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Your Guide to Kissing Mouth Wrinkles and Laugh Lines Goodbye

July 20, 2021

Your Guide to Kissing Mouth Wrinkles and Laugh Lines Goodbye

Laugh lines are an umbrella term for the wrinkles that form around your mouth. These fine lines show up naturally over time, as an inevitable part of the aging process.

They are caused by the repetition of facial movements, like laughing, smiling, frowning, and other facial expressions. These lines become more conspicuous with age, but there are certain lifestyle habits that can make them better or worse.

We’re breaking down everything you need to know about reducing the wrinkles around your mouth. This is your guide to getting rid of laugh lines.

Types of wrinkles around the mouth

The wrinkles around your mouth can be dynamic (seen with movement) or static still seen when your face doesn’t move). Static wrinkles are more difficult to treat over time, where dynamic wrinkles are more common since we use the muscles around our eyes and lips all the time when smiling, blinking, etc.

Below are the most common types of wrinkles to appear around the mouth.

  • Perioral wrinkles- This is a general term to describe lines that develop around the lip area. There are more specific subtypes of wrinkles around the mouth to be aware of.
  • Laugh lines- Laugh lines (also called smile lines) are the common term for the vertical lines that extend from the sides of the nose and curve around the mouth. There are two types of laugh lines; the nasolabial crease and the nasolabial fold. The nasolabial crease is the line you see between the upper lip and cheek. The nasolabial fold is the skin that hangs over that crease. 
  • Marionette lines - These are another type of wrinkles that develop with age. They develop vertically from your mouth to your chin, which can create a sagging appearance.
  • Lipstick lines- There are also wrinkles that affect your lip area only. Also known as vertical lip lines or smoker’s lines, they are lip wrinkles that develop along your upper lip as well as directly on the lips themselves.

What causes wrinkles around the mouth?

Wrinkles occur due to the natural loss of volume that occurs in your face as you age and with repetitive movements. Between the ages of 30 and 40, the wrinkles around your mouth become more prominent.

Over time, you lose collagen and elastin in your skin. The delicate skin around the mouth area already has less collagen and elastin than other areas of the face. This makes it one of the first places you’ll start to notice wrinkles.

But why do wrinkles form where they do? It really comes down to your facial shape. Your cheek has seven fat pads that shift and move with time. Your laugh lines become more prominent due to the way these pads move. There are also external forces at play that affect aging, such as the environment.

Intrinsic Aging vs. Extrinsic Aging

  • Intrinsic aging is the body's natural aging process regardless of outside influences. After the age of 20, you produce about 1 percent less collagen in the skin each year. The skin becomes thinner and more delicate.  There is also less elastin production and diminished functioning of the oil glands. Wrinkle formation as a result of intrinsic aging is inevitable, but is less noticeable. 
  • Extrinsic agingoccurs in addition to intrinsic. It is the result of sun and environmental damage. Extrinsic aging shows up as thickening of the skin, precancerous lesions, skin cancer, freckles and sun spots. This causes an exaggerated loss of collagen and elastin. This results in roughness, uneven tone, dark patches and deep wrinkles.

Other causes of wrinkles around the mouth

Aside from genetics and aging, a number of lifestyle factors can contribute to laugh lines. These include:

  • Sun damage
  • Drastic weight loss or weight gain
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Using straws
  • Dehydration
  • Poor nutrition
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • A lack of exercise
  • Drinking too much alcohol

How to reduce wrinkles around your mouth naturally

Try these tips to reduce mild to moderate wrinkles around your mouth.

Eat antioxidant-rich foods

Free radicals break down the collagen and elastin in your skin. Antioxidant-rich foods neutralize these free radicals. Some antioxidant-rich foods include:

  • dark chocolate
  • pecans
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • artichokes
  • goji berries
  • raspberries
  • kale
  • red cabbage
  • beans
  • beets
  • spinach

Maintain your weight

Drastic weight changes can contribute to the formation of wrinkles. Maintaining your weight eliminates the potential for fine lines to form.

