An Honest Aging Timeline, According To A Dermatologist

by Bee Rose


An Honest Aging Timeline, According To A Dermatologist

Everything you need to know about the signs of aging, by decade.

Is it genetics or our lifestyle that dictates the time we start looking older? It’s an age-old question (pun intended). Since we’re all unique, pinpointing when the signs of aging begin to appear is almost as Herculean of a task as combating it. Thankfully, FACILE dermatology + boutique Co-Founder Nancy Samolitis, MD, FAAD can offer the scoop on when people start seeking solutions for these changes. Keep reading for a complete aging timeline so you know when and where you can expect to see common cosmetic signs of aging.


Your first indication will be your forehead. Dr. Samolitis cites those folds as the “rite-of-passage” first wrinkles and they can begin forming as soon as 25. Next up, the under eye creases. “Under eye lines are another one of the first spots to lose fat and can start to be filled around 25,” she says. Last but not least, those little lines between your eyes, aka your “Elevens,” may start to divot. “These are genetic and some people, men especially, have bigger muscles in that area,” Dr. Nancy notes. “It can also be a consequence of forehead Botox. When that muscle is flattened, the muscles that control Elevens may bulge to overcompensate.”


Welcome to your dirty 30s! At this point in the aging timeline, lots of things are naturally changing. Dr. Samolitis says that squinting lines aka Crow’s Feet are the first to settle in after the forehead, usually around your 30th trip around the sun. “The skin around the eyes is very thin, so these are one of the first lines to settle in after the forehead, usually around 30,” she says.

You can expect the under eyes to crinkle more as well, since we already know that the skin here is fragile. Surprisingly, though, Dr. Samolitis notes that this crinkling may be a consequence of repeated smoothing of other areas by Botox, since that muscle is forced to overcompensate for others. 

Two other areas that can start to show age in your 30s are Marionette lines and Nasolabial folds. Dr. Samolitis explains both. “There are two types of Marionette lines, those that form because of age and those because a person just happens to have more fat in their face,” she says. “Young people feel like they have that fold, but it’s really just because their cheek is heavy.” Nasolabial folds are the same — a result of genetic cheek heaviness. However, these lines are perfectly normal. says Dr. Samolitis, “We all naturally have these lines, but it’s at about 30-or-so that some people start finding them bothersome.”


At this age, you can expect to see the aforementioned Marionette lines deepening. Also as a result of squinting, and sometimes overcompensation for Botox, fine lines around your nose, aka Bunny lines may appear. “These are ‘scrunch muscles’,” explains Dr. Samolitis. “If the areas with Elevens and Crow’s Feet are frozen, the nose muscle attempts to express itself for all three.” 

Forty is also when the rest of the body may start to show signs of aging. Dr. Nancy says, “Age spots on places like the arms typically appear in the forties.”


Generally, this is the point in the aging timeline when patients start seeing the most changes to their neck. This is also the age that volume loss in hands becomes noticeable. “I usually start seeing requests for hand filler at age 50,” says Dr. Samolitis.

Overall, if you want to work against your natural aging timeline, Dr. Samolitis recommends coming in to see her sooner than later. “It’s when people come in at sixty-something wanting to make cosmetic changes that we run into trouble. At that point, it may be too late to do anything,” she says.

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