Smile lines are the wrinkles, lines or creases in the skin that start at the side of the nose, and run down to the corner of the mouth. The technical term is nasolabial folds, but they are most commonly known as smile or laugh lines.
For most people, smile lines are nothing to smile about. These lines are visible on the face when someone is not smiling, but they are most pronounced when someone smiles or laughs. They can make you seem older, tired or unhappy, even though you are none of these things!
How Smile Lines Are Caused
The most common cause of smile lines is the repetition of facial movements. Every time you use a facial muscle, even to frown, smile, squint, laugh or raise your eyebrows, a tiny groove forms beneath the surface of the skin, and the more the face moves, the deeper and more pronounced the groove gets. No, we are not recommending you NOT smile in order to prevent smile lines! And we are not saying that those lines are unavoidable. Just don’t engage in face exercises for smile lines – they will not help get rid of the creases, and will only deepen the nasolabial folds.
Other potential causes include age, sun exposure, dehydrated skin, genetics or smoking tobacco. As we age, we lose facial volume and skin elasticity, which causes wrinkles in the skin. UV light breaks down the proteins that support the layers of the skin – collagen and elastin. As they break down, your skin begins to sag inward, creating smile lines. The toxic chemicals from smoking cigarettes and pipes are concentrated around the mouth and cause extreme damage to the skin around it.
Nasolabial Folds Treatment
So, how can you remove smile lines from the face? What is the best way to get rid of nasolabial folds? It depends. There are a variety of treatment options available – surgical and non-surgical. Talk with your doctor, dermatologist or surgeon to see what specific procedures or remedies they specifically recommend for you to remove nasolabial folds.
These fillers are injected around the creases, and work to plump or boost the skin, diminishing the appearance of smile lines. The effects of injectable fillers are noticeable right away, and each treatment typically lasts for six to twelve months. The results of these fillers can be reversed if you don’t like them. This procedure typically costs $1,000 for each injectable filler treatment.
Botulinum toxins are technically injectable fillers, but they work in a different way. Botox weakens the muscles in a given area, which makes lines and wrinkles less noticeable. The results are visible a few days after the procedure, and to maintain the desired results, the patient will need this treatment every few months. The price of Botox depends on how many units the doctor uses.
A facelift for nasolabial folds is a more permanent solution. This surgery pulls the sagging skin on the cheeks upward, lessening smile lines. A facelift to get rid of smile lines typically costs around $7,000, while a partial facelift for smile lines typically costs around $3,500. If you are researching how to get rid of nasolabial folds permanently…this is your answer.
This treatment removes the top layer of skin cells, revealing the lower layer of skin and decreasing wrinkles. To maintain desired results, these treatments occur every few months as usually cost between $1,500 and $2,300.
There are products and natural remedies that can correct smile lines, and cost less and have less side effects than surgical procedures. OTC creams break down the free radicals that lead to wrinkles, and essential oils offer natural skin benefits. Topical creams and oils should be applied daily for the best results. Consult with your doctor about their thoughts on the best face treatment for smile lines.
What You Can Do Today
Here are a few things you can do today to begin preventing or treating your smile lines. Your skin will thank you!
- Quit smoking. You know the damage smoking can cause, so quit as soon as possible.
- Drink enough water. Skin is one of the last organs to receive hydration from the water you drink – consume enough water every day for your skin to stay hydrated.
- Apply sunscreen. SPF 30 or 45 is the best – apply before leaving the house and every two hours after.
- Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins builds strong bones and healthy skin tissue.
- Sleep. Adults should get a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep every night. Get to bed early so you can look and feel your best.
- Topical creams and serums. Topical solutions provide nutrients and moisture to your skin from the outside, while drinking water and eating healthy foods provide nutrients and moisture from the inside.
You may be wondering about the best face exercise for smile lines – no need to move your face more than you already are. Consult your doctor about your concerns so they can do an in-person evaluation to determine what nasolabial folds treatment is right for you.