Protect your skin from the sun

The best way to prevent wrinkles from forming around your mouth is to wear sunscreen. Be sure to apply sunscreen before you leave the house in the morning and every two hours after.

Stock up on wrinkle busting ingredients

When it comes to fighting wrinkles, these ingredients are a must:

Do regular facial exercises 

Facial exercises help to tighten the muscles in your face, reducing the wrinkles around your mouth. Try the following exercise twice a day:

  1. Hook the corners of the mouth with the index fingers.
  2. Pull out about a quarter inch from the resting position.
  3. Apply resistance with the fingers and use the mouth muscles to tighten the corners of the mouth towards each other.
  4. Hold the position for about 5-10 seconds.
  5. Relax the muscles and then repeat.
  6. Aim for 10-25 reps.

Dermatologist & Professional Treatments

For deeper wrinkles, a dermatologist may recommend one of the following in-office treatments:

Chemical Peel: One of the most commonly used anti-aging treatments for treating wrinkles around the mouth is the chemical peel. A chemical peel works by removing the top layer of your skin to reveal smoother, more radiant skin underneath. These are typically done on a consistent basis to help maintain results. 

Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion: Both dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are exfoliating treatments. Dermabrasion is the stronger of the two. It’s a mechanical sanding of the skin with a specialized tool.  It’s often done at the same time as surgical procedures (like a face-lift), to take advantage of the anesthesia and long recovery. Microdermabrasion uses fine crystals to remove the upper layer of skin. 

Microneedling: Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a procedure that uses small needles to prick your skin. These needles come from a device called a derma roller, or microneedling pen. Microneedling helps to stimulate collagen production in the skin cells. Microneedling has little downtime, but you’ll need to undergo multiple sessions over the course of several months to see results. 

Platelet-Rich Plasma: Sometimes platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is combined with microdermabrasion, or microneedling, in a procedure known as the vampire facial. The PRP is derived from your own blood platelets processed in a centrifuge before being injected back into your skin. PRP can help create plumper-looking skin to reduce wrinkles, but the results are temporary. 

Dermal Fillers: For deeper smile and marionette lines, a dermatologist might recommend injectable dermal fillers. These fillers, Juvaderm being the most recognizable, are made with  ingredients like hyaluronic acid and to plump the targeted area of skin. Dermal fillers wear off after several months.

Botox: Also administered through injections, Botox works by relaxing the facial muscles. While this treatment is best known for forehead wrinkles, it also benefits wrinkles around the mouth. It also improves the appearance of marionette lines. 

Laser Skin Resurfacing: A more aggressive treatment for wrinkles and laugh lines is laser skin resurfacing.  This is a more invasive treatment for wrinkles. Laser skin resurfacing uses high beams of light to remove the outer layer of skin. Like other skin peeling treatments, it must be repeated for a few months to see results. The skin afterward can be red, crusted, and raw for up to two weeks. 

Healthy habits to adopt to reduce wrinkles around your mouth

Not only will these healthy habits help you get rid of laugh lines, but they’re equally beneficial to your overall health:

  • quit smoking cigarettes
  • avoid using a straw when drinking
  • drink plenty of water 
  • reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake
  • eat a diet rich in antioxidant-rich foods
  • wear sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF every single day
  • get at least seven hours of sleep every night
  • reduce your daily stress 
  • try to avoid yo-yo dieting, which can lead to drastic fluctuations in weight
  • wash your face twice a day and follow up with an anti-aging serum and a moisturizer 
  • exfoliate regularly using a method suitable for your skin type

However annoying those fine lines and wrinkles can be, don’t stop smiling. Studies show that smiling can help you feel happier and less stressed.  So keep laughing because we’ve got you covered when it comes to minimizing laugh lines and reducing the wrinkles around your mouth.

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