Do you know any adults who have wrinkles in their skin? A word to the wise: don’t ask them about their wrinkles. Just absorb today’s Wonder of the Day and pretend you’ve never seen their wrinkles! You can thank us later…

To understand where wrinkles come from, we must first know a little bit more about the skin. Did you realize that your skin is an organ? It’s true! In fact, it’s your body’s largest organ.

And it’s an important organ. It keeps your insides from falling out! It also keeps you warm in winter and helps you cool off in summer. It protects you from infections and helps you feel the world around you.

Skin is made up of three layers. The outer layer—the part of your skin that everyone can see—is called the epidermis. Underneath the epidermis is a middle layer called the dermis. Below the dermis is the innermost layer, called the subcutaneous (hypodermis) layer.

When you’re young, your skin is still like new. It holds moisture and stretches easily. The dermis contains plenty of elastic fibers called elastin, as well as a protein called collagen. Elastin and collagen help your skin look and feel young and wrinkle-free.

As you get older, however, the dermis slowly loses collagen and elastin. The fatty subcutaneous layer also loses fat over time. When these things happen, your skin gets thinner and less moisture gets to the epidermis. The epidermis will begin to sag in areas, creating wrinkles.

Getting wrinkles is a perfectly normal part of the aging process. Some people get more wrinkles than others. Wrinkles are an inevitable part of aging. Even if you take good care of your skin, you’re still going to get wrinkles sooner or later.

There’s no certain time when wrinkles start to appear, though. Some people get wrinkles earlier than others. In fact, young people who spend too much time in the sun might develop wrinkles around their eyes — called “crow’s feet” — as early as their 20s.

There’s no need to worry about getting wrinkles, though. They’re just a part of life. In fact, some people choose to embrace their wrinkles. When asked about their wrinkles, some grandparents will tell you that there’s a story behind every one of them. What stories will your wrinkles tell one day?

49 Join the Discussion

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    • Hello there, Mrs. Russ’s Classroom! We’re so glad you liked today’s Wonder! That Shar Pei puppy was really wrinkly! Thank you for leaving us a comment and for visiting Wonderopolis! :-)

  1. The dog in the video was very cute with all its wrinkles. He was so wrinkled he looked like he had washcloths on him. We thought it was interesting how taking a bath helps our skin look younger. Thanks again for the information, we are looking forward to tomorrow’s wonder.

    • What a GREAT comment, Kerrick Elementary 2nd grade/EBD classrooms! The way you described the puppy’s wrinkles as looking like washcloths was VERY creative! Thank you for hanging out in Wonderopolis today! :-)

  2. Hello Wonderopolis! We loved the puppy! We talked about all the different ways we can protect our skin. We never want to look as wrinkly as that puppy!

    • Hi there, The Beach (Mrs. Guerin’s 2nd Grade Class)! Thank you for emphasizing the importance of protecting our skin! We loved seeing the puppy, too…so many wrinkles for such a young dog! :-)

    • Great question, Clayton! Mom and dad dogs sometimes carry their puppies around by the back of their necks (this area is called the “nape” of the neck). It doesn’t hurt the puppies, but it makes it easier for the parents to move them when the they are very young. We’re pretty sure that Shar Pei puppies (like the one in the video) have a bunch of extra “nape” for their parents to use to pick them up! :-)

  3. I have learned that wrinkles are a part of life. I have asked my mom several times about that question. But, she never got back to me on that. This was a real wonder of the day for me! I hope others feel the same!

    • Thank you so much for your comment today, Lucie! We’re so glad you stopped by Wonderopolis and learned something new about wrinkles! We hope you’ll visit us again soon! :-)

  4. We had no idea what “crows feet” were but the picture clue really helped us. Also we connected the weather conditions to dry skin and maybe getting wrinkles. Today we are guessing that tomorrow’s wonder is about a compass or cardinal directions. If we are correct, that would be really cool because we are learning about maps in social studies.

    • You’ll have to check back to see about tomorrow’s Wonder, Mrs. Caplin’s class, but you know we LOVE when our Wonder Friends use their thinking skills to try and guess the next Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  5. Wow, that is so cool. I learned that wrinkles come from when your skin gets thin and starts to sag. I was wondering where do the wrinkles on our knuckles come from? Is our knuckle skin thinner than our regular skin?

    • That’s a really awesome question, Samia! We think the skin over our knuckles has to be a little looser than other skin to make it easier for our fingers to bend. That might explain why there are wrinkles on our knuckles! Thanks so much for being a friend of Wonderopolis!

  6. Awwwwwww how cute! By the way, its true! I have been wanting to know where wrinkles come from! Thanks, Wonderopolis for this awesome wonder! Wonderopolis, do you like cats or dogs better? I love kittens but I’m not fond of adult cats, but i love adult dogs and baby puppies! Do you, Wonderopolis?

    • We love ALL kinds of animals, Some Person! Kittens, puppies, cats, dogs, hamsters, horses…even elephants! We enjoy visiting animals at the Wonderopolis Zoo, too! Do you have a zoo where you live? What are your favorite animals at the zoo? :-)

  7. We learned that when you get older, you get wrinkles because your skin thins out, and you also have less elastin and collagen.

    This post reminded us of things we’ve heard about facelifts and Botox.

    We learned what leads to wrinkles. We wonder if there are things that also lead to saggy faces.

