Can You Make Smile Lines Less Noticeable?

Have you ever woken up one day and noticed that you have wrinkles or deeper lines on your face than you thought? How do lines just show up that fast? Even if you're someone who never thought would care about crow's feet, frown lines, or other creases in your skin that come with age, noticing them for the first time can be kind of jarring, even alarming. Does this mean you're aging badly? Can you get rid of them?


First off, no you probably aren't aging badly. Everyone is different and some faces have lines that show up sooner or more prominent than others. But lines, specifically smile lines, are just visible representations of the life you've lived. Plus, they're basically inevitable. As we age, our bodies and faces change and sometimes that means facial lines and wrinkles start to exist.

But if you're stuck on the fact that you now have smile lines that make a visible division between your cheek and underneath your nose, there are ways to soften them up that don't have to include a needle.

How are smile lines formed?

Smile lines, scientifically known as nasolabial folds, typically form from the bottom corners of the nose down to the outer corners of your mouth (via Cleveland Clinic). They can potentially become more pronounced as time goes on. Smile lines occur thanks to the fact that as we age, we might lose collagen and elastin in the skin, which are responsible for keeping the skin firm.


As the name suggests, smile lines are formed by smiling. But in addition to smiling, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist, told "losses in volume in the face that occur naturally with age" also play a part. Healthline also reported that dehydrated skin can be a cause for smile lines and genetics can also play a part in how early or fast you form these lines.

Aside from time, other factors that play into the formation of smile lines are smoking, sun damage, and weight fluctuation. Both sun damage and smoking destroy or break down those two important skin elements mentioned before: collagen, and elastin, per Cleveland Clinic. If it wasn't obvious, sunscreen is a massively important step to stop the skin from aging prematurely. If you need any more convincing, the viral photo of the 92-year-old woman who used sunscreen on her face but not her neck for more than 40 years should be warning enough, per Insider.


Some at-home beauty products can soften smile lines

If you want to reduce the appearance of smile lines, there are a lot of products that claim to do just that. The best products are those that replenish collagen and elastin in your skin which, as we said, naturally disappear over time. "Look for products that trigger collagen and elastin production like retinol, Vitamin C, or idebenone," New York dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman told Town & Country. "Hyaluronic acid gives skin an immediate plumping effect so this is also a nice option." 


Of course, you can always go the more medical route of botox or filler. The Cleveland Clinic reported that botox is best for frown lines between your eyebrows but can be used on smile lines, and results should last for a few months. In The Know reported that fillers, on the other hand, are injectables usually made of hyaluronic acid. Fillers hurt more but the results are basically instantaneous. If you choose either of these, Dr. Engelman warns to not overdo it. Smile lines are natural and your goal should be to soften, not completely erase them.