When Do Wrinkles Start? How To Prevent Premature Aging

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With each passing year in adulthood, the skin’s naturally diminishing collagen levels create the risk of wrinkles. But, exactly when do wrinkles tend to appear? The answer to that question comes down to a combination of factors, including your daily habits.

Certain habits can prevent or promote premature aging. While the visible effects of detrimental habits may not be apparent in your 20s, the way you treat your skin during this decade of life will determine the future appearance of your complexion.

girl applying cream

The First Signs of Aging in Young Women

As a young woman, you’ll notice three common signs of aging over time. These include:

  • Loss of volume

Sagging skin or flattening of the cheeks is an indicator of lost skin volume. Losing skin volume deteriorates the overall quality of your skin. As a result, you may appear to look tired or older than you actually are.

  • Lost elasticity

The healthy, firm skin seen in children is due to increased skin elasticity. As we age, our skin becomes less elastic, causing a dry, duller appearance.

  • Fine lines and wrinkles

One of the first signs of aging in young women is fine lines and wrinkles. Typically, these appear around the age of 30 but are influenced by your lifestyle and genetics.

Repetitive facial movements like squinting, frowning, or even laughing can produce folds in the skin.

Certain detrimental habits can cause wrinkles to develop earlier in life, including:

  1. Lack of a skincare routine

An effective skincare routine doesn’t have to include an array of expensive products. You can keep it simple while preventing wrinkles in your 20s and beyond.

Important tips to remember are to wash off makeup before going to bed, cleanse the face twice a day, and use a nutrient-dense moisturizer. Moisturizing after cleansing in the morning and before bed ensures that your skin remains hydrated throughout the day and night. For extra wrinkle protection, consider adding retinol or a retinoid to your beauty lineup.

Take a look at our best wrinkle creams for anti-aging skincare to add to your beauty routine.   

  1. Smoking

Along with the numerous health problems that smoking causes, it’s damaging to your skin. Smoking depletes important nutrients from your skin, like vitamin C, while accelerating aging. The nicotine in cigarettes also reduces blood flow throughout your body, often creating a dull, unhealthy appearance.

  1. Sun exposure

UV light from the sun promotes the formation of damaging free radicals, which can lead to wrinkles. So, protecting your skin against excessive sunlight is crucial to prevent premature wrinkles. This can be done by applying sunscreen with at least SPF 30 (or higher) to shield your skin from UV rays.

woman at the beach

FAQ: Understanding Premature Fine Lines and Old Age Wrinkles

Are wrinkles normal at 30?

Some wrinkles may appear by the age of 30, but their severity is influenced by your habits and genetics.

Is it normal to have wrinkles in your 20s?

Wrinkles in your 20s are not part of natural aging. If you see wrinkles in your early 20s, they may have been caused by damaging habits like smoking or excessive sun exposure.

Are wrinkles normal at 25?

You may start to notice mild wrinkles in your mid-twenties. Around this time, your skin’s collagen production decreases by 1% each year. [1]

Is it normal to have wrinkles at 26?

Your skin starts to naturally produce less collagen in your 20s. Since collagen is one of the building blocks of your skin, you may start to notice mild wrinkles or fine lines as a result. However, deep wrinkles at this age aren’t a part of natural aging and may be influenced by your lifestyle.

When do people start getting wrinkles?

You’ll start to notice wrinkles in your mid to late 30s, which is related to the natural aging process. [2]

What are normal wrinkles at 35?

At 35, you can expect to see more prominent wrinkles around your forehead, eyes, and lips. However, deep wrinkles aren’t usually seen in your 30s.

Where do wrinkles first appear?

Most commonly, wrinkles begin to appear around your mouth, eyes, and neck.

Most commonly, wrinkles begin to appear around your mouth, eyes, and neck

To get rid of forehead wrinkles, it’s important to use SPF 30 sunscreen, cleanse, and moisturize twice a day. Additionally, consider using collagen-boosting retinoids.

lady spraying in front of mirror

What are the average wrinkles by age?

Starting at the age of 20, you may notice minor wrinkles caused by repeatedly smiling or squinting your eyes. With each decade, you can expect to lose a degree of tissue volume. This will progressively result in more wrinkled skin with a less “full” appearance.
Once you hit 40, it’s natural to notice that your skin has started to sag from a loss of volume.

I have forehead wrinkles at 20: How can I get smoother skin?

Forehead wrinkles at 20 aren’t a part of natural aging and are likely caused by excessive UV light exposure. Using SPF 30+ sunscreen every day will help protect your skin against further sun damage and promote smoother, healthier skin.

Are deep lines normal wrinkles at 40?

As you approach your 40s, you’ll start noticing deepening wrinkles and sagging skin. This is normal and results from less collagen production as we age.

What can I do about signs of aging on the face?

Signs of aging on the face can be countered with lifestyle changes. These include quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet, and using an anti-aging skincare routine with sunscreen.

What should I do about forehead wrinkles at 30?

To counter wrinkles in your 30s, start by boosting collagen production with regular exfoliation, retinol creams, and a vitamin C serum to battle free radical formation. Additionally, using SPF 30+ sunscreen is essential to prevent deepening forehead wrinkles in your 30s.

Are forehead wrinkles at 20 normal?

Forehead wrinkles at 20 aren’t caused by the normal aging process. If you notice forehead wrinkles at the age of 20, they may be caused by UV light damage to the skin. [3]

At what age do you get forehead wrinkles?

It’s normal to start to see forehead wrinkles in your mid to late thirties.

Why do I have wrinkles under eyes at 20?

At 20, it’s normal to experience “dynamic” wrinkles caused by squinting your eyes or smiling. If these wrinkles persist without any facial expressions, they may be a sign of premature aging.

ALSO READ: Do Stress Wrinkles Go Away

Conclusion: What To Do About the First Signs of Aging

It’s normal to begin seeing the first signs of aging in your mid-twenties. With this in mind, it’s essential to employ a stellar skincare routine and healthy habits so that your skin remains healthy as you age. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to help your skin retain its smooth, youthful glow!

[1] https://www.avogel.co.uk/health/skin/ageing-skin/what-age-do-you-start-seeing-wrinkles/
[2] https://int.eucerin.com/skin-concerns/aging-skin/in-general
[3] https://www.struthealth.com/blog/forehead-wrinkles-in-your-20s-and-30s

Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.