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Edited & clinically reviewed by SENSES Team
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The nasolabial fold is an aesthetic facial soft tissue weakness that appears in the form of wrinkles or a fine line from nose to mouth, that is, extending from the tip of the nose to the corners of the lips on each side. They’re almost imperceptible in a neutral facial expression on someone with young skin, but as skin loses suppleness and muscle mass, they become more prominent.

As we grow older, these wrinkles become more pronounced. In some cases, nasolabial fold wrinkles might become more noticeable when someone smiles. These are sometimes referred to as laugh lines or smile lines.

The nasolabial folds, also called smile lines, are lines on both sides of the mouth. When a person grins, they are more obvious to others.

Nasolabial fold wrinkles can be convex, concave, or straight, depending on the morphology. When describing the fold’s length, terms such as short, extended, and continuous are frequently used.

Almost everyone possesses nasolabial creases, with the exception of newborns and those whose facial muscles are paralyzed as a result of a medical condition.

Because of the strong fibrous tissue and muscles in the folds, they grow more noticeable as we get older.

For many people, their nasolabial folds grow more obvious as the skin gets thinner and saggy.

Nasolabial folds are facial skin wrinkles that run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth, usually known as deep smile lines or laugh lines. The nasolabial fold is a frequent facial feature. When the nasolabial folds become more pronounced due to causes such as aging, sun exposure, and gravity, they can be a significant aesthetic problem.

The decrease of volume in the mid-face is one of the most common causes of visible nasolabial folds. Our cheeks need to have a particular level of volume in order for our faces to seem full and aesthetically pleasing.

We produce hyaluronic acid, a chemical that keeps our skin moisturized and preserves its plump appearance, in our bodies naturally. As we grow older, our skin’s ability to manufacture hyaluronic acid diminishes, causing it to dry up and lose volume. If this happens, the nasolabial folds will deepen and lengthen and you will lose your face’s natural and youthful beauty because of the unpleasant folds.

Having nasolabial folds means you’re becoming older. Having them around can cause the midface to appear older than it really is. As we age, our skeleton alters, our muscles and skeletal support weakens, and our soft tissue envelope changes, all of which affect our aesthetic proportions.

Facial fillers are the most effective way to restore volume to the face and minimize the appearance of nasolabial creases. These facial fillers are often a refined form of hyaluronic acid that can supply your skin with the necessary elements to keep it healthy, robust, and full.

Facial fillers for nasolabial folds will require a comprehensive evaluation to identify the extent of the problem before treatment can begin. Consistency matters because different face fillers will have varied effects. A filler with a thicker formula will be needed to address deeper, more pronounced wrinkles, whereas fillers like Restylane or Juvederm can easily restore mild volume loss.

Due to the deterioration of facial muscles and sagging fat, nasolabial folds increase when they are absent. Skin thinning, extra fat or weakening of the fat-supporting ligaments can all exacerbate the appearance of these folds.

Having nasolabial folds is not a medical problem or an indication of old age; it is a typical aspect of human anatomy. Yet, these wrinkles can deepen and even sag with age.

It’s common for people to get wrinkles near their nasolabial folds as they get older. Some people get marionette creases, which are lines that go all the way down to the chin.

They appear more prominent due to numerous reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Wrinkling and changes in skin texture caused by sun exposure.
  • The thinning and weakening of the skin due to the loss of collagen as we age
  • Fat loss can cause the cheeks and surrounding areas to appear sagging

Facial expressions can create deeper creases as the skin ages. Just as scowling frequently can deepen the nasolabial folds, so can smiling.

Nasolabial folds are formed due to the following scientifically supported reasons:

Loss Of Fat Pads

The nasolabial fold is pushed outward by the fat pads on the upper cheeks as they descend. Aging causes the cheek pads to deflate due to a loss of support from buccal fat, resulting in a saggy, hollow look.  If you don’t have enough volume under the skin to keep it firm this provides the impression of slack skin. Dermal fillers are therefore a possible remedy, as they help to replenish this loss, freshen the volume, and do not shrink the skin to elderly proportions.  Because they can migrate or be completely absorbed, dermal fillers, like fat, need to be replenished after a period of time.

Ligament Insufficiency

The ligaments that keep our facial muscles together flex as a result of our constant use, allowing for the migration of soft tissue.

More notably, the zygomatic ligament (which supports the cheekbone) is slack, allowing the malar fat pads to fall lower and create a pronounced nasolabial valley when extra fat accumulates in the cheeks. This is especially noteworthy.

Skeletal Remodelling

The skull is made up of a number of smaller bone fragments, and as we get older, some of these fragments can shift. When the vertical height of the mid-face diminishes, fat pads are compressed across a smaller region, and their projection increases. As fat accumulates in particular on the cheeks, the valleys and troughs become more pronounced. There is evidence suggesting that women are more prone than men to develop such folds as a result of their greater propensity for bone loss. Because of this, persons with receding maxillae or midfaces are more likely to acquire nasolabial folds irrespective of age.

Some other factors that can contribute to skin aging include:

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to noxious substances in the environment
  • Quick weight loss or fluctuating weight loss

Overconsumption of fatty, sweet, and calorie-dense foods 

These can have negative effects on your skin as well as your overall health. Foods high in sugar, fats, and carbohydrates have been related to a variety of skin conditions, including pimples, acne, poor blood formation and circulation, constipation, and lines and wrinkles.

Weak facial muscles

It’s crucial to keep your muscle tissue strong, but don’t neglect your face, either. Yes, facial muscles need to be exercised as well. Performing facial workouts will help you maintain a youthful appearance by preventing sagging and wrinkles.

Environmental pollutants

Your skin is particularly vulnerable to environmental pollutants, such as air and water pollution. The health of your skin will dramatically improve if you cover your face with a scarf and wash your face with clean mineral water.

Fluctuations in weight

The development of nasolabial folds can be exacerbated or averted by a substantial change in body weight. The skin on the neck and face can become looser as a result of weight loss. The nasolabial folds can be accentuated and the cheeks plumped up as a result of weight increase.

Sleeping position

The nasolabial folds may become deeper during side sleeping, but you don’t have to give up sleeping on your stomach. It’s possible to switch to sleep on your back if you’re worried about your folds deepening. Skin regeneration and overall wellness are both aided by a good night’s sleep.

Laugh lines can be prevented, delayed, and made less noticeable by implementing the following strategies:

  • Don’t overeat sugary or fatty foods. Your skin will be healthier if you eat a healthy diet.
  • When it comes to your skin, you should avoid anything that causes stings or burns unless it is prescribed by your doctor. Aging can be accelerated by irritation.
  • Don’t use the sun or sunbeds to get a bronzed glow. The sun’s UV rays can speed up the aging process and cause wrinkles and fine lines. Age wrinkles and skin cancer can also be caused by it.
  • Stop smoking or refrain from starting it.
  • Lay on your back to get the most rest. This may assist to counteract the effects of gravity on the appearance of laugh lines. Make an effort to turn sides frequently if you sleep on your side.
  • At the very least, use a mild cleanser and moisturizer on a daily basis. Learn about the ingredients in the cosmetics you use on your face and body. Get advice from your dermatologist for your skin type and individual ambitions.
  • Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on a daily basis. Every two hours, or more frequently if you’re sweating or swimming, reapply your sunscreen.

Nasolabial folds can be reduced with a simple facial exercise:

  • Use your lips to hold the spoon’s handle.
  • The spoon’s free end rises as you smile.
  • Hold for two seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • It’s recommended that you practice this move 19 times.



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