Like the first gray hairs, fine lines often trigger a concern. When they first appear, we are quite aware that we are much too young to be suffering the effects of aging.

But fine lines do become a problem precisely because the rest of the face is so youthful looking.

Fine lines on the face and neck are not necessarily a sign of aging. Since loss of moisture or skin oil can create fine lines, the problem may simply be caused by a bad day in the sun.

However, fine lines that persist may be the first sign that your skin cells are no longer as efficient as they once were. Having lost a little of their elasticity, your skin cells do not bounce back into shape. Prolonged pressure, such as sleeping on a pillow or repetitive facial muscle movements such as smiling can create fine lines.

Repetitive facial muscle movements are the reason most fine lines first appear around the most expressive areas of our face. Small muscles around our eyes and mouth are in almost constant motion, the same tiny muscles moving the same tiny area of skin until a small crease appears and stays. The neck, also in constant motion, is another area where fine lines frequently appear.

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