On Social Media, Wrinkles

No, these are not the findings of any highly educated social studies floating around. These are our faces crying out to us, asking us to stop emoting.


I was washing my face sometime late last week while scrutinizing the blackheads perpetually permeating my nose when I noticed a brand new wrinkle manifesting right below my right eye at the corner of my upper cheek. It immediately reminded me why I hate washing my face–I should never be allowed such close, direct access to my head in front of an unapologetic mirror–but really? A new wrinkle?

I’m still young, dammit.

“You’ve got to stop sitting in the sun,” my silly, silly partner-in-sex suggested while I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into a pool of beauty-fostered neuroses.

But I’m no dummy–and thanks to the daunting information Kate’s mother bequeathed all of us earlier this summer in Sun Sense, I’ve gone cold turkey on the hot tomato and stopped sitting out unprotected and out of shade months ago. (An interlude for public service and safekeeping: If you still find yourself unable to kick this bad habit, think of sitting out like having sex. You wouldn’t casually do that without protection, would you?)

When I recalled the sad new evidence of a fresh wrinkle settling into my face to Charlotte, I offered an alternative (albeit superior to the former) suggestion as to why it may have found me. You see, I’ve recently adopted this hip facial pose which includes the puckering of my lips, pushing them in pursed formation to the right side of my face–forcing the skin on my cheek to resume a strange position that does not look unlike, say, a layered dress–and closing my left eye while letting my right one pop open even wider than it usually does. Does that even make sense to you? Here’s a photo for your reference.

A ha! Now you understand, right? There is a curious sense of intrinsic coolness that denotes a tinge of “I don’t care, I’m just doing me,” attached to emoting like a jack-ass for an Instagram, iChat or, erm, a Billy Farrel selfie. It’s personal, it’s idiosyncratically flirty, and it typically activates at least one cackle from the receiving end. There are no physical benefits, though. I just end up looking dumb–and evidently, contracting new wrinkles. Which brings me to revelation that, eureka!, social media is not only giving me FOMO, it also giving me wrinkles.

Charlotte echoed this theory, noting that the faces she makes to indicate her gamut of changing, vast emotions for Snapchat specifically have helped her locate several new, let’s call them, indentations of knowledge on her forehead.

So is this what “The Future” is all about? Young, tender faces emoting for one another and subsequently becoming as seasoned as one Larry David at 22? 23? 24? That doesn’t seem as funny as it should. Frankly, though, I don’t want to (or plan to) stop emoting–so what’s a girl to do?

In a rudimentary, preventative gesture, there are three face creams (not even really of the anti-wrinkle variety) I’ve personally begun using maniacally to at least make me feel like I’m self-serving which appear as: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial CreamNars Skin Luminous Moisture Cream, and Clinique’s Moisture Surge Intense or Turnaround Overnight (which I only – duh – use overnight). All three/four of them are 24-hour skin hydrators which also makes me feel like because I don’t drink enough water and evidently that can aid the wrinkle manifestation process as well, I’m practically hitting two birds with one stone.


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  • CarolinaG

    Love the Kiehl’s one!!!
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:


  • Iliyana Licheva

    agh, wrinckles. i”m 24 too and they started showing up already. about that face I think McKayla Maroney started it up with her face like that on the olympian podiumm


  • rhiannon

    love the kiehl’s face cream!


  • I have just been discussing this with my mother. She is trying to convince me to join her botox ways before, as she says “It’s too late!” eeekkk

  • I’ve been contemplating Botox, can’t take the wrinkles!

