We have whole industries dedicated to treating and preventing wrinkles on the face, from creams and salves designed for every part of your face to surgeries and injections to tighten up skin and stretch out wrinkles.
But they say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — so can you prevent facial wrinkles?
Smiling Causes Wrinkles
Wrinkles are caused by repeated movement, and can be exacerbated by lifestyle choices like sun exposure or smoking. For example, if you smile a lot, the areas of skin that crinkle when you smile, such as the corners of the mouth or the edges of the eyes, may develop wrinkles to match.
So should you stop smiling to prevent wrinkles? Some people say yes. In fact, one 50-year-old woman claims to secret to her youthful facial appearance is the fact that she hasn’t smiled or laughed in 40 years. Treatments like Botox capitalize on this same concept by reducing facial muscle activity.
So does maintaining a stony-faced expression keep your skin looking youthful and smooth? Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.
First of all, while smiling and laughing can contribute to the creation of specific wrinkles, they aren’t the sole cause of wrinkles. The true culprit is skin elasticity, which diminishes with age regardless of what kind of facial movements you make. Not to mention that other facial movements, like eating and talking, move your face just as much as smiling and laughing does.
Don’t Ditch the Smile
And of course, wrinkles aren’t the only result of a smile — smiles have a lot more to give. Smiling and laughing reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol, and ramp up production of neurochemicals like dopamine, which can reduce anxiety. Laughing can even benefit your recall and memory thanks to brain waves known a gamma frequencies.
But not everyone is avoiding smiling to prevent wrinkles. Some people keep their smile under wraps because they’re unhappy with its appearance. The good news is, there are plenty of options to improve the aesthetic of your smile and start reaping the benefits of beaming (even if those benefits come with crows feet!)
Whether your teeth need a quick fix like whitening or a longer-term solution like orthodontics, an experienced cosmetic dentist can makeover your smile no matter what the problem is. Crooked teeth can be effectively and subtly corrected with Invisalign, missing teeth can be permanently replaced by sturdy, attractive dental implants, and everything from gaps to discoloration and more can be easily solved with porcelain veneers.
Even dentures have come a long way, and can now be both comfortable and natural-looking. No matter what’s stopping you from being proud of your smile, there’s a solution that will have you grinning!