A Derm Says Mistaking ‘Crinkles’ for Wrinkles Could Be Fooling You Into Buying the Wrong Skin Care

Photo: Getty/Westend 61
We all know what a wrinkle looks like, and thanks to dermatologist's intel about the benefits of peptides and retinol (and, yes, Botox), we also know how to diminish the signs of them, if we so choose. But one thing you may not know? Wrinkles have a near-identical doppelgänger called "crinkles" that require a totally different course of action to deal with—rendering your usual skin-firming ingredients almost completely obsolete.

Unlike standard wrinkles, which occur when your skin's natural collagen and elastin production slows down, crinkles are caused by dehydration. "I consider a 'crinkle' to be an early type of wrinkle—it's a crease or fold in the skin that appears to come and go, but isn't permanent," says Caroline Robinson, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Tone Dermatology. "It's more related to a decrease of water molecules as opposed to a loss of collagen."

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Think of these dehydration lines as your classic wrinkles' easier-to-deal-with younger sister. "They can lead to wrinkles over time, but are not permanent," says Dr. Robinson, adding that in order to treat them properly, you must first know how to spot them. "The skin itself often appears dull and shows more lines than usual," she says. Before you double down on wrinkle-treatment serums, she suggests first properly hydrating your skin to see if it helps diminish the appearance of whatever lines you see. If it works, you're probably dealing with crinkles.

In this case, continuing to boost your skin's hydration levels is key for keeping your complexion smooth. "If your skin is consistently hydrated, you're helping to prevent crinkles from appearing in the first place while also doing something healthy for your skin," says Dr. Robinson. "The most effective way to hydrate the skin is with humectant serums and moisturizers with actives like hyaluronic acid and glycerin."

Her pick for getting the job done? ISDIN Hyaluronic Concentrate ($98). "It has both low and medium weight hyaluronic acids which attract water to both the top and deeper layers of the skin," says Dr. Robinson. "It also contains a BioMarine ingredient that helps to plump the skin and fill out those crinkles. The peptides in the formula also help to rejuvenate collagen and prevent future wrinkles from occurring." It's got exactly what you need for keeping your crinkles at bay, and will ensure you won't ever again waste your money on a wrinkle treatment your skin doesn't actually need.

For more of the best hydrating ingredients that may be worth adding to your anti-crinkle routine, check out the video below. 

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