  • This was a great post — and I loved that you referred the Leandra Wink as the root of your new wrinkle. I’ve inherited some slight forehead wrinkles from previous generations, and I imagine they will only grow less faint as time goes on. However, I can’t say I’m terribly concerned, as I know that it doesn’t relate to lack of sun protection or water — I hydrate and wear sunscreen regularly and are conscious of both of those levels most of the time. Maybe if I’ve got some other wrinkle later on I’ll feel scared, but I think that after observing the two sides (au naturel vs. au chemical, i.e. botox, etc), I’ve found that it all just comes down one’s ability to carry themselves through life. And this is not to say that I am disapproving of those who use injections (go for it! their face!), but wrinkles are very human in a world where humans are no longer humans, I guess. Sometimes it’s nice to take our hands off the wheel and wear our hearts on our faces.

  • Ash

    My friend keeps telling me to stop furrowing my eyebrows because I’ll get a wrinkle between them (it’s totally already there). I told her that I can’t help it if I like looking mysteriously pissed off all the time. Yolo?

  • Yeah I’m 20 and and I “feel like” I have fine lines. And I definitely blame it on my facial expressions too. I mean, I think as long as I’m not doing anything as awful as sitting in the sun unprotected to my skin, I should be able to accept these creepers’ presence on my face. It’s not like there’s much you can do about it except hating on its persistence after trying all these products and stuff. On a side note, I’ve been using the Kiehl’s creme for forever to the point that I think there’re probably armies of bacteria in that jar. It doesn’t seem to absorb into/hydrate my skin that well. Then again, I’m like you who don’t drink enough water haha.

  • Amatoria Clothing

    I was that strange sort of character that could never drink water. At restaurants, thirsty friends learned to assume that they could take my water, if not refilled quickly enough.
    This year, I made it my goal to give up carbonated beverages and drink more healthy ones, such as … WATER :-0
    It was quite traumatizing at first (it’s so blah). But I soon started to notice myself getting less pimples, and actually craving more water. Strange! I still don’t drink as much as I should (8 glasses of water a day is absolutely insane), but I am enjoying the benefits!

  • Ivy

    If you smoke, stop. And wash your face with cold water, as cold as you can take it it’s an instant facelift 😉

    • Leandra Medine

      Proof of method?? I’m fascinated.

      • Yes– do tell, Ivy!

        • ivy

          just do it! i mean it is no joan-rivers-type-of-facelift but you do look rested and flawless, just grab the soap you use to wash your face with and add cold water afterwards put on some face cream and believe me it is magic!… if you are cooling the water with ice do not, by all means, use the ice directly to your face since it might give you some ice burn…i’m 27 and everyone tells me i look like i’m on my early twenties so that should be a proof isn’t it? DO IT you’ll be hooked!

    • too true. i go one crazier than that though and treat/torture myself to ice facials.

      • ivy

        ohh watch out for the ice it may burn your skin….;)

    • True! But I imagine it would only be quite temporary, as the ice (or ice water) – for just a little while after it is applied – helps to reduce blood flow in the area, thus reducing swelling, pore size, making the skin probably feel tighter.
      Guess it is the natural version of Botox because they both have the same common denominator: numbing. One just numbs/paralyzes a little long than the other.

      • ivy

        …not if you do it on a daily basis i mean it is no botox but it helps you look rested…hence for a little bit younger….maybe a few seconds younger…but at this point anything counts!

  • Karen

    Man you’re younger than me. I’m 29 and I just use a dove soap bar and Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Moisture at night on my hands, feet, face and neck. When I remember to.

  • I hope I can kick the habit myself! It feels so good in the sun.


  • Rosemary

    keep winking it is becoming your brand or whatever you want to call it and you look adorable. drink alot of water. quit smoking if you do is a killah any ole way never mind the wrinkles. try to helioplex or broad spectrum as much as you can with some nice dry touch product you like but don’t go all Defcon 5 on yourself we all need a bit of VitD. And don’t carry an umbrealla on sunny days in the 212. sidewalks are crowded enough ppl. you look like characters in some future Tom Wolfe novel about effete NYers.

