It’s like a rumor that keeps circling, with celebrities claiming it from one interview or social media post to another: Smiling causes wrinkles. But what’s the truth behind this claim? Does science back this up? And do you really have to give up smiling to save the skin?
What Science Says
The short answer is yes, smiling can contribute to those fine lines forming on your face. But the truth is any facial expression, whether it be frowning, scowling, or narrowing the eyes, causes underlying muscles to move, creating a groove perpendicular to that facial activity. In the case of smiling, you develop two grooves known as nasolabial folds. These are like big parentheses that run down from the sides of the nose to the sides of the mouth.
Now, the thing about nasolabial folds is when you’re still young, they become invisible when you’re not smiling anymore. As you grow older though, the skin loses its elasticity, which then makes those lines more obvious and never to disappear. Genetics play a role in how soon the grooves will start to form on the face.
What You Can Do
While those wrinkles are inevitable, given the reality of aging and the influence of genes, other factors could make your skin look older fast, like exposure to the sun. The more frequent your skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, the faster the skin’s connective tissues break down, eventually resulting in less firm and elastic skin.
For this reason, use the best wrinkle cream. Those that have retinol ingredients are effective in fighting off the fine lines. They trigger the development of new skin cells and improve collagen production. What’s more, they slow down the formation of lines.
Of course, it’s also important to apply sunscreen every day. Not just when you go outside though, because you can still be exposed to sunlight through windows and doors. It’s best to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Use moisturizer as well to keep your skin hydrated.
So, yes, once and for all, smiling may contribute to those lines in your face. But don’t frown at this: Use high-quality skin products to age gracefully.