Fine lines and wrinkles are natural and inevitable, but with the right information – and proper skin care – you can take a proactive approach to aging gracefully. Learn how to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming prematurely and how to diminish their appearance once they make their debut with an interview full of expert advice from Dr. Michelle Hines, the Director of Product Formulation and Global Upstream Research at Mary Kay.

A smiling mature black woman with graying natural hair

What’s the difference between fine lines and wrinkles?
Both fine lines and wrinkles are visible signs of skin aging. In general, they are defined by their size – short and shallow fine lines might appear first and could be considered “baby” wrinkles, while true wrinkles are more prominent in length and depth. Fine lines generally appear beneath the eyes, but wrinkles and deep wrinkles appear on the forehead and crow’s feet. Over time, fine lines can progress to more noticeable wrinkles and become more difficult to reduce in appearance.

How and why do fine lines and wrinkles form?
Mary factors contribute to the development of visible fine lines and wrinkles. Skin experts acknowledge that 80% of visible signs of aging are attributed to external environmental factors such as UV light, blue light from devices and pollution. Additionally, as we age, we lose important skin proteins like collagen and elastin, and our natural collagen production slows down. A lifetime of repetitive facial expressions including smiling, squinting, and frowning, gradually degrade the underlying proteins of skin. As a result, the top layers of skin “sink” into creases and appear as fine lines and wrinkles on the face.
Luxurious smears of age defying Mary Kay skin care products

How can I prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming?
There really is no such thing as wrinkle-free skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are inevitable, and you can’t ultimately stop them from showing up. However, you can work to prevent them from forming prematurely. My best advice is to always wear a sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher. Not only does sunscreen help prevent skin cancer, but it's also an important anti-aging ingredient. Additionally, you should maintain a daily skin care regimen. Consistency really is key, and it’s never too late to start!

Aside from dermatologist treatments, what can I do to address my fine lines and wrinkles?
Similar to preventing premature skin aging, a consistent skin care regimen including twice-daily cleansing and moisturizing with products containing anti-aging or advanced anti-aging ingredients can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Just remember that while skin care can help reduce the signs of aging, it can't completely eliminate them or stop them from forming.

What key skin care ingredients should I look for to help prevent or diminish fine lines and wrinkles?
When it comes to anti-wrinkle or anti-aging ingredients, retinol is the gold standard wrinkle treatment! It promotes skin renewal to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for younger-looking skin. Other effective ingredients to look for include vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, and resveratrol. All of these ingredients help support natural collagen and elastin. Hydration is also critical to healthy skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so I recommend looking for hyaluronic acid because it helps draw moisture to the skin.

An artistic illustration that represents retinol

A dermatologist favorite, retinol is a powerful and potent ingredient. Look for products containing a high concentration like Mary Kay Clinical Solutions™ Retinol 0.5 for maximum results.

An artistic illustration that represents the antioxidant vitamin C

Vitamin C is a vital component of skin health. Look for products containing some form of vitamin C as a main ingredient like TimeWise Replenishing Serum C + E, a benefit-packed serum containing three forms of vitamin C plus vitamin E.

An artistic illustration of the molecular structure of resveratrol

Resveratrol is an age-fighting sensation with multiple benefits from antioxidants to supporting skin’s natural collagen. Look for a mix of skin care products containing this key ingredient like the TimeWise® Miracle Set 3D™.

A smiling mature white woman with blonde hair

Are there certain skin care steps you recommend for those with mild-to-moderate signs of aging? What about those with more severe signs of aging?
Everyone should use a cleanser and moisturizer twice daily, regardless of age or visible lines and wrinkles. This healthy habit will help you have healthy-looking skin over time. If you’re showing mild-to-moderate signs of aging, I recommend incorporating an age-fighting serum and exfoliation step into your cleansing and moisturizing routine. For those with more severe signs of aging, I recommend also adding a product containing retinol. It’s a star ingredient when it comes to preventing and reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and can be incorporated into any skin care routine starting as early as your 20s.

And now that we know fine lines and wrinkles are a natural and inevitable part of aging, what tips do you have for gracefully embracing getting older?
My personal tips are to always adjust your skin care products according to your skin’s needs. As we age, skin becomes drier, and products that worked when we were younger likely need to be adjusted. Make sure you wear sunscreen every day – even when it’s cloudy – and exfoliation is a must to help keep skin smooth. Additionally, a consistent skin care regimen of twice-daily cleansing and moisturizing from an early age along with the use of key skin care supplements like serums will help ensure healthy looking skin for life. And healthy skin is beautiful skin, regardless of age!

Anti-Aging Home Remedies

If you have more questions about fine lines and wrinkles or want to create an at-home anti-aging skin care regimen that’s right for you, contact or connect with a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant! As your personal skin care advisor, she can help you love your skin and try the latest makeup looks with one-on-one consultations and small gatherings — virtually or in person!

Dr. Michelle Hines, the Director of Product Formulation and Global Upstream Research at Mary Kay, has over 25 years of experience in skin science research. She enjoys spending time with her son, Justin, and her two dogs, Dash and Lily, and is a devoted user of Mary Kay Clinical Solutions™ Retinol 0.5.

Molly McGonigal is a writer who is alliteration obsessed and loves a good dress. She uses the TimeWise® Miracle Set 3D daily and can’t live without TimeWise Replenishing Serum C + E.