If you are on my website, reading this article, chances are that you are someone that spends a good deal of time examining your skin.
That is admittingly something you and I have in common.
Be it because we are fishing for results from the face mask we used last night, tweeze a tiny brow hair, banish an obvious blackhead, or just for the heck of it – we do it more often than we’d like to admit, right?
Not surprisingly if you’ve been doing this for a while, you have probably made some pretty interesting discoveries during your “morning exercise” in front of the bathroom mirror.
One being smile lines.
Hell, where did these come all of a sudden, and;
How did they become this prominent?
I am too young to be worrying about lines, why are they even here? Will they become even deeper if I don’t do something?
It’s annoying, I know it is.
But I am here to give you peace of mind and assure you that there are plenty of things you can do to reduce and essentially get rid of smile lines.
And if you don’t yet have them, but you somehow ended up reading this article, don’t stop reading now. There’s something here for you too.
It is always good to know how to prevent the premature and unwanted appearance of lines by introducing a few simple steps in your skincare routine.
This article will teach you how to get rid of smile lines and further prevent them by offering various effective solutions for your needs.
What Are Smile Lines?
Technically referred to as nasolabial folds, smile lines are types of wrinkles that develop around the sides of your mouth and around your eyes.
They are more noticeable when you smile, and while they may indicate that you live a joyful life full of smiles, they can also make you appear older than you are.
Smile lines typically start showing up in your 20s and 30s when the collagen production slows down and the skin becomes thinner and starts losing its elasticity.
As we age, these wrinkles are inevitable. However, as scary as it probably sounds, there are many options to help get rid of them and delay their appearance.
What Causes Smile Lines?
The primary cause of smile lines is loss of elasticity and collagen in the skin, however, this can be linked to various external factors and lifestyle choices.
If you need another reason to motivate you to quit smoking, add premature wrinkles to the list.
The carbon monoxide present in cigarettes is responsible for narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin.
This prevents reduces blood flow to your skin and prevents it from receiving important nutrients needed for its health and cell renewal.
It also deprives the skin of receiving oxygen that is vital for the formation of collagen and elastin that gives your skin its strength and elasticity.
As a result, the skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely, and the complexion starts to appear sallow and greyish because of the toxins present in cigarettes.
In addition to this, pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep smoke out over a long period of time may contribute to the appearance of wrinkles.
2. Imbalanced Diet
While nothing beats a delicious Nutella pancake or a mouthwatering burger every once in a while, it is best to limit this indulgence from becoming an everyday habit.
Foods that contain high levels of sugar such as candy, cake, ice-cream, or the godly Nutella pancake should definitely be kept apart from being your daily diet.
The same can be said for carbohydrates.
While totally avoiding carbs and sugars can become detrimental for yours and the health of your skin, you should find a sweet spot somewhere in between and still reap the benefits these foods can give you every once in a while.
Extreme intake of sugars, as well as carbohydrates, can damage the link between the collagen fibers through a process known as glycation.
This means that the sugar molecules in your bloodstream attach to proteins only to form harmful molecules called Advanced Glycation End-products (ironically, AGEs for short).
These harmful molecules cause the link between the collagen and elastin fibers to become stiff and malformed, and unable to maintain good collagen production to keep your skin plump and elastic.
To have healthy skin, it is important to eat a balanced diet that includes a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, and high protein foods such as fish.
3. Inadequate Sun Protection
There is a multitude of rays present in sunlight and the ones most damaging to our skin are the ultraviolet rays (UV).
Only two of these can penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and both of them have their own unique way to negatively affect our skin.
The UVB are the rays responsible for causing sunburn, and while these are the strongest during summer, they can still cause mild sunburn and damage on most sensitive skins even in winter.
The UVA, on the other hand, are the rays that penetrate deeply into the skin and play a crucial role in causing premature aging and formation of wrinkles, as well as damage to the skins DNA that can potentially lead to skin cancers.
The UVA rays are equally present in winter and can penetrate through clouds even on a rainy day.
They are evenly damaging even in the lowest of temperatures and can cause the premature formation of wrinkles and aggravate pigmentation in any season of the year.
Read my other article on 5 Ways To Protect Yourself From UV Damage that explains how to fully protect yourself from the damaging sun rays.
How to Prevent Smile Lines?
Sticking to a good skincare regimen with adequate products for your skin type will significantly reduce your chances of developing premature lines and wrinkles.
Here are some skincare products that are known to target and prevent wrinkles:
As we already mentioned above, the sun is not your skins bestie.
Investing in a broad-spectrum SPF can significantly reduce the chances of premature lines and wrinkles from appearing.
Additionally, it keeps your skin protected from burning up under the strong rays.
Always choose a high SPF and introducing one in your skincare regimen as early as possible will keep your skin healthy and youthful-looking for many years to come.
