Nasolabial Folds: Definition and What To Do

Woman putting on makeup

Nasolabial folds, or laugh lines, are a common issue among those looking for wrinkle-free skin. Almost everyone has these folds when smiling or making various facial expressions. However, even when your face is resting, you can still see these smile lines. 

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent deep folds and treat them. The most significant impact can come from professional treatment, but there are several steps you can take on your own to help. 

We are going to go over what causes laugh lines so you can identify anything you may be doing to make them worse. We want to help you make an informed decision to form a plan of action to achieve smoother skin. 

What Are Nasolabial Folds? 

Nasolabial folds are the lines that form alongside your mouth. The folds are made up of facial muscles and fibrous tissue. These lines usually go from your nose to underneath your mouth and are most prominent when you smile. 

These lines are almost impossible to avoid altogether. Your face is meant to show some emotion through expressions. However, some people get deep lines as they age. As you get older, your skin thins and begins to sag. You also lose fat in your face, which is a natural filler. All of these things contribute to wrinkles and fine lines on your face and nasolabial folds. 

You can also get more noticeable folds when you do certain things. For instance, if you're not getting enough sleep, you may be stressing out your body, and your skin will reflect that. A high-sugar diet can also contribute to fine lines. 

You may not realize how much your diet affects your skin, but consuming too many added sugars can damage your collagen production. There are actually anti-wrinkle diets where you eat foods that help control your blood sugar levels.

Other causes of deep smile lines can be smoking, not wearing sunscreen, and pollution. You probably already know smoking and too much sun exposure can seriously damage your skin. If you smoke, try to cut back and quit altogether and always remember to apply SPF!

How To Treat Nasolabial Folds

While it's impossible to erase all signs of aging entirely, there are treatments available to help reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds. Here are some of the different options for dealing with those smile lines. 


Fillers are a common treatment option for shrinking nasolabial folds. Aesthetic professionals inject fillers to add volume and lift the skin. 

Most of these fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, which the skin naturally produces to hydrate itself. Fillers could also be made from calcium hydroxylapatite, which can be found in bones. Both of these ingredients can help stimulate collagen production as well as filling in the deep creases. 

These fillers cause minimal pain when being injected, and the recovery time is quick. You may experience some slight bruising, but you can apply makeup right after. HIDE Premium Concealer works great at covering anything, including discoloration on the skin

Fillers are not a permanent solution since they only last six to 12 months. It all depends on how fast your body breaks down the filler, so the result times vary. 

Skin Tightening Treatments 

For people with loose skin contributing to their unwanted nasolabial folds, there are skin-tightening treatment options. You can look into a fractional radiofrequency device, ultrasound, or laser treatment.

All of these options work in the same way. They stimulate collagen production by damaging small areas beneath the top layer of skin. New collagen will result in tighter and thicker skin, which will lessen the appearance of nasolabial folds. However, for some, these treatments only make minor improvements. 


A way to get significant results is to get a cheek-lift or a full-face lift. These surgeries will smooth out your nasolabial folds and can also reduce other signs of aging. 

Cosmetic surgery is not covered by insurance, so it is an expensive option. It also involves pain, possible complications, and a longer healing process than with other treatments. 

While surgery results can last years, it is still not a permanent fix. You can only slow down the signs of aging, not stop it completely. 

Exercises To Treat Nasolabial Folds 

If you're looking for non-invasive options to reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds, there are also exercises you can do. You can tone the muscles in your face, just like the other muscles in your body. 

Your face has strong muscles to make facial expressions effortless. You don't want to stop smiling to get rid of these folds. Facial expressions may strengthen the muscles in your face, and toning them can make your face look tighter and less saggy.  

However, it's important to note there is no significant scientific research to support the effectiveness of these exercises. These exercises are not harmful, though, so you can try and see if they work for you. You can do these exercises every day. 

Nasolabial fold Exercises:

  • Pucker your lips in an upward motion and hold for 15 seconds, repeating four to five times.
  • Pucker your lips in a pouting motion. Next, pull the corners of the mouth out with your hands. You will want to hold this for 15 seconds and repeat it four to five times.
  • Gently pull on the corners of your mouth when it's slightly open to force them further apart. You will want to keep this position for only two to three seconds, but you have to repeat it 25–50 times to see possible benefits. 

How To Cover Nasolabial Folds

Another non-invasive option for reducing the appearance of nasolabial folds is makeup. Since these folds create shadows on the face, brightening the area can make a big difference. 

The first step to covering them is to apply moisturizer or a primer to help fill in the fine lines. Next, apply a foundation that matches your exact skin shade. HIDE has a shade finder to help you find your exact match. After your foundation has set, use a concealer one shade lighter than your skin color. A lighter shade will create a brightening effect. 

You will want to stay away from drier concealers since they can draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles. Instead, look for a hydrating one, like HIDE Premium Concealer, which is a liquid product. Apply tiny dots around your mouth and pat the concealer on the skin with a damp makeup sponge. Once your concealer has set, dab out any excess product that settled into the creases of your face. 


You can apply the rest of your makeup normally. However, avoid putting powder over your nasolabial folds since it can accentuate the lines. You can set your face with a setting spray if you want, but HIDE products have excellent staying power. 

Nasolabial Folds Takeaways

Unfortunately, there are not permanent options for reducing the appearance of nasolabial folds. These creases are a natural part of facial expressions and deepen with age. 

Several treatments can reduce their appearance for months or even years. You can get fillers, resurfacing procedures, and even surgery. All of these options can make noticeable differences, but they aren't for everyone. 

If you want a non-invasive option, there are also facial exercises and makeup. HIDE premium products work great at covering imperfections!



Nasolabial folds: Causes, treatment, exercises, and prevention | Medical News Today

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Nasolabial Folds: Treatments, Causes, and Prevention | Healthline