What Is the Difference between Static and Dynamic Wrinkles?

Circles with elderly wrinkled skin shows before and after lifting cosmetic procedure. Rejuvenation concept.

We all know that wrinkles appear as we age, but not all wrinkles are alike. Facial lines can be caused by different factors, and what works to treat forehead lines may not have the same effect on neck wrinkles. To understand these visible signs of ageing, it’s helpful to divide wrinkles into two distinct categories: static and dynamic. Our Harley Street aesthetic specialists are here to explain the difference between the two.

What Are Dynamic Wrinkles?

Dynamic wrinkles are those formed by repeated facial expressions like squinting, frowning, smiling, and movements such as drinking through a straw.

Research suggests that dynamic wrinkles can also be caused during sleep, with compression from certain sleep positions causing facial distortion that contributes to the appearance of ageing. Dynamic wrinkles can be further emphasised by genetics, a poor diet or regular smoking.

Every time you make a facial movement, you may notice that lines appear, only to quickly fade when your facial features return to a neutral position. Dynamic lines are only visible when the underlying facial muscles are contracted and include the following types of wrinkles:

Smile lines

Crow’s feet

Frown lines (between the eyebrows)

Forehead wrinkles.

Although dynamic lines quickly disappear when you’re young, over time, reduced collagen production and a lack of elasticity make the skin less able to bounce back. Eventually, this results in dynamic lines becoming permanent.

What Are Static Wrinkles?

Static wrinkles differ from dynamic wrinkles in that they are permanent and can be seen when your face is at rest. Static lines may form due to photoaging, chronological ageing or an unhealthy lifestyle, and they are often the result of dynamic wrinkles that have deepened over time.

Although we may not like them, static wrinkles are a natural part of ageing and affect us all eventually. The skin produces less collagen as we get older and becomes looser and less springy over time, making it difficult to keep wrinkles at bay. Static wrinkles can also be caused by gravity, dry skin, and a loss of fat in the face. These wrinkles include:

Nasolabial folds

Marionette lines

Tear trough lines

Lateral cheek lines

Neck wrinkles.

How to Prevent Wrinkles from Forming

There are several treatments available to alleviate the appearance of existing wrinkles, but you can also slow their formation with these simple lifestyle changes:

Use sun protection to slow down premature skin ageing

Moisturise daily to nourish the skin

Drink plenty of water to prevent dryness and dehydration

Quit smoking

Get plenty of sleep

Avoid excessive amounts of sugar and processed foods

Use a retinoid to keep skin plump.


If you’re looking for more tips, check out our comprehensive guide to preventing wrinkles.


Anti-wrinkle Treatments to Try

So, what treatment options are out there for static wrinkles vs dynamic wrinkles?

Treatments for Dynamic Wrinkles

By far the best treatment for dynamic wrinkles is Botox, a procedure in which botulinum toxin type A is injected into targeted muscles. This treatment temporarily blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles, preventing the injected area from contracting. By stopping specific muscles from moving, dynamic wrinkles are smoothed out and unable to deepen. Botox can also be used as a preventative measure to slow the formation of dynamic wrinkles.

Treatments for Static Wrinkles

Static wrinkles are often treated using dermal fillers made from hydration booster hyaluronic acid (HA). This anti-wrinkle treatment can smooth out and “fill” static wrinkles, making the skin appear plump, hydrated and youthful. Filler treatments replace lost volume and provide a natural, glowing look, turning back the clock on your skin in an instant.


Visible signs of ageing are inevitable, but they’re also easily treatable if you’d prefer a more youthful look. Get in touch with our experienced cosmetic specialists to discuss the best treatment option for you.

Founder at Harley St M.D.
Dr. Chia Tan is a UK trained medical doctor that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine and testosterone replacement therapy. He is qualified as a medical doctor since 2003 and has since trained extensively. He has been featured in several leading magazines as well as invited to appear on TV to discuss aesthetic medicine and the latest cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Chia Tan
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