2. Vitamin C
Everyday your skin is under attack from oxidative stress. From environmental factors, extreme weather temperatures, to hard water, and medicine, you are constantly exposed to the damaging effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are harmful molecules that attack and damage the cells in your body. Over time the cells slow down and stop functioning at their optimum levels to fight the free radicals.
That’s where antioxidants step in to protect you.
Antioxidants efficiently neutralize the free radicals and prevent them from causing any damage.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that assists in the prevention of free radical damage and promotes healthy collagen production.
Moreover, it has brightening properties that can reduce inflammation and improve visible signs of pigmentation and dark spots caused by sun damage and environmental aggressors.
Read my other article on Benefits Of Antioxidants to find out how to utilize these powerful agents for healthier skin.
3. Vitamin A
The wrinkles and brown spots associated with skin aging appears most prominently on the skin that is constantly exposed to the sun.
Vitamin A commonly sold as Retinol in over-the-counter products improves the appearance of wrinkles with natural anti-aging properties.
It boosts cell turnover and regeneration and helps to promote the production of skin-building compounds. Due to it being an anti-aging powerhouse, this product often tends to cause photosensitivity and is always recommendable to be used in the evening routine, followed by SPF in the morning.
Thinking of incorporating Retinol in your skincare routine? Read all about it here.
Moisturizers help hydrate your skin and improve and strengthen the natural skin barrier.
Good hydration can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including those around your mouth. Using a moisturizer that contains collagen can help plump up and repair your skin.
How to Reduce Smile Lines Naturally?
Water is essential for the life of all living beings. Good water intake improves the health of your skin as a part of a healthy diet.
Low water intake can cause dehydration, which causes the body to pull water away from all organs, including our largest organ – our skin.
This can cause severe damage to the cells. Damaged skin cells will not be able to function properly to maintain plump and healthy skin and soon enough the skin will begin to sag and wrinkle.
Having a good water intake throughout your day will plump and reduce wrinkles, as well as, prevent new ones from appearing.
2. Antioxidant Diet
When our diet consists of vibrant foods loaded with antioxidants, essential nutrients, and healthy fats this will have a direct impact on our skin.
The skin is the first part of the body that shows internal trouble.
As scientists learn more about how our diet affects our body, it is becoming increasingly clear that what we eat can significantly affect health as well as aging of the skin.
Here are some foods that are naturally loaded with antioxidants to prevent premature skin aging:
- red or yellow bell pepper – contains a good amount of vitamin A and is one of the best sources of vitamin C
- broccoli – full with vitamins and minerals important for skins health including zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C
- tomatoes – an excellent source of vitamin C as well as beta-carotene which is a precursor of vitamin A
- papaya – this delicious superfood is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help promote skin elasticity and minimize the appearance of fine lines and premature wrinkles. Some of these include vitamin A, C, K and E, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
- blueberries – are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as an age-defying antioxidant called anthocyanin. Blueberries are also thought to improve cognitive function.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely necessary to keep skin toned, supple, and moisturized. This will reduce the appearance of wrinkles and effectively prevent premature lines from appearing.
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring are an excellent source of omega-3 and one of the best foods for healthy skin.
Walnuts are a good source of essential fatty acids containing both omega-3 and omega-6 to help reduce wrinkles and maintain healthy skin.
How to Get Rid of Smile Lines?
Besides incorporating a healthy diet and good water intake in your lifestyle in order to support and maintain collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, here are some other ways to consider:
1. Makeup to The Rescue: Use a Blurring Primer
We all know how annoying it is when foundation and even powder tends to settle into every line we have on our face, making them even more obvious.
Using a blurring primer can help to hide smile lines. Blurring creams or primers help fill and smooth the skin around your mouth and lips.
Applying sunscreen every morning is a general rule of skincare, but prior to applying foundation or powder, place a little bit of blurring primer and gently fill in smile lines before continuing with the rest of your makeup.
2. Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, which is a component that naturally occurs in our bodies. Hyaluronic acid helps volumize specific areas of volume loss.
Fillers are currently dominating the beauty industry and they are among the top choices for people looking to get rid of smile lines effectively without surgery.
The effects are noticeable right away with little to no down-time, and you can always have them reversed if you don’t like the results.
They typically last from 4-9 months up to a year and this leaves you with the choice to redo them after this time, or simply leave it as it is.
3. Chemical Peels
Another more invasive treatment option which is great for getting rid of premature wrinkles includes chemical peels that physically stimulate collagen production inside the skin and deeply exfoliate to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and reveal a new, brighter complexion.
Depending on the severity, the typical downtime can be up to two-three weeks.
Getting rid of unwanted fine lines and wrinkles can be a long process and many factors play each and individual role during this.
The most important thing is the dedication to a healthy lifestyle and being diligent with your skincare regimen.
While other treatments give fast results, these can be optional.
This article teaches you how to get rid of smile lines and further prevent their appearance with various effective solutions.