“Crepey skin is thin and looks finely wrinkled, like crepe paper,” King says, hence where it gets its name. “It may also sag or feel loose,” she continues. One of the main differences between crepey skin and other kinds of fine lines is the area in which they appear. King says you generally find crepey skin on the upper arms, eyelids, and neck. These areas naturally have thinner skin, and thus begin to sag and “crinkle” earlier than other parts of the body that have a thicker dermis.
In terms of what causes crepey skin, we can boil it all down to a lack of collagen and elastin in the skin, both critical protein compounds that help the skin appear taut and plump. Your collagen levels naturally decline as you age, but other factors like sun exposure and smoking can also influence collagen decline and thus accelerate the appearance of crepey skin.
However, it’s important to note that gaining and losing substantial amounts of weight can also contribute to crepey-looking skin, and in those cases, the change in weight would cause the skin to sag, rather than the aforementioned internal factors.
How can you tell if you’re dealing with wrinkles, fine lines, or crepey skin? “The skin feels noticeably more fragile and thin,” King explains. Essentially, it’s more about the texture of the skin than actual etchings.