Nose To Mouth Lines

Nose to mouth lines or nasolabial folds as they’re technically called are creases that extend from the edge of the nose down to the corner of the mouth.


Nose to mouth lines or nasolabial folds as they’re technically called are creases that extend from the edge of the nose down to the corner of the mouth. They can appear in both young and old people when they smile. For this reason, they are sometimes called smile lines. There is nothing abnormal or unhealthy about them. In fact, they are a natural part of our facial anatomy. However, as we grow older these folds can become deeper and apparent even without making any facial expressions. The biggest complaint people tend to have is that these lines make the lower face appear heavier and older.


Like all wrinkles, nasolabial folds are mainly caused by skin ageing. These lines form when skin ages and loses its collagen and elastin. This results in thinner more fragile skin which is prone to wrinkling. At the same time, fat is lost from underneath the facial tissues. This results in lost volume and structure. As a result, the skin of the mid and lower face sags which creates the appearance of a fold or line in nose to area.

Whilst skin ageing is the main cause of smile lines, it is not the only one. There are however a few other factors that contribute to the development and deepening of nasolabial folds:

  • Genetics: Some people are predisposed to having deeper nasolabial folds. This means that they can occur even at a younger age.
  • Facial Structure & Expressions: Repeated facial expressions, like smiling or laughing, can deepen these folds over time. People with certain face shape such as those with flat cheeks, might also naturally have more noticeable folds.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive sun exposure and lack of skincare can exacerbate the appearance of these lines. Both smoking and UV rays break down collagen faster. This leads to prematurely aged skin and wrinkles.
  • Weight Fluctuations: Rapid weight gain or loss can impact the skin’s elasticity. This can potentially worsen existing nasolabial folds.


While nasolabial folds are a natural part of ageing, treatments like dermal fillers, Botox, and various skin-tightening procedures can help reduce their appearance for those who find them bothersome. The most effective non-surgical treatment for nose to mouth lines is hyaluronic acid dermal fillers like Juvederm. Dermal fillers can be used to directly fill in the lines. However, the most effective and most natural looking treatment is produced by replacing the lost midface volume through injecting dermal filler into the cheek area. This lifts the skin upwards and smoothes the fold. For deeper lines, a combination of injecting filler into the mid-face and directly into the wrinkle will treat these lines whilst giving a natural appearance.

At home prescription anti-ageing treatments can also reduce the impact of nose to mouth lines by improving the quality of the skin. Tretinoin can reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and age spots. It can also help stimulate collagen production and enhance blood supply to the skin hence improving its overall elasticity and texture.


Preventing nasolabial folds entirely is a bit of a tall order. This is because they are a natural part of our anatomy and the ageing process. The shape and structure of your face as well as genetics contribute to this. However, it’s not all bad news. There are measures you can take to delay their onset or reduce their prominence.

A Few Things You Should Do

So the best way to reduce or prevent the appearance of nose to mouth lines is to improve the health of your skin. Try to eat a healthy balanced diet that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This will help support skin health and promote collagen production. Also important is staying hydrated. Drink enough water to ensure that the skin remains supple and functions normally.

Looking after your skin with a good skincare routine can help prevent early onset smile lines or reduce existing ones. Be sure to clean your skin with a gentle cleanser to get rid of pollutants and also provide a ready canvas to absorb your products. Use active products like Vitamin C and retinoids like retinol or Tretinoin in your regular routine. This are known to stimulate collagen production and protect against extrinsic skin ageing. Try to also moisturise regularly. This will keeping the your hydrated and improve its resilience. Moisturisers containing ceramides and squalene can also make lines and creases less noticeable. It also goes without saying that sun protection is key! You can do so by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF30, wearing hats and avoiding prolonged sun exposure.

What You Should Not Do

We know that there are some lifestyle factors that speed up the development of nose to moth lines or deepen existing ones. The two big ones are smoking and sun exposure. Avoid smoking as it speeds up the ageing process of the skin. It reduces collagen production and constricts the blood vessels. This deprives the skin of oxygen and vital nutrients which causes ageing. Similarly, minimise excess sun exposure. This is because ultraviolet rays from the sun speed up the breakdown of collagen and elastin. These are the proteins that give skin its structure and elasticity. Limiting alcohol is also important. This is because excessive alcohol can dehydrate the skin and exacerbate the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Finally, avoid rapid weight changes. These fluctuations in weight gain and loss can affect the skin’s elasticity and underlying face volume. Together this can make nasolabial folds look worse.

Remember, that nasolabial folds are completely natural and not harmful. If they do bother you, there are a number of treatment options that can help. The key is to have clear and realistic expectations. Always see a qualified and experienced medical practitioner if you are considering aesthetic treatments. They will advise you on whether treatment can achieve your goals. This will also ensure that any treatment you receive will be done correctly and safely.

At City Skin Clinic, we are passionate about bespoke skincare. Our doctor led online skin clinic provides personalised prescription-strength skincare treatments using actives like Hydroquinone and Tretinoin. We treat conditions such as acnehyperpigmentationmelasma and skin ageingStart your online consultation today and take your first step towards great skin.

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Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

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