Why does your face Wrinkle in some places more than others?


This was the question answered by a very interesting article on Cosmetics Design Europe this morning. I have to say I never really thought to ask it before. But it is an interesting question.

The answer it turns out is that the areas of the face that are least prone to wrinkles are the ones that have the most sebaceous glands. This means, presumably, that they are coated with more sebum. And it seems that one of the purposes this oil is produced for is keeping the skin in good condition. And this in turn means you get less wrinkles.

I was interested enough to tweet the link. This led to a response from the number one cuddle muffin of Twitter, Andy Millward who suggested that this would only apply to fine lines and wouldn’t have any effect on deeper wrinkles. These form deep in the dermis and result from degradation of collagen.

I see his logic and I probably agree with him. But you never know with these things. There’s a good chance that the condition of the upper surface of the skin has some effect on what is going on much deeper down. Most biological systems have some kind of feedback mechanism. So although I don’t think it’s likely, I don’t think you can rule out the possibility that sebum protects against all kinds of wrinkles not just superficial ones.

So what does it all mean?

One of the biggest effects with most cleaning agents, and in particular soap, is that they removes sebum along with all the dirt that they are meant to remove. We already knew that soap dries the skin out, which is not a good thing. Maybe it also makes us more prone to go wrinkly in the long run.

Major caveat – this is pure speculation. We really need to do more research on this before we can draw any conclusions.

In light of this, you might want to have a look at my post on oil based cleansers.

Here is the original link.


3 thoughts on “Why does your face Wrinkle in some places more than others?”

  1. Andy Millward

    Thanks for the mention and LOL at cuddle muffin Colin!
    I’m really not disputing that oilier skin ages better and I definitely agree, that sebum has a protective quality to it. I believe this is well known within the beauty industry for quite some time.
    My point was more about the correlation of the ‘number of glands’. As you said, it’s not necessarily the activity of those glands but rathe the number.
    I’m not disputing it’s a factor, after all logically more glands = higher potential for oil production, but I’m not sure I believe it’s a number one, (or even number two) reason, but rather there are more important factors at play such as the amount of fat tissue being different on certain areas of the face (eyes and forehead), muscles for expression, the dermis being thinner in certain area plus of course environmental facts (squinting from the sun, certain areas of the face catching more UV than others), lifestyle factors such as smoking and dietary factors i.e. too much sugar!

  2. Hi Colin
    Your instincts are right – sebum does protect against deeper wrinkles to a certain extent. Healthy collagen needs to be bathed in moisture and sebum helps trap moisture in our skin

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