Facial wrinkling is one of the most notable signs of skin aging. Men and women show different wrinkling patterns yet the lifestyle and physiological factors underlying these sex-specific patterns are relatively unknown. Here, we investigated sex-specific determinants for facial wrinkles. Wrinkle area was quantified digitally using facial photographs of 3,831 north-western Europeans (51-98 years, 58% female). Effect estimates from multivariable linear regressions are presented as the percentage difference in the mean value of wrinkle area per unit increase of a determinant (%Δ). Wrinkle area was higher in men (median 4.5%, [interquartile range (IQR):2.9-6.3]) than in women (3.6%, [IQR:2.2-5.6]). Age was the strongest determinant, and current smoking (men:15.5%Δ; women:30.9%Δ) and lower body mass index (men:1.7%Δ; women:1.8%Δ) were also statistically significantly associated with increased wrinkling. Pale skin color showed a protective effect (men: -21.0%Δ; women: -28.5%Δ) and, in men, sunburn tendency was associated with less wrinkling. In women, low educational levels and alcohol use were associated with more wrinkling, while female pattern hair loss and a higher free androgen index were associated with less wrinkling. In summary, we validated known and identified additional determinants for wrinkling. Skin aging reducing strategies should incorporate the sex differences found in this study.
MA Hamer, LM Pardo, LC Jacobs, MA Ikram, JS Laven, M Kayser, LM Hollestein, DA Gunn, T Nijsten J Invest Dermatol 2017 Apr 06;[EPub Ahead of Print]