Wrinkles And Men

Wrinkles are the fine lines and creases on one’s skin surface, usually a reflex of declined skin function. Arguably the most notable feature of ageing, wrinkles, are typically found as small folds or ridges in areas of the skin that have been subjected to repeated movements or sunlight. Beyond their cosmetic appearance, wrinkles can hold emotional significance for someone, as they can impact one’s perception of themselves and others’ perception of them. 

Even though the media might focus cosmetic care and advertising on women, wrinkles are by no means exclusive to them. Men can also experience the appearance of wrinkles due to the physiological process of natural ageing. Clinical studies have shown that men tend to have more wrinkles than women in lower age groups, and this evidence is reversed within older individuals. Men must take control of their relationship with wrinkles by being informed about their causes, potential prevention, and treatment avenues that can ensure optimal skin health. 

Causes of wrinkles in men

Both innate features of an individual’s health and environmental factors can heavily influence the formation of wrinkles in men:

Ageing and genetics

The decrease in collagen and elastin production is one of the main changes that men’s skin undergoes with ageing. While collagen is a protein that supports skin structure, elastin, as the name recalls, provides elasticity to men’s skin. The firmness and resilience lost by the skin due to diminished levels of these two proteins might lead to the development of wrinkles. Among the determinants considered for predisposition to wrinkles, genetics is believed to play a key role.1Inherited genes might make skin either more resilient or more prone to wrinkles.1 

Lifestyle factors

  • Sun Exposure: harmful ultraviolet rays from excessive and unprotected sun exposure can break down collagen and elastin fibres, leading to wrinkle formation in the skin.
  • Smoking: constricted blood vessels in smokers lead to a reduced blood flow toward the skin and consequent reduction of oxygen and nutrients in the skin. Overall, smoking can induce premature ageing of the skin, making men more prone to deep wrinkles.2 
  • Diet: while a rich and balanced diet contributes to sustaining healthy skin, the opposite is also true. Poor nutrition or a high intake of processed foods can render the skin more vulnerable to the effects of ageing. 
  • Stress: stress hormones such as cortisol can break down collagen and elastin, resulting in more wrinkled skin.

Common types of wrinkles in men

Wrinkles can be categorized into four types according to their characteristics and causes:3

Types of WrinklesCharacteristics
Fine LinesSubtle, early signs of ageing, often found around the mouth and eyes 
Dynamic WrinklesCaused by repetitive facial movements like smiling and frowning
Static WrinklesPersistent lines visible at rest, often due to collagen and elastin loss
Deep WrinklesSevere and prominent, often requiring advanced treatments

Effects of wrinkles on men

Getting hold of the effects of wrinkles in men is not limited to physical appearance only, it also impacts psychological aspects of well-being. 

Physical effects

Potentially, the most noticeable effect of wrinkles is the change in skin texture, making it feel rough and uneven. This change can deeply affect how one’s skin looks and feels, leading to significant discomfort for men.2

Psychological effects

Body image, confidence, and self-esteem are three factors deeply entangled with mental health. The appearance of wrinkles can influence a man’s body perception by focusing on perceived imperfections. This heightened awareness contributes to a negative body image and deeply impacts confidence. Feeling self-conscious about your skin due to wrinkles can impact one’s self-esteem and impact social interactions and overall wellbeing.2 

Prevention and treatment

Understanding the types of wrinkles and the significance they can hold in men’s daily lives is key to adequately addressing and managing wrinkles. A range of prevention and treatment alternatives is available to help men embrace the ageing process with confidence.1

Sun protection

Protect your skin from unsafe UV rays using sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Applying sunscreen to sun-exposed skin areas – even on cloudy days – regularly and generously can slow down the formation of wrinkles. Additionally, when exposed to the sun, using protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and hats can further shield your skin against UV radiation-induced damage.1 


  • Cleansing: the first step of proper skincare is gentle cleansing to prepare your skin for other skincare products. Use a mild cleanser to remove dirt, sweat, and impurities from your skin.
  • Moisturising: keeping skin hydrated using regular moisturising sustains its elasticity. Components such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides restore moisture and the barrier function in the skin.
  • Anti-aging Products: skincare products containing retinoids, antioxidants, and peptides help stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines.1

Cosmetic procedures

  • Botox: botulinum toxin therapy (Botox) injections can temporarily relax facial muscles involved in dynamic wrinkles and provide more immediate cosmetic results.
  • Dermal Fillers: hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers can smooth fine lines and wrinkles by restoring lost volume.
  • Chemical Peels: the peeling procedure exfoliates the skin’s outer layer and stimulates the growth of new and younger-looking skin.
  • Laser Resurfacing: targeted laser treatments promote collagen production and lead to improved skin texture, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and achieving smoother skin.  


Proper hydration by adequate water intake helps maintain elasticity and moisture – rendering the skin more youthful-looking. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and do not forget to adjust your intake based on activity and climate. 

Facial exercises

Exercising facial muscles with specific toning movements can potentially improve muscle tone and skin firmness. Even though limited scientific evidence supports this approach, easy exercises like puckering your lips, raising your eyebrows, and smiling widely can be easily incorporated into your routine.

Creating a combination of these strategies can help men effectively manage and reduce wrinkles, promoting overall well-being.

