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Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

Crepey Skin: Causes and Prevention

Crepey Skin: Causes and Prevention

Crepey Skin: Causes and Prevention



You notice it; you know you notice it. Ignoring it won’t make it go away, and it’s completely normal to want it gone for good. Crepey, wrinkly-looking skin might look normal on your grandma, but it’s definitely ruining your game. 

Most guys will begin to notice fine lines and wrinkles sometime in their 30’s, although crepey skin can happen as early as their 20’s, especially if you’re in the sun a lot. By 40, you’re definitely noticing your skin looks (and feels) a little different.

Here’s what you need to know about crepey skin, what causes it, and how to prevent it.

What Is Crepey Skin?

Crepey skin is similar to crepe paper; thin, wrinkley, and only appropriate for party decorations. Crepey skin looks older than it normally is, can feel and look dry and dehydrated, and even have a dull appearance that makes you look sick.

Takeaway: crepey skin is the complete opposite of the firm, sexy skin you’re used to. 

You can have crepey skin anywhere on your body, but guys most often notice it first under and around the eyes, on the neck, and even on your hands, knees, and elbows. You’ll also start to see sagging, crepey skin around the corners of your mouth.

Age definitely plays a role in developing crepey skin, but it’s not the number one reason it happens.

What Causes Crepey Skin?

Getting older is unavoidable, but crepey skin doesn’t have to be part of the package. Age is a secondary cause of the development of crepey skin. The most influential factor in developing crepiness? Sun damage.

Sun Damage

If you were born anytime before 1990, you probably didn’t use many suncare products as a kid. Chances are you probably “borrowed” your sister’s tanning oil and hit the tanning bed a few times to keep that sexy summer glow going all winter long. 

Unfortunately, those years of unprotected sun exposure are the single leading cause of developing crepey skin. The sun’s rays break down elastin fibers in your skin. Elastin is the protein that helps your skin snap back into place when it has been stretched. 

The elastin in your skin can repair itself, but over time, it loses its ability to repair completely and properly, leaving you with wrinkled and thin skin (aka crepey). 

Any amount of time you spend in the sun unprotected is an opportunity for your skin to become damaged, which means anytime you step outside sans protection, your skin could be developing the crepe.


Age does play a factor in how your skin looks and feels over time. Collagen is a major building block in your skin that keeps it looking firm and helps prevent deep wrinkles from forming. 

After age 20, you begin to lose collagen at a rate of 1 percent per year. By age 40, the rate increases dramatically, leaving you with more hollow skin and susceptible to wrinkling. 

Free Radical Damage

Free radicals are unbalanced molecules that attack healthy molecules and damage them. Skin cells that are damaged by free radicals can’t repair themselves properly. Over time, the damage results in rapid loss of collagen and elastin, changes in skin texture, and of course, wrinkling and crepiness. 

Free radical damage can come from numerous sources, including the sun. Some of the main offenders are cigarette smoke (that you smoke and from cigarette smoke you’re exposed to from others) and environmental pollution. 

Preventing Crepey Skin

You’re going to get older and probably still spend days in the sun. Here’s what you can do to make sure your skin doesn’t suffer.

1. Use Sun Block

You’ve heard it for years; now it’s time to put it into practice. You need to wear sunblock every day, but the kind you wear matters. Most OTC sunblocks contain chemical ingredients that aren’t good for your skin. 

Disco’s Mineral Sun Block is made with zinc oxide, a natural ingredient that is safe for your skin and provides better sun protection than the chemicals you’ll find in other sunscreens. 

We also load it up with tripeptides, a powerful ingredient that helps rebuild your dermal layer by supporting firmer, more supple-looking skin. Niacinamide rounds out our ingredient list to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Hydrate and Moisturize

Nothing makes crepey skin look crepey-er than dryness. Using a daily moisturizer is essential in keeping your skin hydrated and making sure your skin cells are quenched. 

Disco’s Hydrating Face Moisturizer hydrates your skin and conditions it (read: keeps it soft and smooth) with ingredients like vitamin E, Macadamia nut oil, and vitamin C. Macadamia nut oil has soothing properties and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, to protect against free radical damage. 

3. Grab a Quick Fix

For crepiness around the eyes, there’s a hack that works instantaneously. Disco’s Repairing Eye Stick is the miracle product you’ve probably seen on Instagram. 

Formulated with caffeine to reduce puffiness, pycnogenol to erase dark circles, and niacinamide to battle crow’s feet and crepey, fine lines, it’s your new secret weapon in the battle against tired, old-looking skin around your eyes.

Our eye stick gives your eyes the look of eight hours of sleep in one swipe and works to put the brakes on the visible signs of aging. 

Let’s Disco

Crepey skin makes you look old, man. Grab Disco’s lineup of products formulated to work specifically with the pH balance of a man’s skin and make sure your skin stays smooth, firm, and unlike your grandma’s (no offense, G-Ma). 



Crepey Skin? A Surprising Cause — and 3 Expert Fixes | Cleveland 

Why does skin wrinkle with age? What is the best way to slow or prevent this process? | Scientific American 

Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging | NCBI


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