When the skin is young, lines and creases formed due to repetitive facial expressions typically show up and then disappear. The skin snaps back almost immediately mainly because of the abundance of collagen and elastin. Both of these proteins act as supporting structures to the skin, keeping it strong and wrinkle-free.
As we age, however, the regeneration of collagen and elastin slows down. This can then cause the skin to lose its elasticity, as well as its ability to snap back easily. Over time, the repetitive use of facial muscles (especially when making facial expressions) can lead to etched lines, creases, and wrinkles.
The formation of expression lines
As the name suggests, expression lines are the creases that form when the skin makes facial expressions. These lines become permanent over time, resulting in lines and wrinkles in different areas of the face. Expression lines and wrinkles, especially when they appear sooner, can make you look older, angry, or tired even when you’re not.
The emotions we experience every day usually come with some sort of facial expressions. Most of these can cause the muscles to contract, resulting in lines and creases. Below are some varieties of expression lines and wrinkles:
- Frown lines – Also called “angry 11s”, frown lines are thin vertical lines that form between your eyebrows. Years of frowning can lead to permanent lines and wrinkles that can make people think you’re angry or tired.
- Forehead lines – These are horizontal lines across your forehead or above your eyebrows. Forehead lines can be soft or shallow, but they can also be deep and pronounced. They can form due to the repetitive movement of the forehead muscles, like when you constantly raise your eyebrows.
- Smile lines or laugh lines – Also called nasolabial folds, smile lines refer to the creases that form around the sides of the mouth. They can also appear around or on the corner of the eyes. Smile lines are more noticeable when you laugh or smile.
- Nose wrinkles – Also referred to as bunny lines, nose lines or wrinkles appear on the sides of your nose. If you constantly crinkle up your nose when you smile or laugh, you are likely to develop prominent bunny lines. Nose wrinkles are also more visible when you smile or laugh.
- Lip lines or smoker’s lines – These tiny vertical lines that appear on top of your upper lips are also called lipstick lines or barcode lines. They can form due to smoking with the repetitive puckering of the lips. Smoking also breaks down collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles. Lip lines can also be due to constantly using a straw or water bottle when drinking.
While it is true that repeated facial expressions can cause wrinkles, they are not the only ones to blame. Sun exposure also plays a big role, as prolonged and unprotected UV exposure can damage the skin and weaken collagen and elastin fibers. Wrinkles, furthermore, are a natural part of aging.
Treating expression lines
When it comes to preventing expression lines and wrinkles, there is actually little that can be done. This is because facial expressions are a part of our lives and it is nearly impossible to be expressionless or stoned-faced throughout the day. If these lines and wrinkles bother you, injectable treatments can help. These include:
Botulinum toxin (Botox or Dysport) – This works by temporarily blocking the signal from a nerve to a muscle using a neurotoxin protein. Both Botox and Dysport lessen the muscles activity in the treated area, preventing muscle contractions that cause lines and wrinkles. This can then cause the skin to look smoother, with less visible wrinkles.
HA-based fillers like Juvéderm – Fillers made from hyaluronic acid can help soften lines and wrinkles. They can also improve the skin’s hydration to make the lines less visible, as well as boost its overall quality. Juvéderm range of dermal fillers can also be used to fill in the lips, restore lost volume, and improve dark circles and eye bags.
Calcium-based fillers like RADIESSE – Composed of Calcium Hydroxylapatite or CaHA microspheres, Radiesse can help smooth moderate to severe wrinkles and folds. It can also be used to add and restore volume loss, as well as improve facial contours. Radiesse, furthermore, works as a bio-stimulator, which stimulates the skin to produce collagen.
If you’re looking to improve your expression lines to reflect what you feel inside, don’t hesitate to contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics. Get in touch with us and schedule a consultation with our Harvard-trained aesthetic doctor in Singapore, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez, to find out which injectable treatment suits you best.