Wrinkle management for men and when to seek professional help 

Wrinkle management not only holds significance from a cosmetic point of view but also from an essential aspect of overall health. Investing in your skin’s health can boost your confidence and improve your mental health. Also, as a form of self-care, this management involves making choices that benefit the overall quality of life. Generally, consistent skincare routines and lifestyle adjustments can effectively manage wrinkles for most men. They might not be of concern unless they occur at an early age. It is crucial to recognize the severity of your wrinkles to determine the need for professional intervention. 

In case you think that your skin is getting wrinkled faster than expected or would like to consider cosmetic treatments for normal ageing-related wrinkles, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider. A dermatologist is a medical professional qualified to diagnose and treat skin conditions, wrinkles included. In case you have not had satisfactory results with your wrinkle management approaches, reach out to a dermatologist for tailored guidance and recommendations based on the specific needs of your skin.3


Recognising wrinkle management as an integral part of men’s overall health and well-being has discouraged the belief that skincare is solely about vanity. Understanding the causes of wrinkles, like natural loss of collagen, genetics, and external factors, is key to tailoring individualized and adequate skincare routines and treatment options when they become a concern. Finally, wrinkles are a hallmark of natural ageing and addressing them is a holistic endeavour that encompasses physical and mental health, confidence, and self-esteem practices. Remember that caring about your skin is not a luxury: this ongoing process is a valid form of self-care and a crucial component of masculine health. You deserve to feel healthy and comfortable in your skin.


  1. Are men more prone to wrinkles?

Even though both men and women experience the ageing process, and the development of wrinkles is an expected part of this natural process, there are differences in how these marks appear.

Men usually have their skin thicker than women’s, and they also tend to be more resilient to the development of fine lines. On the other hand, women’s skin is thinner, which may lead to earlier signs of ageing. Moreover, hormonal differences can affect the levels of skin proteins responsible for its elasticity, like collagen and elastin. As menopause can mess with these levels, the ageing process in women can be significantly accelerated, making them more prone to wrinkles.3 

In summary, while men and women share many commonalities in wrinkle development, the aforementioned factors, when added up, are not absolute differences and create unique results in how wrinkles manifest. 

  1. At what age do men start wrinkling?

Age alone is not responsible for the onset of wrinkle development in men. This phenomenon is also heavily influenced by several other factors like lifestyle, genetics, and skin type. There are, however, signs that can indicate the development of fine lines and wrinkles in each age range:

  • the Late 20s to early 30s: many men may notice the early signs of ageing, such as fine lines around the eyes (crow's feet) and on the forehead, often associated with repeated facial expressions and sun exposure.
  • Mid-30s to early 40s: as the skin’s natural collagen and elastin production start to decline, more noticeable lines, such as frown lines (between the eyebrows) and laugh lines (around the mouth), may become apparent. 
  • The late 40s and beyond: in their late 40s and beyond, the ageing process tends to accelerate, and wrinkles may become more pronounced and appear in various areas of the face. 
  1. Does low testosterone cause wrinkles?

While low testosterone itself is not directly linked to the development of wrinkles, the levels of this hormone can contribute to certain signs of ageing, including indirect changes in the skin.  Here are a few suggestions on how low testosterone may indirectly influence the skin and contribute to the ageing process:

  • Decreased muscle mass: low testosterone levels can drive decreased muscle mass and increased body fat, altering the way the skin sits on the body and potentially accentuating the appearance of wrinkles in some areas.
  • Reduced collagen production: as testosterone plays a role in collagen production, its decline with age can result in reduced collagen, potentially leading to a loss of skin elasticity and the development of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Skin texture: low testosterone may lead to drier skin, which can make wrinkles appear more pronounced.
  • Inflammation: hormonal imbalances, including low testosterone, can influence inflammation in the body. A state of chronic inflammation has the potential to significantly contribute to the ageing process.


  1. Ng JY, Chew FT. A systematic review of skin ageing genes: gene pleiotropy and genes on the chromosomal band 16q24.3 may drive skin ageing. Sci Rep [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2024 Feb 16]; 12(1):13099. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-17443-1.
  2. Chae M, Bae I-H, Lim S, Jung K, Roh J, Kim W. AP Collagen Peptides Prevent Cortisol-Induced Decrease of Collagen Type I in Human Dermal Fibroblasts. IJMS [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2024 Feb 16]; 22(9):4788. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/9/4788.
  3. Gunn DA, Rexbye H, Griffiths CEM, Murray PG, Fereday A, Catt SD, et al. Why Some Women Look Young for Their Age. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2024 Feb 16]; 4(12):e8021. Available from: https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008021
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Leticia Tiburcio Ferreira

PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology – University of Campinas, Brazil

Letícia is an experienced researcher and passionate writer. Her solid background in molecular biology and infectious diseases has led her to experiences in renowned institutions like Columbia University, University of Campinas, and Texas A&M University. After years of academic writing and authoring research proposals and pieces in indexed and peer-reviewed scientific journals, she is now focused on broadening audiences within an intersection between science and communication. Driven by the desire to contribute to education through writing and constant learning, she is delving into medical communications and making health-related content accessible and relatable to the general public.

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