    Mrs. Taylor’s Group of Awesomeness (AKLBA+Mrs. Taylor)

    • Hello, Mrs. Taylor’s Group of Awesomeness! We like your name! Thank you for sharing what you learned from this Wonder of the Day®! We hear that smiling is a great way to keep from getting “frowny” wrinkles! We like to smile a lot, especially when we receive awesome comments like yours! :-)

    • We agree, Shay Haas! That puppy definitely has the “super cute” thing going for it! The breed of puppy in the video, a Shar Pei, is known and treasured for its wrinkles! :-)

  8. I loved this wonder and the puppy in the video was so cute. At first, I had no idea what “crow’s feet” were until I read this wonder. I actually didn’t even know that there was anything called “crow’s feet” that existed. I think this was a great wonder and I hope I never get as wrinkly as this puppy!

    • That puppy certainly was adorable, we agree, LibbyTEAM! We’re really happy to hear that you learned something new from exploring this WRINKLY Wonder of the Day®! :-)

    • We’re so glad you asked this question, Sarah! You can suggest ideas for future Wonders of the Day anytime you like! Just click on the “nominate” link at the top of every page in Wonderopolis and fill in the boxes. It’s a fun and fast way to let us know what you’re WONDERing about!

  9. Hi, I’m Brianna from Ms. Russ’ classroom. I’m home sick today. The dog is adorable. I hope you write back, thank you. I hope you had a good Christmas.

    • We’re super sorry that you’re sick, Brianna! But, we’re glad that you visited us here in Wonderopolis to learn something new today! We had a GREAT winter break, thank you for asking! We hope you feel better very soon! :-)

  10. Aww! That’s a cute little puppy. :) Bulldogs and pugs tend to have alot of wrinkles too. :D

    This was actually interesting. Even though this wonder was posted a long while ago. :)

    • Thanks for sharing your comment, Wonder Friend Sara! We’re so glad you enjoyed WONDERing about wrinkles and puppies with us! Thanks for visiting an older Wonder– we’re glad you learned something new! :)

  11. Wrinkles…Wrinkles? Where do they come from? At one point in you’re life u get wrinkles.Maybe when you’re 34-90. if you ever live to the age 90 some people do! I think that there are a lot more interesting stuff in the world than there are with humans!!! But the world is a fun place to be!!!!!!! Isabelle B.

    • You’re right, Isabelle B.! The world is a fun place to be, and we just LOVE WONDERing about it with you! Thank you for hanging out with us in Wonderopolis today! :D :D

    • Thanks for WONDERing with us, Amelia L.! It may be possible for other mammals to get wrinkles as well, but perhaps we don’t see them because their skin is covered with fur! Also, non-mammalian animals like reptiles have skin that is structured differently than ours so they don’t appear to have the same kind of wrinkles. Have a WONDER-filled day, Amelia! :)

    • Hi, Brook D! There are some dogs that are genetically more wrinkly than others, such as Shar Peis and French Mastiffs (like the dog pictured in this Wonder). But over the years, dogs’ skin can sag just like humans. If your dog is outside a great deal, especially during sunny months, it’s a good idea to protect their skin with sunscreen, just as you would your own. Not all human sunscreens are safe for dogs, though, so you have to research what kind is best for your pup! :)

    • Hi, Jordan M! That depends on what type of wrinkles you’re talking about. Some dogs are born wrinkly, like Shar Peis. Having wrinkles is part of their DNA. But as dogs age, they can get wrinkles in much the same way as humans do, as described in the Wonder text above! Thanks for WONDERing with us, Jordan! :)

  12. I thought it was interesting that there is no way to prevent getting wrinkles it will always happen no matter what either sooner or later

    • Thanks for sharing your comment with us, Molly! Although we can’t prevent wrinkles entirely, it’s still a very good idea to protect our skin using sunscreen! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Where do wrinkles come from?
  • What are “crow’s feet”?
  • How can you take good care of your skin?

Wonder Gallery

wrinkled dog_shutterstock_44600665wrinkles-3wrinkles-2wrinkles-1Vimeo Video

Try It Out

We hope you enjoyed learning more about your skin today! Keep learning even more when you explore the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • Do you have any wrinkles? Do a facial examination in the mirror to see if you can spot any wrinkles in your skin. Ask an older friend or family member to do the same, and then compare their skin to yours. Where do they have wrinkles that you do not? Share what you learned about wrinkles today with them.
  • If every wrinkle tells a story, then ask an older friend or family member to tell you the story behind one or more of their wrinkles. Did some come from worrying about you? Think ahead to the big events you have to look forward to in your life. Do you think any of those events might cause wrinkles one day?
  • Ready to learn a few tips to help you take good care of your skin? You may not be concerned about wrinkles just yet, but it’s still a good idea to learn how to take care of your skin properly. So let’s learn how to show your skin you care! Here are a few tips to keep your skin healthy:
    • The Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can easily damage the skin and lead to wrinkles. Avoid direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day, and always wear sunscreen.
    • Don’t fake tan! The UV light from tanning booths is just as dangerous as the Sun’s rays.
    • Don’t smoke! Smoking leads to dry skin and premature wrinkles.
    • Drink plenty of water each day.
    • Use a skin moisturizer to avoid dry skin, especially during cold, dry months.
    • Keep your skin clean — wash your hands often and take showers or baths regularly.

Still Wondering

Check out National Geographic Xpeditions’ The Arctic and Antarctic Circles lesson to learn more about climate change. Do you think you may need to protect your skin more carefully in the future?


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