We all know that laughter is the best medicine!
But for many people, it can turn into a nightmare. Too much of this good thing can lead to smile lines, also called laugh lines, around your mouth.
Smile lines are types of wrinkles that primarily develop around the sides of your mouth, and the lines are more noticeable when you smile. Such lines develop due to repetitive facial movements, including frowning, smiling, laughing and many other facial expressions.
These types of wrinkles are a normal part of the aging process. As you get older, any lines on your face can deepen or multiply in number. Other causes of smile lines include loss of elasticity (collagen), dehydrated skin, genetics, smoking, stress, the wrong sleeping position, and sun damage.
While smile lines do not cause any problem, many people want to get rid of the lines as they can make you appear older than you truly are.
Nothing can be done about lines that have developed due to age. But you can prevent many causes of laugh lines with good lifestyle habits and some easy and effective home remedies.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is incredibly beneficial to help deal with smile lines. The anti-aging properties of olive oil come from the polyphenols and oleic acid in it.
Also, the monounsaturated fats in the oil help prevent the appearance of new smile lines, while also contributing to smoothing out existing lines.
Plus, olive oil is beneficial for keeping the skin moisturized and regenerating skin cells.
A study published in PLoS One in 2012 researchers found that intake of dietary monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil leads to the healthier appearance and aging of the skin.
- Rub some olive oil on your face and massage gently to help the oil penetrate deep into the skin. Do it twice daily.
- Alternatively, mix equal amounts of olive oil and honey. Rub this homemade paste on your smile lines using light, circular motions for a few minutes. Wash your face, then apply a light moisturizer. Do this 1 or 2 times a day.
2. Argan Oil
Argan oil contains up to 80 percent fatty acids that help fight free-radical damage. This, in turn, helps prevent wrinkles and smile lines on the face.
The vitamins A and E in this oil also help reduce wrinkles, as well as age spots and sagging skin. It also keeps the skin moisturized and improves the elasticity to keep it firm and youthful.
A 2015 study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging reports that daily intake and/or topical application of argan oil has an anti-aging effect on the skin and helps improve skin elasticity.
- After removing your makeup and washing your face thoroughly, apply a few drops of argan oil on your skin and massage gently using circular motions. Do this daily before going to bed.
- Also, include 1 tablespoon of culinary argan oil in your daily.
3. Kiwi Scrub
Exfoliating your skin once a week with some homemade kiwi scrub can help deal with smile lines.
Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells to reveal the healthier, younger skin that lies beneath the surface, thereby reducing fine lines caused by laughing and smiling.
Kiwi works as an effective natural exfoliant and also contains antioxidants, especially vitamin C and polyphenols that help nourish your skin.
- Put 1 tablespoon each of mashed kiwi, sugar and olive oil in a bowl.
- Mix it well.
- Apply it on your face and gently exfoliate the skin using circular motions.
- Rinse your face with lukewarm water.
- Pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizing lotion.
- Use this homemade scrub once or twice a week.
4. Facial Exercises
Facial exercises can also help reduce laugh lines around the mouth. There are several exercises that target muscles to tighten facial skin. This, in turn, reduces the appearance of any wrinkles. You can also give yourself a face or eye massage for younger skin.
Also, exercise prompts your body to produce endorphins, which can contribute to your skin’s health.
- Keep your lips partially separated.
- Now use your fingers to pull the corners of your mouth back toward the face as far as possible.
- Hold this position for about 10 seconds.
- Relax and repeat.
- Do it 10 to 25 times, once daily.
To prevent smile lines that are related to sun damage, a good quality sunscreen lotion is a good choice.
Too much exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin, particularly its elastin, and cause a loss of collagen. This can lead to smile lines as well as sun spots, uneven skin tone, dryness, rough skin, and sunburn.
Apply sunscreen on your face on a daily basis. Aim for a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher for daily use, and an SPF of 30 for intense or extended outdoor activities like a day at the beach or picnics.
Also, try to spend more time in the shade, and wear a hat to protect your skin and reduce laugh lines.
Dehydrated skin is more prone to smile lines, so you need to try your best to keep your skin hydrated from within. To do so, drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day.
Regular water intake helps keep your skin hydrated and moisturized, which makes it look younger and healthier.
On the other hand, when you don’t drink enough water, your skin can become dry, dull and dehydrated, leading to issues like fine lines and wrinkles.
To stay hydrated, drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Apart from water, you can also drink green tea, fruit and vegetable juices, or eat fruits and vegetables rich in water content.
7. Quit Smoking
Smoking is dangerous to your health and is extremely bad for your skin health. In fact, smoking is one of the preventable causes of wrinkles, including smile lines. The harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke can destroy the collagen and elastin in your skin and worsen existing laugh lines.
A 2002 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology found that cigarette smoking is associated with premature facial wrinkling. Hence, attention should be paid to smoking-associated facial wrinkling in young people and added to the list of disorders seemingly caused by smoking.
Another study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2013 reports that smoking reduces collagen formation, results in collagen degradation, reduces the skin circulation and also nicotine reduces the skin thickness. All of these reduce skin elasticity and cause premature aging and lead to wrinkles.
If you smoke, try to quit as soon as possible to get rid of laugh lines and wrinkles.
8. Reduce Stress
The body produces the hormone cortisol when you’re under stress. In addition to breaking down cell bonds, cortisol accelerates the production of free radicals.
Free-radical damage creates havoc on your skin by preventing your body from producing collagen and elastin. This accelerates the skin-aging process and leads to the formation of wrinkles on the face.
To fight back against smile lines, take steps to reduce your stress level. You can take a warm bath, go for a walk, listen to music, spend time on your favorite hobby or choose any other activity that can distract your mind from whatever is increasing your stress level.
9. Proper Sleep
The amount of sleep you get every night directly affects the smile lines that form around your mouth. Less sleep means your body produces cortisol, which can result in sagging skin and fine lines.
On the other hand, getting sound sleep helps the body produce growth hormones that strengthen the bonds between the cells in your skin. This results in tighter, smoother and younger-looking skin.
So no matter what, try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Along with sound sleep, you need to pay attention to your sleeping position.
Your sleep position also plays an important role when it comes to the development of smile lines. When you sleep on your side or your stomach, the delicate skin of your face endures constant friction that ultimately contributes to smile lines.
So, try to sleep on your back and use silk pillowcases.
Acupressure is based on a Chinese healing technique that uses pressure points to stimulate energy flow and boost circulation as well as relax and tone your muscles.
Stimulating the acupressure points also helps bring moisture back to the skin, which in turn helps reduce the fine lines.
As acupressure treatment involves massaging specific acupressure points on your face, it is important to get it done by an expert. You can also take classes to learn it and practice it regularly.
- Wash your face once or twice a day and follow up with a moisturizer tailored to your skin type.
- Exercise on a regular basis to promote blood flow to your skin. This helps produce natural oils and moisture and increases the rate of new cell growth.
- Eat plenty of foods rich in antioxidants to help boost collagen and elastin production in your skin, and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.
- Also, include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help eliminate laugh lines by reducing inflammation and naturally boosting the health of your skin.
- Aim to maintain a healthy body weight and avoid weight fluctuations.
- Blurring creams or primer can help hide laugh lines.
- A good wrinkle-fighting serum can also help a lot in reducing and preventing the fine lines that are caused by repetitive movements like smiling.