The short answer is no, dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles. Sunlight, repeated facial expressions, and just plain aging cause wrinkles. But dry skin IS more prone to wrinkling that skin that is well hydrated. Dry skin is a RESULT rather than a cause.
Things that can result in dry skin are overexposure to direct sunlight, disease, and aging. The sun sucks moisture right out of unprotected skin. The sun’s rays can burn unprotected skin and cause it to blister — and blisters cause the skin to dry and peel. Some diseases like kidney disease and diabetes can cause the skin to become overly dry. And as we age, we lose skin moisture.
Of course, the cosmetic industry makes millions and millions of dollars every day by convincing us that dry skin is the leading cause of wrinkles. The claim that dry skin causes wrinkles isn’t made in any medical journals — only the cosmetic industry hawks products that will help skin retain moisture and thus prevent wrinkles that are caused by dry skin.
And moisturizers do alleviate the appearance of dry skin temporarily. Moisturizers make the skin look less wrinkled for a short time after they are applied, but they are not going to erase wrinkles. Now cosmetic products that contain antioxidants and cell-communication ingredients can help the skin to actually be less dry, as opposed to only appearing less dry.
A healthy diet that includes whole-grain foods, vegetables, and fruits can help the body keep the skin better moisturized, and keeping the body well hydrated is another important factor in preventing the skin from becoming overly dry, as well. Good hydration can keep the skin from wrinkling prematurely, but even good hydration isn’t going to prevent wrinkles from forming eventually. The human body requires a lot of fluid every day in order to stay well hydrated through and through, and drinking plenty of plain old water can help!
Using a sunblock product with an SPF of at least 30 when going into direct sunlight is a very important factor in the delay or onset of dry skin as well as in delaying skin wrinkling.