If you’re wondering why your 15-step anti-aging skincare routine isn’t working, you might want to dig deep. Because even if you’re not aware, some of your daily habits can actually cause wrinkles in a very sneaky way. We’re aware of the usual suspects that are notorious for causing wrinkles.
The list includes unprotected sun exposure, unhealthy habits, lack of sleep, too much caffeine, dehydration, eating too much sugar, drinking too much, and stress.
Umm, yeah! We know! Well, I’m willing to take my chances and hold on to my coffee. What good is smooth skin if your brain is too foggy to see your glowing reflection in the mirror, right?
So in a way, we’re all guilty of doing things that we know are bad for our skin. But how about the ones that we are not aware of?
I’m afraid there are sneakier things than coffee beans that are giving you wrinkles. Some daily habits you’ve been doing for years cause and worsen wrinkles. Keep reading to find out how.
Daily Habits That Can Cause Wrinkles
Below are 8 daily habits that can cause wrinkles.
Excessive squinting (1) can accelerate the formation of wrinkles around the eyes and can deepen them if you already have them. When you squint, wrinkles appear around the eyes.
These types of wrinkles, wrinkles that are related to facial muscle movement, are called expression wrinkles. Well, we squint on purpose.
But sometimes, we do it without realizing it. For example, when you’re under the sun and not wearing glasses, you tend to squint more. Similarly, if you need glasses but haven’t been to a doctor, you tend to squint to see better.
To avoid getting these wrinkles, find the root cause of your excessive squinting. Maybe get prescription glasses or consider LASIK eye surgery. Also, wear your sunglasses and protective clothing when you’re under the sun.
2. Nail biting.
Nail biting, especially when carried out as a long-time habit, can cause wrinkles above the lips, on the forehead, and between the brows.
When you’re stressed and going to town on your nails, you tend to frown and entrench the vertical lines (11s) between the brows.
When you’re watching TV and concentrating on what’s going on there while biting your nails, you tend to raise your brows and strengthen horizontal wrinkles on the forehead.
When you’re pursing your lips while nibbling at nails, you reinforce thin lines above the lips much like the smoker’s lines.
Try to manage this nail-biting habit by addressing its cause. Find a way to manage stress and anxiety. For me, regular manicures helped better than Yoga.
3. Excessive eyebrow raising.
People with hooded eyes tend to develop a habit of raising their eyebrows consistently and excessively. Though having hooded eyes is not a daily habit, raising your eyebrows involuntarily is.
Also with age, the eyelids tend to droop to the extent that it feels like it limits our vision. And to open up our eyes and see better, we raise our eyebrows.
And this intensifies the wrinkles on the forehead through excessive muscle contraction. If you’re not happy with hooded eyelids, you can consider Botox injections for a brow lift. If you’re happy with your eyelids, try to be aware of this habit so that you can avoid it.
When you’re applying your skincare products, you may be rubbing your skin in the wrong way. Pun intended. Pulling, tugging, and rubbing your skin while cleansing your face and applying your skincare products can damage your skin’s elasticity.
This makes your skin more susceptible to wrinkles especially around the eyes where the skin tends to be very thin and fragile. Similarly, applying your skincare products in a downward motion simply strengthens the hand of gravity.
Be very gentle with your skin when cleansing and applying products. Instead of rubbing, try to press your serums in and wait for them to absorb. Apply your creams and moisturizers in an upward motion so you don’t reinforce facial wrinkles.
5. Doing eye makeup.
We’re all guilty of stretching eyes when applying eyeliner so that we manage to draw a straight line. In time, this hurts the skin around the eyes, which can lead to fine lines. And it’s not just the eyeliner.
We tend to raise our brows while applying mascara and eyeshadow. We do this almost every day! This is simply another sneaky daily habit that causes and worsens wrinkles on the face. And it all comes down to excessive muscle contraction.
Anything that causes you to make unnecessary expressions is going to contribute to the formation of wrinkles. Plus, waterproof eye makeup is difficult to remove. It requires a lot of rubbing. Always, always get a proper makeup remover for waterproof makeup.
6. Sleeping on your side.
Sleeping on the side or on your stomach causes the formation of sleep wrinkles. These wrinkles are not due to facial contraction but due to the pressure against the sleep surface (2).
Plus, these wrinkles have their own special areas on the face. They appear on temples, sides of the nose, and brows! It means that you’re creating wrinkles in a space where no wrinkles are supposed to be.
And because of the fact that sleep wrinkles are different than expression wrinkles, you can’t treat them with Botox! Pay attention to your sleeping position and avoid side-sleeping and face-sleeping. This is also a great excuse to cut back on pre-snooze screen time, which brings us to our next point.
7. Adopting a bad posture.
At this point, phones and laptops are vital to our being. We simply can’t imagine life without them. However, improper posture while scrolling down your feed can cause neck wrinkles.
We tend to look down on the phones. Here’s the thing; if you were to raise your phone to your eye level so that you don’t look down, your hand would get tired after a short while.
But the amount of time we spend on our screens is not normal. Because scrolling down your social media feed doesn’t take 10 seconds. It takes more, a lot more!
So we adapt by taking a position where we’re most comfortable. And we involuntarily keep the devices low so that we simply drop our necks down and leave them there. No effort needed there!
A similar thing happens when your laptop is not elevated enough and you have to look down. These habits cause and strengthen horizontal neck wrinkles.
Either adopt a healthier sitting position or consider cutting back on your screen time. Because neck lines are more difficult to hide than face lines.
8. Making excessive gestures.
I’m talking about protective face masks. They are a part of our lives now and we wear these pieces every day. We’ve successfully adapted to this new normal. What we’ve failed to adapt to is making gestures using only half of our faces.
To fully convey our emotions and reactions, we use our eyes, our brows, nose, mouth, and chin. We need them all working together to make a readable facial expression.
But because the lower part of your face is covered, you employ your upper part and make it work double duty. To let the person know that their joke was funny, you squint your eyes more because they can’t see your mouth.
To show that you’re surprised, you raise your eyebrows in an exaggerated manner because your mouth is not visible. As we’ve established, any type of repetitive excess muscle movement is going to add to the formation of wrinkles.
Be aware of these unnecessary contractions and try to use your voice and words instead. It’s not the same, I know. But try to avoid using your eye and forehead area excessively.
This concludes our list of surprising things and habits that cause facial wrinkles. You must have heard that chewing gum and using straws can also cause wrinkles. I can imagine someone squinting quite often.
But I can’t imagine someone using straws that often. Is that a Gen Z thing? Either way, nothing holds a candle to sun exposure when it comes to aging your skin. So wear your SPF.
Read Next: How To Improve Skin Texture
- Clatici, V. G., Racoceanu, D., Dalle, C., Voicu, C., Tomas-Aragones, L., Marron, S. E., Wollina, U., & Fica, S. (2017). Perceived Age and Life Style. The Specific Contributions of Seven Factors Involved in Health and Beauty. Maedica, 12(3), 191–201.
- Goesel Anson, MD, FACS, Michael A.C. Kane, MD, Val Lambros, MD, FACS, Sleep Wrinkles: Facial Aging and Facial Distortion During Sleep, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 36, Issue 8, September 2016, Pages 931–940, https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjw074