How to Get Rid of Smile Lines

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How to Get Rid of Smile Lines

Smile lines (also known as nasolabial folds or laugh lines) are a common sign of aging that can appear around the corners of your mouth as you age. Here's how to get rid of them.

Smile lines (also known as nasolabial folds or laugh lines) are a common sign of aging that can appear around the corners of your mouth as you age. They are most noticeable when you smile or laugh, and can make you appear older than you are.

Let's take a look at how to get rid of smile lines (and don't worry, you won't have to smile less!).

What causes smile lines?

A middle aged woman smiling, smile lines visible.

Smile lines are caused by a combination of age-related skin changes, sun damage, and the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers in your skin.

As we age, our skin becomes thinner and less elastic, which can cause fine wrinkles and deep creases around the mouth. Sun exposure can also contribute to the appearance of smile lines, as UV rays can damage the collagen and elastin fibers in your skin.

How can I get rid of smile lines?

While natural aging is inevitable and nothing to be ashamed of, there are some steps you can take to reduce the appearance of these wrinkles and keep your skin looking youthful.

Here are a few tips to help you get rid of smile lines:

1. Wear sunscreen daily

A good sunscreen can protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, including those around your mouth.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 before going out of the house. Remember that it's essential to apply sunscreen even on cloudy days and reapply sunscreen every few hours if you're sweating or swimming.

2. Moisturize every day, without fail

Woman smiling and moisturizing with eb5 Intense Moisture Anti-Aging Cream to reduce smile lines.

Applying a moisturizer to your face, day and night, will help keep your skin moisturized, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

It's important to choose a moisturizer that encourages collagen production, improves skin elasticity, and promotes rapid skin cell turnover, such as our Intense Moisture Anti-Aging Cream which is suitable for all skin types, approved by dermatologists, and tested for allergies. This non-greasy yet potent moisturizer contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, Oat Kernel, and Comfrey Root to ensure that your skin gets all the nutrients it needs.

Bonus Tip: While using a moisturizer is absolutely essential for your skin, it's also necessary to choose a moisturizing cleanser and hydrating toner. The goal is to remove impurities but not strip the skin of its natural oils! Our Exfoliating Cleansing Lotion and Anti-Aging Toner will help in keeping your skin soft and hydrated whilst reducing the appearance of smile lines.

3. Use retinoids

Retinoid creams contain a form of vitamin A that stimulates collagen production and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles. They can reduce the appearance of both fine lines and deep wrinkles, as well as improve skin texture and tone.

Note that side effects include peeling, dry skin, and irritation, so speak to your dermatologist before trying any retinoid treatment.

4. Invest in laser treatments

Laser treatments such as fractional laser skin resurfacing can help stimulate collagen production, reduce wrinkles, and give your skin a more youthful appearance. Speak to your dermatologist before choosing this option, especially if you have sensitive skin.

5. Try injectables

Injectable treatments such as Botox or fillers can help temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles around your mouth. However, note that these treatments are only temporary, need to be repeated regularly, and can be expensive. It's essential to speak to your doctor before considering such treatments, as health-related complications can arise if not done properly.

6. Eat a healthy diet

An older woman eating a healthy salad consisting of foods rich in antioxidants and fatty acids.

Eating a healthy diet can help protect your skin from damage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In fact, studies have shown that following a nutrient-rich diet is the best way to prevent deep wrinkles like smile lines in the long run.

In particular, eat foods that are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, as these will encourage collagen production. Examples of such foods are berries, kale, spinach, carrots, dark chocolate, avocados, fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, and tofu.

How can I prevent smile lines?

In addition to following the tips above, you can also take steps to prevent the formation of smile lines or laugh lines:

1. Avoid smoking

Smoking causes wrinkles by reducing collagen production, damaging skin elasticity, and reducing oxygen flow to skin cells. Additionally, the act of repeatedly pursing your lips to smoke deepens smile lines.

Thus, it's important to avoid smoking or using tobacco products if you want to keep your skin looking youthful. Not only will your lungs thank you for staying away from cigarettes, but your skin will too!

2. Limit sun exposure

A man wearing sunscreen and using a hat to protect skin from the sun.

UV rays damage the skin, accelerate aging, and increase the risk of skin cancer, so it's important to limit your exposure to the sun. Whenever you're out in the sun, make sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every few hours. It's also a good idea to use a wide-brimmed hat or an umbrella when you head out when it's sunny. 

3. Sleep well

Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining healthy skin. When you’re well-rested, your body produces more collagen and elastin, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night to give your skin time to repair itself.

4. Drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps keep your skin hydrated and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The key is to just stay hydrated — you don't have to go overboard! Listen to your body's needs and drink as much water as it requires (which is usually around 8-10 glasses a day).

5. Massage your smile lines

An older woman using a gua sha tool to massage smile lines.

Massaging your smile lines regularly with a jade roller, gua sha tool, or even your fingers can help stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of the deep wrinkles. It's best to use an oil-based serum or an anti-aging moisturizer like our Classic Facial Cream (or Men's Face Cream, if you have tougher skin) before massaging, as this will keep skin hydrated and tighten the area around the mouth.

To do a nasolabial fold massage, start by gently pressing your index fingers around the sides of the mouth, then move up towards the cheekbones in gentle strokes. You can also do gentle stretching movements (that go upwards) with your fingers or knuckles on either side of the mouth.

6. Sleep on your back

Sleeping on your side or stomach can crease the skin, leading to the formation of wrinkles and deepening smile lines or laugh lines. So, try to get into the habit of sleeping on your back instead! This will help keep your skin looking smooth and wrinkle-free. Add a satin pillowcase to the mix and you’re all set.

The Bottom Line

Smile lines, while inevitable, can be prevented and reduced with the right lifestyle changes. Invest in skincare products that are specifically designed to target wrinkles (such as potent yet gentle moisturizers with essential vitamins) and use them regularly.

Follow a healthy diet, apply sunscreen daily, drink plenty of water, avoid smoking, massage your face when you moisturize, sleep on your back, and stick to a skincare routine that works for you. With the right habits in place, you can keep your skin looking youthful and glowing.

Written By: Kanika Kumar

Edited By: Kanika Kumar