). With continued contracting of those same muscles, the fine lines mature and turn into deep wrinkles that become permanent. 

Wrinkles are deeper, more prominent lines and are much harder to reduce the appearance of. In short, think of fine lines as the precursor to wrinkles.

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Can Fine Lines and Wrinkles Be Reversed?

There is a better chance of reversing fine lines than wrinkles and it’s more favorable to try and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles rather than reversing them. As we said, fine lines are what happen with repeated contract of the same muscles — leading to wrinkles. 

Being proactive with your lifestyle choices and skin care is optimal for preventing fine lines and wrinkles. Using SPF and hydrating skin care products along with retinol and makeup that doesn’t settle into fine lines all may help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Editor’s tip: Reach for a lightweight foundation with SPF that won’t enhance wrinkles, like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Radiant Serum Foundation with SPF 50. Thanks to lightweight, serum-like coverage this foundation features a natural, radiant finish that won’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles. 

How to Manage Fine Lines and Wrinkles

As we said, it’s normal and natural for your skin to eventually lose fullness and become thinner and dry as you age. While you can’t control the natural aging process or your genetic predisposition to aging skin, you can manage other environmental factors that contribute to aging skin and exacerbate wrinkles. Sun exposure, smoking and air pollution can all age your skin faster than it naturally would, according to the AAD.

Your skin care routine also plays a huge part in keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay. Consider adding the following anti-aging tips to your regimen to manage the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on your face — and even help to prevent them from forming altogether.

1. Maximize Hydration

Skin naturally loses moisture as you get older, so the key to any good anti-aging routine is to put back what’s lost — hydration. To maximize your skin’s hydration levels, layer serums under moisturizer. As the AAD explains, moisturizer literally traps hydration on your skin, which helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face over time.

Start with a good hydrating serum like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. If hydration is what you’re after, this serum is formulated with hyaluronic acid (which absorbs 1000x its weight in water according to the AAD), and works to replenish skin with moisture and reduce wrinkles with continued use over time. Don’t forget to follow up your hydrating serum with a good moisturizer to lock all that skin-loving hydration in.  

2. Don’t Neglect the Under-Eye Area

The skin around your eye area is very delicate — it’s the thinnest on your entire face so naturally, it needs extra moisture. Whatever your age, skin type, or skin care concerns, consider investing in a quality eye cream that will keep the eye area hydrated. Try the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Skincare Cell Renewal Anti-Aging Eye Cream Treatment to target dark circles, bags, puffiness, lines and crepey lids in one treatment. 

3. Or Your Neck and Chest a.k.a. Décolletage

We often spend so much time and energy caring for our complexion that we forget about other areas that are quick to show signs of aging skin — like the décolletage. Décolletage is a French word that refers to your neck and upper chest. Taking perfect care of your complexion can only go so far if you’re not caring for your neck and chest along with it. 

If you’re unsure where to start — just extend the skin care routine that you apply to your face down to your neck and upper chest. This means applying a moisturizer and SPF to your décolletage daily along with your hydrating serum and moisturizer at night.

4. Wear SPF

SPF reigns supreme in any skin care routine. Like it or not, every time you’re outdoors without sun protection, the sun’s rays are damaging your skin, according to the AAD. Over time, this damage builds up and can increase the appearance of wrinkles, so the best solution is to use routine SPF to slow down the signs of sun damage. 

If you’re the type to forget this last step in your skin care routine, opt for a face moisturizer that’s formulated with SPF, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion With SPF 30.

5. Use an Anti-Aging Moisturizer

Lock in moisture and address your aging skin concerns while you sleep with the help of a moisturizer like the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power Anti-Aging Overnight Mask. This amped up moisturizer is actually an overnight mask formulated with pro-retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to brighten, firm and reduce wrinkles with every use.

6. Use Self-Tanning Products As Opposed To Sun Tanning

Sun tans and tanning beds accelerate signs of aging because UV rays create premature skin damage. Everyone wants a glowing visage, especially during the summer, but you can really protect your skin by making the commitment to reach for a self-tanning product like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Water Mist, Vitamin E. This self-tanning mist is formulated especially for the face to offer a natural-looking bronze glow, free of unnatural orange tones and sticky textures.

Next: Should Retinol Come Before or After Moisturizer?

Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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