Smile lines are wrinkles or folds that occur between the nostrils and the corners of the mouth. These lines, also known as parentheses, typically start showing up in our twenties and thirties when our collagen production slows down and the skin becomes thinner. Fortunately, collagen loss and the appearance of these lines can be delayed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding excessive sun exposure and smoking, and keeping the skin well hydrated.
There are also clinical and non-clinical treatments as well as topical creams and lotions that can help diminish smile lines, ultimately resulting in a more youthful appearance. With so much advice currently offered on this topic, this article provides a comprehensive look at treatments and products that really work, according to experts. On the flipside, we also include methods that don’t work, so you know what to avoid when it comes to spending money.
We’ll start with an overview of smile lines and what causes them. Then, we’ll discuss numerous clinical and non-clinical options that you can choose from based on your specific needs.
Overview of smile lines
Smile lines, or laugh lines, are vertical indentations that form and extend from the side of the nose around to the corners of the mouth. The medical term for these lines is the nasolabial crease, whereas the fold of skin hanging over these lines is the nasolabial fold. As we age we often lose volume in the mid-face which drops to around the oral area, she said, which results in deep nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and jowls.
Although some of this is age-related there are other factors that effect at what age we develop lines. These include sun exposure, tanning bed use, and genetic predisposition which makes it very difficult to give an exact age at which these lines develop. Volume loss in the fat pads of the mid-face results in the descent of skin and contributes to the deepening of the nasolabial fold. Other contributing factors are the loss of skin elasticity, and the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, which can result in sagging skin. As we age, we lose a multitude of traits such as a decrease in skin elasticity, volume in the face, and bone mass.
The primary cause of smile lines is loss of elasticity and collagen in the skin, however, this can be linked to various external factors and lifestyle choices.
If you need another reason to motivate you to quit smoking, add premature wrinkles to the list. The carbon monoxide present in cigarettes is responsible for narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin.
This prevents reduces blood flow to your skin and prevents it from receiving important nutrients needed for its health and cell renewal. As a result, the skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely, and the complexion starts to appear sallow and greyish because of the toxins present in cigarettes.
In addition to this, pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep smoke out over a long period of time may contribute to the appearance of wrinkles.
Inadequate Sun Protection
There is a multitude of rays present in sunlight and the ones most damaging to our skin are the ultraviolet rays (UV). Only two of these can penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and both of them have their own unique way to negatively affect our skin.
The UVB are the rays responsible for causing sunburn, and while these are the strongest during summer, they can still cause mild sunburn and damage on most sensitive skins even in winter. The UVA, on the other hand, are the rays that penetrate deeply into the skin and play a crucial role in causing premature aging and formation of wrinkles, as well as damage to the skins DNA that can potentially lead to skin cancers.
They are evenly damaging even in the lowest of temperatures and can cause the premature formation of wrinkles and aggravate pigmentation in any season of the year, amongst a host of other factors.
How to get rid of smile lines
Products containing vitamin A, otherwise known as retinoid products, have been proven over many decades to even out epidermal skin and support the skin’s natural ability to produce collagen. By improving elasticity, those smile lines don’t stand a chance.
Retinol triggers the skin cells to regenerate faster than normal, which not only prevents lines from forming but also softens the appearance of existing lines. This rapid cell turnover can cause irritation though, especially at first, so you may look for encapsulated retinol as an active ingredient, as it’s less irritating than other forms. Taking it easy on the exfoliation and using plenty of moisturizer can help ease your skin into the new regimen, too. But whether you’re a seasoned retinoid pro or a total rookie, you’ll definitely want to make sure to pair it with plenty of SPF. Skin treated with vitamin A is notoriously sensitive to UV rays.
Exfoliation does not reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles, but it does help smooth out your skin overall as well as increasing the effectiveness of your moisturizer allowing it to penetrate deep into the pores. A gentle exfoliate one to three times per week a toner or serum-containing alpha-hydroxyl acids is one of the best ways to keep skin looking fresh with a youthful glow. If your skin is on the drier side, stick to 1-2 times a week – any more than that and you could risk irritating the skin.
One of the most popular ways people get rid of laugh lines is through Botox. This is an injection made from the toxin of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It sounds scary, but much research and development have gone into Botox.
Since Botox relaxes the muscles around the injection site, this means when you smile or laugh, the area for laugh lines won’t move as much. Because Botox is an injection, you might feel slight pain at the site and have slight bleeding and bruising.
4. Olive oil:
Owing to the anti-aging properties of olive oil, it is incredibly effective in getting rid of laugh lines. Olive oil also contains monounsaturated fats which effectively prevent the appearance of laugh lines in the first place. All you have to do is rub some olive oil on your face, massaging it well especially near the area where laugh lines typically occur. Repeat this process twice a day. You can also mix olive oil with a little amount of honey. Apply this paste daily and get rid of these lines in no time.
Getting rid of unwanted smile lines and wrinkles can be a long process and many factors play each and individual role during this. The most important thing is the dedication to a healthy lifestyle and being diligent with your skincare regimen.