sad woman age 40 having skin problem with nasolabial fold, smile lines or laugh lines on her face aging

As we age, we all experience fine lines and wrinkles to some extent. For many people, these include laugh or smile lines, also referred to as nasolabial folds. While these facial lines are common, their prominence varies, and they can deepen as you get older, which some people may feel self-conscious about.

If you’d prefer your skin to stay as smooth and youthful-looking as possible, you may be wondering how to get rid of laugh lines or prevent them from forming in the first place. Read on to find out more about laugh lines, what causes them and several treatment options you can try to keep them at bay.

What Are Laugh Lines?

Laugh lines or smiles lines are wrinkles that develop between the bottom of the nose and the corners of the mouth. Although they’re a natural part of ageing and aren’t harmful, some people’s nasolabial folds are deeper than others, and it can be frustrating when these facial creases appear.

What Causes Them?

Despite the name, laugh lines aren’t caused by laughing or smiling. These creases commonly appear over time due to a natural loss of volume that occurs with age, but they can also be a genetic characteristic you possess from youth.

Deeper creases tend to form as you get older, with the primary causes being:

A loss of collagen and elasticity

Dehydrated skin

Sun damage



Weight gain

Sudden weight loss

Dental problems.

Over time, smile lines can also become more prominent due to cheek fat descending, which occurs naturally as we age.

Can I Get Rid of Laugh Lines at Home?

If you already have prominent laugh lines, you won’t be able to reverse them without a cosmetic treatment — but you could try elevating your skincare routine to smooth your skin, improve texture and add plumpness. This may improve the appearance of existing lines and make you feel more confident about your skin. Try products containing the following ingredients to give your visage a quick boost:

Retinol — this holy-grail ingredient is said to break down the free radicals that lead to wrinkles and boost the production of skin cells to keep you looking radiant. Retinol also promotes collagen production and can improve skin elasticity.

Vitamin C — Topical vitamin C is proven to improve the appearance of wrinkles and may also help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays when used alongside sunscreen. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts collagen production and improves the skin’s overall appearance.

Peptides — Peptides are made up of amino acids and can stimulate the skin to produce more collagen. Peptides can smooth, firm and hydrate the skin for an anti-ageing effect, giving you a bright, healthy and youthful look.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) — AHAs are excellent exfoliators, used to remove dead skin cells for a radiant appearance. As well as combating dull skin, AHAs can help reduce the appearance of surface lines and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic acidHyaluronic acid (HA) is a humectant known for its incredible ability to retain moisture and add plumpness to the skin. HA occurs naturally in the body, but a synthetic version is also commonly used in anti-ageing skincare products.

Treatment Options for Laugh Lines

Getting rid of existing laugh lines will require treatment at a professional cosmetic clinic. Here are some of the options you may want to consider:

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are perhaps the easiest way to get rid of smile lines without cosmetic surgery. This popular treatment involves injecting a hyaluronic acid gel into the crease between your mouth and nose, effectively “filling” wrinkles that have formed there and restoring volume to the face.

When you have a laugh-lines filler treatment, the effects are immediate, making your skin appear younger and plumper. Results typically last several months, and most patients require a top-up treatment annually to maintain their new look.

Dermal fillers are safe and reliable but should only be administered by a qualified professional to ensure the results you’re looking for.


Botox is also an injectable treatment, but it works differently from dermal fillers. Botox is made from botulinum toxins that restrict movement in targeted areas, temporarily paralysing the muscles that cause specific wrinkles to form. It can be used to improve the appearance of existing laugh lines or as a preventative treatment.

Results from a botox treatment will typically last up to four months and require a top-up after this time, but some patients experience longer-lasting effects.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is a skin procedure used to remove the top layer of skin cells in targeted areas. Laser treatments improve skin texture and appearance, tightening the skin while encouraging collagen production and cell regeneration. These treatments can smooth out moderate facial lines and reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles for a regenerated complexion.

Chemical Peel

Similar to laser treatments, chemical peels work by removing the top layer of skin to reveal a brighter, healthier visage. A chemical solution is applied to the face to remove dead skin cells, replacing ageing or sun-damaged skin with a rejuvenated, collagen-rich layer. Chemical peels are often used to treat acne scarring and dilated pores, but they can also improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including laugh lines.


Microneedling is a cosmetic treatment that stimulates collagen and elastin synthesis for smoother and younger-looking skin. In this procedure, fine needles are used to create micro-injuries in the skin, triggering the production of skin-boosting proteins through the body’s natural wound healing response. A clinician will use a roller with tiny needles to provide this treatment, and you may see a reduction in wrinkle depth as a result. 

Cosmetic Surgery

A longer-lasting way to get rid of laugh lines is cosmetic surgery, but this should be considered carefully and isn’t right for everyone. A surgical facelift can combat deep-set wrinkles and provide transformative results, but this treatment is a significant financial investment and requires several weeks of recovery time. If you decide to get a surgical facelift, be sure to do your research and find the right doctor to carry out the procedure.

How to Prevent Laugh Lines from Forming

If you don’t have laugh lines yet but want to take preventative measures to maintain a youthful look, there are some things you can try at home. Keep the following tips in mind to look after your skin.

Face Yoga

Face yoga can naturally smooth the area between your nose and mouth and reduce the appearance of laugh lines. This technique uses massage and facial exercises to lift and firm muscles, which can smooth lines and wrinkles.

Don’t Sleep on Your Side

Sleeping on your side puts pressure on your face, making laugh lines more likely to appear. Try sleeping on your back for smoother, younger-looking skin.

Wear Sunscreen Daily

You’ve heard it before, but that’s because it’s so vital — apply sun protection factor (SPF) to your face every day, no matter the weather. Sun protection is the greatest gift you can give your skin to slow down the ageing process and maintain a radiant look.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is essential to keep skin healthy and hydrated, contributing to a youthful visage.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking contributes to a loss of collagen and skin elasticity, which is bad news if you don’t want to develop nasolabial folds. This lack of volume in the skin will cause laugh lines and other wrinkles to form as you get older, and your skin will thank you if you quit. 

Elevate Your Skincare Routine

Incorporating the ingredients mentioned earlier into your skincare routine will be most beneficial if done before you develop smile lines. As with all fine lines and wrinkles, prevention is key to keeping your skin smooth, plump and glowing.


If you’d like to get rid of laugh lines and turn back the clock on your skin, our cosmetic treatment specialists would love to help. Get in touch for a no-obligation consultation, and we’ll help you find the right treatment for you.


Dr. Chia Tan
rcgp gmc rcs-ed rcgp
gmc rcs-ed rcgp gmc