Why do smile lines appear and what factors contribute to their formation?
Smile lines around your mouth and eyes are normal, everyone has them. Nasolabial folds aka “Smile Lines” (the line that stretches from the sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth) are often the most noticeable as we age when they begin to deepen. Some of the most common causes for more noticeable and deeper nasolabial folds include:
- Collagen and fat loss due to aging
- Weight loss
- Sun exposure
- Environmental pollutants
As you age, lines around your eyes, mouth, and forehead form due to skin laxity and fat loss in your face. It’s the number one reason people seek professional insight from surgeons, aestheticians, and nurse injectors. But good news! There are many options to prevent aging and reverse already forming signs from nasolabial folds. And you do not need to start with plastic surgery.
Non-Surgical Methods to Reduce Smile Lines
There are many treatments for smile lines without going under the knife:
- Medical grade skincare routine
- Microneedling and lasers
- Chemical peels
- Neuromodulators (like Botox)
- Dermal Fillers (Hyaluronic Acid)
Treating smile lines with professional skincare
When you come in to see me, I will start by recommending a medical-grade skincare routine to give your skin the support and nutrients it needs to help reverse and prevent the signs of aging, increase collagen production, as well as support any interventions you decide to do. Plus, a medical-grade skincare routine can often alone achieve noticeable results. This is a very important and rewarding investment!
I may also recommend neuromodulators (Botox), filler, microneedling, or chemical peels depending on your skin consultation results and facial anatomy.
How Botox reduces smile lines
Neuromodulators like Botox temporarily stop muscle movement. Wrinkles and lines form on your face from muscle movement over time. An experienced injector can identify which muscles can be injected to reduce the movement causing unwanted wrinkles and lines while maintaining your natural features and smile.
The muscles around your mouth that you use to frown can be injected to stop your downturned resting mouth and bring the corners of your mouth up. Your neck muscles can also be injected to reduce jowls and tighten your neck and jawline. This is called a Nefertiti neck lift, and can dramatically reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
If you have already deep-set lines when you first come to see me for Botox, it can take 6-12 months of strictly attending your Botox appointments for those lines to disappear.
Remember they took years to get there so there needs to be consistently less muscle movement to completely remove them. However, you will still notice significant results immediately.
Using dermal fillers to improve deep smile lines
To get the best results in reducing deep lines and wrinkles, neurotoxins (like Botox and Jeaveau) and injectable fillers can be used together by an experienced nurse injector.
Dermal fillers, or injectable fillers, are injected into the cheeks, jawline, chin, and around the mouth to help support and replace the fat loss causing the lines to form. Sometimes all of these injection points are recommended, but usually starting with the cheeks can give enough support to reduce smile lines significantly.
There are many different types of these injectable fillers but most give results that can last up to a year. Another point to keep in mind is dermal fillers can also be built upon for optimal results, so starting with 1-2 syringes and coming for another appointment in a month or two can add more natural-looking volume. It is important to schedule a consultation with your injector to create goals and expectations that work within your budget.
The last line about… lines
We all want to look young forever, but before we know it we look in the mirror and realize aging has hit us, seemingly overnight. The loss of collagen, deep folds, facial creases, sagging skin, and uneven complexion suddenly have become noticeable. But the good news is there are many options that can help regain or maintain your youthful glow.
The goal is to bring out your youthful skin, age gracefully, and have a healthy glow. Often, a combination of neurotoxins, dermal fillers, and professional skin care will be the key to bringing out your inner beauty while still maintaining your natural facial expression. When you look good, you feel good and confidence comes from feeling good inside and out.
Remember, you are doing this for yourself! This is an investment in yourself–so reward yourself for the gift of aging.