How to Reduce Smile Lines?

By Med-Fit UK Content Team  .  Last Updated Thursday, 17th August 2023

What are Smile Lines?

Nasolabial folds, often referred to as laugh lines or smile lines, are the wrinkles that form between the lower part of the nose and the corners of the mouth. These natural signs of aging, while harmless, can be a source of frustration when they become more pronounced. 

Contrary to their name, laugh lines are not solely a result of laughter or smiling; rather, they develop gradually over time due to the natural decrease in volume associated with the aging process. Genetics can also play a role in the depth of these facial creases, potentially showing up even in one's youth.

These dynamic wrinkles, also known as smile lines, follow a diagonal path from the sides of the nose to the mouth's corners. They become more noticeable during facial expressions, emphasizing their appearance. The progression of these smile lines is attributed to the slowing down of collagen production as we age. 

Some factors such as sun exposure-induced damage and other external stressors can further intensify their prominence.
While the name suggests a life brimming with happiness, smile and laugh wrinkles can also be seen as indicators of a life rich with experiences. However, for those aspiring to achieve a more youthful complexion, various approaches can be pursued to address or minimize nasolabial folds. 

What causes smile lines?

The emergence of smile lines, scientifically known as nasolabial folds, is fundamentally attributed to the reduction in the levels of two crucial proteins: Collagen and Elastin. These proteins provide structural integrity, resilience, and support to the skin, preventing it from creasing and folding. 

While this natural process is an inherent aspect of aging, deeper and more pronounced nasolabial folds can arise due to a variety of factors including UV damage, smoking, and fluctuations in weight.

Collagen, a protein inherently synthesized by our bodies, serves as a cornerstone for maintaining the firmness, youthfulness, and suppleness of the skin. Adequate levels of Collagen contribute to a taut and vibrant complexion.

Several factors contribute to or exacerbate the development of laugh lines:

  • Sun Damage (Photoaging): Ultraviolet (UV) rays permeating the skin disrupt vital regenerative and reparative processes. Short-term exposure results in sunburn, while prolonged exposure weakens the connective tissues, instigating the formation of wrinkles, lines, and pigmentation irregularities.
  • Repetitive Facial Expressions: Initially, nasolabial folds manifest as dynamic wrinkles during expressions like laughter or smiling. However, over time, these repetitive actions can transform these dynamic wrinkles into static ones, as the skin loses its elasticity and fails to revert to its original state.
  • Smoking: The multitude of harmful substances, including nicotine, present in cigarette smoke inflicts oxidative stress on Collagen production, adversely impacting skin health. Studies indicate that the skin in the nasolabial fold region of smokers is notably thicker than in non-smokers, with the facial expressions made during smoking also contributing to the development of smile lines.
  • Age: The decline in Collagen levels commences as early as our twenties, dwindling by approximately 1% each year. Diminished Collagen levels trigger the emergence of wrinkles and sagging skin. Additionally, as we age, alterations in facial structure occur, with once prominent cheekbones losing volume and subsequently accentuating the nasolabial folds.
  • Dehydrated Skin: Distinguishing itself from dry skin, dehydration pertains to a scarcity of water, not natural oils. Dehydrated skin manifests as a sunken or lackluster appearance, which can amplify the definition of wrinkles.
  • Genetics: The production of Collagen and Elastin is intrinsically linked to one's genetic makeup. Inherited traits play a role; if familial members exhibit prominent nasolabial folds, it is plausible that you may also develop them.
  • High Sugar Diet: The indulgence in sugary delights can inadvertently catalyze the degradation of Collagen and Elastin, thereby accentuating the prominence of laugh lines. It's noteworthy to exercise moderation in sugar consumption to preserve skin vitality.
  • Sleep Deprivation: During sleep, the skin undergoes vital regeneration and repair processes, bolstering its protective barrier and Collagen synthesis. Inadequate sleep impedes these rejuvenating mechanisms, making it challenging for the skin to sustain its plumpness and firmness.
In essence, the emergence of smile lines encompasses a complex interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, shaping the narrative of an individual's facial characteristics and experiences over time.

How to reduce smile lines?

While the onset of laugh lines is an inevitable aspect of aging, those that manifest prematurely can be mitigated through the implementation of the recommended remedies and treatments. 
There are a number of methods to assist in reducing smile lines without resorting to super expensive treatments, but of course there is the option to go down the quick and expensive route. It’s really a personal choice. These methods encompass the utilization of topical creams, engaging in facial massages, and exploring the benefits of light therapy.

  1. Ultrasound Treatment: The Ultra-Form Beauty device has gained widespread popularity among individuals seeking to minimize forehead wrinkles and smile lines. The procedure, detailed in the user manual, involves gliding the device's head along the smile line, beginning just below the nose and moving upward towards the temple. This innovative machine incorporates the advantages of red light and blue light therapy, along with the added benefit of functioning as a 3Mhz Ultrasound device.
  2. Injectable Fillers: Opting for injectable fillers presents an immediate solution, typically crafted from hyaluronic acid. These fillers are skillfully administered into the areas of concern within your facial tissues, effectively addressing creases. The application spans from your mouth to nose, yielding a more refined appearance.
    Although the effects of injectable fillers are temporary, lasting several months, it's reassuring to know that dissatisfaction can be rectified at any time. While not a permanent fix, repeated utilization of these fillers may impart a slightly prolonged impact on your facial tissues. Various brands incorporate poly-L-lactic acid and calcium hydroxyapatite into their formulations. Notably, studies suggest a potential duration of effectiveness ranging from 6 to 12 months.
  3. Surgery: Surgery is usually the very last option when it comes to reducing your smile lines. Surgery can certainly give you longer lasting effects, however it can be quite expensive. To reduce or remove smile lines from your face, your dermatologist would usually suggest a face lifting surgery - this will address and fix every wrinkle issue in your face typically. 
  4. Collagen Treatments: Collagen induction can help increase the collagen levels in your skin, thus making it firm and wrinkle-free. The loss of collagen is one of your biggest reasons for your skin to get smile lines - usually the treatment would take 3 to 9 sessions to complete and could begin showing within 9 months. 

Some Home Remedies may include:

  • Aloe Vera: Adding this type of supplement into your diet or applying aloe vera directly onto your smile can assist in enhancing your overall skin condition, but also enhances your collagen production. 
  • Egg Whites: While perhaps an unexpected addition, egg whites have a remarkable impact. Applying egg whites onto your smile lines, allowing them to dry for around 30 minutes on a daily basis, can yield impressive outcomes. When it's time to remove the treatment, employ warm water and softly pat your skin dry.
  • Herbs: Herbs such as basil, turmeric, ashwagandha are known for their anti-ageing properties. These types of herbs can be added to your regular diet. 

How does Ultra Form Ultrasound help reduce smile lines?

The Ultra-Form Beauty Machine harnesses the power of red and blue light therapy, which is commonly employed to alleviate inflammation. Additionally, this therapy stimulates the synthesis of collagen and proteins, contributing to a more youthful complexion that gracefully defies the passage of time.

This cutting-edge device has garnered widespread acclaim among both professional beauticians and individuals seeking at-home treatments, thanks to its unique feature of exclusively utilizing the machine without the need for additional Ultrasound gels.