The annoying forehead wrinkles that people pay thousands of dollars to reverse as they age may not be due to aging at all.
Doctors say they’re often caused by a preventable medical condition that, when fixed, could allow you to kick that expensive Botox habit.
Dehydration lines affect more than three quarters of Americans and are almost identical to wrinkles. However, they are caused by a lack of moisture in the skin.
These lines are usually lighter and finer, and can only appear at certain times of the year, such as winter, when dry skin is more common.
“Dehydration lines are fine lines that we see when we have dry skin,” Dr. Mary Stevenson, a dermatologist at NYU Langone, told DailyMail.
Fine lines on the forehead may not be wrinkles. Instead, they could be dehydration lines, which are caused by dry skin.
Wrinkles, on the other hand, are caused by long-term factors, such as aging, exposure to ultraviolet light, smoking, and repeatedly making the same facial expressions, such as squinting and smiling.
Dehydration lines are more of a short term problem. “If you have fine lines at rest versus just occasionally, that would be the biggest difference between those two things,” Dr. Stevenson said.
Various factors can dehydrate the skin, such as not drinking enough water, spending time in a cold environment, or using harsh soaps or detergents.
“Because you’ve used up all the water you can to keep your body functioning, dry skin can cause a kind of creepy, older-looking skin,” Dr. Stevenson said.
“You can get fine lines from that because the skin…is less hydrated than normal.”
Other symptoms of dry skin, according to the Mayo Clinic, include skin tightness, rough skin, itching, flaking, flaking or peeling, and cracks that may bleed.
As many as three in four Americans have the condition, according to a 2019 survey by skincare brand CeraVe. The survey found that 77 percent of respondents had dry skin during the winter.
Despite the name, dry skin lines don’t mean you have to drink a lot of water.
“Simply drinking more water is not going to hydrate the skin,” said Dr.
Stevenson. ‘When your skin is dry, it doesn’t mean you’re actually dehydrated.
“Drinking a lot of water definitely keeps your body in good shape, but you literally don’t have to drink enough water for your body to function to be truly dehydrated.”
Dr. Stevenson suggests staying away from abrasive products that irritate the skin, as well as excessive hand washing, a habit many Americans took up during the covid pandemic.
“We tend to exaggerate a lot of things,” he said.
Avoid staying in the shower or bath for longer than necessary, especially if you like a hot shower.
‘A big mistake people make is drying up completely [after a shower]. Pat yourself dry. You want to retain the small amount of water that is in your skin,” Dr. Stevenson said.
When it comes to products, there are certain ingredients that protect against dry skin.
The humectant moisturizing agent, for example, draws moisture from the air into the top layer of the skin, the epidermis.
“It’s almost like a sponge that draws in water and draws it in,” Dr. Stevenson said.
Emollients or moisturizers, used for dry skin and conditions like eczema, then lock in that moisture.
“Hyaluronic acid is one of the most common things we talk about when we talk about dehydrated skin.”
Dr. Stevenson also suggested opting for creams over lotions, which are often formulated with a higher water content, since creams tend to hydrate the skin better.