  • Argan Oil. Before bed. I’m 24 too and for the last 2 months I’ve started noticing the fine lines around my eyes, I used this stuff for a week–they were gone (and my skin was glowing, moisturized and basically like when I was 10! That said, I went on a trip, forgot my bottle… and the lines came back. I’m going to have to buy like three of them, lest I ever be without.

  • I also hate washing my face at night— I am far too lazy and tired. However, I have noticed that when I use the clarisonic at night and then put on moisturizer and eye cream, my face looks so much better in the AM. Now, I’m not saying that I am perfect and do this every night… because, lets be honest, I skipped this routine last night. But I always use makeup wipes to at least take off the day, even when I don’t feel like standing over the sink to cleanse.


  • andrieya

    you could do like vera wang and sleep with your AC set to freezing temperature. or you could go all mommie dearest and do the contrast face wash!

  • sketch42

    Wait till your 26+ you make a face, it sticks with you for a couple of minutes. Like when you were a kid and your mom told you if you made an ugly face it would stay like that. Turns out, it kinda does.

  • sketch42

    Also, our idea of what someone who is in their mid 20s should look like is warped because of celebrity.

  • be forewarned, i’m one of those if you wouldn’t put on your body don’t put it on your face types and i get most of my skin care shopping done at the grocery store. but let’s be real, your skin is your largest organ and it will absorb whatever you put on it so you are very much ingesting whatever you slather on there. here is my regimen of late to combat early onset wrinkling due to selfies. when you wake up in the morning start your day off with a face massage and some light skin brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush to increase your circulation and wake up your facial muscles. once your face is awake hydrate it with some oil of your choosing (olive, argan, coconut, almond, avocado, grapeseed, whatever floats your boat) and then hydrate yourself with a giant glass of water before you eat anything. even if this is the only change you make you’ll instantly notice a difference. at least once a week do a honey facial with raw honey. honey promotes cell rejuvenation and fights free radicals and is one of the best things you can feed your skin. do a honey facial and i guarantee the next day you’ll be glowing like an oscar statue. follow up your honey facial with an ice cube facial for as long as you can stand it to instantly tighten and tone your skin and seal up your pores. pat your skin dry and then make sure to rehydrate with the oil of your choosing. every single night before bed i dab on a little bit of royal jelly, focusing on the spots i want the most wrinkle prevention and then follow up with olive oil and then a touch of vitamin e oil. and then do all the little things like making sure to get enough sleep and avoiding alcohol and processed foods and hello baby’s butt skin status. but even if you don’t all the other stuff will at least make you feel ok about celebrating too hard on national tequila day, summer fridays, or that champagne tuesday i just made up.


    • Leandra Medine


  • sarah semegen

    Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face under makeup – EVERY day! It’s pricey but cheaper than botox.

    • Claire

      YES! I use this too–best investment ever.

  • Olga Montserrat

    Sun damage is cumulative, which means overexposure a couple years ago take a while to manifest as wrinkles. But you’re doing the right thing now, so go you!
    Also, sunscreen is for all the days, even cloudy ones.

  • Une petite Bruxelloise

    I’ve tried the Clinique creams and they definitely work..I’m 28, I have fine lines across my eyes and lips which become more evident when I smile. I don’t plan on quitting smiling, hence Clinique!!!


  • Claire

    Ehh. wrinkles, schminkles. we all get them, whether we’re 16 or 60. My mother says wrinkles are signs of wisdom and maturity; the more you accept them, the more gracefully you’ll age.

  • Style Context

    I’m 25 and I’ve had fine lines around my mouth for two years now thanks to laughing (or frowning?) too much – I’m very expressive. I find that vitamin C moisturizers help replenish collagen. I like Lumene’s night cream.


  • disqus_SQausFSk9U

    OMG not only the wrinkles but also the sun spots. More and more freckles/moles show up over the years from sun exposure in the past. There is however a very fine line between being sun safe and vitamin D deficient. Being from Australia we have it drummed into to us from an early age to “Slip, Slop, Slap” Slip on a shirt, Slop on the 30+ sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Seek shade or shelter, Slide on some sunnies. – “Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide”
    But many of us are now suffering from Vitamin D deficiencies which contribute to depression and bone density. We are now reminded to get at least 20 minutes a day of direct sun exposure on our skin to remain healthy. So I compromise and protect my face and neck and try to expose the rest of my body to sun for a small amount of time per day.

  • Hanna Wiszniewska

    First off, I’m a regular reader of your blog and, well, I’m 50. Appreciate your writing, openness and honesty very much. Love your generation, the generation of my son who’s 26.
    So now let’s get back to our subject, wrinkles. I identify best with the earlier comment by Claire and, not surprisingly, her mother’s opinion on the topic.
    I also noticed first lines on my face relatively early, in my late twenties. And, of course, went into panic mode. Unnecessarily!
    It’s certainly important to use sunscreens but not because of wrinkles. Just to stay healthy as long as possible. As to smiles and comic facial expressions, please do them as long as you wish. They actually will be your friends and preserve your youth better than expensive creams (which nota bene can be harmful…).
    I’m 50, have wrinkles and lots of grey hair, free highlights as I call them. So what? I also smile, joke, flirt and keep my mind busy. Because everything starts and ends exactly there. In your head. The result is that my son’s friends think I’m his sister. lol
    You’re wonderful as you are. And the wrinkles are integral part of it. Accept it and and keep on doing what you love. This way you will stay beatiful and young forever. I guarantee it! 🙂

  • Paula McClelland

    Dude! Stop fretting about a few wrinkles and try and concentrate on what makes Leandra awesome – girls got great legs, and pretty sweet hair! Plus wit for 5 blogs. Enough of the wrinkles. UNLESS you only wrote this post to link back to the hilarious facials in which case touche, touche indeed.

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.

  • Magatte Wade

    Something that has worked very well for me, that I started doing when I was 15-16 is to never wash my face in the shower, because I try to avoid hot water on my face (the hot water dries the skin of the face, which is more fragile than the skin on the rest of the body) . So after my shower, I wash my face over the sink with lukewarm water and my own handmade soaps (commercial soaps are super drying for the skin). Then I splash fresh/cold water as a natural tonic. Then I pat drying with a soft towel (I never rub). Right after that, I use plain organic unrefined Shea Butter. Et voilà! I have never never had acne in my life, not one wrinkle and my skin is as elastic as ever, although I am now in my mid-thirties. I feel we spend a lot of time talking about makeup in this country, but not so much time nor guidance is provided in maintaining and revealing the beautiful skin each of us was born with. That’s also why I created http://www.tiossan.com. I just discovered your blog, Leandra, and must say it is a good thing I have a good anti-wrinkle regimen, because it has been very fun to read you 🙂

    • Louise Mpagi

      I discovered shea butter myself recently. I use it now.. I like the way it feels on the skin. I’m 28 and I didn’t start to worry about things like wrinkles until I was 27!!! What are the 24 year olds going on about?

  • Yep the wrinkles start hitting early! I haven’t tried the Clinique Moisture Surge but I only hear good stuff about it.


  • S

    i try to be all natural with blackhead/wrinkle prevention, but when the detox tea and evening primrose oil are not having enough of an impact, Paula’s Choice BHA products usually do.

  • aisyah

    I have crow’s feet near my eyes area and I’m only 24! Okay, to be ideally dramatic, there were there even before then, which is around 3 years ago. I remember a time when I blamed smiling and being happy for it so I became sort of an emo for a few months but then bounced back to the good old me. haha

  • byjacquelineho

    love you manrepeller! your topics are the best and i created a blog post about the societal affects of social media. sometimes you just need a break from it 😉 please check it out


  • Leslie Hitchcock

    It is also really sad when your dimple turns into a perpetual wrinkle. Nothing my creams can do about that *cue sad trombone*